Interview: Delta Spirit

By on Thursday, 10th June 2010 at 12:00 pm

So things are kicking off very nicely for American band, Delta Spirit. The group’s latest album, History From Below, is beginning to take hold to the worldwide audiences of indie-rock and Americana music fans. Despite a hectic schedule, singer Matt Vasquez was nice enough to provide some time and thought of how the latest album grew and developed into a collected piece of work. Thank you kindly, Matt.

I read that your new record took roughly about two years to write and record, so does the name of it (History From Below) have anything to do with that?
We had been on tour for 3 years and a lot of the record was written at that time, mostly in hotel rooms, and our short breaks from touring

The title History from Below was something that I came across from Howard Zinn the leftist historian. I was reading The People’s History of The United States, whilst I was writing the song 911.

Some bands out there struggle with writing on the road and simply feel they can’t do it until they’re firmly back home or in a studio. What were some of the biggest challenges for the band faced while writing on the road?

The hardest part about writing on the road is that you never feel like doing it but if you force yourself to carry an acoustic guitar with you, and have an open mind, you can find yourself writing really inspiring material from the stuff in front of you.. also we can work on new material as we go along as songs were able to be worked out with the band during soundchecks

How did the songs go do down in a live setting? Were there some songs you thought, “Oh let’s just throw this together and see how the audience reacts” and only to discover that it was hugely received and vice-versa?

Because we’ve been on tour for so long since our first record, many of the songs that on this next record History From Below, have stood that test and some of them like Bushwick Blues and St Francis have been played live for over a year now and through the internet and Youtube people have discovered them and we have found people singing along when we play them at shows – which is always a pleasant surprise especially when your record was not even recorded yet.

Speaking of touring, you obviously saw a lot of places and meet a lot of people on the road. Was there a certain country or city that you didn’t want to leave, not because of the gigs but because of the sights and sounds and people of the place itself?

Berlin – I don’t know what it is about that city, but it seems like something amazing is going on there and we’d love to be a part of it..

In the track-by-track notes, Jon referenced that the band half-joked about recording in Greece. Had the band visited there for touring purposes, or is it simply a fascination destination?

When we were looking for a place to record the record – our co producer Eli, had a website full of destination studios, and considering the economy it could have been feasible that we could have recorded our record in Greece – there was an amazing looking place there and if hadn’t been for the studio in N California, the Prairie Sun Studio C in Cotati..Greece would have definitely been high on the list of studios to check out and – we love the euro

The album was recorded in the space place where Tom Waits did some records, is the band fans of him or was it just a mere coincidence more than anything else?

We are all huge fans of Mister Tom Waits and the vibe of the place certainly carried with it a certain ambience that you could kinda do anything that you wanted to, at any particular moment in time and get any sound you wanted. The fact that Tom Waits recorded there was nice but it was not the absolute deciding factor in choosing the studio – we just needed a live work environment outside of the city and it is all of that and more..

What do you think makes this album sound different from your debut?

The first record we had a single US tour under our belt and now we’ve done the US 13 times and UK and Europe twice, a lot of idealism has grown up since there, songwriting has developed and the camaraderie in our marriage together.

Finally, what songs are you most proud of and most excited about taking to the universal audiences?

I like all the songs, each one has it’s own character and individual memory, it’s impossible to choose so I am equally excited to show you all of them..


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