SHIRLEE TEMPER’S ROCK & FLOW…
Ordinary is not the 1st word you think of when describing Bay Area rap and rock artist, “Shirlee Temper” as her sound, her style, and her personality is far from ordinary. She looks like she stepped out of a post-apocalyptic world and performs every gig like it’s her last show on Earth, so you could probably describe her as a tenaciously driven & energetic persona. This also goes for the hardcore & aggressive style of music she raps, which she calls “Rock & Flow” which combines the elements of rock, hip-hop and her fiery hardcore lyrical flow that some have compared to a female version of Kid Rock meets Rage Against The Machine. She’s recently put out an EP, with one single, “Put Em Up”, becoming a local college and fan favorite and has had the opportunity to record with legendary rap star, Doug E. Fresh. Seems like skies the limit, as she’s creating her own category, her own style and most importantly she’s doing it her way – I recently sat down with Shirlee to hear more about what makes her tick and how she became the queen of Rock & Flow…
Sason Bishope Parry: How are you and how is life? Were you raised in the bay area?
Shirlee Tempers: I am doing great and life is amazing! Thank you for asking! Yes, I was conceived, conjured and concocted, cared for, made crazy and created all in the bay area and I wouldn’t change a thing! I feel very lucky for this! It is so very diverse out here, musically and culturally speaking! My flavor of gumbo is definitely from the bay area! So grab a Bowl and spoon and try a bite!
SBP: When did you get into music?
ST: OK, I know this sounds silly, but I think music is just in my DNA. My mom and dad always joke about how they were convinced I was going to be a soccer player or a boy because of the way I kick the crap out of my mom and her belly when I heard music loud! Surprise, I am neither, but it sure does explain a lot! LOL!
SBP: Was music always what you want to do?
ST: Actually, I got into music as a fluke! I have always loved performing arts, but I can’t play an instrument at all! So, when I got the chance to be a vocalist I jumped at it and well it’s been a crazy, beautiful and at times a heartbreaking journey, but here I am! It is in my blood, heart, head and tattooed on my soul now!
SBP: Tell us about Shirlee Temper? Is Shirlee Temper a band?
ST: Well, I be Shirlee Temper and apparently I am a pirate, by the way, I worded that, LOL! So I am just going to roll with that and own it! Ha ha ha! So, if you want to go slam book style, my favorite food in the whole world is tacos, definitely a camping, mud and trucks kind of a girl, love using power tools and yet feel very awkward when manicuring my own nails, LOL! I rock out to music in the car and definitely at the stoplight, my air drum solos are amazing, BTW! I love people and conversation. Music is my therapy and family means everything to me! I am a half-breed, Filipina & German mix. I can speak German pretty fluently, but totally backwards LOL! I can’t sleep with socks on and am infamous for hitting send before I read the auto text! I don’t know if that’s what you’re looking for, but there you go! My band is most appropriately called the PAIN! They are my brothers, my friends, my colleagues, and teachers! Every single one of them is crazy and talented and wonderful human beings! I feel blessed to ride this ride with them. I am Shirlee Temper, but with that being said I couldn’t do everything that I do without them! They are my family and I love each of them always! Mostly, they just like to bust my balls, though, they are the best! It’s funny sometimes, on the rare occasions that I am quiet at rehearsal, the boys always look at me like I am plotting something crazy, but the truth is I am really just sitting there listening and looking at them thinking about how very grateful I am to have such an amazing team of players to rock out with! But don’t tell them that, got to keep them on their toes to LOL! We are a team!!!
SBP: There are not a lot of females that are doing hardcore rap, is that a benefit?
ST: Well, I can wholeheartedly say yes and no! I think that a lot of times people have a preconceived notion of what they think they are going to see or hear face on the sole fact that I am a woman. I think that works to my advantage as well as disadvantage sometimes or at least the first… The curiosity factor! I’m used to being the underdog and that’s all right with me! I know people will get it after they see it or hear it live. They may not like it, but I think they get it. I don’t think people are used to seeing a lot of women get up on stage and sweat like The guys and I do. Here the comment a lot, “I like the fact she doesn’t care about what she looks like up on stage! “Which I’m going to take as a compliment although it probably just means I am making crazy monster faces up there LOL! I think I get the positive reactions that I think I’m getting, mostly, because I think the audience can see how hard we are all trying to work for them! I figure that if people are going to take time out of the day or night and give me part of their life I want to feel like they don’t feel like it was wasted! People deserve to know that I care and appreciate their time and support! They don’t have to come out and see me or try to connect with me and I know that. So with that being said, I always try to give it my all because they deserve it! It’s my job to try and help them have fun or escape or just connect with another person even if it’s just through my music. The connection is what it is all about! So sometimes being a woman is something I have to climb over or get around so that people can hear the music.
