Flying high with Delta Spirit
Delta Spirit is one of the fastest growing bands in the music industry today. Eclectic and unique, they are rapidly becoming one of Southern California’s bands on the must see list.
Set to play at this upcoming Street Scene, and looking to release a new album in 2010 titled, Natalie Portman Says This Album will Change Your Life. Delta Spirit are storming onto the music scene, and making a lasting impact with their passionate and powerful artistry.
Jonathan Jameson(no relation to Jenna Jameson), one of the founders of Delta Spirit gave the Entertainer a little insight on the bands success and ideas on music.
AC: Hey, how’s it going?
Jonathan: Doing good, doing good.
AC: Where are all the other cohorts of Delta Spirit.
Jonathan: I just saw Matt… Matt, Kelly, and I live together at a house in Long Beach now. Kelly’s recording one of our friends right now, and Matt just took off to do some laundry.
AC: Just got a couple of questions for you here, so here it goes. You and Brandon, were in a punk band together before, what made you guys transition from punk-music to the music you play now?
Jonathan: Brandon and I played together for a long time and we always wanted to play with Matt. I guess it’s kind of what we agreed upon. We were trying to find something that felt like we all could honestly be who we wanted to be, without totally pretending to be someone else. We didn’t totally identify with the Southern California vibe. So I think the next thing was, ya know, the fact that we were American, and we identified with folk-music that came out of America, the soul music and all that kind of stuff. At the same point, we didn’t want to be a throw back band so we kind of did whatever we wanted to.
Wanting to embrace all the music that came out of here (meaning America), we didn’t want to lock ourselves into any type of specific thing, so we are open to everything.
AC: What made you decide to record Ode to Sunshine on your own, rather than going with a record label?
Jonathan: There was a couple of offers and none of them really made sense at that point. We wanted the freedom of being able to do it our way, so we went that route, and it went well. However, with this next album we aren’t going to do it the same way we did the last one. We’re taking our time, doing it in an actual studio, it’s different, but I’m really happy we did the first one that way. Recording ourselves, and putting it out ourselves was what made sense, because none of the labels felt right to us.
AC: When your making songs for your albums, how do you guys know a song is going in the direction you want it to?
Jonathan: The beginning of the songs usually start from Matt or Kelly. Matt being the singer and Kelly playing the keys; amongst other things. They are the two that can actually sing really well. So they write the melodies and some chords, then they bring it in and we try it as a whole band.
Trying it as a band we will usually do it a couple different ways. Try it as a quiet song, or try it as a punk song, or a loud rock song, who knows. It’s really just a matter if all five of us are feeling it, and all five of us have pretty strong opinions, so… for all of us to be enjoying a song we know it. If people aren’t enjoying it, it’s pretty obvious, if its not coming together, and doesn’t make sense, it falls pretty flat. When a song does come together, feels right, we are all excited to be playing something we know is there.
AC: What message would you say you are trying to send with the songs you make? What are you trying to tell people?
Jonathan: I don’t really think there is a specific message. The only message that would be cohesive between all our messages would be that life is really a gift, and is important. The time we have, we can’t waste with pointless stuff.
The ironic thing of a band is, a lot of people consider that pointless, but we feel as a band we can’t see the product of what we are doing. We get home from touring and we are like, “what am I doing with my life”. At the same point there is something beautiful about music, and something beautiful in being able to do it as a way of life, travel around and see the people that are affected by it.
I don’t know if there is a specific message, but we are at a stand point on the importance of making music.
AC: Can you explain the diversity of tools you guys use in some of your songs, such as garbage can tops and boards?
Jonathan: It wasn’t really a definitive decision, but in a band with four or five people some of the songs don’t need three guitars and stuff like that. People would get bored and start hitting stuff and bringing other instruments into it, and whatever was around at the moment. It wasn’t intentional production, it kind of was haphazardly added.
AC: Coming from San Diego, how has it inspired your music?
Jonathan: I’m glad that there was a music scene when I was growing up. That I could go to weird little shows at all kinds of places, at warehouses, and churches when I was a kid. Then finding places like The Che Cafe and The Casbah once it finally got going. There’s always good music around….but it’s not like Los Angeles and New York. Its not an epicenter of music, but it still always had interesting things happening. I don’t know culturally if I’m very influenced by San Diego, but I’d say that I am grateful for the fact that it was a place where the arts are appreciated. It also helped in making it easier to meet new people, and expand in the music scene. Allowing us to start playing descent shows and get out there more. It’s been good, I still love San Diego.
Jonathan: It was a cool experience, Conan was the most exciting for me because it was the first Television thing we had, and Conan is the best.
AC: Is he really as big as he looks?
Jonathan: Yeah man, he is gigantic. We had a lot of fun, and he really liked us a lot and said of lot of cool things to us, it was great! All the other ones were as fun and exciting too.
AC: Did you guys have a sense of success when you got on the shows?
Jonathan: I don’t know if we felt like we had made it, like this was it, ya know? We were really honored to be on the show, and plus it was really exciting and fun.
AC: Whats new with you guys, and what can your fans look forward too?
Jonathan: We are starting on the next album right now, it’s going to be a slow process, it’s not going to come out until early next year or something…. but its in the works. We built a practice space in the back of our house here, and we’ve been working on our songs. Recorded a few songs up in the studio at Sonoma County, above San Francisco, kind of out in the woods in this little barn. Its a real cool studio, Tom Waits made some records there…another fellow San Diegan. It should be good we are working on it.