Over a two-day stretch last June, criminally underrated Milwaukee post-punk quartet Temple stepped into the booth at Shane Hochstetler’s since-relocated Howl Street studio—for the first time since recording its great 2013 debut, The Conscience Of The King—and laid down the tracks for a seven-inch to be called Kill/Let Die. In the 11-plus months that followed, Temple toured aggressively, played SXSW, covered Maritime for charity, and sought label support for its unreleased seven-inch. Tonight, the songs will finally see the light of day, thanks to the collaborative effort of five different labels.
“In some ways, I think that the number of people involved slowed the process down,” singer-guitarist Jamie Yanda says. “However, we were glad to have so many people helping out and we benefited from having so many dedicated people contributing different ideas to make the release great.”
Texas Is Funny Records (which recently signed Milwaukee’s own The Midwestern Charm), Guard Records, Waybridge Records, Darkness Forming Records, and Suspend Soul Tapes & Records, collectively stepped in to put out the two songs, originally slated to be released last fall. Like Conscience, Kill/Let Die is a subtle nod to late ’90s and early aughts emo acts like Cursive and At The Drive-In, with elements of math rock and brooding post-hardcore spliced in intermittently.
“I do not see this seven-inch as a major shift in style or approach,” Yanda says. “I’m fine with that. I think it is a natural progression from the first album. Simply, I think we’ve just gotten better. We play better as individuals, and we write better as a unit.”
Unfortunately, that unit will change after Friday’s show. Bassist Myles Coyne is departing his longtime band he started with high school friends to focus on his own project.
“The thought to leave had been on my mind for some time,” Coyne says. “A large reason was that we were always touring and I was running low on time to do anything outside band, including my own solo material. After seeing so much of the country from the back of the van I want to get out their and play some of my songs.”
Though Yanda says the loss of his longtime friend and bandmate “breaks [his] heart, honestly,” Temple will forge on. The band is currently seeking a new bassist, and says they’re close to nailing down a replacement.
“Myles is an irreplaceable musician. I have put it out of my mind, the thought that Temple will go on to write and play as we did with Myles in the band,” Yanda says. “However, it is my hope, that whoever joins will help us take a different musical direction that is just as cool or even cooler.”
As Temple takes time fill its roster, the band’s remaining members have shelved plans to tour and, instead, is writing skeleton versions of new material for an upcoming full-length. While the make-up, sound, and timeline of Temple is up in the air at the moment, the band has one more show with its original lineup and a new material to bestow upon the patient public.
Temple will headline its Kill/Let Die release show on Friday, May 15 at a Cocoon Room. Jr., Live Tetherball Tonight, and The Midwestern Charm will play in support. The all-ages show begins at 7 p.m. and costs $5.