Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Dream of Rock 'n' Roll" An Interview with Dellacoma

Rising from the ashes of the 2013 break up of one of Australians most promising bands, Sunset Riot, energetic front man and vocally gifted Dellacoma Rio found himself at a crossroads in his musical career. Instead of throwing in the towel, Dellacoma Rio did some soul searching and decided to continue following his musical dream. He enlisted fellow Australian Rick Reynolds (Bass) and two Texan natives, Art Struck (Guitar), Matt Cook (Drums), to form a smashing new group of talented musicians. They would simply be now known as Dellacoma. A hard hitting, bluesy, 70's heavily influenced, kick you right in the teeth Rock 'n' Roll.

On May 20th, 2016 after playing 58 shows in about as many days, I had the extreme pleasure and honor to sit down with guys before they hit the stage at this years Retro RockFest in Hurricane, Utah. Very down to earth, kind, gracious, and all around great human beings they are thankful for each opportunity to play and share their music with the world. On this day, they shared with me some of their personal time in what turned out to be a fun conversation. Here is what they had to say.

Shane Crawford: First and foremost, welcome to southern Utah.

Whole band: Thank you.

Shane: It's an honor and a privilege to sit down with you guys. I know you guys are from Australia, right?

Dellacoma Rio: Two of us are from Australia, and two from Texas.

Shane: Oh, okay. Texas boys, I'm a cowboys fan.

Matt Cook: Nice.

Art Struck: Right on.

Shane: I don't tell a lot of people that.  Okay, first question I have is how do you guys like touring and sharing your music to the masses here in the United States? Is it any different than playing Australia?

Dellacoma: From my end, I've been playing both countries for several years in different bands. I love coming over here. Partly because there is just so many people. There are still a lot of avenues you play rock and roll whereas Australia is a little narrower. You can ask them about playing Australia because that was the first time that they have played.

Shane: Yeah, how was that?

Matt: Oh dude, it was the raddest experience.

Art: One of the raddest experiences ever.

Shane: Any Stories? What was your best memory of Australia?

Matt: There was one really funny part.  We were in Bendigo and we had finished playing and there was like some really dirty rock and roll band playing and then these two chicks decided to take their tops off and start dancing on the bar. It's always the chicks that shouldn't do that that do that.

Art: Pretty fond memory, we played a gig in Melbourne, and that was like the biggest gig and we were at this hotel and we had to get ... we were late or whatever and it was raining and we had to get a cab and we had to throw all our gear in a cab and we bolted down to the gig. That was pretty cool.

Shane: I bet get you guys are looking forward to going back.  Is that in your plans?

Delacoma: Yes.  December. Yeah we actually just booked our first show for that tour a couple days ago. We will go back down there in December for a couple weeks and then I think they're going to stay down there a little bit longer over Christmas and then probably do another few weeks around new years as well.

Art: Yeah, Christmas in Australia this year.

Shane: Are you guys booked pretty much the rest of the year or do you tour in Europe or stay in the states?

Dellacoma: Europe, hopefully next year. We are pretty much booked for the rest of the touring cycle, but that includes a gap of probably three months I guess. We got six weeks off as of Monday and then we come back over for seven weeks and then I'll go back home again until they come back over in December. I'm working on a new record, so. That's in those bags.

Shane: When do you guys find time to do that? Do you guys just do that on your tour bus? Do you guys take time off and go in the studios?

Art: In these situations, no, but when we have time off we like sort out all the spare parts and send them over to him.

Dellacoma: We get together and get in a rehearsal room and jam through it all and if it works, sweet. Straight in the set and if it doesn't work you sort of pull it back out again do some tinkering with it until it works.

Shane: I really enjoy your record and I'm looking forward to your future and your next   release. When can we look forward to that? Is that in the next year? Two years? Or just when it comes together?

Dellacoma: It will be this year. We will definitely have a single out by Christmas. Hopefully a full album out by Christmas. We will be recording everything. There's just a few things that we need to follow up on twice for the whole record to come out this year, but we will definitely have a single out by Christmas.

Shane Crawford: Cool, looking forward to it. You guys are not new to festivals. You guys have played like Rock...what was it the Rock U.S.A. Tour?

Art: Yeah, We've done Rocklahoma.

Shane: Yeah, Rocklahoma. How was that?

Art: We are doing RockFest in Cadott, Wisconsin this year.

Shane: Nice. Do you guys prefer to play festivals or do you like clubs, arenas?

Matt: The good thing about festivals is you get to get your music in front of people that otherwise, if they weren't at a festival, they probably wouldn't even know who are. Wouldn't even know you are playing. That's always a good thing, but it's a different vibe. Outside stages always sound a little bit different than like, loud clubs and whatnot. There's a learning curve I guess.

