Deleter Interview : Abstract Poetry, Hive-Minds, And Strange Parents

Deleter Interview

Over the last couple of years, Minneapolis’ Deleter have been carefully cultivating their art/post-punk sound on a series of singles and EPs. Seemingly inundated with musical ideas, the band has already released enough music to comprise two LPs. Loathe to rest on their laurels, the quartet have another LPs worth of tracks waiting to be recorded. The band took some time out from the new year hangover to discuss their upcoming LP, Minneapolis’ burgeoning music scene, and gender identity with Overblown.

Overblown: Deleter is a very post-punk name. How did you decide on it?

Deleter: It came to us pretty quickly when we were deciding on a band name. We wanted a word that sounded somewhat dangerous with a bit of mystery but would be relatively easy to remember. We were slightly obsessed with the aesthetic of espionage and mysteries in literature and movies at the time but never thought of it as a “post-punk” sort of thing. We didn’t know what the bands sound would turn into when we started it. More just an overall idea of how we wanted to present the music. We had a few bands as a sort of starting point of interest for influence before playing together but no specific thing like “we are going to be a post-punk band”.

O: How did the band initially come together?

D: Minneapolis has a relatively close knit independent music community.  Some of us have been friends for some time and some have done studio work for friends or ourselves. When we came up with the idea of starting a new band it was pretty obvious that the four of us would compliment each others musical ideas. Everyone in Deleter has certain strengths that compliments or shins on the others abilities. Needless to say we enjoy making music together.

O: Minneapolis is the home of The Replacements, and Prince. What is the music scene there like at the moment? Are there any bands you would recommend?

D: We pay little attention to the musically legacy of our town but do take an interest in it’s history. We find music by The Trashmen or Husker Du or Threadbare or Impetus Inter or the relocated Monks or The Suicide Commandos or fanzines like Your Flesh or Profane Existence, the list could go on, more interesting than what people generally remember about our town.

However, there are a amazing amount of current bands of all genres in what we call The Twin Cities at the moment. Both on an underground and not as underground basis. With the impending cabin fever caused by our long winters many, many people choose to stay indoors and create over things like skiing or making snowmen. People are forming bands, breaking up and forming new bands quite often here so it’s almost impossible to name them all but a few we particularly enjoy are Buildings, Teenage Strangler, Ripper, The Crash Bandits, BNLX, We Are The Willows, Ex Nuns, Brain Tumors, and so on.

O: Your new EPs Komposition and Zweite Komposition are less aggressive, more restrained and more melody based than your previous EP 56789. Was that a conscious decision during the writing process?

D: Probably not a conscious thing. There was more anger around us at the time of writing 56789 and we pretty quickly wrote, recorded and put out that EP to keep those emotions current and to document those things by the time we started writing these newer batch of songs we were probably feeling more introspective and contemplative. We often write more to our moods then to anything else. If we are feeling particularly frustrated or angry about personally situations the songs reflect that and if we are feeling collectively rather impish, contemplative, sad or even a bit smug and assured that shows in the writing.

O: Does this reflect the direction of your upcoming debut LP, due to be released in spring 2015?

D: It probably will. We had written the majority of the songs for the LP we will be recording this winter so there will be some of those moods and perspectives carried over. We had written about 20 songs for the new LP and the 8 that are on the Kompostion series are ones we decided wouldn’t fit what we wanted to convey on our full length. Though, some of those things have changed since recording the EPs and have been filled with more current songs. There will be a few angrier songs on the LP but overall we believe in the direction we are headed musically.  Sometimes we also let not only the mood of the songs dictate the sound but also the recording process itself. Sometimes a song can change after you hear it played back clearly through nice speakers and sometimes a piece of gear you use can change a song in the recording process. Sometimes these changes sort of take a song in a different direction than maybe we had originally intended and it’s usually a pleasant surprise.

O: Can you give us any idea of when we will hear some music from the upcoming LP?

