Friday, 26 April 2013

#92: Catching Up With...Delamere

There's not much information on the internet about Stoke/Leek based quartet Delamere. Currently setting the unsigned circuit and the blogosphere abuzz with their anthemic and infectious stadium sized tunes the band are certainly destined for big things. Recent support slots for hotly tipped indie acts such as Peace, Palma Violets and Dog Is Dead has done nothing to hamper their credibility and it's surely only a matter of time before they're snapped by an eager label.

New single 'Yeah asserts a melodic melancholy over the first half of the song, with singer James Fitford sounding particularly fraught at times. A jangly guitar keeps the song from getting too pessimistic and an explosive chorus completely changes the feel of the song turning in to something uplifting and emphatic; previous single heart on the other hand is nothing but uplifting. Bringing to mind the blistering emo bands of yesteryear such as Sunny Day Real Estate a hazy guitar shimmers and gleams behind Fitford's vocals which are his strongest to date here.

While the bold nuances of each single they bring out might not appeal to everyone's tastes, it asserts the band as something more than “just a band”. Sure they might just be four lads with instruments, but the music that they make upholds a majestic quality rarely seen in unsigned music. There's an underlying professionalism upheld by the band too, which is made all the better by a complete lack of arrogance, something which could easily have gone the other way given their recent successes. The energy and the emotion that has gone in to Delamere's song writing is palpable across the board; if that transfers to their stage show as well as it does on record then we can expect big things from this band, and soon.

I caught up with the lads to try and find out a little more about them:

The first thing that appealed to me about your band, before even the music, was the name. Given that I'd spend hours walking in Delamere Forest with my family as a kid, it's not really any surprise. Does it evoke the same kind of nostalgia in you as a band or are named as such for another reason?

James: When a forming a band, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to come up with a name that everyone can agree on. We decided on Delamere for the mystery that surrounds it, firstly a forest can be a magical place and there's a child in all of us that enjoys climbing a tree or a playing in such places. Secondly the word Delamere sounds great it translates to "Of the lake" in French.

You've pretty much released a single a month since January (we'll forget about Feb). Any plans of releasing an EP or full length album any time soon?

James: We all look forward to releasing our music, whether it being a single for download, or a live acoustic video on Youtube. We don't like the idea of things getting stale or starting to feel like its not moving. We've all spoken about releasing an EP, we are looking at releasing this at the end of summer, we also plan to have a few more singles lined up before this.

Ash: I think sometimes with EPs some tracks can get overshadowed by others, we are really proud of each track we release and like to give people time to really dig and get into each track.

There's a distinct difference in your sound to the usual guitar-based booze-fuelled indie you find splashed across the pages of NME. How would you describe your sound?

James: I personally have never been a fan of the "booze-fueled indie" bands and I’m pretty certain neither of the other guys have/are, when writing our music we don't actively try to create a certain style or sound, but we all know when something sounds right or clicks within a certain jam or song idea. To try and describe the sound, I always find this a tricky question, if I had to answer it now, I'd say its a wall of guitars with a melodic hook, with a little eeriness for good measure.

There's a fantastic remix of your track 'Vampire' on the band's Soundcloud page. How did that come about?

Will: It's been our plan from the outset to include remixes, professional artwork, videos and other added extras with our releases. After recording and producing Vampire ourselves I had a few of my own ideas which would have probably been too abstract to include in the single, so decided to get to work on a remix of my own. It came together pretty well and within a couple of weeks we had ourselves our first remix. The first of many remixes to come.

There's an element of your music which I personally would say is indicative of early emo bands such as Sunny Day Real Estate or JeJune, but I'm assuming you wouldn't immediately cite emo bands as some of your influences. Who are?

Tom: I wouldn't say I have any direct influences in my playing styles in the band. Nothing that I think 'Oh I need to play it like this.' I learnt to play the guitar and bass as a teenager and just apply whatever that style morphed into now to the songs. I just listen out and instinctively some hooks come into my head that I try and articulate (and I have to do this pretty quick before someone else tries to write some bass line for me.) I think there may be some influences on the overall sound more driven by the choice of guitar pedals or instruments, but no one band we set out to be like which is why I think it's also difficult to pin point a band we sound like.)

