Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas is a Detroit-based rock group with a new bold sound to tour on during the summer festival circuit. The band is showcasing their talent at Bonnaroo in June, Detroit’s Mo Pop Festival and Lollapalooza in July, LouFest in September and Austin City Limits Festival in October.
The band will be performing at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in The Other Tent 1:15-2:15 p.m. on Sunday, June 14.
Jessica spoke about her taste in music, summer events and more on Tuesday, June 9.
How did The Deltas come together? What was the glue that brought the band together?
“The Deltas is kind of ever-evolving group of friends of mine from Detroit when I first started out when I was 19-20. I kind of just started recruiting friends of mine that I respected as musicians and I wanted to play shows with. It wasn’t until about two and half years ago it finally became The Deltas. It was kind of constantly cycling and transitioning and always kind of figuring out exactly what I wanted the band to be like, and finally a couple of years ago, the guys that they are now settled in. Basically through trial and error playing with good friends of mine from back in Detroit. I finally found the right group of guys that were not only good players, but people I wanted to be on tour with. That was a major thing, people that you can live in a van with for months at a time. All of us are really good friends from home, so it kind of just ended up working out like that.”
Your 2014, Secret Evil was produced by Milo Froideval. How was it working with on a project with him?
“It was awesome. I kind of did a little trial with him before deciding; I was meeting with a lot of different producers. With him, from the moment we met, after we shook hands, we both had a similar sense of humor and a similar attitude. I don’t know, maybe it was the Latin tradition, it was just really comfortable. That was exactly what I was looking for in a producer; someone that can be really hard on me without me taking it personally, and vice versa. With him, in the studio, there was no hard feelings.”
Have you been working on new material? Do you find writing new material comes more natural at home or on the road?
“At home. I have a really hard time writing on the road. Writing for me is such a personal thing. I really like storytelling. I started as a singer-songwriter, and so it is hard for me to get in that groove of things when you are surrounded by six people all day. You really don’t have a moment to yourself. We all are in the van together, or we all are in the hotel together, or all in the green room together (laughs). I definitely do all my writing when we are not on tour. It is nice because you get that break, and have all these ideas built up in your head.”
Detroit seems to be in a transitional period, and I wanted to know how that was reflected in the music scene?
“Right now it is kind of the same as it has always been. I think that Detroit has always been a split thing of hip-hop and Motown. It is all over the place musically. It is hard for me because we have been out on the road for the past couple years. Whenever we go to shows, it is with close friends, and we haven’t seen the music scene change too much. If anything, there is an electronic influence.”
Do you have any favorite Motown artists that you grew up with?
“Yeah, I listen to a lot of Motown. I was always big into Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, The Temptations, and The Shangri-Las. Yeah, Motown is a pretty big influence of mine. My grandparents were in high school when all of the Motown bands would play at their school dances to test out songs, test out groups to see how kids received them. It is really cool hearing my grandparents talk about their homecoming dance in 10th grade and the Four Tops played. It is crazy to me to think about being in that time.”
The Deltas will rock Bonnaroo this Saturday and Sunday. What are your thoughts going into these performances?
“Just have a lot of energy (laughs). I’m excited. I think they are going to be really fun. Festivals are always the most fun shows for us because the crowd at a festival is there to party, have fun, dance and go nuts. It is just a different mindset than playing a club show. It is more of a mild-mannered crowd for them, and at a festival there is no ambitions. Everyone is just letting loose, and so you definitely feel a much different energy from the crowd.”
Would you rather have more time to work with in a live concert, or pack as much music into an hour?
“I think people get burnt out after hour and half of listening to music. I feel like I have the mentality of wanting to leave people to want to come back again.”
You mentioned on working on material. Is there any time frame we can be on the look for with a new album?
“Yeah, we are aiming for next spring. So, we are out a little less than a year from now. We have already started writing, and since we are touring through fall. We will be taking the winter off to start writing and have it ready for next spring.”