SBP: Some people have compared you to Kid Rock, how do you feel about that?
ST: I think it’s pretty cool being compared to any of the bands or artists I have been compared to! , That is like being a pretty girl and being compared to Angelina Jolie or a good-looking dude and being compared to someone like the Rock or Jared Leto! Wait, I am so definitely not saying that I am like any of those people LOL just trying to whip up an example! I mean, who the hell wouldn’t want to be compared to anything that is awesome! Shoot, I sure hope somebody tells me I smell like their favorite cookies or something! Compare away!!!
SBP: Do you write your own songs and music?
ST: I write most of my lyrics, about 90%. Truthfully only because when I write it I know what I’m talking about and how to perform it because of this. Like I said music is my therapy, so my words are my release of thoughts and moods and Windows into me so it’s easy for me to find the groove! Sometimes, though, other people just say things better and why mess with that! I am not going to pass on an amazing song and message just because I didn’t write it!
SBP: Who are your biggest influences?
ST: OK brace yourself… Run DMC, beastie boys, rage against the machine, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, heart, all 80s music, all 90s R&B music, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Peggy Lee, sublime, red hot chili peppers, The cure, the Cult, The Clash, queen, Van Halen and good lord I could go on and on and on and on! I don’t think we have time or space for that LOL! Like I said bay area Rock and Flow!
SBP: If you had to describe your sound, what would it be?
ST: Rock and Flow!!!
SBP: Are you signed or an independent artist?
ST: I’m an Independent artist. 100% owned by me!!
SBP: What was your favorite show you’ve played?
ST: Honestly, I love every single show I’ve played! I never really care about where I am placed on the bill or have a problem with playing with any kind of music genre! I sincerely and just excited always play and perform with all the other wonderful artist I’ve played with. Every venue is different and every crowd is different and every energy mix is different but it all has been amazing and treasured collectively!
SBP: Have you share the stage with some big acts?
ST: Actually it’s pretty hard to answer that question.. I guess the best way to say it is I’ve performed in very large venues with some very cool bands! Although many were not nationally known, their talent made them big..
SBP: Your song “Put Em Up” seems to be getting a lot of attention, is that your biggest release?
ST: I think people relate to that song because everybody’s got a point in their life where they are tired of being stepped on, pushed around, taking for granted, ignored or abused in some fashion and that song just makes you want to kick people in the teeth and say stop it! Like…Do not take my kindness for weakness, I am done being patient and I will punch you in the throat LOL just stop it!
SBP: Have you released an album yet and are you working on a current one?
ST: I actually released on EP but I’m ignoring it!!! Lol, let me explain. Although I like the songs, my sound is now what I truly envisioned. We are in the process of recording what I think is so unique coming from a female artist and it will shock folks!!
SBP: You’ve got a unique fashion style, do you make your own stage outfits?
ST: Why thank you! I like mixing up steampunk and rock ‘n’ roll with a touch of where the hell did you get that! Hahahaha! They are my superhero outfits that I get to rock out in! In that sense yes I do have a hand in creating my stage outfits, but realistically if I made my clothes myself they would mostly be made out of zip ties, and duct tape, lots, and lots of duct tape! Can’t sew at all!
SBP: There is an interview with you and the legendary Doug E Fresh, are you guys friends? Are you working on music together?
ST: I actually just met Doug that day. He knew my manager so they worked it out for him to come get on a track with me. The crazy thing is he had no idea what he was coming to do because we were making up the song as we recorded. But he is super cool and professional and I’m sure we will be rocking the song together on stage very soon! He’s one of the most generous and inspirational people I’ve ever met! For real!!
SBP: What shows do you have coming up?
ST: May 28th at Toots Tavern in Crockett, CA, May 29 at the Make A Wish foundation in Fremont, CA, and June 4th in Reno, NV
SBP: Where can fans find out more about Shirlee Temper?
ST: www.shirleetemper.com and all social media @shirleetemper
SBP: What is next for Shirlee Temper?
ST: Well we are finishing up recording of what is turning out to be a game changer for female artists as well as taking the stage show to the top level.. I’m way too excited!!!