Interview with Temps (Sled Island 2024)

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Aidan O’Reilly (left) and David Lavoie (right), band members of Temps. Photo by Jae Polgar.

Calgary band the Temps pride themselves on basing their sound on being a combination of Jazz and Punk. The four piece band is founded by two Calgarians – David Lavoie and Aidan O’Reilly who joined CJSW for an interview touching on their writing process and how their band came to be. 

Temps was set to perform at The Palomino on Saturday June 22 at 10:00 p.m.

Special thank you to Take Aim Media for organizing the Sled Island 2024 Interviews, and I Love You Coffee Shop for hosting us.


Emil Duguay: Awesome. Um, yeah so if you could just both tell me a bit about yourselves individually and then how you also came together?

David Lavoie: For sure. I grew up in Calgary. Here. Kind of in the same scene as Aidan, especially once I got to high school, I was playing in bands or I played in a band, I guess. So I played in a band called Telstar Drugs, played bass in that band and Aidan was playing in a band called Dories around the same time. 

Aidan O’Reilly: It was Kindergarten.

David Lavoie: Kindergarten actually, yeah, right. I remember that. And so we were kind of peripherally around each other but didn’t really know each other. And then Aidan moved to Montréal and I moved to Vancouver to go to – I went to jazz school in Vancouver and then I was there for seven years. And then I was thinking about moving back around like 2020-ish. But before COVID happened, I was thinking of moving back. And then I heard that Aidan had moved back, I think, maybe 2018 or 2019? Yeah. 2018. So I was like, ‘oh, this guy’s around. I know this guy.’ He was in Dories, in Kindergarten and I was thinking of making a band when I moved back here. And then COVID hit. And then I started writing a lot of music. I started pen paling with Aidan around like May 2020 and moved back in July and then we started kind of putting together a band and went through a couple different members and we’ve kind of landed now on adding Chris Dadge and Nate Waters to our band as the rhythm section. So yeah, that’s the story of Temps in a nutshell. I don’t know if you have anything to add?

Aidan O’Reilly: No, I was gonna say, David I think covered it for like . . . yeah, also born and raised in Calgary. Like he said, moved away, came back and eventually we connected and started this band, so yeah. 

Emil Duguay: Yeah but do you have any different experience moving out to the other side of Canada? And then you’re . . . because we heard David’s . . . 

Aidan O’Reilly: Sure.

Emil Duguay: . . . Way back and he had kind of feelings (undecipherable) 2020 but how did you deal coming back to Calgary?

Aidan O’Reilly: Right, yeah. I moved to Montréal for . . . first with work but then for school and did music stuff out there and was pretty settled. My fiancee now wife, she owns a clothing store here, Velour Clothing Exchange, and it just got to a point where she couldn’t be away from the business so we’ve decided to move back together. So I’m happy that I found my way back to music in Calgary, thanks in big part to David. 

Emil Duguay: Cool. 

Aidan O’Reilly: Yeah.

Emil Duguay: Had a bit of a different experience there, both kind of getting apart and then coming together now. And so were those two other band members that you mentioned before, like have they been . . . because I think you were on CJSW, did a live. Were they part of that? 

David Lavoie: Yeah.

Emil Duguay: That’s 2022.

David Lavoie: Yeah, so at that time that we had Tyler Ardnt on drums, he plays in Uncanny Valley. He left the band just because he was a little bit too busy. He also runs a wonderful barber shop or a hair cuttings shop, I guess. And Finn was briefly a member and then he moved to Taiwan and now he lives in China. Was like, ‘okay, see ya.’ But actually Chris Dadge had subbed for Tyler before, he subbed for our very first show I think at Palomino and so he kind of already knew the material, it just like, grabbed him and I knew Nate Waters from peripherally from the jazz scene already. And he wanted to play with us really bad and already plays with Dadge and you know, probably 100 bands. And so it was kind of just like, ‘okay, well, I guess this is good.’ And they’ve really added to the band and we’re pretty settled on . . . I mean, we’re all the way settled on our band now. So yeah, we’re very happy to have them on board.

Emil Duguay: How long has it been you four now?

David Lavoie: How long has it been us? Hmmmm, maybe like a year and a half or maybe it’s a couple of years almost? 

Aidan O’Reilly: Our first show altogether. 

