Ahead of their Australian tour with Ben Kweller, Larry Heath has a chat to the lead singer of San Diego's Delta Spirit, Matthew Vasquez.
L: Well thanks make for talking to us today. and we are here to talk about your tour upcoming to Australia, but we will get to that in a minute, but first i want to talk about the relatively new album "History from Below". You recorded your first album, well you self produced it, "Ode to sunshine", how did the recording of "History from Below" compare to the debut album? What changed in the recording process?
M: Time and money, but really time and we had mroe time to write for this record than we did for "Ode to Sunshine" we had experience that you couldnt pay for, you know. Getting to tour so much and getting so see Australia and see Europe a bunch of times. See United States almost too many times to make you feel like your back with all your friends across the whole country as opposed to one little area, its crazy, it's a mindfuck and that shapes your opinion and your life and you know, that makes music sound like that. Any time in the studio didn't hurt, mixing it.
L: Now that is really cool. And looking at your album right now i love the cover of it, where did the idea for that shot come into play?
M: It came into play when we were talking about album artwork and we went in kinda of record recorded the record and through a series of events looking at photos of my friends deaths, like Herpert Folio and Sam West (about 4.38) and wikipedia and looking up kyles and rain across history from below and kinda this idea, this doctorine and it kinda sat with these songs, especially like "911" and "The Tally" and "St Francis" and "Vivian" even, you know, its just like, that kind of thing. The photo just lent itself to an emotion that kinda felt the way i feel about death and is that weird?
L: No, no that makes perfect sense.
M: You know, most people do that i think
L: Well there always seem to be a process behind it, and that seems to be a standard one. And today i watched for the first time your latest music video, which is "Bushwick Blues". I love the concept of performing in a diner. Where did that come about and what that a fun thing to shoot?
M: It was a total blast. Our buddy Ben Aguindenit (about 5.50), he's a guru. We shot it all in film and he had this treatment idea, and we went through so many ideas for this music video because everybody tried to tell the story of the song and like no body likes those ideas unless you have a million dollar budget, and you barely have enough to do a song let alone a film and i dunno, we wanted something simple and Dana had it and the diner ended up being the diner in True Romance.
L: I knew it was familiar.
M: It's an actual shop. A place to film, and it opens and everything.
L: Wow thats really cool. It really does feel like im watching a Tarrantino film or even like a Cohen Brothers film and its great.
M: Yeah, Dana was really great at all the cinematic shots and just really nailed it, good job.
L: Congratulations on that and the new album and i look foward to hearing it down in Australia in a little while and you are touring with our good friend Ben Kweller, have you toured with him before?
M: No, but we've met so many times, he's always the nicest person and everyone i ever talk to says he's the nicest person and its so fun and im excited i get to tour with him and i dunno what to say, he's been creative since he probably popped out of his mum, and he's great. And i hope he brings his wife and kids out because he does that when he's on tour in the states and i think that would be really cool to see that.
L: Ah that would be great, and you are doing a few shows in the east coast but you are also going over to Perth for the One Movement festival, and so have you been over to Perth before? I know you have been to Australia before, but i was wondering if you had made it over to Perth last time?
M: Um no i've never been to perth, none of us have. We're excited to see what that looks like. There's that surf spot The Box out there and i've seen picture of that, and it looks frightening.
L: It's a very interesting spot Perth, it's definately like a major city, but its also the most isolated one in the world, so its almost like a country town at the same time.
M: Oh yeah, that's so interesting
L: Yeah i've only been over once so it should be interesting. I imagine when you tour, you get a unique take on each place you visit im sure.
M: Well it all depends if who or you are willing to go on an adventure with a person you meet at a bar who you've know for like an hour and if you make that decision it will always end up being a story you will remember and its definately always different every time and i'm probably gonna do it in Perth.
L: Do you have any good stories to share along those lines?
M: Weeeellllll, um, i'm trying to think of an appropriate one
L: Oh you can be inappropriate, that's fine.
M: One was in St Augustine and the Dr Dog guys joined in and that was some shenadiganz. We were playing foose ball and there was this crazy house tournament and there were people running around and beer pong, which is this known university, white trash drinking game and for some reason Kelly and Brandon just rule at it and its so funny to see people from the south because its like a real thing down there and real serious and watching them school those guys was just hilarious and it was weird to see these California guys doing that kind of stuff
L: Hahah yes, but it sounds like fun
M: Oh its a blast
L: And it must be good to be able to tour with your friends and tour the world, and i didnt get to see you last time and i missed Cold War Kids as well so it was a double disappointment when i missed you last time and i'm really looking forward to see you down here in October
M: I hope you enjoy it. We're so excited to head out there and getting some of your sping. You're in spring right?
L: Yes. You are probably getting the most beautiful time of the year.
M: Aw i'm excited, that's going to be gorgeous. I'm really looking forward to it, you guys are always so accomitable and hospitible and just great and friendly, and so we will get drunk together too and just have a blast.
L: And for people who havn't seen you before what can they expect from your show? What are you going to be bringing us this time around?
M: Well our major bell cry in playing music is just trying to mean it as much as possible and if you can do that, you just be yourself and that should be enough dammit, the songs are good and you're being yourself that much, that's the music i like and that's all i expect and love most people i see the most like Wilco and Dr Dog, you know, and Orchards and Ben Kweller. Yeah, it's great.
Transcription by Nick Lalak