TEMPT-ED BY THE FRUIT OF ANOTHER
Young rockers Tempt from New York City are using old-school rock as a main influence, and it’s working
By Gerry Gittelson
Metal Sludge Editor at Large
LOS ANGELES — After focusing so much at Metal Sludge on rock bands that haven’t done anything over the past 20 years or so, how refreshing it is to meet a group like Tempt, an up-and-coming foursome from New York City with wide-eyed enthusiasm, including hopes and dreams to become the city’s next White Lion or Twisted Sister.
In this day and age, Tempt is an underdog. The band features members in their late teens and early 20s, and they play straight melodic rock, including power ballads, and such a style puts the band against the grain.
But they’re OK with that.
Tempt has vowed not to purposely be modern to try to fit in. Tempt would rather stick to their guns and be like all those great bands that Sludge readers grew up on, and we’re wishing them all the best.
And the whole thing is more than just a fantasy. The band has a respectable 10,000 views on some their youtube videos, and Tempt is coming off a successful performance last month at Rocklahoma. Legendary producer Michael Wagener mixed Tempt’s slick EP “*Under My Skin,” so this is a project that should be taken seriously even if the band is an obvious long-shot.
Put simply, Tempt is America’s answer to Europe’s Crashdiet and Reckless Love.
“Things are going really well. I’m actually surprised at our progress,” guitarist Harrison Marcello said. “Are we a big underdog? Yeah, definitely, but we’re optimistic, and we’ve gotten a lot of good feedback. I think we do well with the older crowd, because we have a retro feel, and the younger kids who’ve never heard of us like it, too, but yeah, we’re definitely an underdog, and we’re trying to get something across.”
Marcello says his main influences are 70s and 80s bands.
“We’re all huge fans of Van Halen, and I’m the biggest Def Leppard fan you’re ever going to meet,” he said. “I like the Beatles, anything melodic. I like pop music with heavy guitars that bridge the gap between rock and pop. That’s what we’re trying to do, too. At its core, it’s all still the same thing, hooky pop. I just need people to wrap their heads around the idea of guitar and not synthesizers.”
The group includes singer Zach Allen, bassist Zak Gross and drummer Jimmi Kane, whose percussion skills make you think he might be the long-lost son of founding Pretty Boy Floyd drummer Kari Kane. Some of the best songs on the EP are the title track, along with “Use It or Lose It,” “The Fight” and “Time Won’t Heal.”
“The CD represents our sound very well,” Marcello said.
Added Wagener: “As I was mixing the album, I couldn’t make up my mind which song would be the single because they’re all very well-written and performed. Great band, great songs, great performances.”
When the band plays live,Tempt sometimes includes their own version of the Whitesnake classic “Still of The Night.”
“It’s a lot of fun being in this band,” Marcello said. ”We have a little money behind us, and we’re trying to be smart with it. It’s a long-term investment, and we know that.”