A few weeks from now, The Delta Riggs will embark on one of their most resounding tours to date. Although the tour is set to cover a lion’s share of untouched pastures, there is a sense of familiarity lurking. The lure of regional crowds is one of bass player Monte’s favourite aspects of playing – and rightly so.
So, what is it exactly that makes a band think regionally on such a grand scale? “I had an epiphany about it last night and I realised it – they don’t sweat the big stuff – they’re so appreciative” he mentions. “We had these dudes hanging out in our dressing room one night – they were so stoked. These blokes walked in with no filter – they were just having the best time. That sort of stuff doesn’t have anywhere else but regional shows.”
Whilst some artists tend to steer clear of regional centres, it’s clear The Delta Riggs have found a go-to on the touring front – “Country folk just seem so content with what they have – that’s why we love it“. Concluding our conversation on the topic is Monte’s chuckle-inducing analogy, “Touring regionally is like stepping off a spaceship onto mars – you don’t know what you’re gonna see”.
The Active Galactic tour, which spans across three months and almost two dozen appearances, celebrates the release of their third studio LP of the same name. Having already teased the smooth 80s/funk vibe of the album through singles ‘Surgery Of Love‘ and ‘Never Seen This Before‘, you’d be right in assuming this LP features a reworked and restructured creative approach. Insightful in his explanation, Monte mentions that Active Galactic will be their most conscious effort yet – “This is the first record where we really thought about every individual part. If you have to think about if it should be there, don’t play it”. The LP definitely isn’t an example of searching for musical answers or sticking to routine, but an example of letting the vibe do the work, as Monte explains via a simple ruleset “Keep on the groove you’re on, only play what needs to be there, and if it doesn’t need to be there, then fuck it off.” It’s simple, but damn, is it effective. “For us personally, I think we’ll continue making music like that“, he says.
The soon to be released LP was recorded in just under a fortnight when the team combined after separate ventures writing the albums content, “The album was recorded all in 9 days – the way it was done, the songs were written so sporadically so it was frantic” Monte explains. “Elliot and Rudy wrote some in LA, Elliot and I wrote some in my living room.”
Meeting your fellow bandmates, notepad in hand, with only 9 days to record a full LP would be daunting for most people, but for The Delta Riggs, it’s a challenge worth accepting, “The first time in the studio was the first time we played them all together. It gave it that urgency – which was cool pressure. Dipz Zebazios was done over two weekends, which was a bit more of a marathon.” He adds, “It wasn’t as rushed, even though it felt like it went for no time at all.”
This self-induced pressure cooker scenario has quite often resulted in better outcomes for the group, but this time around we now know that it’s almost as much a part of the groups makeup as one of its members – “We’ve sat down in a room and written songs for hours, but that shits never really worked for us.” Monte declares. “We’ve worked under that pressure for so long – it’s the best part and most exciting bit”. Like any good band mate, there’s always someone around to keep you on your toes, admits Monte – “If it’s me Elliot and Rudy, I’m always like ‘look I can’t fuck this up’ because he’s gonna be pissed off. So it’s like pushing each other to walk that tight-rope that brings out that energy. We’re pretty mental.”
With touring being the major pillar of The Delta Riggs’ toil, Monte admits that studio time is one of his most cherished activities with the band “It’s always fun playing shows – that’s one of the best parts, but I really like being in the studio because you don’t get to do that every day.”
Catch The Delta Riggs as they make their way up, down and around the country from September 23 – which gives you almost an entire month to burn through your copy of Active Galactic and have to go out and buy another.
The Active Galactic Tour
Presented by triple j
w/ Gideon Bensen
Friday September 23 – Prince of Wales, Bunbury
Saturday September 24 – The Rosemount Hotel, Perth
Thursday September 29 – The Whalers Hotel, Warranambool
Friday September 30 – The Gov, Adelaide
Saturday October 1 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
Sunday October 3 – SSA Club, Albury
Thursday October 6 – Kay St, Traralgon
Friday October 7 – The Grand Hotel, Mornington
Saturday October 8 – Westernport Hotel, Phillip Island
Wednesday October 19 – Academy Night Club, Canberra
Friday October 21 – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Saturday October 22 – Torquay Hotel, Torquay
Thursday October 27 – Wollongong Uni, Wollongong
Friday October 28 – The Metro Theatre, Sydney
Saturday October 29 – Banana Field Music and Arts Festival, Coffs Harbour
Friday November 4 – The Entrance Leagues Club, Bateau Bay
Saturday November 5 – Mona Vale Hotel, Mona Vale
Thursday November 10 – The Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay
Friday November 11 – The Triffid, Brisbane
Saturday November 12 – SOLBAR, Sunshine Coast
Active Galactic is available for pre-order now from thedeltariggs.bandtshirts.com.
Out August 26 on Inertia Music.