For those jaded rock fans who still are of the opinion that their beloved genre is dead, look no further than New York City-based Tempt. A mix of power pop, melodic metal, and classic rock, the talented quartet have been gaining new followers ever since unleashing their debut Runaway nearly two years ago. After all, it’s not every young band that receives an endorsement from legendary rockers Def Leppard.
“Awesome job!” declared Joe Elliott and the Leps on their Twitter , Facebook, and Instagram accounts, in response to Tempt’s stellar rendition of the Leppard classic “Women.” “Def Leppard is, by far, my favorite band,” guitarist Harrison Marcello told Royal Flush. “Hysteria was one of the first albums I discovered when I was younger and covering that song was amazing, because I’m obsessed with it. I think I’ve listened to it about 10,000 times, according to my iTunes play tracker so the shout out was insane! It obviously validates my inner fanboy,” joked Marcello.
But it isn’t just typical rock tracks that the group has experimented with. While late 70s and 80s rock is probably their primary inspiration, Tempt makes it a point to keep an open mind and listen to as much diverse music as possible. Their collective admiration for current pop sensation Taylor Swift prompted covers of “I Did Something Bad” and “Don’t Blame Me,” two tunes that the band put their own brilliant spin on while keeping true to the core of the originals. It was a decision that Marcello feels couldn’t have turned out better.
“We think a lot of Swift’s young fans haven’t been exposed to a real rock sound. We felt it would be a good way to introduce younger fans to her songs with a little more of a rock edge to them and to warm up their palates to that aesthetic. And it went great,” said Marcello.
But while covering other artists has certainly been fruitful for the band, it takes just one listen to Runaway to recognize that Tempt is anything but a cover band. “Aamina” and “Comin’ On To You” are blissful blends of both contemporary and retro rock (think Foo Fighters crossed with Bon Jovi or Queens of the Stone Age infused with Ratt), with anthemic choruses and blazing solos, while the title track showcases the band’s beyond-their-years songwriting prowess in the form of a beautiful power ballad.
Another standout is “Under My Skin,” which holds the distinction of being the first song that’s gotten the video treatment from the band. Shot on location throughout New York City, it’s a feel-good clip featuring them rocking out and meeting fans in a classic Chrysler 300. It was an experience that Marcello is looking forward to recreating again in the near future. “It was much more tiring than I thought it would be,” remembered Marcello. “But it was awesome. We shot it from like one in the afternoon to two in the morning in one day so that was pretty insane but it was super fun. And all the reactions are genuine, we didn’t hire any actors, so I think we got to illustrate a good portrait of New York and people on the street having a good time.”
In the year ahead, Tempt will be focusing on both new music, which they’ve already begun writing, with the goal of an EP in the spring or summer before a complete release in the winter, as well as their first, full tour.
And as for the band’s moniker, reminiscent of old school acts such as Poison, Extreme, and Kix, Marcello actually doesn’t recall the exact origin. “I love the name, it has a lot of connotations,” he laughed. “It allows you to interpret what is being tempted, who’s being tempted, and hopefully the music itself is very tempting. I really don’t remember how we came up with it but after we did, thinking we were geniuses for doing so.”
Click here to purchase Tempt’s debut album Runaway
Click here for Tempt’s tour dates