Music — Vegas Temper

Put out or get out!

by Seth Hoy

Vegas Temper, the perfect prom date

You know those chain e-mails that ask for your favorite color, contact information for a mysteriously bequeathed West African bank account and tell you to dance like no one is watching, love like you’ve never been hurt and sing like no one is listening? Yeah, well, Vegas Temper is singing like everyone is listening.

Like the perfect prom date, Manchester-based hard rock band Vegas Temper puts out — on stage — and you don’t even have to buy them dinner or tell them they’re pretty.

Vegas Temper will pull down their musical party pants and rock out to songs from their debut album, Novocaine, at the Hogs Trough Saloon in Manchester on Saturday, March 19 and at Scorz in Nashua on Saturday, March 12.

“You can expect a lot of sweat and a lot of energy,” said lead singer Chris Taylor. “There’s no other band that puts out like we do — we give our all at every show. A lot of bands say that, but we’ll walk through puddles of sweat when we walk off stage.”

Named in honor of Manchester’s nickname, Manch Vegas, Vegas Temper consists of Chris Taylor on vocals, James Smith on guitar, Keith Willey on bass and Justin Pace on drums.

You might also notice the members of Vegas Temper playing the Black Brimmer in Manchester, under a different name. At those times, they are a cover band called Shoeless Joe. Although they try to keep each band’s identity separate, Shoeless Joe funds Vegas Temper’s artistic endeavors. 

Taylor describes Vegas Temper’s sound as heavy modern rock with influences that run the gamut — Puddle of Mud, Velvet Revolver, Stone Temple Pilots, Sound Garden and Nirvana. He also cites rock bands like Van Halen, Bon Jovi and Def Leppard.

“We’re a sucker for a pop song,” Taylor said, “for the catchy song. We have a lot of heavy songs, but we also have a few mid-tempo songs. I like to say in the vein of Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver and Rob Zombie — that kind of stuff.”

“It’s accessible,” Taylor continued. “It has melody, but also heaviness to it. I call it very aggressive. The lyrics are dark but not too dark. They’re lyrics you can shout and that I feel really good yelling into a microphone. It’s a very good release instead of yelling at my dog.”

Released in February, Novocaine consists of 12 tracks laid down in Vegas Temper’s home studio in Hooksett, N.H. This aggressive album features songs ranging from “Get It On,” a party song to get the crowd going, to “Kiss the Sun,” a song about pulling through a problem when you’re close to the edge.

Taylor writes all the lyrics and pulls from his life experience — the good, the bad and the ugly.

“I moved to Manchester with a backpack, a pair of speakers and a guitar,” Taylor said. “I’ve lived with band members and in shelters. I’ve pretty much been through it all. Everything I see and come across goes into my lyrics. I try to write songs people can relate to — something that will affect someone else’s feelings.”

When they’re not at the Hogs Trough, Vegas Temper is jamming at Raxx Billiards in Manchester, Scorz in Nashua, Mark’s Showplace in Bedford and the Grand Canal in Boston.

Although it’s not the biggest rock scene, Taylor prefers to play in Manchester rather than Boston. It’s harder to create a hardcore following in a transient city like Boston, Taylor said. Taylor said Manchester provides a lot more support from local media and other bands.

“I love Manchester,” Taylor said, “it’s one of the best cities to be a musician. I wouldn’t want to be in Boston or anything. It’s mostly tourist and when people go out to see bands, they don’t care who is playing. They want to have a good time without paying a lot of attention to the bands.”

Vegas Temper is on Ratpack Records in Nashua, but they’re currently shopping for a new label. While Taylor is uncertain what the future will bring, he is certain of the fact that playing for a crowd will always be worth it.

“The more people who hear our music the happier we are,” Taylor said. “We’re expressing ourselves and if we touch people while we do it, well that’s what it’s all about.”

Vegas Temper is currently working on their next record. Novocaine can be purchased on their website or any Newbury Comics and Bull Moose Music stores.

“We live for the next record,” Taylor said. “We’re writing it now. We’re after the golden song that will strike a chord with a lot of people. That’s what everybody is trying to do — touch as many people as possible.”

For more information on Vegas Temper, visit

- Seth Hoy

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