Interview: Delorean on “Subiza” and the problem with summer music

Photo by Chus Anton

Barcelona's Delorean has been constantly evolving as a band for the better part of a decade. Together they have grown from their abrasive punk roots to assemble their most recent full-length release, Subiza, a triumphant fusion of the band's beloved Iberian club music sounds and traditional pop sensibilities. Delorean's pristine sense of production, bubbling synth melodies and gently pounding percussion makes for a synthetic yet somehow wholly natural absorption into bliss. With the wild success of Subiza, as well as their immensely popular remixes for groups like The xx, Lemonade, Franz Ferdinand, and the Teenagers, the quartet have been receiving attention on the world stage.

When I rang up the band's frontman Ekhi, Delorean's vocalist and bassist, I could barely hear him. He politely said it was too noisy, and to hold up a second so that he could find a quieter place. The hustle and bustle of life on the road is a sign and symptom of where Delorean is as a band now and where they're hoping to reach.  After Ekhi nestled himself into a calmer space, we chatted about the natural evolution of the band's sound, their new album, and the trouble with "summer music."

You can check out Delorean’s Montreal show (with Glasser) on July 13th 2010 at Le Belmont.

LOOKOUT: You’re in the U.K. now. How has that been?

Ekhi: Yeah, we’re in London. We played here last autumn. It’s really cool. We’re playing in really nice venues and there’s a lot going on right now in the city. They’re taking care really good care of us here so it’s great.

LOOKOUT: Your most recent album, Subiza, is heavy on electronic-yet-breezily-organic dance pop songs. How has the sound of the band evolved through your various releases?

Ekhi: You know, Delorean, we were a punk band before. But as a band, we’ve been together for nine years, so the evolution has been very natural. We got together as teenagers and nine years is a long time. We’re a band that wants to try different things all the time. It’s kind of natural. I don’t know, it’s not something we think about. It wasn’t a conscious decisions, so that makes the evolution not a hard thing to do.

LOOKOUT: Your music has a blissful, uplifting essence, which has led the tracks on Subiza to be described as the epitome of “summer” music. What do you think about a classification like that?

Ekhi: When we make music, we’re looking for something that will lift you up and that will move you. I’m not sure if, as a band, that relates to the beach or the summer. Our music is very bright and I understand that people can relate that to the summer. I respect it and I understand it and I definitely see the resemblance, but, for us, it’s more in terms or something that to is able to lift you and keep you going. But, you know, consciously, we’re not making a summer album.

LOOKOUT: What’s the biggest challenge of being on tour?

Ekhi: The biggest challenge is to be fearless and to take a chance and to  feel that the next time you play your song, you’ll be better than before. That time that you played last month or two years ago, you want to make it bigger and bring in more people. You hope that that there will be more people and that they enjoyed the show and that they will spread the word. Reaching more people, getting more people to go to your shows—that’s challenging. And you have to be fearless about it. Having some sort of relationship with the audience is important. You need to feel that there’s something happening, and the audience notices that.

LOOKOUT: How important is the live experience for the band? Do you take into account how your music is going to sound live when you’re making it?

Ekhi: When we made the record, we didn’t care about how it sounded live. We wanted to pay attention to the song itself rather than the execution of the song. We recognize that the fact that we’re not paying attention to how the song would sound, like, is some sort of handicap or limitation. But if you don’t think about it, about how your song is going to work live, you’re more free to make music however you want to.

LOOKOUT: We're all looking forward to your show in Montreal. Have you played a show alongside Glasser before?

Ekhi: Yeah, we’ve played with her once at CMJ. She’s amazing. She’s one of our favorite bands. It’s going to be awesome.