LA rock band TemperMental started bringing their music to the public when they had only five original songs written—and some of the members were still in middle school. They would set up on a street corner and play those five songs over and over for three hours straight and try to impress as many people as possible.
“We really weren’t that good back then,” said bassist Ruby Imes with a laugh.
“But it did help us grow so much with our stage presence and experience,” added singer Kristina Van Horst.
Fast forward three years, and TemperMental has become known for their harmonious rock and dynamic live performances. They started 2020 by winning the Anime LA band competition, which got them a gig performing at the annual NAMM show in Anaheim — the biggest music industry event of the year. They were playing gigs every weekend at major venues like the Whiskey a Go Go and the House of Blues and had gigs scheduled for the entire year; they had released an official music video directed by an Emmy nominated director; and they were working on an album. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted their momentum, this rock band comprised of teen girls ages 15 to 18 is blazing a trail in the LA music scene.
And three of the four of them are still in high school.
The original lineup of the band — which included Imes, Van Horst, and guitarist Marilaine Montero — met when they were working as actors on the set of the Netflix comedy TV series Wet Hot American Summer, Ten Years Later in Malibu. They played some of the main campers in the show, who were being looked after by actors such as Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, and Adam Scott. “We became friends and we would play music like ukulele and acoustic and stuff in the large holding area where they kept us after school. So we decided we wanted to hang out one day by ourselves. Then a couple of years later we met [drummer] Jordan [Radnoti] at a battle of the bands and then she ended up being part of the band,” said Van Horst.
Montero, Van Horst, and Imes were ages 12, 13, and 15, respectively, when the band formed in 2017; Radnoti joined in 2019, when she was age 16.
TemperMental is straight-up LA rock, although the band members’ influences span the musical map from musical theater to pop to opera to rock to metal. The girls also have varied training and experiences, with three of them also being singers and two of them starting their musical learning on piano. All of them have been members of multiple bands.
Being an all-girl band — and teenagers — can make it difficult to get respect in the rock music scene, but the members of TemperMental don’t let it affect them. “It helps and it hurts because it’s rare and unique and interesting, but a lot of times people don’t take us seriously because they think, ‘Oh they’re just a bunch of girls,’ and they don’t need to give us that same respect,” Van Horst said. “Until they hear us, and then they really like us,” Imes added.
The band is currently working on their first album. They have a dozen new songs ready to go and more in the works, but they need to get into the recording studio. “We’ve been writing so much and we just need money to record now; that’s the biggest challenge. We can’t play shows so we can’t earn money that way,” Imes said. “COVID sucks.”
“At the beginning of the year, we had the whole year planned out, all the different things we were going to do, and then all these different goals just didn’t happen,” said Montero. “Once quarantine hit, things just slowed down.”
For now, the girls of TemperMental have continued writing new material and only recently were able to begin practicing again in the same room. They said they hope to soon begin livestreaming shows, and they have been receiving interest from producers who want to work with them. “We’re also really excited to record some songs for Blue microphones, which is one of our sponsors, and we’re going to do a whole acoustic set for them,” Van Horst said.
Three of the four band members are currently in high school, which can be a difficult balancing act at times. But TemperMental is still moving forward, and eager to get back on stage once COVID goes away. “It’s a lot of work,” Van Horst said, but her advice to young musicians is to practice, practice, practice. “Make as many friends and connections as you possibly can because that always helps. If you talk to people, you get so much more out of everything,” she said.
Montero agreed. “Play as many shows as you can,” she said. “Just going to a street fair and playing can do wonders. We all started out at street fairs.”
“Don’t be afraid to take risks,” Radnoti added. “Love what you do and play with passion.”
To learn more about TemperMental, check out their website at www.tempermental.org.
Check out our interview with TemperMental. Learn who they are, how they rock, what their answers are in the game “most likely to” — and why you should listen to their music:
TemperMental was the winner of Making Music’s latest Community Video people’s choice competition. If you haven’t watched their winning video for their song “All in My Head,” check it out below:
Kristina Van Horst ~ Lead Vocals
Ruby Imes ~ Bass & Vocals
Marilaine Montero ~ Guitar & Vocals
Jordan Radnoti ~ Drums
Line 6 Helix guitar processors
Social Media Links