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It’s been five years since the release of Transmutation, Tempest Rising’s debut record, and since then the Perth thrashers have kept their eyes firmly on the future.
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Now, after five years, they have finally unleashed their sophomore album Alter Ego, into the world. Hysteria had a chat with vocalist Vin Trikeriotis about the new album, how the lineup changes have altered Tempest Rising and the good and the bad to being a Perth based band that tours as extensively as they do.
Transmutation, the debut album from metal band Tempest Rising, was a release that thrust them into the spotlight of the Australian metal scene as both accomplished musicians and a force to be reckoned with in the live arena. Since that release, the band has toured extensively, never wanting to rest on their laurels, as they are aware of just how small the scene is in Perth and Australia in general, and they wanted to get their music out to the world. Touring in Europe and Japan and around Australia helped Tempest Rising amass a huge fan base, but after a time, this fan base was clamouring for new music.
But it wasn’t all that easy for Tempest Rising as they had to overcome a number of lineup changes, replacing both their guitarist and drummer. But now, the band has a solid lineup, and with their killer new album Alter Ego on the market, they are ready to write their next chapter.
I just wanted it to be big! Like a hammer to the face where people listen to it and hear a wall of sound and goodness.
[ Vin Trikeriotis ]
And Alter Ego is an album that has been worth waiting for. Wanting to ensure that they had everything perfected before they hit the studio with Simon Mitchell (of Chaos Divine) who handled the mixing and engineering for the record, Tempest Rising could not be prouder of what they have created.
“We’re really happy with the final product of Alter Ego. We love it,” Trikeriotis says of the finished product, even though it was such a long time in the making. “There’s been so many changes. We’ve changed drummers twice and guitarists twice, and finding the right lineup and the sound and the chemistry, we didn’t want to rush this record and put out something that we didn’t really like. Even though we felt the pressure from our ‘fan’,” he explains, joking modestly about their large fan base.
With the new lineup changes and the added bonus of a stress-free writing and recording process, Tempest Rising had the luxury of being able to change the way they approached recording as well.
“We had the drums recorded first, and then the guitarists did their thing, and as we definitely had a lot longer to record this album, we added things, we changed things and tweaked things. The guitarists James and DJ, they added some leads and some licks that we didn’t have and they made the songs a bit more spicy, which is what we like,” Trikeriotis explains. “And vocals. They took me forever! It took me maybe six months to do them,” he continues. “I just wanted it to be big! Like a hammer to the face where people listen to it and hear a wall of sound and goodness,” Trikeriotis says enthusiastically.
And while Trikeriotis jokes around about he is not a musician and leaves that stuff up to his very talented band, as a whole, the band showcases some incredible skills with this record. Well, until say, the drummer comes up with some lyrics for Trikeriotis. “Being a vocalist, I don’t really consider myself a musician!” he laughs. “And sometimes Matty might come to me with lyrics and I am all for it, but really, they aren’t the best! Then I’ll get asked what happened to the lyrics and I have to say I lost them or something,” he jokes. “No, I’m kidding really, I would never do that! But if the rest of the band ever did want to have input on the lyrical process. I am all for that,” he continues.
So with the lyrics handled solely by Trikeriotis, Alter Ego takes you on a journey through some of the vocalist’s deepest thoughts.
“For me, personally, it’s about releasing my own inner thoughts. Whether they are positive or negative, it’s about getting it all out so nothing is bottled up. And a lot of the lyrics are fairly personal and fairly upfront. I don’t dance around metaphors too much,” Trikeriotis says.
The soul of Tempest Rising IS the band. As long as we’re together, writing and sharing our experiences, nothing would change.
[ Vin Trikeriotis ]
The different egos you can come across is the main inspiration for Trikeriotis’ lyrical themes on this record, but you can rest assured that there are no ‘alter egos’ in Tempest Rising. The five are actually one of the nicest bands you’ll probably ever meet. A band who love to get amongst their fans at gigs, sharing stories and beers and being genuinely thankful for the opportunities to be able to play their music to the masses.
In fact, Trikeriotis says that sometimes, the fans can be quite helpful, especially when they sing the lyrics back to him while he is onstage. “We’ve actually had a few shows where people have been in the crowd singing our songs back to us, which we thought was phenomenal,” Trikeriotis remembers. “And I loved it! It was great for me personally because I forget a lot of my lyrics so it was a good prompter!” he laughs.
That’s one thing about this band, they love a laugh and a joke and considering the obstacles they have faced and the toll that continual touring, especially for a band out of Perth, can take, it’s easy to see that these cons are nothing when it comes to how much they love what they do within Tempest Rising and how much fun they have. Especially when it comes to touring. Because when it comes to touring, this band loves to be on the road.
“We do like to get out a bit!” Trikeriotis says. “Perth is very secluded and the music scene here in Perth is good, but our genre is definitely not one of the prominent genres here. I don’t think there is another Perth band that sounds anything like us. So it’s sometimes difficult when we go on lineups and we’re the odd ones out. Which we love, but we also know we need to get out of Perth to show people what we can do,” he explains.
With the stress that this constant travel could cause, Tempest Rising have seriously considered relocating to make it easier on themselves. Financially and economically, it would make more sense for a band who loves to tour as much as they do, to relocate to the east coast. “We have definitely thought about relocating to Melbourne or Sydney, and it is still on the table. But who knows what the future holds,” he says mysteriously.
But would a move like that alter Tempest Rising? Trikeriotis doesn’t think so. “The soul of Tempest Rising IS the band. As long as we’re together, writing and sharing our experiences, nothing would change.”
Purchase/Stream Tempest Rising’s Alter Ego here.
Catch Tempest Rising at the following date.
MELBOURNE // Saturday 21 September // ‘Thrashfest’ – Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne