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Interview with Diego Tejeida on Temic’s Debut Album ‘Terror Management Theory’

Temic Image 2023 11 22 at 13.19.22

LotsOfMuzik: Hello Diego, hello everyone, and welcome to this exclusive interview. Today, we’re thrilled to have Diego Tejeida (Ex-Haken, Mike Portnoy’s Shattered Fortress, Devin Townsend) with us, a mastermind in the realms of keyboard and sound design. Diego is well-known for his innovative work and significant contributions to the progressive metal scene, he has now embarked on an exciting new chapter with his latest band Temic who recently debuted their album ‘Terror Management Theory‘ under the label Season of Mist. So, let’s get started and hear from Diego himself about his latest musical ventures. Welcome Diego!

Diego: Hello Jorge, and thank you so much!

LotsOfMuzik: Diego I don’t know if you remember, probably not we met at Lima, Peru before your concert Haken, back in January, 2019, and I had the pleasure to interview you for SonicPerspectives that time.

Diego: Oh, yeah. You took a video and everything, I remember. Yes. It’s been a long time. Yeah. 

LotsOfMuzik: Correct, and I also remember, and I want to start my conversation with you with that memory, because I remember that in that interview you mentioned that you had the desire to work with Eric Gillette, Baard Kolstad from Leprous on drums and you also mentioned Vladimir Lalic from Serbia.

Diego: Correct, yeah.

LotsOfMuzik: Yeah. And with all due respect to the current lineup, but I’m curious, did you initially consider recruiting Baard and Vladimir for Temic, or how did the collaboration with Simen and Fredrik come about?

Diego: Not at all. When we did that interview in Lima, I mentioned that it was the idea of doing something like a side project thing, so Eric and I always had the idea of working together. So that idea of doing something like a side project sounded kind of like a fun thing to do. And, you know, those are the people I thought of. But for Temic for this band. Absolutely not, since the idea is to not treat it as a project, but as a band. So definitely Simen was the first idea that came to mind. So it will have been a very bad decision getting a musician who’s like very deeply involved with another band, because then the band you are forming will not end up being kind of, will not have a lot of time or priority. So, yeah, no, I am aware of what I said that time. I am aware of what I mentioned about that. But yeah, for this, when I knew I wanted to work with Eric and I got in touch with Eric back in 2020, he, you know, we discussed the idea. So we said, Hey, you know, remember we mentioned we wanted to work together. So that idea came about when we were with the Shattered Fortress touring. Like, we hit it off personally and musically, and we knew that, you know, it felt right working together. So at that point, I talked to him and said, Hey, you know, you wanna do something together? He immediately agreed, he was very happy to do so. So, you know, we were discussing who would be a good candidate for band members. We also knew we had kind of a criteria for what we wanted for the band members. So we knew we wanted the band members to be excellent musicians, also excellent people. You know, people that are easy to travel along with, because, you know, people probably don’t know this, but touring can be very stressful, there’s no privacy. There’s a lack of sleep. So you need to be surrounded by harmonious people and thoroughly people that would bring an extra set of skills to the table apart from the musical. So taking into account these three check boxes the members had to fill in, Simen was the perfect choice. Not only is he an incredible drummer, Eric and I agree he is the best drummer there is right now. I remember talking to Eric and said, if we don’t get him now, someone else will. I think this is a time where we actually need to get this guy because he’s gonna get snitched by someone else. He is really that good. And secondarily, we’ve been friends for a long time. I’ve done about three or four tours with him. His band, Arkentype, opened for Haken in Europe. Then he traveled as a staff member. He was also part of the Shattered Fortress in Europe as a staff member. So I know him well, he’s an easygoing dude, hardworking, just straight to the point. And thoroughly he is an absolute guru of videography, social media, all this kind of stuff. He’s the one who’s done all of that. So, you know, it was a perfect choice. There was no other idea or anything. He was the first and the perfect choice for this and for the sound back in the day when back in the day, in 2020 when we talked about this we started working on the demos, and we also discussed on that initial call with Eric what kind of musical vision we wanted to pursue the kind of the sound of the band and the ethos of the band. So whether we want to shred or be more melodic, and, you know, we chose the latter. We didn’t want to focus too much on the show off, but mostly focusing on what we believe to be good songwriting. So basing our music in strong vocal melodies, meaningful lyrics, rich harmonies, and of course the big electronic influence and a big pulse constantly happening. So with that in mind, we were just brainstorming what kind of sound for the vocals. It would be good for it, like, what would be good for the project. So we had some ideas in mind, but nothing concrete until Simen got involved and he strongly suggested it was not suggested. It was almost a demand to get Fredrik. And he sent him over the stuff, and he just hit perfectly the idea of what we had. So the kind of sound and voice type and expression we wanted for the music. So yeah. So when, that was just exactly what fit the vision that we have for the music. So perhaps in that interview we did, it was more of an idea of something that, you know, might happen and maybe in the future. But this was concrete, right? So when we started working, this is what we need, this is the kind of people we need, this is kind of the criteria. So that was kind of the best choice. 

LotsOfMuzik:  Awesome, because I actually was about to ask you about how you guys shaped the sound of Temic for this album? And you just kind of mentioned that.

Diego: Yeah, I believe that having our experience, having a vision of how you want your album, your music, your piece of art, whatever it is to sound, to look from the get go is a very powerful tool. Because then, you know what you are aiming for. I think one of the most dangerous things is just to do things without an aim. And just, especially for a debut album, I think a lot of bands on the debut album try many things, and I think the listener doesn’t really know what the band is going for. You keep one song, like, it has a certain sound, another song that has a certain other sound. So the listener ends up kind of confused. And normally this is a big question mark of what it’s promising, but I don’t really know what these guys are going for. So in this case, we try to avoid that. But also in that initial call I had with Eric, we were discussing the importance of the vision, but also we were discussing the vision. And one of the things that we were saying is, you know, both of us love the feeling of having a constant poles life. You know, that’s something sometimes in prog that doesn’t happen very often that you have this very crazy change in time signatures and doesn’t really let you kind of enjoy the moment. I think that that was something that we wanted to have, especially for the energy in a live environment, and that’s super important. So that’s something we agreed on. Again, I mentioned that we agreed that we wanted to focus on music, on good songwriting, and not necessarily on focusing on the showmanship of how much we can play or how much we can shred. So we said, Hey, look, if there’s a need for it in the song, if the song calls for it, let’s do it. If the song needs shredding, let’s do that. If the song needs something technical, let’s do it. If the song needs something simple, let’s do that. Let’s not fall into this trap of having to have almost as a kind of part of the process of having to have an instrumental section with weird time signatures, and always have a guitar solo and always have a keyboard solo. But mostly like, if the song needs it, let’s do it. If the song doesn’t need it, it’s fine.

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LotsOfMuzik: Yeah. It’s like it was a conscious decision to focus more on melody or on what the song needs instead of just showmanship on your end. Right?

Diego: Absolutely. And the music is built around the vocal melody, not all the other way around. So I think also one of the common, I wouldn’t say mistakes, but maybe traps, especially in the prog world, and especially music that is composed by instrumentalists that don’t necessarily sing or don’t have that kind of producer’s view, bear in mind that also, you know, Eric is a great singer and a great producer, so he also understands that too. I suck at singing, <laugh> I did a production of the vocals for this album, for instance, and I’ve done a lot with my previous band, and I did a lot of the production of the vocals too. So that’s something that I’m also very tuned to vocals and, and vocal melody. So yeah, one of the traps that happens a lot with instrumentalists in the prog world is to just focus on your instrument and just focus on the intricacies of the music. And then it’s like, okay, the song is written. Now let’s add a vocal melody, and there’s just little space for the vocals to breathe. So here we did it, you know, we focus everything around the vocal melody. So the vocal melody is absolute king, and the elements we are adding are to support the vocal melody and just, of course, to support the song. But, you know, in this case, vocal melodies at the top of the pyramid, that’s the most important thing, and the rest of the elements are kind of being added. So that was also the frame of mind. And again, having Eric, but also with a frame of mind of, he plays guitar in this band, but I don’t think at least myself, I don’t see him as a guitarist. I see him as just a musician that expresses himself through the guitar, and, you know, the same for me. So he has this kind of very producer vision. He can hear what the other words are doing. So, you know, all these elements are very important as well. And not being someone who just plays the guitar and focuses on his instrument only,

LotsOfMuzik: Can you describe the creative process working with him and the rest of the band and how you guys compliment each other?

Diego: Yeah, so for this album, since this album was written remotely, and it all started during the pandemic, it needed a central piece, putting all these things together. So out of everyone, I probably was the one who had the most availability to do that. So I was taking that function for this album. Most of the time it’s been like, I’ll start an initial idea, send it to Eric, Eric will start the initial idea and send it over. So it was more like writing an initial demo with a vocal melody you know, printed into it. So it was me pretending to sing and just getting a vocal melody, Eric actually singing and sending vocal melodies as well. And then, you know, doing our things not only recording, you know, Eric would not be recording his guitar. He will also be arranging things. So if there was something missing, we’ll have a talk and be like, Hey, I feel like the song needs something here in the middle. I’m not very happy with what this section is. Alright, lemme try something. And he will send it back. So we had this kind of back and forth when Fredrik and Simen got involved. And it was mostly getting him his performance first rather than having the program drums, him actually playing, he would make suggestions. And Fredrik, he would be the one bringing the vocal melody to life. So that was very interesting too. So we might have had like a demo, vocal melody you know, just provisional with provisional lyrics as well. And Fredrik will bring that to life and making suggestions, how to start to add harmonies and all that kind of stuff. So it was collaborative, maybe not as much as we are planning to do the next album. So we started kind of writing on that, and we want, you know, the process to be much more collaborative. But that was it. That’s what I needed. We need someone in the center. In this case, it was me kind of putting all the files together, sending it to people. Okay. In the back sometimes Eric was busy because he was working with the soundtrack for this TV show “Texas”, I don’t remember what. So, okay, so Eric‘s, let’s just work with Fredrik. Let’s just work with Simen and just get that stuff going. So it was a long process, but the good thing is we demoed the whole album and the final demos compared to the album were actually not that different. But that was actually very good. But because when we actually hit the studio, we knew exactly what we were doing. So again, having a vision. So we know the demos were in terms of composition, they were very similar to the album, you know, every change here and there. So that allowed us in the studio to be creative if it was needed. So we knew what we’re doing. Simen recorded drums, most of them are one takes in the whole album. So he recorded the whole album in like five days or something, maybe less. I don’t remember. He was just super quick. And that was in Sweden, and I was at night at the same studio recording vocals with Fredrik. So yeah, that was the whole long process. But yeah, I think in the end it was worth it. Yeah.

LotsOfMuzik: And how did the collaboration with Jacob Umansky come about? What did he bring to the table, if anything?

Diego: Yeah, so Simen has been in touch with Jacob before, they worked together in a project with this company called Submission Audio, and Jacob was the last piece of the puzzle. So he was the last addition of the bass player and just Simen got in touch with him. I think he recorded the whole album in a week too, like he was, so most of the pieces were kind of written. There was a space for performance and you know, a little bit of additions of the fields or little licks here and there that he did. And we kind of told him, do your thing. We want you to feel comfortable with this, rather than be like, no, play this, play that etc. He was an extremely professional dude, super, super nice dude, and he did it super quickly and we’re very happy with what he did, for sure. Like, and his tone is amazing. Personally, I’m gonna be very honest, normally don’t pay too much attention to the bass, but so for me, hearing a bass playing and a sound that I’m like, wow, that actually sounds really good. It’s <laugh>, it’s really good. Because normally it is not my first kind of focal point in general. 

LotsOfMuzik: Aside from the pandemic, when this all started what would you say were some of the unexpected challenges that you guys faced producing Terror Management Theory,

Diego: Aside from the pandemic? Well, it’s scary, I’ll say it is exciting, and at the same time, scary going on this kind of new adventure, right? Because, you know, when I first started writing for this band, this was even before I talked to Eric, I just started writing music. So I knew I was gonna make a change in my career. I started writing music with maybe not necessarily any clear vision. And  that’s probably one of the most scary moments when you are basically staring at a blank page and you’re like, okay, I’m gonna start writing for a band that doesn’t exist, that has no name, that has no members, that doesn’t have a label, that doesn’t have management, that doesn’t… It’s scary, you know? But at the same time, it’s exciting. And, when you start doing it, you try not to think too much of how much work it is, or how little progress you’ve made, because it’s a very long road, you know, like, even though I know for the public we’re a new band, and then the album just came out, but people probably don’t see all the work behind it. And, you know, on top of the music, the music of course, is important. But, you know, it’s, I would say it’s a 33% of really everything, is all the things that you have to focus all the things behind the scenes, there’s so many things apart from the music, the music’s important I mentioned, but that’s all the other, many other things. So I would definitely say that bit. So also the element of uncertainty. So not only the uncertainty of how this band is gonna evolve, who’s gonna say yes, who will want to play with me? And, you know, it was super nice in the beginning just getting Eric on board, and then Eric also putting his energy in. So it’s been like really forming this little good Frankenstein, you know, like a good one, because it’s not an evil Frankenstein, but it is like you can have someone else entering and putting their energy and putting in their time and putting their, also, their, their kind of hopes into it, you know, because first is a shot in the dark, and then you have you have Fredrik and everyone’s like, oh, this is really good. Let’s just put our energy in. And then you have a manager who’s like, yeah, this is actually good. I’m backing you guys up. I’m trying to get you guys labeled, and then you get a label. So it is like you end up with this compilation of what we call, like energy in the sense of people working towards that. And it’s all these different parts that kind of end up being together. And that’s a very interesting, very interesting process. But I would say that is definitely at the beginning, as always, it’s, it’s very difficult, I think. And I guess that’s why, you know, the release of the album doesn’t mean like, we made it and we can just now rest but this is just the end of the beginning. So the release of the album marks the culmination of that initial process for the band that is probably the most work, and you need to be very self-motivated, because it’s not like you have immediate feedback, right? It is not like the album’s out and you’re hearing people say, no, this is really good, or it is just you and the people working with, but that’s where he ends. So I think that’s probably the one of the biggest challenges, just to keep motivated and things sometimes move very slow and you don’t see really much movement, and you’re like, okay, well let’s keep moving. Let’s just kind of look ahead. So I would say that, and of course, you know, it’s all related to the pandemic as well, but we, we discussed at some point jamming together, you know, when I talked to Eric, said, like, look, I’m in New Jersey now, so I could fly to you. But, you know, the restrictions were also very strict back then, so we couldn’t do that, so we had to do it remotely. So yeah, I would say removing the pandemic, I would say that that’s probably the struggle at the beginning.

LotsOfMuzik: I also wanted to ask. I know this is your baby, the baby that we as fans are just getting to know. But for you, you’ve been in this process for some years now. What are your favorite tracks on this album? And if you could explain why?

Diego: Oh, man, it’s, it’s a difficult question because it changes sometimes I love one track, sometimes I love another track. I would say, oh my God, it’s a difficult question, really. But I could go by different aspects. So in lyrical content, my God, I would say possibly Falling Away or Mothallah, no, I would go for Mothallah. I think Mothallah is probably my favorite track in terms of lyrical content, and it’s a kind of a triumphant tune, and the lyrics are about that. But you know, the lyrics come from the perspective of your inner self talking to yourself, so it’s kind of making peace or making amends with your inner self. And, you know, basically this song captures all that process that I just mentioned. When you are facing a big challenge and you’re in the middle of the dark and you don’t know how things are gonna go, but there’s a point where there’s no turning back. So you only have yourself, and that’s why you have to fight. So the best way to do it is when you work in favor of yourself rather than against yourself. So instead of being fearful or thinking about or expecting the worst, at that point, you have no option but just to persevere and carry on fighting. And also, you know, in a funny way, and that’s also that something we saw during the pandemic it’s also one thing that makes us very human, that we all struggle from, and we all fear, you know from a kid that is afraid of the dark closet in the dark to someone on my age that is maybe afraid of not finding a partner and or maybe someone older, you know, maybe when they’re older, they don’t care that much, but some of them fear death or so in a way, we always fear and as part of our human kind of essence, and also the fact that we all face challenges all the time. And again, that’s what makes us humans. So I think that song, in terms of lyrics, is probably the closest to my heart for what it represents. And I think it represents also the triumph of this process, but also the process of, we all went through during that time, you know that it was, you know, kind of very dark. And I know most people don’t even want to think about that anymore. They just wanna move away from that. So in the lyrical context, I probably would pick that one Mothallah and musically, well, of course, Friendly Fire, because it’s a lot of fun, you know, that tune, I think is, it’s so much fun and so much energy, and I can’t wait to play that tune live. I would listen to it yesterday because I was, you know, working on some aspects for the live shows, and I’m like, oh God, I really cannot wait to play this tune. It’s gonna be a lot of fun. So, there you go.

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LotsOfMuzik: Very cool. And besides musical influences, are there any non-musical influences, like literature, art, or I don’t know, personal experiences that have shaped the conceptual framework of Temic?

Diego: I would say, you know, the lyrical aspects at least, you know the lyrics I wrote for this album the way I write lyrics normally is that I start with a vocal melody. So, as I told you, everything was, the music was written around the vocal melody. So the vocal melody was present from the early stages from every demo, maybe with provisional lyrics. So with no lyrics at all, you know, that tune Acts of Violence I’ve recorded that vocal melody, and I didn’t have any lyrics at all. So all the lyrics were doo, doo, I was just singing a vocal melody saying, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo. So the whole song was like that. Therefore, the working title was The Magic Doodoo, which is a very funny title, <laugh>. Anyway yeah. So normally, I hear kind of a vowel sound, so I have the melody, and I kind of, you know, I kind of sing along without saying any words. And I know, you know, it might look weird if someone is sitting here and it’s like, this guy is crazy. But that’s, you know, with the years, you lose respect for yourself, and you just do it and you don’t care. But this kind of has some hidden ending, some musical vowels you’re hearing things. And normally that’s kind of the beginning or the starting point for the actual lyrics. And normally, you know, the lyrics I write, I start with writing down things and maybe just one phrase, another phrase, or one line, another line. And, and all of a sudden I realize, oh, I’m writing about this. So normally I don’t necessarily think about it to heart, it’s just that it’s this kind of psychoanalytic technique, the free association, which you just say words, and all of a sudden you realize you’re saying things that you know, that coming from your unconscious mind or maybe things that you were not thinking out loud. So kind of in the same situation that I started writing, and then all of a sudden I realized this kind of a theme, or at least my interpretation of those things as well, because I, you know, it might be open to interpretation even for someone else, but in that moment, what I’m writing, I’m like, oh, I think I’m interpreting this, this way, so I’m gonna carry on this way. So yeah. But then when you start realizing all the, all the lyrics have a kind of common theme. So that’s what happened in the end, like, you know, the very influenced by positive existentialism by Thanatology. And of course, you know, the name of the album is, you know, the elephant in the room here the Terror Management Theory, which is like a psychosocial psychology, social theory about what proposes how we humans deal with the idea of our own mortality and how that causes us an extreme amount of terror. And so we try to avoid that, and how we try, well, how we cope with that terror of, of knowing our own mortality. So if you read lyrics like Falling Away, even though the music is kind of very happy, it’s probably the most existential tune, like that’s in the whole album, you know? And the only tune, I think, that mentions the word death. So I started seeing like, you know, a lot of the topics on this album, underlining that kind of idea of our own mortality, but not in a negative way, knowing the kind of western point of view of like, yeah, death, skeletons. And, you know, we are, it’s more of the idea of, as I mentioned about Mothallah, that the human experiences, by reminding ourselves that our time is finite, we can find a very powerful incentive to get rid of all and truly leave. You know, I’m just paraphrasing this and making it as simple as possible. But that’s basically the idea of it, rather than just be like, oh, we’re gonna die. Nothing matters. It’s more like, yeah, we’re gonna die, man, have fun. Do it like, you know, just don’t hold back because our time is limited. So that’s kind of the, the aim of, of the album and at least lyrical aspect. And again, it was not necessarily intentional, it was honest, but when you step back and you see the whole picture, you’re like, oh, holy crap, <laugh>, this is encapsulated by this. 

LotsOfMuzik: Diego do you have any specific ritual or practices that you follow to fuel your creativity or productivity during the songwriting process?

Diego: Well, there’s many things I’ve been changing about my creative process. And I don’t necessarily have a ritual, but one of the things I’ve been very obsessed with over the last maybe six, seven years, maybe more than that now seven years, I would say it’s the way I write to kind of do it the least as possible on a computer. I really hate it. And I think a lot of things get in the way. So most of the things I do, I write, kind of start as a jam, even with my computer outside and just kind of everything, all my synthesizers and my drum machines and everything is kind of connected. And I try to preserve that natural, raw feeling that you get with a band when you’re performing. You know, I was mentioning that we started the writing process and we started that together. That was in Norway last summer. And just the interaction you get with someone, the synergy you get it’s definitely something that I really love about writing about the creative process. And, you know, the reality is that I don’t always have that I, or I’m not always writing for a band. Sometimes I’m writing for, you know, stuff that is meant to be solo or stuff that is just like a production. So that’s something that’s very, very important for me. It’s making sure that I make the process fun. So sometimes making the process fun makes it longer. And that’s something I’m coming to terms with, you know, I, I mentioned before that, you know, during the pandemic, I worked very closely with Devin Towndsend and Devin Towndsend It’s incredible, like, beyond words prolific that he is able to create a whole song, fully demoed quad track that sounds ready for an album. I’m not exaggerating, in a day, in less than a day in 12 hours. And to me, it’s just, I don’t understand how he does it, and I really wish I could be like him, honestly. Like, I really wish I was, I had that level of being able to create so quickly and put into everything, you know, the technical aspects and, but in reality, my process is a little bit different. And, in my end I much rather make that process fun. And what is fun for me, just having the immediate interactions. So when I’m running here, making sure that my jams are happening with my synthesizer. So if I want to change something, I’m able to do it in the heat of the moment, rather than having to go to the computer and make some clicks and then place the space bar and do everything separately. So I definitely value the process much more, rather than just having the ice on the price and just trying to get to the end. That makes it very painful, I think, and not as enjoyable. And, you know, if you think about it, the bigger chunk of your time is gonna be the process. The end is just the end. You finish it, and well, what’s the next thing? So that’s definitely kind of a change in mentality. And other than that, just write every day and finish songs. I would say that’s probably the most important thing. It’s just whatever you write, even though you think it’s too simple leaving you the thing it’s maybe not good enough or whatever it is, finish it, finish a song, even though it’s a simple song, sometimes the simple songs are the best. And you know, for many years, I fell into this malpractice of not finishing songs and just having a lot of 32 bar loops, or maybe I finished songs, or nearly finished songs. I have hundreds, maybe thousands of tunes like that. So definitely being able to discipline yourself in the sense of, I’m gonna finish the song. I need to finish it in the heat of the moment, not leave it for two years in a row now, and finish the initial idea. That has been very powerful as well. So those are my recent discoveries of the things I do.

