Tempertwig (1999-2004) were a three-piece from South London. They featured Ben and Adam Parker of the groups Nosferatu D2 and The Superman Revenge Squad Band. Trading on a downtuned rattle of noise, and Ben’s fractured streams of consciousness that rifle through the detritus of living.
Released last week FAKE NOSTALGIA: An Anthology of Broken Stuff is a collection of Parker brothers material from their early and urgent days. Lyrical, frantic, minimalistic and eclectically unpredictable, theirs is a sound which has launched labels a decade apart. This collection is released by Audio Antihero Records, who formed in 2009 to release Nosferatu D2’s lone album, and, the fledgeling Randy Sadage label, who are debuting in 2019 to release this Tempertwig anthology. Today, Ben Parker answers our 20 questions:
Hi, how are you?
Tired but fully alive.
What’s the weather like?
Just moving into Spring. So starting to get more pleasant.
How do most of your songs start life?
Lyrics start as random thoughts that come from anywhere (e.g. conversations overheard, interior monologues triggered by awkward situations, frustrations with musicians I usually like, terrible films). Music comes from fiddling about on the guitar.
What was the first single you bought?
I went through a brief period of liking football, and bought the Anfield Rap on 12″. I don’t own it anymore.
Have you ever been starstruck?
Only time that comes to mind was when I saw Noel Gallagher at a gig. Wasn’t an Oasis fan at all, but it was when they were absolutely huge so it was more like standing next to a cartoon character or something. More recently, Adam and I stood next to Thurston Moore at a J Mascis gig; didn’t speak to him of course.
The Royal Family: should they stay or should they go?
They do seem like a constant reminder of an unjust society, but where would they go?
If you weren’t doing this, what would you like to be?
I’d be me but without a guitar.
What’s your favourite book?
The Stand by Stephen King. I used to read him loads when I was at school, then not at all when I went on to study English Literature at university, then I reread a few of his books a few years ago and his style of writing is so strangely comforting, like putting on an old pair of shoes, or a nice refreshing cup of tea.
What were you like at school?
I suspect I was quite forgettable.
What’s the music scene like back home?
In my house the music scene is driven by my two-year-old son, so “the wheels on the bus” gets a regular airing. He has a little guitar that he “plays” along with me, but he seems a lot more avant-garde than me currently. When he was first born he seemed strangely attracted to the Cannonball Adderley Quintet, which was nice.
Best gig you’ve played so far?
There was a gig that Adam and I played as Nosferatu D2 in Camden somewhere and, although it was pretty quiet, I remember finishing and thinking that we were pretty good that night. We played bigger gigs but for some reason, that one stands out.
What’s your favourite single?
Always really liked Regret by New Order. That comes to mind at the moment.
What do you listen to in your tour van?
Never had a tour van. Back in the tempertwig days I used to have two cassettes in my car that were recordings of the beginners guide to reggae with Mark Lamar taped off the radio – listened to them so much they broke.
What were your favourite artists growing up?
Iron Maiden, Anthrax, Senseless Things, The Smiths
Who would you want to play you in the film of your life?
Dunno. I’ll let the director choose and then complain at the premiere.
Vinyl, CD, Download or stream?
What’s the best cover version you have ever heard?
Got the Time by Anthrax.
Tell us about your recent release?
It’s recent but really old. An younger version of me that I can barely recognise in places.
Any hopes for 2019?
What would be your dream collaboration?
Just a nice jam with Duke Ellington, That would be an experience.