Deleter: Our music sounds like a soundtrack to a spy film

Deleter: Our music sounds like a soundtrack to a spy film
Photo by Jeremiah Satterthwaite

Deleter is that enigma that can't be categorized. The Minneapolis group has released a single each week during the month of March for their EP A/B Series. The new album constantly keeps the listener on their toes, incorporating slivers of sound that come and go, recognizable, yet mutating before they are heard again. In short: brilliant and inventive.

Gimme Noise spoke with the band midway through their release month and before their show at Hell's Kitchen on Friday to touch on what's it's like to be an artist in the new age of the music industry and how they are adapting to it.  

Band Members:

Josh McKay, Knol Tate, Travis Collins, Zach Roth

Gimme Noise: How did Deleter form, and what drew you all to each other to work on this project?

Deleter: Knol was the driving force behind the formation of Deleter. Travis had just moved back to Minneapolis from Oakland, and he was looking for some projects to be involved with again. It was a given that those two would make music together since they were to become roommates and had a history together in Satellite Voices. Josh had been doing some studio work with Knol on and off over the year prior to Deleter forming, while also playing in several other projects. Josh and Knol expressed mutual interest in getting something started, so once Travis was in the three got together to start conceptualizing and jamming on ideas. Zach has many mutual friends with the rest of us, as well as similar taste in music. It all just fell together from there -- no agendas were set from the start, just a mutual desire to make music we would enjoy listening to and enjoy playing.

GN: You describe your music as punk espionage rock. What do you mean by this? Which bands do you look up to?

D: When we started this band we all had a common interest in a lot of post punk, new wave, hardcore and even 60's garage rock and psychedelia. Bands like Wire, Psychedelic Furs, The Ventures, Born Against, The Sonics, Echo & The Bunnymen, Clinic, The Music Machine, The Pop Group, The Nazz, Fugazi, Link Wray, Mission Of Burma, Birthday Party/Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Void, and so on.We really wanted to play a wide variety of sound but within a stranger environment and some restrictions, like lots of half step chord changes and a sort of spooky and mysterious sound. It's been a lot if fun for us. There's a lot of tension in what we do, something is always creeping through the music, and maybe that's where the term "espionage" came into play. Sometimes things sound a bit like a soundtrack to a spy film.

GN: The band is releasing this album with two tracks every week. Who came up with this idea? Why did you decide to album release with this concept?

D: We were just trying to think of a novel way to get our music out to people without losing our shirts. Without any financial backing, we were in a place where we had to take advantage of services like Bandcamp and social media outlets to promote our initial releases. None of us are fans of releasing music on compact discs anymore. We really wanted to do vinyl, but can't afford it.

The thought of releasing a digital-only LP was kind of boring, and we wanted to leave more of an option for releasing these songs physically as a full release in the future. We didn't think an EP format would leave much room for future song use either, so that idea was kind of thrown away outright. No idea what that full-on physical release will look like yet, but that is the initial vision we're going to try to run with.

GN: A lot of artists integrate the tip jar method into their music distribution. Why did you guys decide to do this with the new album? How successful has it been for the band? How do you feel about the future of music where music is seen as almost a throw away commodity?

D: Seemed like the sensible thing to do, and success is relative. The greatest concern is the music. As for the future of music itself...good music will always be made, provided there are people who genuinely care about what they do with their art, and have some stake in it. It's just a matter or finding those people. Even if things become more saturated, who cares? Just do your thing, and know why you're doing it. Art will always be made no matter the economics. I guess all us artists are just waiting for society to show art is relevant again and money should not be a driving factor even if necessary.

GN: Any standout tracks off the album?

D: "Screaming The Song Of Hiawatha" was the first single released, with "Dead Hand" being the "B-side," so-to-speak. Both of those songs really capture the energy and urgency we want to portray in our music. But as stated we are a bit all over the place musically. We play within our own abilities but also within the confines we sort of set for our selves.

Deleter is releasing a single each Friday during the month of March for their EP A/B Series and will be performing at Hell's Kitchen with Ex Nuns, Blue Sky Blackout, and Byzantine Beatbox on Friday, March 22, 2013.
21+, $5, 10 pm

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