The Delta Riggs’ third studio LP ACTIVE GALACTIC has kept the band pretty busy, orbiting through two tours, spanning 30 dates, 25 venues and selling out shows whilst astounding earthly fans with their best music to date. The Delta Riggs have continued to reach new heights, new fans and new levels of performance. 2016 saw the band take on Tame Impala’s “Let It happen” at the APRA Awards, as well as a massive tour supporting the Foo Fighters. ACTIVE GALACTIC has hurdled the band through space and time, and the trajectory looks like it’s going to do nothing more than continue vaulting to new dimensions. The Delta Riggs are heading to the USA mid-year, so make sure you see their otherworldly performances as they hit up New Zealand for a round of shows and festivals. We caught up with Monte to discuss their biggest career mistakes and highlights, let’s dive in!
1) Who was your first musical inspiration? Why?
This sounds pretty naff, but the reason I started playing music in the first place was because of Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits). I was obsessed with Sultans Of Swing when I was in my early teens and was determined to learn to play it. I ended up learning it note for note, somehow I was a better player 15 years old than I am now. Go figure.
2) What advice do you have for someone who’s about to record and release their first album?
Don’t over analyse every part. If you think something should go there – don’t lay it. Less is always more. Its all about melody and simplicity.
3) How do you record your initial song ideas?
Technology is a wonderful thing, I usually slam something into a voice recorder and send it to Rudi who then turns it into something beautiful. Elliott & Rudi get together a lot and produce some amazing stuff within a half hour. Whatever is vibing, we roll with.
4) How has your music practice and performance changed over time?
We never practice. Ever. I was saying to Elliott the other day that 5 years ago, we were technically a better band because all we did was play and rehearse. As you get older time becomes finite I guess. I think performance in general has changed because we are saturated of choice, so an act needs to be equal parts great at playing the music AND entertaining. No one likes watching shoe gazers anymore.
5) My top business tip for new artists is…
Change career path and don’t get into band management. Bands are a pain in the arse.
6) My biggest career mistake and highlight has been…
Highlight would be definitely spending 6+ years with these goons in my band. Love them or hate them, we have done some really cool shit together, produced some great albums and always pushed and progressed as artists. Also getting to know and support bands like Kasabian and Foo Fighters is pretty neat too. As for mistake, I think we burnt ourselves out real early on and had this gruelling tour schedule of regional towns, when nobody had ever heard of us. It’s a hard slog when you’re doing that. I don’t regret anything though, that’s my life mantra. It was just poor management at the time really.
7) In my opinion, the most important issue facing the music industry is…
People taking themselves too seriously. I mean it’s all good and well to be serious about your careers, but don’t be a wanker. There is no need for that shit, it’s hard enough being in this industry as it is. People think they’re too important sometimes and don’t have time for lesser humans in their eyes. They’re having a laugh aren’t they?
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