Without a doubt, one of 2014’s most exciting discoveries was The Delta Riggs. From their 2013 release of Hex.Lover.Killer, they have worked relentlessly and become one of the country’s most hyped exports. Touring constantly, they somehow managed to release their follow up album a year later in the form of Dipz Zebazios, which saw the guys pushing themselves well and truly out of their comfort zones to deliver a genre-blending album encompassing psychedelia, brit rock, pop and even a bit of hip-hop. They’ve toured Australia, Europe and the UK, supported Kasabian and are now touring with the Foo Fighters and Rise Against before they head over to the US for SXSW. After that, they’ll be back for Groovin’ The Moo – no rest for the wicked!
We had a chat with frontman Elliot Hammond, who after expressing his concern for how dangerously hot Brisbane was that day (“It’s so fucking hot, I don’t know how you manage! It’s very dangerous living in these conditions!”) let us know a bit more about his thoughts on playing in a stadium, what he does in his downtime (not much) and building a tiki bar for Groovin’ The Moo!
Are you excited for The Foo Fighters tour?
Yeah, we are! We just came from Tasmania, and we did a festival there which was a nice little warm-up for it. It’s really exciting!
These crowds would be the biggest you guys have played at…
Maybe, yeah. We did a stadium a few years ago but this one will be bigger!
Is it strange or exciting to be playing to such a massive audience? I guess the Kasabian tour was pretty big too so you’ve certainly got that experience!
I was more excited about the Kasabian tour if I’m gonna be honest, I’m more of a fan of that band. This is a whole different machine though. We aren’t really doing anything different to prepare ourselves, we just kind do what we do. The only thing that’s different is we’ve got more amps, so we will be much louder! Rise Against are on the bill too so we’re going to see if we can be louder than them!
I’m always unsure about stadium shows because they don’t have the same kind of intimacy or connection with smaller shows – what do you think about that?
Yeah, fully. I have done some stadiums before, and I completely agree. The crowds are so far away and it’s a completely different style of show. When you’re playing small club shows and the crowd is right there, you can feel that energy. The capacity of the Brisbane show is like 55, 000 people so to project that energy that far is a totally different kettle of fish! I don’t know how do that. I think you need lycra.
I saw Eminem there, and you’re right – it is massive!
Was he in lycra though? Was Slim Shady in lycra?
No, I don’t think he was
Well how’d he do it then?!
I actually left early and went to the pub anyway, so I can’t be sure what he was wearing.
Really? You don’t like Eminem?
I went to see Kendrick Lamar, and when he finished I realised I didn’t really like Eminem so I left with my friend and drank beer until it finished!
That’s way classier, going to see Kendrick Lamar. You made the right decision!
You’ve already got a pretty packed year with this tour, then SXSW, then GTM – do you guys have any downtime?!
We don’t have a weekend off until May. We had a week and a half of downtime and I just went home. I live with my girlfriend but I was just being super boring, just trying to not go out. I didn’t take any calls from my friends because I knew I’d end up at a bar, so yeah I was pretty boring. When you go away so much, when you get home you just want to bum around the house because you never get to do it. You don’t have any responsbilities. Rudy has been recording a couple of different bands though, he’s an engineer. He has been pretty busy. He looks quite fatigued!
I wanted to talk about your album now, Dipz Zebazios – it was quite critically acclaimed. I loved it, it was definitely one of my favourites from last year!
That’s alright! There is quite a noticeable difference in musical maturity between that and Hex.Lover.Killer though – did you WANT to be more mature?
“Mature” *laughs* You make it sound like an aged cheese!
Well, you’re all grown up with this one! Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just be carefree and not care about it, but then maybe we wouldn’t have critically acclaimed albums!
Well that’s strange because I actually think that the first one is darker and more serious than the second one. The new one is more carefree and more of a party record! With the first one, we had years and years of songs to choose from, but when we did the second one we just started writing it immediately after Hex.Lover.Killer. The songs came around in about 6 months. As far as maturity goes, I don’t know if it’s that or if it was just us trying to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. I mean really out there and be really uncomfortable. That was an unsettling thing for the band and a lot of times, it was good but it was bad.
