Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Delta Spirit’s Vasquez opens door into band background

cara robbins

Americana rock group Delta Spirit returns to Austin on Friday night at Emo’s East in support of their latest self-titled release. (Photo Courtesy of Concord Music Group)

Delta Spirit — it’s a name that has taken over the indie and Americana rock scene recently. Formed in San Diego, CA, the band’s vibrant sound is a reflection of the city that raised them. There is a soulful backbone to their music. Raised on Texas-bred blues and Motown soul, vocalist and guitarist Matt Vasquez (originally from Austin) strides high with a vocal delivery that seems effortless. Such is exemplified in the band’s latest, self-titled release. From the dance-friendly “Tear It Up,” to the surf-rock “Otherside,” Vasquez confidently discusses spirituality and other themes, backed by powerful guitars and driving drums.

Vasquez took the time to speak with The Daily Texan about recording their latest album, influences and finding memorable records at Austin’s very own Waterloo Records.

The Daily Texan: I read in another interview that bassist Jon Jameson would rather be frozen to death than burned alive. Which one would you choose?
Matthew Vasquez: I’m going to go with burned alive. It takes a lot longer to freeze to death, and I wouldn’t want to go through that pain. I wouldn’t want to be cooked to death, or anything like that. Give me a nice burn, and I’m good.

DT: There is plenty of soul behind the band’s music. On songs like “Trashcan,” I feel the Motown and gospel influences. Would you say that that type of music has had a large influence on you?
Vasquez: Yeah. Actually recently, it’s been a lot of music that has soul, but with a modern twist to it, like Prince. His album 1999 is just crazy soulful. TV on the Radio is another great example. I think our latest record is headed in that direction more.

DT: How would you say your latest release is different from past albums Ode to Sunshine and History From Below? Was the songwriting or recording process different from those albums?
Vasquez: From a songwriting standpoint, it started the same, but we went further with the medium of the song and having it be genre-specific. For example, say you hear a song and you’re like, “Oh, well that’s a country song.” We would take that song and record it to where it sounds completely different, taking things from a familiar place while creating something new that doesn’t immediately sound like where it came from.

DT: You guys did SXSW this year, and now you’re returning to perform at Emo’s East. Are you all looking forward to it?
Vasquez: We are definitely anticipating our performance. I know it’s one of the shows I’m looking most forward to playing. I grew up in Austin, and my mom lives in Dripping Springs, so whenever I’m here, it definitely feels like home. During SXSW we had an in-store performance at Waterloo Records, which was really fun. I love Waterloo Records, I’ve gotten so many weird records from their recommended wall.

DT: What would you say is the weirdest record you’ve bought from Waterloo?
Vasquez: It would definitely have to be a compilation album called, God’s Got It. It features this reverend, Reverend Charlie Jackson, and a bunch of gospel recordings from the south. It’s this guy [Jackson] with a little Fender Princeton amp and a Jaguar guitar, simultaneously preaching and singing. Like while he’s singing, he’s saying things like, “Oh I got a stroke, and I couldn’t speak!” and then he goes into a guitar solo.

DT: You should try and tour with him, or see if he would be cool with a collaboration.
Vasquez: Well, he had a stroke in the ‘70s, so he might have gone home to be with Jesus. Someone that I would like to do a tour with who’s hot in the [gospel] game, is a guy named Wayne Cochran. He pulled an Al Green and went to ministering [after his music career]. He has like this four-foot-tall white pompadour, dresses in Elvis suits and sings like Wilson Pickett.

Published on Friday, April 13, 2012 as: Delta Spirits discuss spirit behind band

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Delta Spirit’s Vasquez opens door into band background