Prog metal alumni band together for pulse-driven project with a little help from Mike Portnoy

They’re a new multi-national prog metal project driven by the principles of electronic music and boasting established names within their ranks, but if it wasn’t for Mike Portnoy, they simply wouldn’t exist. Whilst touring with The Shattered Fortress in 2017, keyboardist Diego Tejeida (Haken, Devin Townsend) and Neal Morse Band guitarist Eric Gillette struck up a friendship that would form the nucleus of TEMIC.

Eric and I spent those tours geeking out, talking about synthesisers, compressors, and DAWs,” Tejeida remembers. “We share a similar, nonsensical sense of humour too. So, in 2020, when I knew I was going to part ways with Haken, I spoke to Eric about writing music together and he immediately jumped in. We had a long chat discussing the musical vision and agreed that our bandmates would have to be exceptional musicians, equally exceptional people, and bring additional skills to the table.

I’ve learned from experience,” he adds, “that having a defined vision of how you want an album to sound from the get-go is a very powerful tool. I think a lot of bands try to use too many different bells and whistles on their first albums. We knew what we were going for: memorable vocal melodies, vivid harmonies, and a constant pulse.”

Its pulse draws heavily from electronic music, of which Tejeida is a huge admirer.

In electronic music the energy often resides in the sonic experience rather than the musical composition,” he explains. “Pulse and sound are absolutely everything, and that ethos has been a big part of our creative process. The reverb choice for the vocals is as important as the snare placement on the groove.”

First to be recruited was Shining and Arkentype drummer Simen Sandnes, who was also a crew member on The Shattered Fortress tour. He was quick to suggest Maraton and 22 vocalist Fredrik Bergersen for vocal duties. Upon hearing his voice on a demo of //Count Your Losses//, Tejeido says “we were all blown away by his sound, control, and expressiveness.” Intervals bassist Jacob Umansky, with whom Sandnes had worked with on his signature bass plugin software, features on the record, but hasn’t joined the band full-time.

Unlike The Shattered Fortress and the slew of ‘supergroups’ that pre-date the band, Tejeida has no intention of TEMIC being a temporary endeavour; this is a future-focused band and its rapidly gaining momentum.

Last summer, we spent 10 days together in Bortelid, Norway and it was the most productive time I’ve ever had with a group of people,” the keyboardist beams. “We filmed the music video for //Falling Away//, jammed together, wrote seven songs, announced the band, did interviews. We also discovered everyone in the band shares a passion for cooking, so we took turns cooking dinner every night! We’re super excited to bring this music on stage, and we’re already planning shows for 2024.”

The band’s debut performance is at MidWinter Prog Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands in February and from there, the band will be aiming for a limitless future. PWE


LINE-UP: Fredrik Bergersen (vocals), Eric Gillette (guitar), Simen Sandnes (drums), Diego Tejeida (keyboards), Jacob Umansky (bass)

SOUNDS LIKE: Aphex Twin and Vangelis co-conducting modern progressive soundscapes, complete with dollops of keyboard wizardry, biting riffs and hook-centric vocals

CURRENT RELEASE: //Terror Management Theory// is out now via Season of Mist

WEBSITE: https://temicband.com/

Phil Weller

From "Limelight - Temic" Prog Reprinted with permission.

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