We plan on spending the rest of the winter of 2015 recording the material we already have written as well as a few small recordings breaks to tighten up a few newer songs and perhaps write a few more for the full length. We will most likely release a single and perhaps a video in the early spring and maybe a few teasers of some kind before hand. Perhaps some short art films to showcase what we will be working on.

O: In Overblown’s review of your latest EP Zweite Komposition, we suggested that the track “Beaten With Legalese” bore a resemblance to Fugazi. Is that a fair comparison?

D: We, of course are fans of Fugazi. More so fans of the post hardcore movement that came out of Washington D.C. in the late 80’s. Not just Fugazi but also their Dischord Records contemporaries from that era into the 1990’s. The music of that scene is an influence but also the music, work and business ethic of that community. “Do It Yourself” is a mantra I believe we all have embraced throughout our artists endeavors.

O: I feel your new EP Zweite Kompositon is a big step forward for the band. What and who influenced the sound of the EP?

D: It’s probably just a natural progression of playing together for a few years now. Our ideas are forming better in a communal/hive-mind sense as well as our shifting influences. We’ve always shared new music and bands we’ve discovered as well as discuss music we’ve always enjoyed and ways of bringing that into whatever we are feeling when we write. Poetry, especially more abstract poems, have always been an influence as well as anything that’s musically more challenging, and challenging can sometimes just be taking a less is more approach. As far as direct musical influences some of the things we’ve all tried to borrow from would be post-punk things like Wire, The Fall, The Pop Group, Psychedelic Furs, Mission Of Burma and Wedding Present as well slightly more contemporary hardcore and independent music like Born Against, Blonde Redhead, Clinic, Antioch Arrow, Fugazi, The Bad Seeds. Also some garage and surf groups like The Sonics, Trashmen, The Monks, The Ventures and The Shawdows and of course a lot more punk from the 70’s and early 80’s.

O: The video for “Secret Seas” deals with the fluidity of gender and identity. Are concepts of gender and identity important to you? Why?

D: Yes, these issues are important to us as they are all human rights and issues of equality. We have a particular ear for gender issues because we have a family member that is transitioning genders right now and needs support and understanding since there were some problems with some of their family not understanding or having trouble understanding their change. We believe people are who they want to be and things like gender are relatively fluid and humans have grasped on too long to the concept that everyone is supposed to be breeders. We decided, though the songs lyrics are more about isolation and depression, to make the film a bit more of a voyeuristic look from the outside at someone who the voyeur doesn’t understand the subject’s identity and the subject is sort of celebrating that fluid identity as well as the outsides world’s confusion. We thought why not have our family member currently going through this change be the subject of the film?

O: Describe your song-writing process.

D: Generally we write songs rather quickly. We get together about once a week in our basement rehearsal space and see if anyone has any ideas. Maybe a guitar riff or a drum part and just expand as a group on any small idea. Normally we embrace just about any idea someone in the group comes up with and quickly come up with an arrangement. We will demo the song right there at practice and then make a few tweaks the next rehearsal but mostly we put very little thought into the initial writing of a song so we can keep it fresh for us as well as more fun to play. Lyrics normally come from a large backlog of things already written but sometimes we make sounds and rhythms of incoherent words on the demos and write actual lyrics to those sounds. We like to create as well as make it amusing for ourselves and sometimes when one over thinks something you lose all original emotion and idea.

O: Do you guys have any touring plans for 2015? I’d love to see you visit the UK!

D: We will be doing some touring in 2015 but have no and will make no solid plans until we are on the edge of the records release. We would love to come to UK in particular as we are all rather big fans of it’s culture.

O: A question for Knol Tate. Knol is an unusual name! Is there a story behind it?

D: His parents are strange people. Looks nice on paper though, huh?

Zweite Komposition was released on the 19th December via Landski Records digitally and 25 Diamonds on limited edition cassette.