Somojo Magazine

Delta Mainline

Hi, how are you?
Hello Somojo. We are all very well, thank you.
Would you mind introducing us to your band members?
Delta Mainline are: David McLachlan ( Vocals , Guitars ) Shaun McLachlan ( Drums, Vocals, Mandolin) Gavin King ( Bass Guitar ) Verity Blanchard ( Piano, Organs, Synths, Cello, Vocals ) William Walker ( Guitars, Lap Steel, Banjo ) George Gunn ( Guitars, Effects) and Greg Walker ( Percussion, Harmonica, Theremin, Synths, Vocals )

How long has the current band line up been together?
The current band line up has been together since January 2010.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t yet heard you?
I would describe our music as dreamy, psychedelic, cosmic country with gospel influenced drones.

What have you been up to recently?
The band have recently been rehearsing for  the  E.P launch on Sat Nov 6th at  The Bongo Club in Edinburgh. We have also recorded a nice little acoustic demo and have started recording our debut single at Chem 19 in Glasgow.

What can your fans look forward to in the next 12 months?
In the next 12 months people can look forward to the release of our debut single and album. You should also look out for some special live gigs and festival appearances throughout the U.K and Europe.

How did you meet each other?
David and Shaun are brothers so they met a while back. Gavin, Greg and David met at nursery. The band met Verity when she came to play cello on some sessions for David’s college course. We met William through friends in Edinburgh about 5 years ago and George Gunn is a mystery to us all.

How did you come up with your name for the band?
All the music and bands that we admire had been influenced by delta blues, therefore a mainline to the delta blues. Delta Mainline.

Did you always want to be in a band?
Not really. We tend to steer clear of bands.

What music did you listen to while growing up?
We had the compulsory copy of the White Album on heavy rotation, also Al Green, Wilson Picket, Peter Greens Fleetwood Mac and Johnny Cash

How long have you been involved with writing & performing music?
We have been playing around for nearly 7 years with the band but we all had instruments in our homes as kids. Verity and George especially were very active little musicians

What were your first music making experiences?
Singing in Church.

Are you self-taught or did you have lessons?
We’re all pretty much self taught apart from the uber kids who had some formal training at some point.

What is your current equipment?
Guitars: Fender Telecaster, Fender Coronado, Vintage Airline, Epiphone Riviera, Gretsch Jet Pro, Gibson Les Paul, Fender Statocastor, Gretsch Lap Steel, Martin Acoustic, Goldtone Banjo, Gibson Mandolin. Fender Jazz Bass.
Amps: Fender Twin Reverb, Fender Bassman.
Vintage Premier Drums.
Korg Keys and Synths, Theremin and an assortment of effects and gadgets.

If you had an unlimited equipment budget what would be on your shopping list?
Our own Studio

Do you use the same equipment live as you do when in a studio?
Yeah, but we tend to experiment with different combinations in the studio.

Do you have a set routine when writing and recording or does it depend on each track and the inspiration?
David will come to the band with a song and we’ll play it a few ways till it feels right. We tend to rely on each other for inspiration.

Which software/recording process do you use?
We have used Pro Tools, Logic and Cubase with mixed results.

Would you sign with a major record company?
Depending on the offer and ethics, yes.

Do you have any new recordings planned?
We have started recording our debut single, True Stories, which should be released in April next year. Throughout 2011 we will record our debut album.

How much involvement do you have with the arranging and production of the songs when recording?
We will have the song arranged before we enter the studio. We will also have all the major instrument parts written. Then in the studio we will have fun experimenting with production ideas and additional instrumentation.

Delta Mainline
Photography by Jenni McMaster

Is the production side of things something you’d like to get involved more in the future, maybe working with other artists?
We love being in the studio and working with other bands in a production capacity would be great in a few years maybe.

Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do?
It’s amazing what you can achieve in a day whilst recording but it can get intense and stressful if you’re watching the clock. We really enjoy the studio and with time it does get easier.

Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans?
We have a big, dynamic live sound that can be hard to recreate in the studio. We aim for a great live drum take and tend to build the track around that. Certain instruments also suffer live that can come to life when recorded well, like the strings and brass. But yeah, the live experience is always a little more on edge with us.

Do you any favourite tracks from your album?
We all have different favourites

Who are the main songwriters for the band?
David is the songwriter in the band.

Do you have a method for writing songs?
There’s no real method. Sometime little lyrics will pop in then melodies and chord progressions. Different orders for different types of songs really.

Do you write songs only about personal experiences?
No, It can be quite cathartic writing about personal experiences but you can only write about your own feelings so much before it becomes a bit creepy. I tend to give the personal lyrics a rest after a while and write little observational story type songs.

Do you find song writing easy or difficult?
The songs seem to come in little batches. I don’t believe in sitting down to write a song. It should come freely and genuinely.

Is there anyone who you would like to collaborate with on writing songs or performing?
Ennio Morriconne.

Who are your favourite songwriters?
Nick Cave, Dylan, Lou Reed, Neil Young

Which countries have you gigged in?
All over the U.K

Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour?
Japan, U.S.A, Australia and Sweden

Who would you like to tour with?
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, The Flaming Lips

How do you promote your music and get your music out to new fans?
Gigs, the net, radio and touring really.

Which music promotion websites do you use and do you have a favourite?
Myspace is great. We’ve had loads of offers and gigs through our page. It’s great for meeting people who are into the band.

Do you think such sites and the internet are good tools for independent and unsigned artists?
I think without them it would be difficult for bands to connect with people.

With all the various websites out there for independent and unsigned artists, is there still something that is missing from them that you think would benefit the lesser-known artists?
Not too sure really, Myspace is easy to use and as long as you play regular and get the name about, then people will find you and listen to your music.

How do you relax?
Sleep, read, country music and alcohol

Have you ever entered any ‘battle of the bands’ competitions?

What's your best/worst experience at a gig?
The Castle in Oldham is always good. King Tuts in Glasgow is great. Worst experience was The Leith Festival. Shambles.

Do you get nervous before a gig? How do you calm down?
Nerves are good for the energy, no need to calm them down. Just control them.

What are your day jobs if you have them?
We all work in various jobs from purchasing to printing.

Would you like to be full time working musicians or are you happy with things as they are?
If an offer came along, we would jump at the chance of making music full time, it’s what we are all about.

Has your music been used on any film soundtracks?

Is composing for film or tv something you’d like to get involved in if the opportunity came along?
Definitely, we like to create soundscapes that incorporate different moods and composing for film would give us the opportunity to really stretch our sounds and instrumentation to new levels, it would be a great challenge.

Is there anything you'd like to add?
Yeah our new EP ‘In a World Full of Madness, the Simple Joy of Melody Can Pull you Through’ available from itunes and other download stores.
Check it out. 
Cheers DM

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