David Lavoie: What’s our first show all together? I think there was Kathy Kolache. 

Aidan O’Reilly: Yes. 

David Lavoie: Yeah. Which was Oktoberfest 2023. So I guess it’s been a year and a half-ish. 

Aidan O’Reilly: It’s been two years. 

David Lavoie: Yeah.

Emil Duguay: And would you say that your music has changed at all since these two members or has it . . . Yeah, like how has it grown in that year and a half?

David Lavoie: I’d say so because I wrote most of the first album on my own and then kind of finish it off with Aidan and we were writing together on that one and we didn’t know who was going to be in the band at the time. But the second release, or our most recent release, which what came out in . . . what was it, April? This big deal EP, we knew we were writing for Dadge and Nate to be on the record. So I didn’t go . . . I didn’t write as much of the drum beats, like Dadge kind of flushed those out for us and he really helped with the recording side of things, with the drums and did a bit of production on the final release. So definitely an influence on that release from Dadge as well as Nate. 

Emil Duguay: Yeah.

Aidan O’Reilly: Just that now we’re working on new songs, we’re getting to a point where we’re getting more feedback from them and that’s influencing our new stuff so that’s cool. More like four of us collaborative. So yeah.

David Lavoie: Yeah, I tend to write differently when I know who I’m writing for because I know about the ability and the style and kind of their tendencies as the musicians.

Emil Duguay: Yeah but now you’d . . . so you – just to clarify, so now you write more together as a group as opposed to solo or are you still . . . ?

David Lavoie: I kind of . . . I tend to write the main idea for the song and then Aidan is really good with the arranging and helping me kind of finish things because I’m kind of like . . . I just spit fire things into my computer and then I never finish them. So it’s really good to have Aidan able to come over and we work together to finish the tunes. And then we kind of say, ‘hey Dadge and Nate like, let’s try this tune, let’s see how it goes’ and then they give us their feedback and finish up the drum beats and kind of finish it off with the group there.

Emil Duguay: Yeah. I liked that your genres are really like, jazz punk? Like it’s kind of an amalgamation of genres into one. 

David Lavoie: Yeah, I guess.

Emil Duguay: Where did that come from? 

David Lavoie: I guess to me jazz is a bit of a red herring in a way. Because, to me, like jazz, in order to be jazz, kind of has to have a little bit of an element of swing or lots of improvised solos but we borrow a bit from the harp, jazz harmony. And there’s a bit of improvisation but really, I’ve found a lot of people that are into jazz will like our band. So I kind of just throw that in there but it’s not like . . . I don’t really think we’re playing capital J-Jazz, you know what I mean? 

Emil Duguay: Yeah.

David Lavoie: But jazz punk is an interesting . . . that’s an interesting genre, I guess. But yeah, Nate is also in the jazz scene, we’ve played some jazz gigs together and so I’m not afraid to kind of lean that direction and like, I’m not going to scare Nate away with any of my ideas, I guess.

Emil Duguay: Yeah. If you wanna let Aidan answer this next one . . . 

Aidan O’Reilly: Sure.

Emil Duguay: So yeah, moving on more into your experience with Sled Island because I think this is . . .  this is second, third? 

Aidan O’Reilly: This will be third Sled for Temps.

Emil Duguay: Third for Temps. 

Aidan O’Reilly: Yeah. 

Emil Duguay: What kind of experience have you had with Temps in Sled Island? How has Sled Island helped you or like, yeah, what’s the experience like? 

Aidan O’Reilly: Definitely, yeah. I think we have a really fond relationship with like – we revere Sled, we love Sled, we can’t wait for Sled to come around. And they’ve been really good to us. In 2022 when we first played we were basically like, not, you know, we were just starting out, we had just released our album and they put us on like a pretty big bill opening at the Legion and they didn’t have to do that, you know. So I think they like to do that, they like to put an up and coming local Calgary band on a stage where they get a lot of exposure. So that I think that definitely helped us, that turned a lot of heads that night, or I would hope so. You know, we’re never displeased with where they put us or how they book us. We feel the love from them for sure. 

Emil Duguay: Is there any fond Sled memories or experiences that you really liked? Besides the exposure as a band and helping projects after that first album release? Is there any other cool experiences or anything else that you would say or anything you’re looking forward to this Sled?

