Rock and Roll is alive in LA again and in no small parts the High Octane band Mad Temple is to thank for that. Though young, lead vox, Eli James, Andrew “Stone Hand” Benjamin who plays lead guitar, vox, Bryant Joel on rhythm guitar, Sal Flores on drums, and Mike Brownstone on bass, are full of TALENT, TRAINING, and HIGH OCTAINE ROCK N’ ROLL that they are ready to bring to the masses, using their well honed skills, charisma, and fan friendly rock vibes. They are the future of rock coming your way, right now!
Now using everything they have learned, they are bringing that energy, and charisma to packed houses all around LA to their fans called TEMPLE HEADS to venues including; The Whiskey a GoGo, House of Blues, Club Vodka, The Roxy, BB Kings The Gig and about a dozen others and bringing their astronomical, floor pounding act to these clubs since the youthful age of 15 and 16, and packing these clubs to full capacity.
Chris Broekemeir chats with Stone Hand about balancing school and music, tight leather clothing, Temple Heads and rock and roll in 2009.
Rock and Roll Report: It is our understanding that some of you are perusing degrees from various colleges. How do you blend your busy schedules with time for school?
StoneHand: Well we book everything around our school schedule and we only book weekend shows because it’s the best way to bring in the best draws.
You guys are always in full MT gear which is a lot of leather and very hot looking clothing. Don’t you ever just want to wear T-shirts and shorts when you’re out? You do play in some really hot places like CA and TX.
Stonehand: Ha. Ha Ha we need to look good for the ladies and what you see on stage is who we are we never gave it much thought on how we look.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t musicians?
StoneHand: Our parents are all Business men or trades men so I guess we would follow the family business.
Over the last year and a half, you have been very visible on the music scene it is like you just popped up out of nowhere. What is the real story and how long have you been actually performing as a band?
StoneHand: Actually we been together for 3 years with this lineup but the band has been around since 2003 that is when the planning started I had a plan way back when and wanted to fine guys that felt the same way I think these guys were born to be my brothers I feel great about our chances.
You just played South Austin Rock Fest and SXSW; what was the experience like?
StoneHand: Let me tell you one thing it was Amazing. Austin is a rocking town and Texas is the capital of rock we love the fans and the people out there!
Have you noticed any changes in your fan base?
StoneHand : Oh yes…. we have fans all over the world now these are some of the country’s that have interest in us Germany, China, Sweden, Israel, France, Great Britain, Japan, Australia. It’s been crazy for us lately.
You are very good with your fans. What do they call themselves and what are your feelings toward them?
StoneHand: They call them self’s Temple Heads and we just love them they are the fuel that runs the engine of the music that we play.
You have been contacted by some agents and even labels. Has anything come from any of your meetings?
StoneHand: The offers that we been getting have been too low for us we are looking for someone to believe in what we want to do and lot of what they offer so far is things that we can do for ourselves so we are just hanging tight till we find the right team.
What is the biggest challenge for all of you as a band and individuals?
StoneHand: Staying focused on the game plan. We get so much advice from people we meet that we don’t really know if they want to help us or just blowing smoke up our ass but we have a great manager that he is just a hard ass so we are safe with him.
What type of shows are you doing around LA? (The free ones)
Why are you doing so many free shows?
StoneHand: This our way of giving back to the temple heads we love their support and we understand that it is tuff to come out and see us play. Money is tight for everyone… and we believe music should be free.
Are you able to make a living playing your music at this point? You have been playing for years.
StoneHand: Actually yes but at the expense of our temple heads and that is something that we just won’t do. We have plans and killing our fans is not one of them!
What do you think your edge is over the avalanche of other bands on the scene right now?
StoneHand: I have to say it is our brand of music everyone is playing the same old same old and they get all bunched in together and we don’t.
We understand you’re going on tour this summer and doing some festivals. Can you tell us about them?
StoneHand: We are so jazzed about it. We are planning to hit a lot of states and it is going to be an adventure for us.
What do each of you miss most when you’re away from home most?
StoneHand: Our Beds Ha Ha Ha
How do you feel about the future of rock in regards to it making its way back on to the radio and into the consciousness of young American music fans?
StoneHand: I think it’s the opposite. American fans are starving for rock. It’s the industry that is playing it safe with their cookie-cutter business plan. But if you look at what is going on in TV, fashion, and video games and festivals it’s all about rock. For example Rock of Love, Guitar Hero, and all the old rock bands that came out with new music in the last few years all went to # 1 on the Billboards.
When will you have a new CD and are your fans dying to get their hands on a new one?
StoneHand: in the late fall it should be out. Our fans have been giving us hell over it they wanted now.
Do you have any endorsements and can you let the non-musician what having an endorsement entails?
StoneHand: We do have a few and the long and short of it, we get great deals on the gear that we use wish really helps when you play year round.
Anything you would like Rock and Roll Report fans to know? Or anything you want to add?
Yes! Check us out! Because we coming for you!
Download and enjoy Mad Temple’s Burn courtesy of the band and The Rock and Roll Report!