Delta Heavy (or DELTΔ HEΔVY, if you prefer), are gearing up to finally drop their debut album Paradise Lost. If you’re a fan of big drops and hard beats, you’re sure to fall in love with Delta Heavy!
Last year, I interviewed Ben Hall and Simon James to discuss their music and influences. I recently caught up with them again to discuss their new album.
Vada – Since we last spoke you’ve made a pretty big announcement: the debut album. How does it feel to finally be able to say you have an album coming out?
Delta Heavy – It feels pretty incredible! It’s been a lifelong goal to write an album but it has been a mammoth task to make. We’ve been working on it for a long time and it has gone through various guises but we’re very happy with the result and are excited for everyone to hear it.
The album is titled Paradise Lost and obviously this evokes thoughts of John Milton’s epic poem. Is that where the album name came from? If not, where?
It’s an evocation of Milton’s title rather than a literal interpretation of it. We wanted a title that had conjured images of grandeur and scale and we like the fact that it can be interpreted in a number of ways.
The album will have 14 tracks – do you have a favourite that you can’t wait for fans to hear?
We’ve structured the album so that for the most part it flows as a whole piece of music, with a beginning, middle and end. It’s not the way a lot of people listen to music any more but for us this album has been about creating a piece of work that takes you on a journey rather than a collection of songs so we’re keen for our fans to experience it from beginning to end. We wrote a couple of interludes once the running order was sorted to link some tracks together which is a feature we both love about albums.
The reaction to ‘Punish [My Love]’ has been great. It’s one of our favourite tracks on the album and was fun to make.
The video is another epic production, and I’m guessing it was inspired by Godzilla? Can you talk us through the video and the song? Was the idea for the video yours?
We’ve always been keen to work with new directors and this time we found a talented chap called Nick Murray Wills. He pitched us the story and we loved it. You’ll have to ask him if it was Godzilla inspired but it captured the vibe of the song well and we liked his style of animation.
The song is a sort of UK/future house fusion. We wrote the vocal first and then developed the track around that. We often write this way – approaching most songs like we’re doing a remix can allow more creative results.
Who would you like to work with?
In a vocal capacity Nao is a favourite right now. She has a very distinctive voice that harks back to 90’s US RnB with some experimental 80’s funk inspired music.
Producer wise it has to be Flume. He’s making very innovative and interesting music and is creatively carving his own lane.
What genres does the album explore?
It’s predominantly drum and bass but covers different aspects of the genre including half time dnb and we also wrote a couple of house tempo tunes. The aim was to make a club album that explored different moods but could also be listened to outside of a club environment. We didn’t just want tunes purely for DJs or the album would feel too intense and tiresome.
Another ambition was to write songs and use more original vocals in our music which definitely took the most time to accomplish during the writing process. Regardless of tempo there is an underlying sound to the album which ties it all together and sonically we’ve tried to capture the grandeur and epic magnitude from the inspirations that have always driven us creatively.
Hans Zimmer’s music has been a big influence to both of us. We’ve always felt the space theme has suited our music and this album is definitely a continuation of that.
Once the album is released will there be a tour to promote it? If so, do you know where you’ll be visiting in the UK?
The tour has [already] begun with some shows in Australia and New Zealand. We’re doing a club tour of the US again this year with RAM and amongst these shows there will be UK and European dates dotted all over the place.
We’re touring with our pal Wilkinson for a brief set of UK shows so you can catch us in Newcastle, Bristol, Brighton and London at the end of March and beginning of April for those.
What song can’t you wait to perform live?
We’ve been testing out tracks for a good while now and our favourites to play have been ‘Ghost’ and our next single ‘Oscillator’. It’s pretty different to anything we’ve done before but is nevertheless an aggressive dance floor weapon.
When we last spoke you said that you were starting work on the second album already. How’s that going for you?
We’ve started working on new music but how it will be released is something we’ll tackle as we finish it. Album projects do take a long time so we’d like to keep putting out music for a while and when the moment feels right we’ll look at album two.
We’re focussing on getting album one out and touring it for now and letting the new music come together in it’s own time.
Thanks to Ben and Simon for taking the time to answer my questions, and to Soraya Sobh for making the interview happen. Paradise Lost drops on 18 March – check back with Vada for our review.