Psychedelic garage-rockers The Black Delta Movement hail from Hull. Their new single The Trip is a heavy, heavy version of the 1965 cult classic by Kim Fowley. I spoke to Matt Burr [guitar and vocals] about his love of ‘60s counter-culture and the burgeoning music scene in his hometown
The Trip, which is your take on the Kim Fowley song from 1965, is a heavy, garage-psyche record. Are you fans of the ‘60s underground scene and counter-culture?
Matt Burr: We’re all really big fans of that scene – it just clicks with us and, with the resurgence that seems to be happening at the moment, it’s making it exciting again. The Kim Fowley tribute came from us loving the song and deciding that we could put our own swing on it. We managed to get in touch with him and he replied: “Great, guys! Thank you so much!”
Your song The Messenger, which is on the B-side of your new single, is another psychedelic track that’s in a similar vein as The Trip. It reminds me of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club…
MB: They’re one of my favourite bands – ha! We’re all really big fans. The Messenger is a song that’s been around for a while, although, the first time we played it live, we made it up as we went along. We straightened it out a few months later and decided to record it, but we never thought it did the song justice, so we decided to re-do it as a B-side for the new single.
In my view, there aren’t a lot of great rock ‘n’ roll bands around at the moment. Why do you think that is?
MB: I don’t know, to be honest. I think there’s loads of good rock & roll bands around, but they’re not in the mainstream. If you dig for ‘em, they’re there. There are bands like The Black Angels, Parquet Courts, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Drenge and a whole lot more, who are making great albums and really turning things around. I think there’s a lot more to come – this is certainly the start of a new scene. There’s been a lot of uninspiring trash around over the last couple of years and I think it’s on the way out. At the moment I’ve been listening to a lot of newer music – Warpaint, Ty Segall and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – although Nick Cave, The Modern Lovers and Massive Attack have been in there a lot lately, too. We all like a lot of different music, so everyone brings their own thing to the table during the writing process.
Who was the last great rock and roll band to come out of the UK?
MB: That’s a difficult one – there have been so many good bands. I think if we’re talking about true greatness though, it has to be Oasis. No other band, in my opinion, made such a huge impact on British music and culture since The Beatles. Whether you like them or not, nobody can deny that.
What’s the current music scene like in your hometown of Hull?
MB: The current scene is absolutely brilliant. There are a lot of truly great bands and it really does feel like there’s a proper scene going on. I think Hull gets overlooked a lot – I don’t think I’ve experienced a city with quite so many good bands coming out of it. Some really good friends of ours are MOTHER, Breeze, La Bete Blooms and Tom Skelly & The Salty Beards. I think the festivals we’ve had here over the last few years have helped by giving those bands a big platform to showcase their music. It certainly helped us.
Hull’s musical heritage includes Mick Ronson [guitarist with David Bowie in The Spiders From Mars] and The Housemartins. Could you be the next big thing to come out of Hull?
MB: Ha ha – I don’t know. We all hope so. We work really hard at what we do, so it would be nice. It’s an exciting time for us, so anything could happen.
It’s been a good year for The Black Delta Movement, hasn’t it?
MB: It’s been the best. Over the summer, we did our biggest ever gigs at various venues and festivals all over the country, playing to really great crowds. Supporting The Stranglers at Hull City Hall was a massive show for us, as were our slots with Kaiser Chiefs, Drenge and TOY. Releasing The Trip has been really good, too. We’d been sitting on it for months, but we had to wait for clearance from EMI.
You played at the Holy Trinity Church in Hull this year – how did that go? Were you the first rock and roll band to play there?
MB: The Holy Trinity Church show we curated was amazing. It’s such a fantastic building and we had visuals done for us by F Visuals in Oxford, so it looked incredible. It was definitely one of my highlights of the year. We were the first rock & roll band to play there since Cliff Richard, but we were definitely the loudest!
What are your plans for 2015? Can we expect your debut album to come out next year?
MB: In 2015, we’re looking at touring as much as we possibly can. We’ve been asked a lot lately about our debut album… We’ve got all the material for one, but we feel that we’ll be in a position to do it after we’ve built our profile a bit more and released a couple more singles.
What are your ambitions for The Black Delta Movement?
MB: I’m just happy to be playing music. I look up to bands like BRMC, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds & The Brian Jonestown Massacre. They have all the musical freedom they want and have a loyal following. That’s what I would like for us – to be able to release records and tour around the world.
Finally, where does your band name come from?
MB: It was so long ago now, that I often forget. Basically, it stemmed from me liking the idea of long band names. At the time everything was “The This”, “The That” or “The Other”, so I wanted to step away from that a little. I remember meeting Brent DeBoer from The Dandy Warhols after they played at KoKo in Camden and when I told him the name, he said he really liked it, so I suppose that was the decider.