Article By: Taylor Waring ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
[Editor’s intro] Philadelphia, PA’s Heavy Temple started in 2012, and the past couple of years has settled in rather well with a new lineup. These changes have done nothing but strengthen this Temple’s already solid foundation.
I’ve had the opportunity to see Heavy Temple perform live twice, both times at festival appearances in states other than our own. Both times they were well-received by a ‘stranger’ crowd, but it was at Psycho Las Vegas 2017 where I witnessed them truly win over the house during their set. Relatively unknown at that second annual festival, Heavy Temple had some already well-warmed, tired ears to command attention from late on Day 3 of a four-day festival.
Initially, a few skeptics were hovering anonymously in the back of the room – a little noisy, a little drunk, borderline annoying. Three songs into the HT set, I looked for this crew of potential hecklers and they were gone. Gone deep into the Temple – eyes and ears fixed on that stage. They were never to be heard again… until each song was over. I smiled as I watched them roar out their appreciation. They were hooked. (Photos of that Psycho Las Vegas set are below.)
That’s what Heavy Temple does. They lure, hook, and reel you in with a full performance. Sure, they can play, but that SHOW they give you! The performance displays not only their ability, not mere hope that you enjoy it, but making 100% damned certain that THEY are having a blast as they belt out tune after tune. You can’t help but enjoy it. Do not miss your chance to witness it.
Taylor spent some time talking with ‘Nighthawk‘ about the band’s 2017 album ‘Chassit’, and upcoming appearances at FireBreather Fest and Descendants Of Crom. Listen on the Bandcamp stream below while you read on! ~ Leanne
RIFF RELEVANT [TAYLOR WARING]: I think Heavy Temple’s cover of “Love You to Death” is sick. Could you chat about how that came about? Any other covers you’d like to do, or have thrown into your live sets?
HEAVY TEMPLE: It took a long time for me to fully appreciate Type O Negative. But then I met someone and was like, “Ooooh, this is how I’m supposed to feel when I listen to October Rust“. So, what started as a Valentine’s gift turned into this cover. I started just fooling around on the piano, but then I decided to make a full arrangement with cello and some other synths.
As for other covers, I’d say at least once a week someone says, “Hey, we should cover that” [laughs]. So, maybe if we manage to get all the licensing rights from the two-dozen or so songs that have been thrown out there, we’ll do a tribute album.
RIFF RELEVANT [TAYLOR]: Speaking of covers, could you tell me about the cover art of Chassit? It’s got a lot of wild imagery going on.
HEAVY TEMPLE: Chassit is named after a word in the High Speech from the Dark Tower. More or less, it means ‘everything is fucked up’. It’s also synonymous with the number 19.
I started writing the album after the first lineup disintegrated and I was deep in the middle of the Stephen King series. I asked the artist (Jake Van Der Linde) to include relevant imagery from the seven books, that people who have read them could identify. The zodiac on the back cover we decided to include, but revamp, since there was one in the artwork for the self-titled EP, as well.
So, I guess the album art is basically a little treat for those who’ve completed the nearly insurmountable task of finishing all seven books. And let’s be honest, it just looks cool.
RIFF RELEVANT [TAYLOR]: Your Facebook profile says you’re from Jupiter. How did you build a temple on Jupiter? Also, is that bass actually made out of a star?
HEAVY TEMPLE: The Temple was always there. It just needed a few brave souls to inhabit it. But, I can say that the price tag on fuel is astronomical. (See what I did there?) As for the bass, it doubles as our spaceship. Just add water.
RIFF RELEVANT [TAYLOR]: What are your post-Chassit plans? Any new tunes in the works?
HEAVY TEMPLE: We are planning on finishing up writing and recording the new album as soon as humanly possible.
RIFF RELEVANT [TAYLOR]: You’re set to perform at both the FireBreather Fest in April (Indianapolis) and Descendants of Crom in the Fall (Pittsburgh). What piques your interest the most about playing each of these festivals? What bands are you most stoked to share the stage with at each event?
HEAVY TEMPLE: [FireBreather] We had a great time at Doomed and Stoned Fest the first year, so we’re excited to go back to Indy. We worked with Drew Smith of Archarus when he ran the backline, and have no qualms about working with him again. We’ll be reunited with Toke (who played the first D&S. as well), and Horseburner – who we haven’t seen in almost two years. And we’re looking forward to catching Greenbeard, but the whole bill is pretty stacked.
[Descendants Of Crom] This will be our first time at DoC. The line up looked great last year, as it does this year. With both of these festivals, we really dig that there are more and more folks putting on smaller festivals in the states. Europe is full of them, and while we have things like Psycho Las Vegas, and Levitation in Austin, it’s nice that there are more and more events cropping up in all regions.
As for which bands on Descendants Of Crom we’re most stoked on, it’s hard to say. We haven’t played with too many of the bands on this year’s line up, so we’re excited to check out some stuff that’s new to our eyes and ears. Although we’d be remiss in not mentioning that Thunderbird Divine are our homies from the City of Brotherly Love.
RIFF RELEVANT [TAYLOR]: We’ve seen your skills at corpse face painting from some of your band photos and aware that some of your Halloween costumes are nearing legend status… What’s been your favorite costumes you’ve each come up with in the past few years?
HEAVY TEMPLE: We have yet to attend a Halloween party all together, but I’m particularly proud of my Lemmy costume. And as for Thunderhorse, any excuse to wear corpse paint. Tempest is on the waitlist to join ICP.
RIFF RELEVANT [TAYLOR]: Anything else exciting on the horizon for Heavy Temple?
HEAVY TEMPLE: We’re way stoked to be playing Muddy Roots Festival in August, camping out at Shadow Woods Metal Fest again, and we have a few other things up our sleeves that we can’t mention just yet, but we think you’ll be pleased.
Heavy Temple Upcoming Tour Dates:
- 2/17 – Philadelphia, PA – Voltage Lounge (w/The Atlas Moth, Royal Thunder, Mirrors For Psychic Warfare)
- 2/23 – Brooklyn, NY – Lucky 13 (w/Wolfhand, Witchkiss, Neither God nor Master)
- 2/24 – Bethlehem, PA – Funhouse (w/Goat Wizard, Haze Mage)
- 3/23 – Philadelphia, PA – Ortlieb’s (w/High Reeper [Release Show], Hound)
- 3/31 – Harrisburg, PA – HMAC (w/Black Pussy, 91s, Stone Cold Killer)
- 4/12 – Pittsburgh, PA – Howlers (w/Horehound, Urns)
- 4/14 – Indianapolis, IN – FIREBREATHER FESTIVAL
- 4/20 – Baltimore, MD – Stoned To Death 420 (w/The Flying Eyes, Haze Mage, Tombtoker, Lazlo Lee & The Motherless Children)
High Priestess Nighthawk (Bass, Vocals)
Heavy Temple at Psycho Las Vegas 2017 –
Photos by Leanne Ridgeway