On a miserable Newcastle afternoon with rain teeming down, we were sent to meet indie seaside sensation, the Delays to bring some sunshine to our day! The band who have had hit singles such as ‘Long Time Coming’, ‘Nearer Than Heaven’ and ‘Hey Girl’ are currently on a short tour supporting the Manic Street Preachers. They gave us some of their valuable time to talk about recording, touring, festivals and amongst other things, John Rambo…
On your website you cite the Manics as a major influence; this must be a dream tour for you?
It’s pretty awesome really, I mean they haven’t influenced us musically but they were one of the first bands we were getting into when you discover good music along with the Fanclub and Nirvana. I saw them play Southampton Uni the day Generation Terrorists came out and that was pretty damn exciting as I recall, though they only played for 25 minutes! Should have asked for my money back!
So, who would you say are your influences when it comes to your musical style and sound?
It is different for all of us. The only thing all four of us like is melodic pop really, especially stuff with a very melancholic edge to it, such as the Cocteau Twins, Stone Roses and even more commercial pop stuff like Abba and Prince. Anything melodic we agree on.
When I listen to the album I often get a sense of the Byrds…
Yeah. One thing we have been called before is a ‘techfriendly Byrds’, I think that that is a pretty good description. We’re not a retro act. The root is in the Byrds but it takes a detour through English bands like The Roses and The La’s.
You released your first album last year. What is next for the Delays?
It’s going to be September album number 2. We have recorded most of it down in Bath, spent quite a lot of time there. Most of it is done but as soon as this tour is done we are going to another studio to do another 3 tracks. One of them was written just before we went on tour. We were all a bit apprehensive about playing it but as soon as we heard it we were like….yeah sweet! We knew it was the one! It is called ‘This Towns Religion’ and we are pretty excited about it.
So, will there be any time for festivals this summer?
I think we decided to opt out of them this year. Our main aim is to make this record sound as good as it can. To spread focus to festivals as well perhaps would have been detrimental to the record. So we have been giving writing as much material as possible and just, exploring ourselves really!
Do you enjoy the festivals though? You played Glastonbury last year…
Yeah! Incredible! Glastonbury was a highlight for me, I don’t want to sound ‘rock and roll’ but I did get preposterously wasted the night of Paul McCartney. I woke up soaked in a tent with the worst hangover ever, but this ‘Glastonbury vibe’ gears you up when it’s Showtime. It’s like YEAH GLASTONBURY! and you see crustys (?!) covered in mud, you know you aren’t too bad.
Have you got any festival memories from when you are younger? When you weren’t playing?
Glastonbury ’97 was possibly the muddiest on record. I was literally stuck at one point and I had to be pulled out of the mud by some friendly passers by. I saw Echo and The Bunny Men, who were actually really good.
How about other memories from when you were younger. Who was your favourite action hero as a child for example and why?
I think the ‘why’ would be as a direct result of my fathers influence and I would have to say John Rambo. My dad is not a movie lover, but there seems to be some sort of spiritual connection that he has developed with Rambo, I have never been able to see someone watch a film so many times and yet still find something new every time. So I would definitely say John Rambo.
So finally… your first album is called ‘Faded Seaside Glamour’, what is your favourite seaside?
Well…Los Angeles is pretty good!
Mine is actually in Britain, the Gower Peninsula in South Wales, near a holiday camp I went as a kid. It is heartily recommended! I also used to go to Rhyll in North Wales. All I can remember is being stung by jelly fish and a sign for a night club that says ‘eat drink and boogie woogy!!’, I thought that was pretty cool and what I intend to do in Newcastle tonight!
Hence we left the Delays to prepare for their gig and their boogie woogying! They promised that they would be returning to Newcastle soon with a tour of their new material. Lets all hope that the Rambo influence doesn’t alter their sound too much in the mean time…
Julia Moore & David Jaggs