TEMPLE OF BOOM
BYRON STREET MILLS, MILLWRIGHT STREET, LEEDS, LS2 7QG SI WALKER & LECKY VOORHEES, OWNERS
COULD YOU TELL US A HISTORY OF TEMPLE OF BOOM, GUYS?
LECKY: “We started as a rehearsal space in 2011. One of the bands, The Flex, wanted to organise a gig there, and it wasn’t long before we started pulling down walls, building a bar out of an old wardrobe, taking bookings from local promoters, and gradually expanding into other areas of the mill.” SI: “We’ve built every square inch of the place ourselves from recycled materials. Seven years later, we have two stages, 10 rehearsal rooms, a vegan cafe, a band hostel, a nano-brewery in the pipeline, and our sound engineer has just built a recording and mastering studio called Declared Sound.”
WHAT’S BEEN THE CRAZIEST THING TO HAPPEN THERE?
SI: “We get all sorts of bizarre bookings, from Satanic ritual weddings to sumo-ring parties and backyard-style wrestling shows.” LECKY: “ITV even filmed a scene for DCI Banks with The Flex playing on the main stage, as a police chase stormed through the venue, ending in the doors being smashed to bits.”
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE VENUE FOR UP-AND-COMING BANDS?
LECKY: “Every scene needs a breeding ground for bands to get started.that’s what inspired us to build The Meatlocker second stage. Local shows with new bands bring plenty of fresh energy, and keep the touring bands on their toes.” SI: “And it’s important for promoters, too. Seeing young bands as openers in The Meatlocker work their way up to selling out the main room is amazing.”
WHAT HAVE BEEN THE BIGGEST AND BEST ROCK SHOWS TO HAPPEN THERE?
LECKY: “Power violence pioneers Infest in 2016.We booked them for an exclusive, flew them in from California, and put them up here for the whole weekend.” SI: “We’ve also had Code Orange, Wormrot, Poison Idea… the list is endless. Harley ‘Cro-mags’ Flanagan’s recent show blew the roof off!”
FINALLY, WHAT CHALLENGES ARE YOU FACED WITH?
SI: “Gentrification.when we moved into the area it was fairly run-down. In the last year cranes have popped up all around us.this area could benefit from the money pouring in, but it’s hard to say how it will actually affect us.” LECKY: “Real DIY venues such as Temple Of Boom are hard to come by.we can only hope that the planners don’t make the same mistakes as they have done in the past, prioritising ‘progress’ over culture.”