The New York-based band, Delta Spirit, has been on the rise in the music world throughout the last few years.
While on tour throughout this past year, Delta Spirit has managed to play some of the largest music festivals in the country. Their unique style of eccentric blues and rasp, along with stellar live performances, is what can be attributed to their success today.
I had the opportunity to speak with Matt Vasquez, lead vocals and guitar, about his and the rest of the band's time at Austin City Limits this past weekend. While also seeing what it is that helped get them there.
XP: So, tell me about ACL for you and the band.
MV: It was great. I climbed to the top of the stage during our set, and from there it was very high up. And I love Zilker Park--it's really pretty. I grew up playing soccer there as a kid. The rain stopped before Neil (Young and Crazy Horse) played. So that worked out awesome. I got to see some of my heroes play some of my favorite songs. What more could you ask for? A weekend in Texas, I mean, especially in Austin.
XP: While on stage, you and your band have a strong way of connecting with the audience; describe that experience of what it feels like to be on stage.
MV: It's basically like you kind of become a cheerleader for everyone to have a good time. You have to be kind of engaging. There's something about a room that's all together and involved though. It's more than just a performance or art thing. A lot of times I think in our culture we don't know how to listen to rock and roll anymore because we're so use to staring at it like it's some picture or watching it on television. That's the magic of and rock and roll. The whole pot of trying to not let that happen.
XP: Rumor has it that the band's name was inspired by a man named "Uncle Red." Is that true? Did he have much influence?
MV: (laughs) That was actually made up. We all invented it years ago. The funny thing is though is that we keep getting the question now.
XP: Speaking of where Delta Spirit derives--how would you describe your career now compared to how it was in the beginning?
MV: It's all so crazy. I try to remind myself of it all because you work really hard for a long time to get there. The same thing doesn't always give you the same thrill unless you take for what it's worth. You have to constantly remind yourself for how lucky you are to play music for the small things, then the big things come along and it's wonderful, it's just awesome. I can remember playing shows in bowling alleys in front of five people and thinking it was the greatest thing on earth.
XP: As for now: Lollapalooza, Coachella, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits; what's it like performing in leagues such as those?
MV: I consider it to be free home videos. How they all go to Youtube. We've gotten to go see acts you know that you never would get too, get to hang out with our friends. Like, my buddy, Ian St. Pe from the Black Lips. We were just chilling in the morning at Bonnaroo.
XP: Well where does the inspiration to write the songs that have put you there come from?
MV: Living. People. Everything. Life. The Usual.
XP: What can you see the success of your latest album, self-titled, Delta Spirit, leading your careers towards?
MV: Well, really just hopeful we'll get to do another record. We're all going to Australia soon, starting the Fall tour, an Austin City Limits Live taping early next month, Houston and Dallas around Texas also. Man, it's going to be so much fun. Maybe we'll hit Europe again.
XP: What's one thing you'd like for every fan to leave Delta Spirit's show with?
MV: That we love them, and that we're so appreciative. Especially the folks that come and have seen us so many times, and still love our band so much.