Q&A with The Delta Troubadours: The Road to Okeechobee Music Festival
The Gainesville band formerly known as Gritt has not only taken on a new name, but also a new musical direction that they hope to showcase at the 2017 Okeechobee Music Festival.
GainesvilleScene sat down with lead singer Gytis Garsys, bassist Jon Franklin and guitarist Ian Heausler to talk about their record deal with Swamp Records, what they’ve been working on and how they’ve been preparing to battle for a coveted spot at Okeechobee Festival.
GainesvilleScene (GS): First off, congratulations on your recent signing with Swamp Records. What attracted you to sign with them?
Gytis Garsys (GG): The organization does a lot to help the music community grow by getting hands-on experience with bands, and any help that we can get is always appreciated. We’re really happy to be on board with them.
GS: Your latest EP came out earlier this year. What’s the feedback been like from the Gainesville community since its release?
Jon Franklin (JF): It’s been really well-received by the people that have heard it. We’ve had feedback from people at the top tier level of the music industry tell us we’re doing something right, so we warmly welcome any criticism on what we can be doing better.
Ian Heausler (IH): It was our first EP, so that being said, there’s a lot of good stuff on it and some stuff that we collectively thought could’ve been better. We’re going to be recording new music in the next few months and we’re hoping to build on the experience and go in the new direction we’ve been heading.
GG: I think recording the EP was great, but I think we’re way more excited about gearing up to record the new music.
GS: Do you guys like writing your music in a certain setting or atmosphere?
JF: We basically write everything in a 10’x8’ box; it’s poorly ventilated. We come up with different riffs and bring them into practice and from there it blossoms into something that we all enjoy. It doesn’t leave the box until we’re comfortable with it.
IH: It’s really collaborative. None of us write a full song and brings it in and says, “This is it.” It’s more or less we each come in with our own ideas and put them together.
GG: It’s a stream of consciousness in a sense, like free association writing.
JF: Within the past year, we’ve really found our own sound. We’re not sure whether we’ll be recording an EP or an album, but we’re stoked to go back to the studio in January.
GS: Since your music is headed in a new direction, have you been taking any inspiration from new albums from other artists?
GG: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. They’re quite the band. They’re a psychedelic group from Australia.
GS: This past year, you guys got to play the Gasparilla Festival in Tampa. What was that like?
GG: That was a hell of a time. We all grew up in Tampa, so having people you know come see your band play at a pretty big festival was absolutely insane. The coolest part in a lot of ways is being backstage and running into other artists. You find out the artists you respect are really down-to-earth people.
IH: It was cool that our parents could come out and see us play at a real festival like that.
GS: Now you guys are hoping to play Okeechobee Festival, so what’s the process like to actually getting to perform?
GG: For a band like us, they do a contest to showcase Florida music. We submit an application and there’s a whole social media aspect to it, too. After, there’s a battle of the bands component to it. You jump through a couple hoops, run with the gauntlet and boom— you’re playing at the same festival as Kings of Leon, Usher and The Roots.
JF: It’d be pretty sweet. I think we can pull it off.
GS: What do you hope the future holds for The Delta Troubadours?
JF: There’s a lot of question marks. But there’s also a lot of hope in what we’re doing. Short term, we want to get in the studio and start recording. Long term, I just want to be able to live comfortably and play music for a living.
GG: I think we’re gonna kick ass and make millions of dollars, honestly. I’m very optimistic about what’s going to happen with the band. If you’re not optimistic, then you shouldn’t be doing it. The dream is to headline these amazing festivals like Bonaroo, Coachella and Lollapalooza— they’re like the holy grail of music festivals to the audience, but even more so to the artists.
IH: I think it’d be great to bring back rock’n’roll so kids will pick up a guitar and say, “I want to play that song.”
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