Like a budding flower waiting to ripen, Delorean has explored many musical aspects, becoming producers in their own right with original tracks while constantly remixing other bands and raising their ceiling for endless possibilities.
After making a name for themselves with remixes of the XX and Franz Ferdinand, Delorean came to the states in 2007 for their first U.S. tour and a performance at Austin’s SXSW Festival. Since then, the band has been busy with three eclectic albums under their belt. With each release, Delorean seems to tighten their sound, narrowing down a recipe with danceable indie rock tracks with ambient drumbeats and reverberant vocals.
We caught up with bassist Ekhi Lopetegi to talk about touring in the South in extreme winter weather, the making of Apar, and the Grammy’s.
Delorean plays the Independent on February 9.
How difficult is it to tour in the South right now?
We had to cancel a show. The roads are so bad we couldn’t make it to Birmingham so we’re headed to New Orleans. It’s weird because it’s not common in the South. We can’t wait to make it to California. The weather was horrible in New York and Philadelphia. The shows were good but it was cold as hell. We want to go where it’s warmer. It get’s cold in Spain, but never this extreme.
Your latest album, Apar, seems much more toned down and organic compared to previous efforts. What was so different about the recording and songwriting on this album?
We wanted to introduce guitars, bass and drums—things we didn’t use on the previous works because everything was computer based. We made the songs by clicking on our mouse, which was cool because we learned how to use software but we missed the more traditional elements. We wanted to integrate the instruments without getting rid of the computer. It was much more organic, but we didn’t want to abandon our sound.
There’s a much broader indie band sense to it with a lot of live female vocals. Has this opened more doors, musically, for you?
We always used vocals as a technique, and most the vocals sounded like female vocals because the pitch was so high. So in the future, we wanted natural singers to work with on harmonies. We decided to work with a singer. I’m not sure it opens doors but it adds new layers to the music we make and makes it more complex.
Are you currently touring with a female singer?
We’ve had singers with us during festivals, but unfortunately we couldn’t take any on tour with us. We want them on stage whenever we can and when the situation allows it. We want to work on the live show more and add a singer, but that’s something you can’t always do.
How does the music scene in Spain compare to the United States?
The shows are pretty much the same, but what’s different is the scale—the amount of people in Spain. In Barcelona and Madrid there’s good bands and music, and always something interesting happening, but Los Angeles and New York the amount of people working on music is so big it’s a completely different thing. You always know someone because the networking is so intense. In Spain, the scenes are interesting but it’s not as intense because it’s fewer people.
The time scale is also completely different. We’re pretty used to playing at 2am and we play a lot of club shows, and then we play festivals that are daytime and don’t end til 6am. Time schedules are different, but everything is normal for us.
Did you watch the Grammy’s?
We didn’t watch them, but of course I was online the morning after checking twitter and websites because everyone was reviewing them. I thought it was fun. I watched the Daft Punk Medley with Stevie wonder and thought it was cool. These kinds of award shows aren’t so big in Spain because we aren’t awake when they happen. I only watch them when I’m in the United States, but they are fun. This year, they had some good acts.
You gained a lot of press through your remixes of the XX and Franz Ferdinand. Have you ever thought about working as a producer for another artist?
That’s something that we have in mind and we want to try in the future. We really like and enjoy working on artists vocal takes and the beats and music. We write our songs based on production ideas, we’ve never tried it before but it’s something we could achieve. The way we work is already close the way a producer works.
Anyone in particular?
There’s so many, maybe a nice female vocalist. I don’t really have name, but I’d like to make beats and see some good singers sing on them. There’s so many, I wouldn’t be able to say a name. You have a beat and sometimes you look for this type of vocalist because the song calls for it, sometimes you’re looking for something else. Of course Delorean is a band and that’s how we want to keep working, but as a producer you’re free to double up your ideas and call the right people.
Have you thought about making another appearance at SXSW this year, or any other festivals in the states?
We did it last year. I particularly like that festival, but the first time we were there was so much fun that I don’t think it will happen again. It was the first time we played in the States. It won’t happen the way it happened, and that’s life. I wouldn’t want to repeat it. We approach music in a different way now. We’d like to focus on the studio work instead of endless touring.
If you had a real life Back to the Future Delorean, which era would you travel to and why?
I would probably go to ancient Greece, to Athens B.C. That was a fun place to be. I’ve watched movies of the Wild West, but I’d go somewhere more extreme. The Greek gods and the Greek tragedy and the parties, it was a great place to be. Somebody once said they’d rather be poor in Athens than rich elsewhere. That’s just my answer. The other guys in the band probably have different answers.