David Lavoie: Last year I really liked our PinBar show and we got to open for Gustaf, wonderful band from New York, was a really fun show. Also seeing Dehd last year, and being in the like 30 degree Legion with people crowd surfing was pretty epic in my memory, pretty visceral. I’m excited to see Jeff Parker later today and just hang out with people that are in town who are not normally in town. So yeah, Sled is definitely one of the best parts of living in Calgary and one of those beautiful kind of things happening here, so yeah.

Aidan O’Reilly: Yeah, David kind of touched on but half the fun at Sled is also just like, seeing all the people and like running into friends and hanging out so it’s like amazing music, but also just like great, great time with buds too. 

Emil Duguay: Yeah, there’s a good mix of local and international acts and it’s cool to see it all come together for the festival. So I know Aidan has also been interviewed on Bluffing but can we touch on maybe the differences between the two groups? And I don’t know, just how how you kind of see both projects and both groups?

Aidan O’Reilly: I guess I’d say at this point David’s the primary writer for Temps and I’m the primary writer for Bluffing but they’re both still collaborative, like the ideas for Temps start with David, the ideas for Bluffing start with me but we bring them to the jam and work them out together. So yeah, I’d say even though Bluffing is coming from me, I wouldn’t be able to do Bluffing without David and Jae helping me. So yeah, that makes sense.

David Lavoie: Yeah, I think before Bluffing existed, I remember showing Jae, my wife and bass player in Bluffing, I showed her Aidan’s demos and I was like, ‘what do you think? Do you think Temps could play these tunes?’ And she’s like, ‘no, these are completely different, with Temps cannot play these tunes.’ And so she was like, let’s just make a band with Aidan.’ And then that’s kind of where we we sit, we’re like, ‘let’s just tell Aidan this, and just see if he’s down.’ And he was, so yeah. 

Aidan O’Reilly: And if that didn’t happen those songs would still just be kicking around in my computer. They really pulled me out of my shell. 

Emil Duguay: Yeah. So is it . . . I’ll admit, I haven’t listened too much Bluffing but is there a lot of genre change between the two? Or how would you . . . ?

David Lavoie: I feel like both of these bands kind of represent the Calgary sound, which I’m really into and I wanted to try to get the Calgary sound of Temps but I wouldn’t be able to do it without Aidan because I’m gonna get way too heady and I’m writing all this stuff and it just ends up sounding kind of like jazz, like too jazzy or something like that but Aidan’s more in tune with the sound and can kind of pull from there a little bit more. So I’d say when you’re listening to Bluffing, it’s like, strictly the Calgary sound. Like there’s no jazz influence there, and that’s kind of the difference. For me, at least.

Aidan O’Reilly: Yeah, I agree. And maybe like a tempo difference. Last night, or like a recent fan of Bluffing said that we play slow music which they like, which was really nice. I mean, there’s the obvious difference of like, right now Bluffing is one guitar and Temps is two, so with Temps it’s all about David and I playing off of each other and like building melodies and stuff together and Bluffing has to lean on just the one guitar and rhythm. 

Emil Duguay: Cool, yeah. It kind of leads me to my next question touching on the Calgary sound. What would you guys say is your relationship with Calgary as artists in the music scene and the arts, the art scene here? And also being from here and local, like how would you say that Calgary has played a part in that?

David Lavoie: Definitely growing up here and in high school and kind of the early years, there was a really good all ages scene here with Tubby Dog and Conrad sound and like the area local library, all these places existed, and that really got a lot of younger people into this type of music. So it’s really embedded in my being, like bands like who Women and like Faux Fur and Aidan’s band Dories, or I guess it was Montréal. But those people that were in that scene and that sound is kind of like my comfort food in music. Like even though it sounds really kind of scary and maybe a little bit dissonant, it’s comforting for me to listen to all that music. 

Aidan O’Reilly: Yeah, no, I think that’s a good point is that we both kind of like grew up on that scene, the Calgary scene was really thriving when we grew up. And there was all these spaces that we could play and get into music and that’s had such a crazy influence on us. So that relationship with Calgary at the very least is like really fond and now coming back to it, like we both moved away and came back as adults and like changing our relationship with the scene, but I said it before but music scene is like really positive and supportive. We all support each other and look out for each other. Yeah, it’s like all good vibes in the scene right now, I’d say so.

