Local progressive metal band The Ditch and the Delta will release their first full-length album, Hives and Decline, on Battleground Records on May 12. Elliot Secrist (guitar/vocals) shares the meanings behind the band’s lyrics and background story on The Ditch and the Delta’s growth over time.

Secrist’s lyrics place himself in his music, adding to the band’s political tone. “I don’t think you can remove personal life from politics,” says Secrist. “…I drink more whiskey than any human should ever drink, but I still care about the planet and people. I care about people dying. I care about war. I’m anti– systems that give some people a lot and take away life for others.” Some of their content even covers the controversy from #gamergate, where college students Zoë Quinn, Brianna Wu and Anita Sarkeesian stood up for female representation in video games but were then targeted with harassment including doxing, threats of rape and death threats. When Sarkeesian spoke at a college in Utah and it received bomb threats, the school took no measures to ensure that she would be safe, including refusing to check for guns at her speech. “These women [were] being threatened, and their families [were] being threatened just for wanting more representation in their world, which is gaming,” says Secrist. “The song ‘Fuck on Asphalt’ is about angry boys … that are so vicious, so dangerous online, but if you meet them, who knows what they’d be about?”

Also, The Ditch and the Delta’s music always, in one way or another, directly connects to Utah—either the dominant or counter culture. “Growing up in Utah, it’s hard to remove myself from Utah,” says Secrist. “And everybody that lives here understands the love and hate of living here: wanting to leave but also the beauty of it and the amazing people that are here.” Between political statements, progressive metal thrills and a badass sound, The Ditch and the Delta is standing up for social justice in creative and head-banging–worthy ways.

The track you’ll hear on this podcast is “Mud.” Don’t miss The Ditch and the Delta’s album release show on May 12 at the Beehive Social Club (666 S State) at 7 p.m. with Crow Killer, Despite Despair and Die Off. The first 20 people to show up get a record for only $10. The show is $5 and all ages. You can check out The Ditch and the Delta’s music at theditchandthedelta.bandcamp.com or follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/theditchandthedeltaslc/.


Thanks for listening to SLUG Mag Soundwaves.

  • This podcast was created by SLUG Magazine and produced by Angela H. Brown and Secily Saunders
  • Associate Producers: Alexander Ortega, Joshua Joye, John Ford, Kathy Zhou
  • Executive Producer: Angela H. Brown
  • Background music by The Ditch and the Delta
  • Soundwaves logo and art design by Nicholas Dowd
  • Technical design by Kate Colgan
  • Photo: Jessica Bundy

SLUG Magazine’s mission is to provide an honest journalistic alternative to mainstream coverage of arts, music, events and lifestyle. SLUG adds value to lifestyle through community engagement. Available in print and digitally on SLUGmag.com.

Discover more:

Episode #337 – Dad Bod

Episode #337 – Dad Bod

After releasing an EP and an album last year, Dad Bod is still finding their sound—with their most recent release of single “For Real,” they’re closer than ever. … read more

Episode #336 – Eichlers

Episode #336 – Eichlers

Eichler’s SCENE KIDS is an experimental, collaborative mixtape featuring artists from Salt Lake’s DIY music space, and it’s a testament to the talent teeming in the scene.  … read more

Episode #335 – Choice Coin

Episode #335 – Choice Coin

Choice Coin was the name Jared Montgomery had for a coin he relied on while traveling and living out of his car. When he came to a fork in the road, he’d flip it, follow it, and never look back. Now Montgomery leads the Choice Coin with Derek Wetenkamp on bass and Nate Harer on drums, and the group has just released its debut EP titled Too Tired to Eat; Too Hungry to Sleep.  … read more

Episode #334 – SoundMass

Episode #334 – SoundMass

The improvisational space rock band SoundMass planned to release their newest album this spring after playing another year of SXSW—until COVID-19 changed everything. … read more

Episode #333 – Milk Money

Episode #333 – Milk Money

This setting of Reckon, and the metaphors within, have presented a new method for the members of Milk Money to craft vulnerable songs. … read more

Episode #332 – Teenage Flying Disc

Episode #332 – Teenage Flying Disc

After an intense period of self discovery late in high school playing with Dead Be Joint, Call sifted through through the chaos of working with a band of mismatched tastes and found the emotional means and energy to carve out his own musical identity as Teenage Flying Disc. … read more