James: I wouldn't write it off as an inspiration so quickly, I know myself and Ash (Guitar) grew up listening to bands like Brand New, Dashboard Confessional and even Death Cab, as a band our music tastes are pretty eclectic and aren't ruled by any one genre. Only this morning I went from listening to Rod Stewart to sticking on De-loused In The Comatorium by The Mars Volta, it actually merged together quite nicely, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was a collaboration on the cards. Actual influences I can say we all pull from at the minute are Local Natives and Foals, Local natives just for the great harmonies and delicate sounds, and the latter for that bit inside us all that wants to write something a little different, odd sounds and time signatures etc.

Ash: Those band names sound great, never heard of either of them! But if you think they sound like us its safe to say I will probably like them!

Question I ask every band now: I'm sure you've managed to blag your fair share of free beer at some of the shows that you play. What would be in your ideal rider and why?

Tom: Given the Delamere band pre gig ritual is usually fast food and hunting a usable, non-tetanus requiring toilet in a nearby pub, I guess they might be on the list.

James: With all the obvious boxes ticked (beer wine water etc), I’m still yet to decide whether I’m a sweet or savoury kinda guy, it would have to be something I know I can eat regardless of how I feel, the obvious choice is a big bag of Maoam, particularly them little balls, cant get enough of them. A good cheese board has got to be on there, some real stinky stuff!! Ash will eat anything so Iknow he'll be happy, if there is money involved, I literally mean anything.

Ash: Yeah anything, if I get dared

On your social networking sites you come across as fairly light-hearted and seem to not take yourselves too seriously yet your music seems fairly serious and candid. Why do you think that is?

Tom: You've got to keep it enjoyable so it doesn't become a chore. If it becomes too serious it breeds conflict and fall outs and so far, touch wood, we've been pretty okay together so far. It's about creating a productive atmosphere conducive to coming up with some good music and not be afraid to try obscure things or make mistakes. There are a lot of bands that come across as serious and unapproachable and that reputation can be counter productive when you're on show either gigging or drumming up interest.

Ash: It's all about the banter, with some bands they only ever post, “Listen to this. Look at this...” You have to mix it up.

Dick fingers? Juvenile yet ultimately hilarious. Care to elaborate?

Tom: Yeah, can you?!
James: [laughs] This came about at one of our old rehearsal rooms. Tthe walls we're there to be drawn on/spat at or what ever took your fancy, and I drew around my hand with a marker on the wall right behind where Tom's bass amp stood, the next time we had a practice I noticed my drawing of my hand was hideous and made it look like I had massively fat fingers, I then decided to make every finger look like a penis and scrawled 'Tommy Dick Fingers' underneath, done!!

You recently supported Dog is Dead at the Sugarmill in Stoke, that's got to have been a pretty decent milestone for you. Who would you most like to support, or even have support you?

Tom: Being realistic, it's bands that you could expect to see play at the venues we might also. New bands on their way up, or those that have been quiet for a while and are promoting a new album. It was mad to see Palma Violets splashed over the NME days before we played with them, and also to see them and Peace go off on the NME tour shortly after our support slots. For me, Thirteen Senses were unlucky not to have made it bigger than they did and I'd love to get on a show with them when they turn up again, or Planes (new side project of Steve Forrest - Placebo drummer.) I'd love to grace a decent festival stage knowing that some big bands are also on the same bill.
Ash: We have been really lucky with supporting PEACE, Palma and DID. For me I really enjoy supporting up and coming bands. I would really love to support Local Natives or Alt-J as I’m a massive fan.

You seem to have set a number of blogs abuzz over the last few weeks. How did that come about?

James: We entered into the road to Blissfields festival competition a couple of months back and got through to the national final in London on the 6/05/13, winning this would see us play the festival. Shortly after getting through to the London gig we noticed a little more traffic on twitter and follows from blog writers, we've been responding to each of them and have been lucky enough to have a few fans of what we do promoting us off their own backs, which we are hugely grateful for.

Stuff must be picking up for you as a band. Where would you like to see yourselves in five years time?

Tom: LA. Lounging by the pool interrupted by studio time, interviews and flying round the globe gigging.
James: Recording music and playing shows, its what we all love to do! To get up and do it and call it your job would be pretty special!(Will)As James says, to play and create music for a living would be brilliant.
Ash: Being paid to eat random things.

Delamere play: Surya, London - 6th May
Castle Hotel, Manchester - 30th May


All images courtesy of BT Williams