Emil Duguay: Cool. Yeah, I’m glad Calgary is a good place for music in the arts. So doing research on you guys, there isn’t a whole lot online. So I kind of want to ask, like, is there anything that you guys . . . I don’t know any misconceptions or anything that you’d like your fan base or people to know about you that’s not easily found? Because I noticed there’s . . . it’s kind of hard to get details on you guys so is there anything that comes to mind that you’d like your fan base or people to know?

David Lavoie: No, we’re kind of boring. I don’t know. Yeah, the music can speak for itself, I guess. I’m a local musician, I’m in many different corners of the scene and I’m out there playing all kinds of gigs. Which, if you like Temps you probably wouldn’t care about all the jazz gigs I take. Just playing trumpet and kind of weird groups and I play a little bit of upright bass like, I don’t know. I’m stretching myself pretty thin playing music. That’s maybe something interesting or or something you wouldn’t be able to know if you just looked up Temps online.

Aidan O’Reilly: Yeah, like David is an unreal trumpet player. So if that’s not already obvious from getting into Temps then if you want to know more explore the world of David and jazz I’d say. I’m like other than playing in these two bands I’m just, like, day job guy with my wife and my two cats. My life is like not that exciting otherwise, so yeah.

Emil Duguay: What is your day job? If you don’t mind me asking.

Aidan O’Reilly: I work for Kobo, like the e-reader company. 

Emil Duguay: Ok.

Aidan O’Reilly: I work in email marketing so I build email campaigns for whatever various marketing strategies. It’s not . . . it’s a great stay at work from home job but yeah, no relationship arts or music, so yeah. 

Emil Duguay: There’s a bit of arts and marketing and how you go about it, you kind of say but that’s interesting how David is pretty spread thin with all the music playing in bands that he’s in and you’re still doing the casual day job life and trying to . . . but still you have . . . you’re in two groups. So you’re still pretty busy there. That kind of leads me to my next question. Do you have any future plans with the groups or future gigs or anything you’re looking forward to that you’d like to mention?

David Lavoie: Yeah, well, Temps right now we’re writing more music for like a full length album, I think. And I think Bluffing is probably going to maybe have some singles coming out or something, potentially. Yeah, stuff is in the works in terms of releases, but we would like to play some not Calgary shows I think would be would be fun. Maybe if we could get into pop I don’t know or something like that would be really cool.

Aidan O’Reilly: Yeah, both bands applied for POP Montréal so that’d be a really sweet next thing and get us out of Calgary a bit. And we’ve also like, floated the idea of doing like mini Alberta tours like hitting Edmonton, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat in a weekend so trying to make that happen, but we’ll see how it goes. 

Emil Duguay: Anything in B.C. or anywhere close to Alberta or just mostly Alberta tour?

David Lavoie: We’d like to go to Vancouver. I have some connections there. Haven’t really reached out yet but would be would be sick to play with Vancouver show for sure. 

Emil Duguay: Cool. So you have some stuff recorded in the works coming out or some singles?

David Lavoie: I have a big folder on my computer full of demos that are completely unfinished and unsharable but that’s where we’re at and it’s gonna be a while but we’ll get there.

Emil Duguay: Cool. Is there anything else that I haven’t asked her that you feel like you should mention about Temps as a band, as a group? Anything that we’ve missed, anything cool about your fan base or anything about your music that people should know?

David Lavoie: It’s a really fun group for us to play in. I hope that translates to the listening experience. We’re not really playing the most popular genre of music but we really enjoy what we’re doing and we’re having fun. 

Aidan O’Reilly: Yeah, I agree with what David said. 

Emil Duguay: Any closing statements from you Aidan, anything else you’d like to close on?

Aidan O’Reilly: No, I think David covered it. Maybe this is kind of random but we have a nice connection with local artists, NASARIMBA. They’ve done all our merch and they’ve done some album art and stuff for us so one thing people might not know about Temps is that we have this nice relationship with with them and they support us so if I can give them a shout out.

David Lavoie: Yeah. Shout out NASARIMBA.

Emil Duguay: All right, cool. Thank you. Thank you both for letting me interview you. 

Aidan O’Reilly: Thank you.