Sam Little chats to The Delta Riggs’ bassist Michael Tramonte about the band’s upcoming album, life on tour and a longstanding love for raw fish.
“I guess you can expect a little more sex…” says bassist Michael Tramonte boyishly, describing The Delta Riggs’ forthcoming third album.
We’ve already had a taste of what’s to come with the early June release of the record’s sultry first single Surgery of Love, and boy is it getting our hopes up!
Tramonte recounts the story of how this suggestive, somewhat sleazy song came to be, hinting that there’s more of the ‘Surgery’ sort of sound to come.
“Elliott and I were at this bar in Berlin and there was just this driving bassline and I thought, wow that’s sick, so we went and jammed on it for a while… we ended up jamming and kind of taking the groove we heard inside this druggy bar and building a whole song around it.”
“We wanted to get a little bit more disco on people,” he says, listing off the likes of The Rapture and The Bee Gees as creative influences on the track.
Keeping his cards close to his chest, Tramonte vaguely hints at the record’s release being somewhere around September this year.
“We’ve got [a name for it], it’s all ready to roll… we’re all super proud of it, it’s definitely our best work as a collective.”
The record is set to feature thirteen tracks with “a lot of variety” mixed through from start to finish; Tramonte cites The Rolling Stones and hip-hop as two more of the many influences on the album.
“We don’t tend to try and pigeonhole ourselves; everything we release sounds vastly different from the other… we love artists like Pharrell Williams and N.E.R.D. and Jurassic 5, and personally I love early 90s alternative bands like The Replacements and stuff like that.”
“It’s a full meld of shit; we don’t set out saying ‘oh, we want to sound like this’, you know?”
Hallelujah! Tramonte confirms whispers of a collaboration with Sticky Fingers on the new record, saying bassist Paddy and front man Dizza helped work on a Delta Riggs track whilst recording their own album in Thailand.
“Sticky Fingers are like our best mates… one of the tracks had a bit of a thrashy reggae vibe and we thought, shit, let’s get Dizza to do a verse and Paddy doing some backing vocals.”
“It’s a real f**k you song; it’s kind of relevant to what’s going on in Sydney at the moment… it’s about taking back your town, and [Stickys] have been really vocal about that; it’s one of those sort of songs for the people.”
Relating his experiences on the road with Foo Fighters and Rise Against in 2014, Tramonte says he’s remained close with members of both bands.
“The sets flew by; they were only about 20 minutes, so basically we’ve played an hour and 40 minutes in stadiums around Australia.”
The Delta Riggs headline Fat Controller’s All You Can Eat tonight with support from The Pretty Littles and I Oh You, and Tramonte hints they’ll be playing at least three songs from the new record including Surgery of Love.
Q & A
SL: Who’s the biggest drinker in the band?
MT: Definitely Rudy; he’s got this uncanny stamina where, I get to that point where I just need to go to bed, but he gets to that point and just keeps going. He’s a really nice, sweet guy but he’s an absolute demon when it comes to getting loose!
SL: What’s been your favourite place to play so far?
MT: I really liked Hamburg; we sold out a show and we’d never been there before… and the next day we made the front page of the paper with the headline “Die Neuen Rolling Stones” (The New Rolling Stones) which was pretty cool.
SL: Which one of you is the most annoying on tour?
MT: It’s me. I wake up the earliest and I make the most noise in the morning… Elliott especially dislikes it. I’m hands down the most annoying, and I’m happy to admit it.
SL: If your music were an animal, which animal would it be?
MT: Wow, let me think… a yak? Yeah, a yak. They’re kind of majestic and mysterious and you never know what you’re going to get from a yak.
SL: Ahead of your show at the Fat Man, what is your favourite All You Can Eat food?
MT: I like Japanese food, so if I could eat anything forever it’d be sashimi and ramen. I had the best ramen last night and I’m still loving it – absolutely anything Japanese.