Conor Simpson of Aztec Temples

started on 1st May 2015. Last page update on 24th January 2018.

Aztec Temples

Band of the month

for May 2015

Music in Leicester magazine likes to feature bands; in this article we look at the work of Leicester band Aztec Temples.

Tom Dewsbery of Aztec Temples. Simon Says… 2017. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.

Aztec Temples is one of the most popular and successful bands of Leicester.

The band has a new website: check it out

Aztec Temples at The Soundhouse, 1st October 2016.

Now, in 2018, they are a large number of recorded songs to their back catalogue.

Aztec Temples at The Soundhouse, 1st October 2016.

The band has been photographed regularly over the years they been playing together.

Aztec Temples O2 Academy Leicester, February 26

The band in includes basicly the same musicians that were there at the start; bar one.

Aztec Temples at the Enderby festival

Playing at festivals has been a key feature of the band’s public performances.

Aztec Temples August 28th 2015 at The Shed.

Aztec Temples have toured around the UK, extensively, playing in many parts of the British Isles.

Aztec Temples in September 2015.

They have appeared on radio and television on a regular basis.

News just in

New video released for single Places on YouTube

Aztec Temples headline gig at Cookie

Conor and Tom on stage at The Cookie, 16th July 2016
Conor and Tom on stage at The Cookie, 16th July 2016. Photo: Pascal Pereira Photography.

Read about this in our July page.

Aztec Temples have played several gigs now for promoters This Feeling

Conor from Aztec Temples at The Cookie, April 2016. © Pascal Pereira Photography
Conor from Aztec Temples at The Cookie, April 2016.
© Pascal Pereira Photography

We are delighted to announce that the band will be playing at Glastonbudget 2016.

Aztec Temples at Glastonbudget 2016. © Pascal Pereira Photography
Aztec Temples at Glastonbudget 2016.
© Pascal Pereira Photography

Aztec Temples is an alternative rock band from Leicester that formed in September 2014. A four-piece band with Conor Simpson – lead vocals, Shay McDermott – lead guitar/backing vocals, Lewis McDermott – rhythm guitar/backing vocals, Lewis Brown – drums and Tom Dewsbery – Bass.

The band classes it’s music style as ‘Alternative.’ The band’s general manager is Ray Simpson. They say their influences include: ‘Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Goo Goo Dolls, Jimi Hendrix, The Verve, Nirvana.’

When we saw Aztec Temples on 14th March at the OBS gig at The Musician; we said:

‘The first slot can be a challenging one; the room might not have warmed up; people are still chatting to their friends or waiting at the bar for a drink. Happily Leicester band Aztec Temples got the show off to a resounding start. I saw this band when they played recently at The Shed on 7th March. The four-piece band played an engaging set of songs which they delivered with verve and commitment. A solidly good vocal line was well supported by the guitar players and the drummer. Musically they occupy a position around indie and pop, often referred as ‘alternative’ and thus equipped I think this will be become one of the popular bands of the year. They drew a warm response from the audience. With original songs like Made his dealEverywhere I Go, World is turning and Down By The River, my hunch is that this is a band that will be giving people the kind of music they are keen to hear. ‘ [Music in Leicester magazine]


We wanted to know more about the band; they told us:

‘How did the band start and when?’

We formed in September 2014. We are made up of a set of brothers and a set of best friends. Shay McDermott (lead guitarist) and Lewis Brown (drums) had a couple of jams together and had been thinking about starting a band for a while, whilst Conor Simpson (lead vocals) and Lewis McDermott (rhythm guitar/backing vocals) had written a song in 2010 called Fall which we have further developed and is now used in our sets. We decided to all meet up one Sunday at Stayfree Studios and ran through Fall a few times and we all hit it off from there. It took us a good few months to find a bass player but in January 2015 Tom Dewsbery joined the band and has slotted in nicely.

‘Where and when was the band’s first gig? How did it go?’

We had our first gig on Saturday 21st February 2015 at The Soundhouse. We played with Ryan Dunn, Calm Fiasco and The Racketeers. It was a fantastic night and went as well as it could have gone really. It was special because other than Tom, none of us have ever been in a band or performed in front of an audience before, but as soon as we stepped on stage the nerves went and we all felt at home. The crowd were great and extremely supportive and it is definitely a night we will never forget.

‘What has been the highlight of the band’s musical experience so far?’

We wouldn’t say we really have a specific highlight yet, we think that is yet to come. But from that first gig at The Soundhouse, we have been extremely pleased with the overwhelming feedback we have received from people, not just fans but from people within the industry, such as yourself writing the review for our recent gig at the OBS in March. This is something we are very proud of as we knew it would be tough getting up and running as a brand new band, but we have been gigging consistently since our first one and we aim to continue getting our name out there and pushing ourselves to keep getting better and better.

Aztec Temples at The Soundhouse, April 2016.
Aztec Temples at The Soundhouse, April 2016.

‘Which bands have had the biggest influence on the band’s music writing so far?’

Between the five of us we have quite a few different influences. Noel Gallagher is one to mention, as he has consistently churned out great tunes and he’s not bad at writing either! Lewis McDermott gains a lot of inspiration from Oasis and Kasabian in terms of structuring songs. Shay is a big Jimi Hendrix fan and was a huge influence for him to pick up guitar and play lead. He also listened to a lot of Black Sabbath when he was younger. In terms of writing lyrics, a big influence for Conor is John Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls. After hearing Iris this made him want to start writing lyrics. Lewis brown just loved the idea of playing drums as everybody else seemed to want to play guitar!

‘If the band could have three wishes, what would they be?’

1. For people to hear us on the radio and enjoy the music we’ve made
2. To be noticed and recognised as credible musicians and performers
3. To play a big music festival

‘What do you think of Kasabian?’

We think they are awesome and a massive credit to Leicester. They are great ambassadors for this city and it would be an honour to share the stage with them one day.

Aztec temples at The Cookie. © Pascal Pereira Photography
Aztec temples at The Cookie.
© Pascal Pereira Photography

Why this band?

We chose this band to be our featured band this month because, out of the many new bands we have seen recently, they stood out as being the best new band that had the most promise.

Both Music in Leicester and previously Arts in Leicester magazines have championed local bands, writing about them, helping them to get gigs and festival bookings, promoting them with the media and doing what we can to give them a helping hand. Our practice of selecting a band of the month goes back many years and this has featured some of the most notable bands to have come out of the Leicester music scene. Aztec Temples had all the ingredients that we like about bands; they ticked all the boxed for us.

We wish them luck and hope they go on to bigger things in the year ahead. We will follow their progress with interest and we hope you will do the same.

Shay from Aztec Temples at The Cookie, April 2016. © Pascal Pereira Photography
Shay from Aztec Temples at The Cookie, April 2016.
© Pascal Pereira Photography

Follow the band

Follow Aztec Temples on Facebook
Follow Aztec Temples on Twitter
Watch Aztec Temples on Vimeo
Listen to tracks by Aztec Temples on Soundcloud

Conor from Aztec Temples
Conor from Aztec Temples at the Enderby festival in 2015

See also:

Download 2015 is coming

Get ready for Glastonbudget

Our list of bands from Leicester in 2016.

About The Editor 535 Articles
The Editor of Music in Leicester magazine is Kevin Gaughan assisted by Trevor Locke