hen I got on the phone with JONAH KAZMAN, the drummer of the Philadelphia-based rock band DELMONT, it was easy to hear the buzz of activity through the speaker. One would guess that it was simply a band getting together for rehearsal. When a band issues an exciting slice of modern rock with a decidedly bluesy edge as DELMONT has with their new EP AGED, it makes sense to get the band into touring shape. However, this wasn't the case. According to KAZMAN, all of the members of DELMONT were moving into a house together. In all the years that I've been trying to get to know bands and to get a sense of what makes them tick, I've never met a band of brothers like DELMONT. I've interviewed bands with members that didn't want to be in the same room together, but a band who get a house together? It doesn't sound real but it is. In fact, if what one hears on the band's latest EP is to be believed, then the chemistry that bonds DELMONT together is indeed formidable. Who knows? They may even end up being ideal roommates.
Preceding the May 4, 2019 release of AGED was the band's blistering single YOUNG AND VICIOUS which was accompanied by a rather fine music video which captures the band's bluesy approach to rock n roll without coming across as quaint, but as something more modern and dare we say fun.
CHECK OUT THE MUSIC VIDEO FOR YOUNG AND VICIOUS!!!
Since I had the entire band under one roof, I thought it best to get them around a table and put me on speaker phone. My first question to the troubadours was how they felt about the EP they had just put out.
"I'm very satisfied with the finished product!" That was the band's front man SEAN RAMIREZ. "I think the album is a reflection of everything that we've been through as individuals and as a band and as a result of putting this thing together I feel as if we have grown even more as musicians and as people. I'm actually quite star struck by the results."
RAMIREZ also went on to credit producer RON DiSILVESTRO for giving the band's latest EP its bite. "He listened to every song and every idea that we had thoroughly and if something needed changing, he changed it."
Despite the interview, nothing can keep the guys in the band from putting the finishing touches on the house that they have just moved into - "the DELMONT headquarters!" according to KAZMAN. It got me wondering where a musical brotherhood such as this comes from. We're talking about a band that has only been together for four years. DELMONT began simply with front man SEAN RAMIREZ and guitarist JOEY FONTANA getting together to write some songs.
"SEAN and I had started writing some songs together and we really felt that we had something, but we always struggled with trying to find the right people to play with," said guitarist FONTANA of DELMONT's initial set up. "In the beginning we went through quite a few line up changes but slowly we settled on the right people for this band and the line that you have now came together and gave us this new dynamic. The chemistry that we have now as a band isn't something that can be replicated."
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With a chemistry that can't be duplicated, the band has created a sound that marries active rock with rootsier blues elements and the proceedings sound fresh as opposed to run-of-the-mill dad rock. It's almost as if one is hearing the combination of an aggressive rock approach with a bluesy swagger for the very first time. It made me wonder if the guys from DELMONT had heard this reaction from listeners and fans. Here, the band's rhythm section filled me in.
"The reactions to the EP have really blown me away," said bass player COLBY FISCHANG. "I've heard people telling their friends to check out this band and that has been the biggest compliment. Musically, we truly sound intertwined and connected. The chemistry is really strong."
"Biggest thing that has surprised me is how people who have listened to the album are overwhelmed by it and it has made them think that we are bigger than we are," added KAZMAN. "People are asking me when we are going on tour and for how many months we are going to be on tour. I'm like 'We're a band that doesn't even have a manager. How are we going to be on tour for months?' I'm amazed by the impression that we gave off with this EP. I just didn't expect this star struck response from people."
iven the affable nature of the band as a whole, I had my suspicions that the songwriting within a band like DELMONT is a cinch. "There are a few ways that the songwriting gets done," said RAMIREZ. "Usually, I will come up with an idea and a riff and I present it to the band and they start jamming on it. When they've got something that works we start adding lyrics to it. We go over what we like and what we don't like and make all of the changes that we feel need to be made until we feel like we've got something great."
"The song NOTHING YET was kind of written that way," said KAZMAN. "We play around with a riff until we see what happens and through the course of jamming we figure out what the song is."
"For us it's all about coming up with an interesting riff and a strong verse and chorus format," said FISCHANG. "Once we have that we start asking ourselves what kind of theme is being conveyed by the music. We all start coming up with ideas for what the song is about and from there, we are able to figure out how to move forward with it."
In summing up DELMONT's songwriting process, RAMIREZ believes that their strong message is what sets the band's music apart.
"The songs are about real life. They are about struggles that everyone faces and in putting these songs together as a songwriter, I try to use as much imagery as possible to help convey a message. I try to go for feeling and with that, there are a lot of themes that get touched on in this one EP of ours such as the fear of regret with the song NOTHING YET. And with a song like GRAY is about the fear of going senile yet it's not directly stated. The lyrics paint a picture. With this band it's all about writing what you feel."
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Given some of the heavier messages found in some of the other songs on AGED, it is surprising to hear the EP's first single YOUNG AND VICIOUS being picked as the lead single. The subject matter is clearly more carefree than anything else you hear on DELMONT's latest EP. The boisterous single's trademarks are RAMIREZ's heart-on-his-sleeve delivery and the riff rock revelry brought to us by ax men JOEY FONTANA and RYAN BRANAGH. I asked the band why they felt this song should be the lead single.
"Because it's a fun song!" said RAMIREZ.
"It stands out from the rest of the EP because it's a fun song," added FONTANA. "The other songs are so serious but YOUNG AND VICIOUS is a song with all of these sexual undertones. It's a fuck buddy anthem. It's about having that friend in your life that you enjoy the hell out of."
espite having formed four years ago, it feels like DELMONT's story is just beginning. My final question to the band was what they hoped listeners would come away with after hearing the band's music.
RAMIREZ was quick to respond.
"That we are normal guys that got together to make music that people are able to connect to. We are people who are going through the same struggles as everyone else and we express that through our music. I just hope our music can bring about similar feelings in the people who listen to it."
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