LotsOfMuzik: What are the plans to support the album? And I’m talking about tour plans and what, what can we the fans expect from Temic in terms of live performances based on the albums tracks? And also would you guys be playing the whole album? Are you adding some covers or what are the plans here?

Diego: Well, first of all the festival in February. That’s gonna be our first ever show. We’re super excited about that. That will be midwinter the first week in February, which is very exciting for us. Then we have all the shows, all the festivals happening in summer. So the idea is just, you know, get this stuff rolling as soon possible, of course, is breaking the spell of the first floor, of course, you know, because oddly enough, I was talking to a friend yesterday and he asked me how often it is or how common it is to have a band signed, released an album, but they never played together. And I’m like, holy crap. Actually, that’s actually not very common, right? That you get a band that, that you get, you know, deal of management, all that stuff and never play a show together. We’re making significant progress with our current project, and I’m excited about it, though I don’t want to spoil the experience for our audience. Our primary goal is to do justice to the album we’re working on. One aspect I particularly admire is Simen‘s talent. He has a unique way of enhancing our work, something I’ve noticed frequently during our collaborations with Fredrik. I’ve also observed this skill in videos of his past performances. A notable strength in our team, including people like Simen, is the ability to adapt and embrace challenges. For instance, when faced with a new idea, I often prefer to improvise on the spot, while others, like Eric, choose to take their time to practice and perfect it before presenting. I’ve seen this approach work well numerous times, especially when we’re experimenting with different concepts or techniques in our music creation. I’m more than willing to embrace this challenge. It’s an aspect that I think we should explore further. Instead of playing our album exactly as it is recorded, we could offer something unique to our live audience. Perhaps, adding a creative twist with Bert’s contributions could provide a fresh experience for those who come to see us. This is an ongoing discussion within our group. At one point, we considered the idea of incorporating cover songs into our setlist, which could be an interesting direction. However, considering the immediate future and the shows we’ve lined up, we might not need to rely on covers just yet. With the new elements and tweaks we’re adding to our performances, we might even have to remove some of the existing content to make room for these fresh additions. It’s all about finding that perfect balance for our live shows.

LotsOfMuzik:  What would you say were the biggest challenges that you faced transitioning from a band like Haken to Temic?

Diego: I think every change, a big change like that is always gonna be challenging. You know? It’s just like getting divorced is like moving to a different country, and you know, at least I moved to different countries twice. I know how that feels. And, you know, I’m aware that changes are extremely difficult and it is our natural impulse to avoid them. So that was the first thing, just the human nature of a change and a big of a change because for 12 years of my life, my whole life, my professional life, but also my personal life was devoted to Haken for many years, you know? And the degree of success the band has is due to all the effort and the hard work everyone put in, mine included, right? So, of course, it’s very challenging to walk away from all the work you did for 12 years of your life, you know, like really putting everything into it. I didn’t do any side projects. I didn’t work on anything else because, you know, it was just so demanding. And as I mentioned, my process is very long too. So I was a hundred percent devoted to that. So that was the full thing, I think. And as I mentioned before, the aspect of starting something new, leaving something that is established or something new that doesn’t even have a name, doesn’t have a shape, doesn’t have music, doesn’t have a label, doesn’t have fans, doesn’t have anything. I think that’s probably the biggest challenge and the biggest part of it. But hey, you know, the big reward at the end is like, it’s possible that it can be done. And to me, just seeing people as well in the industry that have done that before, you know, Devin Townsend as well is one of those people that, you know, if you follow his career, he has done many different things, you know, from playing with Steve Vai to Strapping Young Lad, to Devin Townsend Project, and now Devin Townsend Solo. Another clear example for me, like a big expression of course, is Martin Lopez you know, doing sewing and after being on Opeth for a long time, and then being with Soen, you know, you think about all these people that, you know, it, it’s very inspiring as well, and you’re like, yeah, okay. You know, it’s gonna be hard work. Of course, I’m gonna have to lower my place in the lateral a little bit and make my way up again and start working on that stuff. But that mental element, you know, it’s probably the most difficult challenge once you get after that and you start moving and you see movement and you see that the project is growing, it’s actually much easier than you think. It’s only the motivational aspect of being self-motivated at the beginning.