Why was it bad?
It was bad because we had people that were involved in it starting to question what we were doing. People were so far out of their comfort zone that they kind of didn’t get it. Other people could see it and see the direction it was going in and told us to stick with it. Tristan, who was playing in the band for a few years, he admitted to me he couldn’t really see where it was going. He couldn’t see the end goal. But sometimes you just have to keep pushing, and pushing through until it makes sense.
Exactly right. I think you are one of the rare bands to have an awesome second album. You’ve debunked the myth about the second album!
Yeah, well it’s the awesome second album which is the precursor to the fucking epic third album!
You’ve gotta keep pushing now! How much further can you get out of that comfort zone?
Well, it’s easy now! We pushed ourselves so far out of our comfort zones that it’s not a challenge. Well, it’s all a challenge actually but we’ve become accustomed to feeling uncomfortable and that’s something any artist, no matter what capacity, should do. If you’re feeling unsettled, you’re usually onto a good thing!
I specifically loved No Friends – the hip hop influences are so rad! Will there be a Delta Riggs rap album in the future?
Well we’re about to release a record for Record Store Day, and it’s got about six or seven unreleased tracks that didn’t make it on Dipz– it was like we had to write those songs to find the sound of Dipz. There is a really aggressive hip hop track on there. Actually, the majority of it is very hip hop. If No Friends is your bag, this is going to go into your second bag. You’ll have two bags in your hands and you’ll be walking around not knowing what to do with yourself!
Can you freestyle?
No… Can you?
No, I can’t either.
Were you going to ask me to freestyle?!
If you could, maybe!
No, I’ve got nothing.
What would be your rapper name?
Transient Thief. I’m trying to think of something more badass than that. I never really got into gangster rap, I can’t really relate to that. I’m more into Jurassic 5 and that sort of stuff. Stuff that has more of a community message rather than talking about how many cars you’ve got in your carhole!
I saw you at the Kasabian tour last year, and I’m going to the Townsville Groovin and I personally can’t wait to see you guys at a festival!
Actually, I think I saw you at the Kasabian tour last year! Were you in the top balcony to the right?
No, that must have been my twin?
Well I didn’t see you then. Maybe you should make yourself more identifiable next time!
Well, I think I actually met Rudy afterwards in The Valley! He was looking for somewhere to go, but I was going home.
Oh, everyone’s met Rudy.
It was a Tuesday night and it was just dead, and he was asking me where he should go, but just nothing was happening. He was like, “This city is lame!”
That sounds about right. He always lands on his feet. He’s like a cat!
Here’s a fun fact about Groovin the Moo, our editor-in-chief, Lauren, is actually the godmother to a baby boy conceived at GTM 2013.
No way! That’s awesome! We’re trying to get this idea across the line to be running a full-fledged tiki bar on stage for our set at Groovin’ The Moo.
We’re trying to! It’s almost been approved. It’s hard, we’re using imported products and different special equipment. Have you ever seen the Michael Jackson This Is It DVD? Because he passed away before that tour, it was canned, but there was all this state of the art equipment left over. So through auctions, we’ve managed to purchase some of this equipment.
I’m talking about cherry pickers and advanced technology that hasn’t been seen by the eyes of the Australian public yet. Hopefully if we get all that stuff over in time, we’ll build a tiki bar! Are you following me?
Yeah, totally! That sounds unreal! I’m going to try and sneak backstage and get in on this!
Well if you get a pass, you can have a drink!
Remaining Foo Fighters tour dates w/ Rise Against and The Delta Riggs
Feb 26 – ANZ Stadium
Feb 28 – Etihad Stadium
Mar 02 – Derwent Entertainment Centre
Mar 04 – Coopers Stadium
Mar 08 – nib Stadium