Last year, the UK’s Deluka came crashing into Brooklyn with local label Vel Records and haven’t been able to stop the momentum since. The indie electronica band has found a special place for themselves with sonic references to anything coming out of Italians Do It Better and fellow UK rockers The Joy Formidable… and like their bio says, 2010 is the year Deluka just may well become your favorite band.
Deluka will be taking over NY for the next few nights with shows starting tomorrow at Ella Lounge followed by performances at Cameo, Piano’s, and Nublu (in that order). We’ve got a pair of tickets for one lucky reader to check them out on 5/20 in Williamsburg at Cameo Gallery, all you have to do is go comment on our Facebook thread for a chance to win.
FREEwilly got Deluka to answer some questions about their Brooklyn faves, how danceable songs can have melancholy lyrics, and that Franz Ferdinand is still kinda cool. Check out the rest of the interview after the jump, as well as the video for Deluka’s “Cascade”
First things first– the band is named after a hooker. Why?
Kris Kovacs: Well, as Bobbie Gillespie once said; ‚”Everyone’s a Prostitute”…and musicians, well they’re the biggest whores out there. Oh, and we needed a band name. One of us had just caught Pretty Woman on the TV, and we’d never noticed before, but Kit De Luca had ‘casually’ spent all the rent money on drugs! I mean, it’s not even made a big deal of, barely even touched on, which we found strange. Plus she had all the best one liners, and was generally more bad-ass than Roberts’ character. Like, who shouts after a friend ‚”work it baby, work it!”? Genius!
How did Deluka come to be? And how do you feel your sound has changed since your beginnings?
Ellie Innocenti: We all really met at the Jug of Ale pub in Moseley Birmingham. Kris used to be the DJ there, and Steve and I played there all the time in our respective bands. Dan used to come and get drunk on a Wednesday as it was a Pound a Pint. We all grew up at this place, we would watch and support each other. Kris was also making instrumental electronic music and needed a vocalist and someone to develop the songs, where as I was writing songs on an acoustic guitar but had always been into electronic and indie bands, so we both had what the other needed. We set up a ramshackle studio in my bedroom, and used guitars and toy keyboards to write music.
You guys have been known to experiment quite a bit with your sound, like sampling children’s instruments and turning them into parts of danceable, and dare I say grown up, electro-pop songs. How did that start?
KK: It started with Ellie remembering she had an old keyboard in the loft that she’d had as a kid and sampling the beats from it. We slowed down the tempo and recorded all it had to offer into the computer and chopped it all up into separate hits. A bit of programming later and we had the makings of a tune. Then we started looking around for anything else we could find. We’d go to garage and car-boot sales and pick up toy keyboards. It almost became part of the artistic process, we set parameters like; they couldn’t be too new, or more than Four Pounds. We’d run home all excited about hearing what sounds it had, and what the ‘new song’ could be. The thing is sometimes the keyboards didn’t even make it onto the finished record; they just gave us the inspiration to start writing. Other times it would be the main hook. We used one most recently on a Band of Skulls remix we were asked to do actually.
You’ve done some acoustic sets recently, for radio and otherwise– how does Deluka’s sound translate?
EI: Well I cut my teeth playing my songs on an acoustic guitar when I was a kid, because that was the way I wrote them… so it doesn’t seem so strange to me now, and I think the songs are strong enough without all the smoke and mirrors of production and electronics to still come across. It’s a good way of giving radio stations a little taste of Deluka in its most basic form too. If I’m honest though, I much prefer us when we are on stage playing the songs as we intended them– loud!
Do you think your UK fans differ from the fans here in Brooklyn, the home of your record label?
KK: Brooklyn fans really like to have a dance, and we love that, we are essentially a dance band with guitars. I mean, don’t get me wrong-‚Äì they dance in the UK too, but in Brooklyn they know how to party. I don’t really know any other differences, if there is one thing we’ve discovered it’s that we’ve got a varied fan base!
I heard you guys were really impressed with Fiore the other night, any other Williamsburg establishments you’ve been happy to discover?
EI: Yeah there are couple of places we keep going back to like Fabiannes for Brunch and Tai Thai for dinner. I’m a fan of Brooklyn Adorned having got my most recent tattoo there, and we’ve had some pretty late nights at Union Pool.
When it comes to electro-based music, people tend to immediately assume the songs are somewhat joyful since they inspire dancing– is that true?
EI: Possibly, people may automatically assume that, but it’s actually quite the opposite for us. Most of our songs are lyrically quite dark, and have come from a place of ill-feeling or wrong doing. It’s always cathartic to go and dance away your troubles to a melancholy pop song, and you can definitely do that to Deluka.
“Sleeping Is Impossible” was used for the recent installment of Grand Theft Auto– who is the song about?
EI: Oooh I don’t name names! I don’t like to rob people of an imagination either. I will say though ‘sleep’ or lack of, has always been a recurrent theme in my lyrics, this is because anything that tends to keep you awake at night is generally the stuff that effects your psyche, the important things in life, love, hate, anger, passion, worry, the list goes on!
What are three albums you can’t live without?
EI: This can change on a daily basis, but things I will always come back to are; ‘Hunkydory’-David Bowie, ‘Purple Rain’- Prince and ‘Parallel lines’-Blondie.
KK: Do compilations and ‘Best ofs’ count? ‘The Best Northern Soul Floor Shakers…Ever!’, ‘Dirty Hits’ by Primal Scream and ‘Franz Ferdinand’ by ‘Franz Ferdinand’.
And finally, if you weren’t making music what profession would you like to take a stab at?
KK: I guess I would be a graphic designer, I am now of sorts. I’ve done and still do all the Deluka graphics, flyers, myspace and record sleeve, etc. Maybe I’d be an artist or do something with moving image, or put out a rare ‘zine. I don’t know, something considered portentous no doubt!
EI: I would most likely be using my brain to write literature. If I’m not writing music I like to write stories, or using my hands to create avant-garde hairstyles on people, like Edward Scissorhands!