LotsOfMuzik: Your album Terror Management Theory has been out just a couple of days, but how have you felt the reaction of the fans to your debut album?

Diego: It’s been super good. I spoke to the label a couple days ago and they said like, well, we had cut expectations for this. But, you know, this is beyond the expectations that we had, and is doing very well. I think we have almost 200,000 streams on Spotify. It’s moving really, really well. And I think we are very happy about that. ’cause, you know, also very scary, you know, how it’s gonna happen. Yeah. so, yeah, like, you know, I think we are happy with the reaction and very, very happy with the support and very grateful with people following us as well.

Temic Image 2023 11 22 at 13.19.28 1

LotsOfMuzik: I’m really loving the album. And for me, I think that what makes it really, really good is that you guys are not trying to be a copycat of any other band. Is not like you said, we have to be Dream Theater or Haken, or Leprous or any other band.I like that aspect, that it sounds like it is something new. It sounds fresh to me. I really love the album. I’m really thankful that you, Eric, and the other guys took the time to work on it for so long and deliver a good product for us fans.I am almost closing the interview now, I know you have another interview after this one, but I wanted to to ask, what what are your aspirations for Temic moving forward, considering the strong debut of this album?

Diego: Yeah. I mean, this is our career, so we wanna do this, as I mentioned, the release of the album Mark, the end of the beginning of the band, and now we are moving to the next phase. And now the band is out. The band is born like, as, as you mentioned, it’s like a baby now. The baby’s out, you know, it’s been in our bellies for <laugh> for three years now. It’s out. Yeah. And now it’s nurturing this, this baby, and making it, you know, it’s just that analogy of the baby is the perfect one. I do feel like that in many ways. And we, you know, in this case, it has four parents, but <laugh>, we all want to, we all share the same goal again, talking about vision, you know, we all share the same vision. We all share the same goal. So we’re working towards that. So we’re not like resting. Okay, the album’s out. Let’s chill. No, we already started a second album. So and also, you know, having the experience I have in the industry and Eric as well, you know, Simen has, and to a degree as well, Fredrik also knows that you cannot rest in this industry. You have to carry on all the time pushing. So the aspiration is just keep going. The next kind of short term kind of challenge or, you know, goal. It’s getting the first tours, actual tours apart from the festivals, that’s the next thing we, we kind of wanna focus on. And you know, just keep going. Of course, the second elements are ready to go. So that’s kind of a little bit more of a further down the line goal. But this already started, so you know, this, we have a lot of things on our plate. We have you know, without saying too much, we have all the bonus gifts for the fans that are happening at the end of this year and the beginning of the next year. And all that stuff’s been planned since January last year. We plan ahead. And I think that’s the beauty of working with these kind of people as I mentioned, that we know how this works. We know you have to just keep working and look ahead rather than just focus on what you have in front of you. So rest assured, this is what we’re doing, and this is our band, this is home. And we are all like doing this or aiming to do this for the rest of our careers and the rest of our lives for sure.

LotsOfMuzik:  Diego, thank you so much for your time during this interview. Please convey my heartfelt appreciation to Eric, Simen, and Fredrik for the incredible work on this album. I’m truly grateful to all of you. I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to see your performances in the future.

Diego: Fantastic. Well, thank you very much, Jorge. It’s been a pleasure today. Well,

LotsOfMuzik:  Bye.

TEMIC Terror Management Theory CD DIGIPAK 135866 1 1688977104 1


  1. TMT
  2. Through The Sands Of Time
  3. Falling Away
  4. Count Your Losses
  5. Skeletons
  6. Acts Of Violence
  7. Friendly Fire
  8. Paradigm
  9. Once More
  10. Mothallah

Order ‘Terror Management Theory’ here:

You can read our review of the album here.

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