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By Linda Serck
Former Reading Blue Coat School pupils Rob Diament and Luke Busby are busy cracking America with their band Temposhark and new album. BBC Berkshire chats to Rob about the road leading to The Invisible Line.
I remember watching Temposhark with pleasure at the boudoir-esque Madame Jo Jos in Soho in 2005. Back then they were showcasing sterling electro clash tracks. The tracks that now form part of their impressive debut album The Invisible Line, which is taking America by storm.
Educated at Reading Blue Coat School, frontman Rob Diament has come a long way since writing songs as a 13-year-old pupil and performing at Alleycats (now Sakura) in Reading's Gun Street.
In fact, he chats down the phone fresh from performing tracks on Fox TV in New York.
"I love touring in America," he exclaims. "We've been over there three times in the last year. All the shows sell out and it's bizarre being in a foreign country where people know the words to your songs."
And the American interest doesn't end there, with both US-based iTunes and MySpace celebrating the band's talent with a front-page spot on their websites.
"I approached Imogen Heap - a great singer song-writer, producer Sean McGhee and Guy Sigsworth from Frou Frou, who's produced Madonna and Bjork. Basically all my favourite records were produced by him," explains Rob.
"Having worked with them it gave us a foundation in the States and all their fans started buying our records on iTunes.
"Then the iTunes staff in America put us on the front page, which was nuts, and we got a load of sales overnight.
"Then MySpace in America also put us on their front page for two weeks - all these things just came out of nowhere."
Well, not 'quite' from nowhere. Far from resting on his laurels, Rob has dedicated his life to becoming a successful musician, early on writing with producer Youth, who's worked with Dido and The Verve.
"When Luke (co-founder of the band and also a former Reading Blue Coat School pupil) and I went to university in London we went with the objective to get student loans to put out singles. So we spent all our student loans to make up the vinyl, and we did our own PR."
Rob at Fox TV's Fearless Music studio
They then immersed themselves in London's electro clash scene in 2004 - opening for Fischerspooner and hanging out with the likes of Peaches.
"Back then I always felt our music had more of an emotional depth in a different way to the other artists' music," says Rob.
"They were much more about fun and hedonism and clubbing. I preferred Frou Frou, Tori Amos and Patti Smith, who had a poetic kind of angst and emotional content with their music."
The result is an album that is in part "angry" and in part "really fun". It plunges into emotional depths while also luxuriating within dance music's upbeat veneer.
Two of the tracks are produced by Guy Sigsworth, the other ten by Sean McGhee. Imogen Heap stars in track Not That Big, Youth collaborates on current single Blame and virtuoso violinist Sophie Solomon performs on Battleships.
"It's been a lot of hard work but it's been an amazing experience," says Rob, originally from Maidenhead. "As long as you focus on what you want to do then eventually things will happen."
The Invisible Line is out now on Temposhark's own record label Paper & Glue.
Find out more about Temposhark:
last updated: 22/05/2008 at 14:59