Sarah catches up with the band outside the venue before the recent show on a chilly March evening. She is with singer Dellacoma Rio (Del), drummer Matt Cook, bassist Rick Reynolds and is later joined by guitarist Art Struck – once he’s finished his pizza…
I notice you have band members from both Australia and USA. Tell me a bit about how you met and when you formed the band.
Del: Mid-2014 we formed. Rick (from Australia) and I (from Australia) had both been in previous bands and Rick was the link with that as we’d been in a side project before he joined the band that Matt and Art used to be in.
Rick: I got a green card in the lottery system so I went over and then I won the big lottery when I met my friend Matt Cook here [ahhhs from all of us!]
Matt: Art and I found him on Craigslist as he was living in Austin at the time and we were in Dallas. We had an ad for a guitar player so when he got in touch we were like “We love your look but you’re in the wrong city and you’re playing the wrong instrument”.
Rick: They said do you wanna change and I said sure. I’ve got nothing else to do! [laughter]
Del: Then both of our bands broke up, essentially, so I called Rick and said I wanna put something new together and he essentially said well I know a good drummer and guitarist…
How is the tour going so far?
Del: It’s been wild really. We’ve toured the US a lot and we’ve toured Australia a couple of times but those are our home countries so this is a completely foreign experience of like walking in and learning what’s expected and what’s normal in completely different countries. We’ve played more countries in the last two weeks than we have in the last three years.
I saw you played a gig in Wales at Hard Rock Hell last week, how did that go?
Del: The gig was awesome, but I wish we’d seen more of Wales! [laughs]
Matt: Yeah it was basically dark the whole time we were there so we saw the festival grounds but that was about it.
Then you’re back in UK in Nottingham for the final tour date on 1st April. That’s a lot of travelling to and fro! How did that schedule come about?
Art: We’re going to hang out with Robin Hood and Mary Magdalene – oh no, that’s the other guy! [lots of laughter] I was inside eating pizza, sorry!
Del: Well it actually all started with the gig in Wales and the Hard Rock Hell festival and then we contacted a promoter here in Spain and so these shows were booked next. And after that is when Belgium came about, and then Germany and then last we got talking to the promoters for the Soto tour for the Scandinavian leg and it worked out to do that right before the rest of the tour.
What city have you enjoyed playing in the most so far, and why?
Matt: Belgium was pretty wild.
Rick: Yeah hard to beat. It was a biker clubhouse and I’m pretty sure you couldn’t have gone in if you weren’t invited.
Art: And I can’t pronounce the name of the city [it was Retie – Ed] but it was sweet.
Rick: It took us a while to get the lovely old lady from the bakery to draw us a map to get there.
Art: And we didn’t have any Euros on us so we couldn’t buy any of those sweet breads. I really wanted to but we’d have had to find a place that takes card – or dollars! [lots of laughter]
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
Art: Are any kids going to hear this?! [laughter]
Del: Probably, for me, the wildest thing that I’ve seen was in Sweden when we woke up on that day off when it was just thick, flat snow everywhere.
Rick: We kind of woke up in the middle of the Blair Witch Project. There was like old cars and an old tour bus all jacked up and we kinda looked in and hoped we didn’t end up like that! But yeah, the Swedish woods are terrifying places.
Art: Yeah we found out while we were walking around that there were bear traps out there and we were like “Oh shit! Well I’m glad I didn’t step on one!”
Del: And then there was the ferry between Finland and Sweden.
Art: Oh yeah we got hammered on there. It was the coldest I’ve ever been in my life. Ate some Swedish meatballs – it was awesome!
What music have you been playing most on the tour bus?
Art: Today we played James Brown. Yeah we played Sex Machine like five times today.
Rick: Yeah “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”
Art: “Get on Up” Yeah, c’mon! Hurghh! [or some such similar sound effect]
Matt: Mostly James Brown, Skynyrd and Joe Walsh. And once we crossed the border from France into Spain we threw on Hotel California, right as the sun was setting and it was a religious experience.
Del: And then we ended up staying in a place that had a Hotel California!
Who are your musical influences?
Art: I would say the big ones are probably Aerosmith, Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden. The ones where we collectively agree.
Rick: It’s pretty diverse from everyone.
Matt: We all come from pretty different places but that’s where we kinda meet in the middle.
And where do you find inspiration for songwriting? Who is the main songwriter?
Rick: From all four of us really. It would have started originally from the music we like but these days it’s more from being on the road.
Art: I think it’s more from channelling life experience. We’ve been out on the road for at least six-seven months out of every year from the last three. And this one will be the same. So it’s kind of drawing more from shit we ‘do’ rather than like ‘oh that’s a sweet Black Sabbath riff’.
What has the response been like to your debut album?
Rick: Well we just got a sweet review from a Spanish magazine, they seemed to dig it. Four out of five stars.
Del: It’s weird because it’s been out for about two and a half years already but it’s only just getting to Europe. So we haven’t really had a whole lot of response from the recording yet. Tonight’s our ninth show in Europe in two weeks and the record’s only really been out here for about two-three weeks. Which is kind of weird for us, but, I guess it will filter through.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
Del: We’ve got a short US tour debuting new material in June, then we’re going straight into the studio to record our second record. And then in August we’re back over for just a few European dates.
Art: Germany and Spain mostly for now but I’m sure some other stuff will pop up.
Del: And then the rest of the year after that will be releasing the record.
Art: And paying off credit cards! [laughter]