London, United Kingdom: hold on! What is metal4africa doing snooping around in London? Well, the story of Temples On Mars – the UK-based progressive rock/metal band which released it’s debut self-titled album on Friday – for us, actually begins on the Southern tip of Africa; since half of Temples On Mars is made up by South African musicians, originally from Cape Town’s The Spindle Sect and Johannesburg’s Starseed.
Both bands relocated to the United Kingdom in the latter half of the previous decade. Each enjoyed some rather illustrious career highlights since. We managed to pin down Darren Carikas, former Cape Town resident and member of Temples On Mars for some chit-chat.
Temples On Mars, self-titled debut album
Temples On Mars, until recently known as Agent, reformed itself into a new guise with the addition of new members and began work on an album. The incarnation as it is known today hit the live circuit in January 2018, and now celebrates the eventual release of it’s album which was completed last year.
We asked Darren about this new band, and in a nutshell, to tell us what this music is all about:
“In a word – life. Joy, pain, the human condition, birth, death, existential dread, and everything in between. Exploring ideas and concepts musically sets the mood and the lyrics tend to follow on from that. We are naturally drawn to the darker side; not in a negative way, but it provides more interesting subject matter than if everything is going great and wonderful.” ~ Darren Carikas (bass/backing vocals, Temples On Mars)
More on the South African roots
Darren and The Spindle Sect left South African in 2008. The band went on to play some monumental shows which included a tour with American “G-Punk” band, Hed PE. Following the release of two EPs and a full-length album, The Spindle Sect went on hiatus; mostly owning to a band member having to return home to resolve visa problems.
“G has since relocated back to Cape Town, but we still manage to get together in the UK several times a year to write. Hopefully there will be some SA shows in the pipeline after a new release.” ~ Darren Carikas
In the interim, Darren was approached by fellow South African, Gerald Gill of Starseed; an ex-pat band from Johannesburg. Gerald found himself also playing for Agent at the time, and hunting for a new bass player. With the overhaul complete, Agent decided to rename itself and continue as the Temples On Mars we are listening to today.
Darren expresses enthusiasm and hope that he will not only return home to do shows with The Spindle Sect in due course. It has not gone unnoticed; South Africa’s growing appetite for progressively-inclined music, with visits by bands such as TesseracT, Intervals, Karnivool and others in recent years.
“Temples On Mars is targeting South Africa as hard as possible, and we are dying to play there. Promoters have their act together in SA and are bringing amazing bands in nowadays. So much has evolved in the last ten years. We would love to be a part of that.” ~ Darren Carikas