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Q&A With Ekhi Lopetegi of Delorean

Basque-ing in Success

Taking the energy of punk, and combining it with the community of dance music, Delorean has a following that continues to grow. You can join their party at Popscene on June 10th. SF Station spoke with lead singer Ekhi Lopetegi in a phone interview.

SF Station (SFS): You’re getting a Ph.D in philosophy. What kind of philosophy are you interested in?

Ekhi Lopetegi (EL): A lot of things, but mainly I’d say Michel Foucault.

SFS: Crime and Punishment made me so depressed.

EL: I think it’s one of the most important books of the last century, to be honest.

SFS: Did you get into punk music because of that?

EL: No. As a teenager, I would just go to hardcore shows and punk shows in my local scene in the Basque country. That’s how I got into music.

SFS: The reason I said punk was that in the past, punk had an underground, anti-establishment undertone to it, and I think Foucault is anarchistic and nihilistic.

EL: Our approach to music has never been political. Growing up in Basque country, you know getting into the hardcore scene, stepping outside of the mainstream culture and the rules that govern the Basque cultural world, was already a political statement that we’re not stating but implicitly we’re making.

SFS: Could you help the readers in San Francisco understand the distinction between the Basque and Barcelona music scene?

EL: Basque country is very cool. Cool things happen within the margins, but it’s ruled by some sort of social-reality conflict, and everything is pretty still. Whereas Barcelona it’s more free, while at the same time it’s just another city governed by rules.

SFS: I read that while you were in Barcelona the transition to electro music came from you being fed up with the club scene. What was your reaction exactly?

EL: We were into house music at the very beginning of the band. The band was started mainly because we wanted to make something different that was not hardcore in terms of typical style. Then we discovered 80s bands like New Order. I think it was very important that they were a punk band that discovered the dance scene and started to use synthesizers and dance beats.

SFS: Was there ever a particular moment where you realized you wanted to move toward dance music?

EL: No, I think it was more about listening to the music and really feeling it. It really makes you move, it moves you, but because it forces you to react and dance in a certain way; instead of like listening to a folk introspective track that embraces you and you think about yourself in your bedroom. It’s been about building a community.

SFS: With your new album Subiza, I’ve heard you describe it as more complex.

EL: It’s not complex in terms of not being easy to listen to. We didn’t want to lose immediacy. But for us Aryton Senna [2009 EP] was harmless, too clean, and flat. We didn’t want to make obvious pop songs.

SFS: Was there any concern that with the popularity from the EP you could lose fans by moving in a different direction?

EL: Well, not really, to be honest. When all the good reviews happened, we already had the album finished.

SFS: Where do you think you’re going next?

EL: Once you know how to do something, then you need to know what else you can do. Maybe if we talk again later this year, I’ll give you more hints of where we’re going to, but right now I feel like with the LP done, we’ve been working two years with this same method, this technique, and this way. What’s next? I don’t know, but something else.

Delorean performs at Popscene on June 10th. The show starts at 10pm. Tickets are $12.