The Ditch & The Delta Make Their Crucialfest Debut
One of the lovely things about Salt Lake’s heavy scene is getting to see familiar faces in new and exciting projects, and there may be no better example of that than The Ditch & The Delta. Though they only formed a few months ago, and their members—guitarist/vocalist Elliot Secrist, bassist/vocalist Kory Quist and drummer Charles Bogus—have contributed to multiple beloved acts like Parallax, Making Fuck, Worst Friends and Maraloka. Now the trio has come together to form something new: dark sludge, heavy with melodic riffs and coarsened with Western-inspired accents. They’ve sharpened their barbed-wire sound live at a few shows already, and now they’re gearing up to hit the stage at Crucialfest 5 this June.
The band didn’t have any specific plan for their sound when they began the project, but built it through trial and error and instinct over the course of almost five months. “We didn’t plan any of it,” says Secrist. “The first few songs we had written were soft and really effect-heavy, and [had] like one repeated melodic soft part. But I would look around and we all looked kind of bored at practice.” Thus, they continued experimenting until they reached the band’s current sound. It throws a twist on typical sludge or doom bands by incorporating time changes, melodic riffs and song structures that are reminiscent of post-hardcore or another, more “technical” subgenre. These additions do nothing to soften the dirtiness of it all, but only seem to make it stick to your ribs all the more. All this is combined with the dual vocals of Secrist and Quist to create some sort of dusty desert hymn that really feels like it couldn’t have been inspired anywhere but Utah. Both Secrist and Bogus have flourished in their new roles. “It’s been cool to see Elliot’s vocal style develop, especially when we were in the studio,” says Bogus.
The Ditch & The Delta released their first EP, We Rust, this past February on cassette tape and digital download, and it’s available on Bandcamp. The cassette tape revival has been quieter than the vinyl movement, but is still attractive for many bands. For The Ditch & The Delta, releasing their EP on tape was a decision that was both pragmatic and romantic. “CDs don’t sell, really, but it’s nice to be able to make a product you can hold—an artifact, rather than just a download,” says Bogus. “This way, it’s a cool way to sell the download with an artifact. Putting out vinyl is awesome, but it takes so long and so much money.” Going straight digital would have been even cheaper, but the band refused to give up on the feeling of having a product to hold and put on one’s shelf. They released the album through Gypsyblood Records, owned by guitarist Stavros Giannopolis of The Atlas Moth, whom Quist met when he toured alongside them and SubRosa.