Music is an important part of what makes Hilton Head Island so unique. The Tiki Hut and The Porch are a big part of the local music scene and we’re proud to offer some of the most talented musicians in our area a place to share their creativity with us and all of you. Many of you might already be familiar with Jared Templeton. He’s one of the many local musicians regularly found on stage at The Tiki Hut and after hours at The Porch. Every Tuesday through the summer you’ll find Jared and his crew hosting Local Jam Sessions where, as he says, “some of the most magical music moments,” take place.
Beach House: If you had to give me a bio in two sentences that sums up who you are as an artist, what would that be?
Jared Templeton: I am not very confident in a lot of things in life, but I would like to think I'm a gifted songwriter, a pretty good singer, and an okay musician. I like to write songs that tell a story in a cinematic way where the lyrics are the script, the music is the soundtrack and, if done right, the listener makes the movie in his or her head.
BH: A little Google-stalking shows that you moved here from Pennsylvania. What inspired you to move to Hilton Head Island?
JT: Be careful. Google-stalking is dangerous. My girlfriend found out the hard way when I Googled her, and all her old Myspace pictures popped up (braces and all). But, I moved to the Island about seven or eight years ago after visiting my sister Kacie a few times and found myself asking, "What is this magical place?" I had been planning my escape from NYC and figured "I'll give it a shot." Now, I call this place home and wherever in the world music might take me, I'll always be back.
BH: Tell me about The TempleTones and any other bands you play with.
JT: I started The TempleTones a few years ago with my good friend Will Cook and since then it has become a revolving door for a number of different local musicians, and we preferred it that way. But we both agreed it was time to tighten it up a bit and asked my Savannah friends Daniel Malone and Rachael Sky Shaner from the band LuLu and the Giant, if they would be interested in joining. Luckily, they agreed because they have already turned a lot of heads so far this summer and it's been a treat to do this with them every Tuesday. I have also played in a few original projects on the island, but what I'm most proud of so far is the one called M.O.B. It has been a joy to see how four people with different musical tastes can come together and create such an original piece of art. That is why I love this island’s music scene so much. We are all rooting for each other and I consider it a great honor to have such a variety of talent to choose from every week.
BH: You seem to be totally immersed in the Hilton Head Island music scene. Why do you think this little island community has birthed so many incredible artists?
JT: Well, I was fortunate enough to move in with my buddy John Cranford when I first arrived because he seemed to have has finger on the pulse of the scene at the time (and still does to this day with local label Swampfire Records). He introduced me to a lot of musicians and showed me the ropes. I was thrown right into the fire and I began to love it after a while. It is a joy to be able to give other people a stage to play on who might not have had the chance before and what a beautiful stage it is. To play on the beach, looking out toward the ocean and surrounded by shiny, happy people from all over the world? That is a wonderful place to be.
BH: You’ll be hosting Local Jam Sessions every Tuesday night at the Tiki Hut throughout the summer months. Is this a quintessential ‘open mic night’ experience? What is different about it?
JT: We like to refer to it as a ‘Locals Jam’ where I can bring up any of my local players to sit in for a few if they happen to be hanging out. I am always open to talking to anyone visiting who might be interested in playing to find out more about what their skill set might be and can make a game-time decision.
BH: Who can we expect to make an appearance at the Local Jam Sessions throughout the season?
JT: The best thing about the Locals Jam is you really have no idea what to expect. Anyone could show up on a Tuesday night. It can be a bit nerve-wracking at times but some of the most magical music moments I've experienced this summer have been on that night. So, every Tuesday night you can expect Daniel, Rachael and myself hosting and our buds Cliff and Dugan working the bar with that week’s featured artist. I also have a good friend of mine, local artist Kristin Griffis, painting corner-stage while we are playing. She averages a painting per set and offers visitor’s and locals alike the opportunity to take home a really cool souvenir at the end of the night.
BH: What is your favorite part of playing at the Tiki?
JT: Aside from having some of the best bartenders on the island under one canopy, I just like the view and the vibe of it all. It has a certain energy on some nights and as a musician, it feels really good sharing that magic with people who just happen to be there visiting at the time. And when you have merchandise and music to give them, those same people take it all back to wherever they came from and spread the good word in parts of the world you might not have been able to reach before.
BH: You also play a lot of afterparties at The Porch. How is that a different vibe from the Tiki Hut experience?
JT: The Porch set up is a monster of its own because instead of being on the beach and by the ocean, you're around the fire-pit and by the pool. The crowd at The Porch can sometimes be more engaged in the musical aspect of what we do and open to where I want to take them as an artist. The Tiki Hut is high energy with great artists cranking out the best of their original and cover music.
JT: This is where my manhood gets put in jeopardy a bit. I would like to say I'm a Whiskey-loving SOB but watching me take down a shot of Turkey is pretty painful to witness. My body just rejects Whiskey sometimes. But that doesn't mean we don't have our moments.
BH: Describe your perfect day in Hilton Head Island.
JT: I don't think I could describe the perfect day here because it is always a beautiful place to be, but I guess a good example would be when the island has a big event and everyone is just together there enjoying life surrounded by music and laughter with all your family and friends. Those days seem to always mean the most.
BH: Who are your top three greatest influences?
JT: If I had to say my top three, they would be, in no specific order, the writer Edgar Allan Poe, the singer for Tool and Perfect Circle, Maynard James Keenan, and also the lyricist Nas. They are all such great story-tellers to me and I aspire to join them in that way.
We can ask Jared every question in the book but the best way to get to know him is by showing up to of his shows. You’ll have the chance to catch Jared and the rest of the TempleTones hosting Local Jam Sessions every Tuesday at 6:00 pm through July 31st at the Tiki Hut.
Check out the Tiki Hut and Porch music schedule here.
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