Interview: Art Feynman (Luke Temple) on Music, Art and Isolation

From the premiere of his Trump-centric single, "Not My Guy," to a discussion on artistic intention

Luke Temple (of Here We Go Magic) returns under his Art Feynman moniker for the album Half Price at 3:30, released 26 June on Western Vinyl. Just ahead of the drop, we’re excited to share “Not My Guy,” a song written in the 2016 US election’s aftermath. Temple toyed with rhythm and textures for the delightfully off-kilter tune, which results in a playful take on a protest song. We spoke with the singer-songwriter and musician a few weeks ago about the album, creating art during isolation, and the value of patience.

Tell us a little about writing “Not My Guy.” Surely your (and our collective) feelings toward Trump have been brewing for some time. Was there a particular speech or executive order passed that prompted the song? 

That song was actually made soon after his election, it was made way before the rest of the record. When he really started harping on the wall and immigration thing: “Line’m up, send’m out, everybody wants to know what you’re talking about.” Lyrically it’s about Trump. I was just messing with simple groove textures and I guess it came out sounding pretty African.

Since this album, you’ve been taking a break from music. Do your listening habits change when you’re not in music-making mode?

Yes definitely. I think I listen to more music actually. I’ve been making more visual art and the music I put on tends to be more instrumental or ambient type stuff. I’m into wallpaper music these days.

Do you find creating visual art satisfies you in a different way from music?

Yeah, it’s nice to work on something I’m less invested in. Music has been such an intense focus for so long and I sort of get adrenal fatigue after a while. Visual art feels fresh, for now. It’s good to have both to go back and forth between.

Have you been discovering hidden talents during this period of isolation?

Not really, but my girlfriend and I are getting along surprisingly well for being stuck in a small apartment with each other for three months. So maybe I have more of an aptitude for patience than I thought.

Which new authors, filmmakers or musicians have you been enjoying recently—or perhaps forgotten treasures?

Honestly, I’m just kinda listening to the same stuff I was before and doing way more drawing. I haven’t been reading much or watching any proper cinema. I’ve gotten into The Great British Bake Off though.

Since you’re releasing the album in such a different time than when you recorded it, does your hope for it change? Has this period shifted your goals for your music? 

I’m not sure. I guess just that it’s compelling in some way to listeners, and that will be different for everyone. I definitely think that if I consciously was to make a record catered toward quarantine time I would do it very differently, I’d make something deeply relaxing. I think I may just do that.

Images courtesy of Aubrey Trinnaman