Hell of a Ride, Into the Wide: Interview with Delta Spirit
Wow, is right. While damaging a few instruments, the hurricane hit their recording and sound equipment harder. Thus, the band was forced to replace almost everything while still adjusting to the other extreme conditions of a living space which was far from home. However, it was the shared feeling of entrapment that allowed for Into the Wide to come into being. “The sentiment and the musicality of the album is a longing to get out,” Jameson explains, “and I think at that time, for us, that meant getting out of this cement block and back into nature or back on stage.”
If you’ve listened to this album, the backstory connects a lot of dots. Into the Wide gives us a new kind of energy from Delta Spirit which borders on the spiritual. From emotional anthems like “Push It,” to the building ballads such as “Patriarch” and “From Now On,” it’s hard for anyone to deny that palpable element of longing and hopeful despair. And although they didn’t necessarily plan on it, “Into the Wide” seems to be the most thematically consistent record they’ve yet to produce. The reason, Jameson believes, is because the songwriting process was completely democratized.
“It took a year of writing songs and demoing them and not being very sure if it was working,” Jameson says. “[Matt Vasquez] was writing tons of ideas and sometimes it would work really well, and other times it would fall flat on its face…but we’re all very opinionated and so the song isn’t ‘the song’ until all five of us agree on how it’s coming out.” As you can imagine, this makes the recording process somewhat of an uphill battle, but the results are entirely worth it. With the help of producer Ben Allen, Delta Spirit was able to condense a very intense 18 months into 12 elegant tracks.
When I asked Jameson what has changed the most between now and the time when they were just getting started, he said that their goal has always been to reach as many people as they possibly can. In this respect, he says, they haven’t budged. “[In 2006,] we were just kids living at our parent’s houses and playing music full time because we didn’t want to have jobs,” Jameson laughs. “You can’t really recapture that innocence. For Into the Wide, we’re older, we have different perspectives and different interests, but the basic idea of the band has stayed the same: play the music we want to play to those who want to hear it, and as often as possible.”
It’s this sense of commitment to their music, as well as to each other, which has made Delta Spirit so endurable in an era where everyone is concerned with genre labels and musical consistency. “No one ever knows how to talk about our band, so it makes it hard to sell your product,” Jameson says. “At the same time, that’s what makes us special, because [our sound] doesn’t really fit into anything that’s happening in the moment. It seems to be outside of that.”
Looking forward, Delta Spirit has finally escaped their dungeon in Brooklyn, and are living in separate parts of the country for a little while. At the moment, Delta Spirit is currently touring for Into the Wide and are heading west towards our town. Given their reception here in the past, Jameson says that they’re excited to be coming back. “I actually really like Salt Lake City,” Jameson says, “I bring a little fold up bike with me on tour to drive around and see cities. Salt Lake is one that I was surprised to find how beautiful it is.”
Catch Delta Spirit’s 21+ show at Urban Lounge with their friends SACCO this coming Monday, Oct. 20.