Shane: As a fan myself, in today's music or the music world today, a lot of the bands now have to play at the smaller clubs. It's not like the eighties where they were selling out arenas. Like the BulletBoys tonight and Stephen Pearcy in the Eighties, I grew up in the Eighties. Those were some of my favorite bands and I would never ever had the chance to meet those guys back then. Today, they play the clubs. It's more intimate.

Matt: Yeah, totally.

Shane: They're totally cool with their fans. They don't make as much money now as they did back then, but I personally like the smaller venues.

Dellacoma: It's good for music. I think it is good for music, because you're writing, especially where we come from you're writing music and you're trying to capture emotions and the real stories and connect with people when you're physically closer to people. It's a little easier for people to feel where you're coming from and see where you're coming from and you can look people in the eye, it makes a big difference.

Matt: Yeah. When the people can puke on you

Art: That's about it. I do kind of like the spectacle of like a festival, it's like a big event that's like fun. Like last year, we had lunch with Styx, stuff like that is like really cool. Then, playing at small clubs it feels a little more feet to the ground. It's dirtier. I prefer the playing aspect, but the festival kind of thing is cool like I said for the spectacle of it.

Shane: Cool. I've always wanted to go to Rocklahoma. I've never had the opportunity to [go]. Is that something you guys would definitely play again? Was it a good experience?

Whole band: It is.

Rick Reynolds: The first few years. Last year not so much because of the Weather Gods but it was still fun, but it got a little crazy.

Art: Yeah, it got rained out the second day and they had to shut the whole thing down. There were tornadoes.

Rick: Evacuated.

Shane: They're serious?

Art: It flooded the streets. It was a mess. It was a mess last year. We played in the rain. We played on this stage and it was like a giant mud pit. I mean, mud everywhere.

Rick: It was raining and I wore white shoes. We were camping too so that was a drag. When we got evacuated there was us and another buddy Ted and like twelve of us or something crammed into a single hotel room, the only one left in town. It was a nightmare, but yeah.

Cassie Crawford (Shane's Wife): Sounds scary.

Rick: Yeah, it was, it was terrifying. I'm not from a land of that kind of weather so it scares me. It wasn't like a thunder storm, this was like the wrath of God like.

Art: The first year we played we had only been a band for about two years, but that definitely was one of the highlights, that first year.

Cassie: That leads to another question, how did you guys all get together? How did that work?

Art: He (Matt) and I had been in a band, we've been playing with each other for about six years and then Rick, we met Rick on Craigslist, because he moved over from Melbourne.

Rick: That's been about three and half years?

Art: Yeah, we met Rick about three and a half years ago. Then the three of us have been in a band and that split up and Dell was still hanging out in Sydney. His band split up and he hit Rick up so Dell flew over and that is the Cliff Notes.

Cassie: My other question is, this a girl question. Do you guys have families or girlfriends or wives? Or how does that work?

Art: Single, single, single, married. Dellacoma is the only married one.

Dellacoma: Married with a kid. A three and half year old daughter.

Cassie: Is that hard?

Dellacoma: Yeah, it is. She's really good. I couldn't be with anyone else.

Cassie: She knew what she got herself into when marrying you.

Art: You met at a gig, right?

Dellacoma: Yeah, we met at a gig.

Cassie: Is she from Australia as well?

Dellacoma: Yeah. We live in Melbourne, Australia.

Matt: She's very Australian.

Shane: What is very Australian?

Art: (in Austrilian accent) Ah, Fucking hell. You fucking hell. Fiery.

Dellacoma: She is also full Italian as well so that's ...

Shane: Oh my goodness, that's a fire cracker.

Dellacoma: Yeah.

Cassie: You guys are going to stay single?

Matt: Yeah, intending on staying that way for sometime as well.

Art: Yeah, I got no rush.

Cassie: Hey your in Utah, you never know...

Shane: Yeah! You might meet a nice Utah, Utahn?

Art: We were talking about this the other day is it Utahn?

Shane: We are Utahn.  People from out of state usually call us Mormons whether we are or not. That's always a constant struggle. Let's see what else we got for you. We covered that one.  In   2015, you guys debuted your album 'South of Everything' and like I said, it's a straight up a rock and roll record.  I think it's fantastic. In this digital age, what made you guys decide to actually release a physical CD? I mean so many bands, and it's discouraging for me because I'm a huge fan...I have it right in front of me, your album.

Dellacoma: Yeah, totally us too.

Shane: I like so many bands, I'm one of the last ones to conform to downloading digital. I mean it's a great tool. It's great to get your music out there but what made you guys actually release a physical copy along with the digital.

Rick: Because we are just like you.

Dellacoma: Yeah, pretty much. What we do is very organic. It's real. Like we don't use any backing tracks, or we don't use any auto-tune or anything like that. Like if we can't play it then we ought to get better or we don't put it on the record. That's where we come from. I think physical copies are important because we want people to be able to actually read the lyrics and look at the artwork while they're listening to the songs, because you can get lost in the jumble, people putting out songs so much especially in the digital age. If you got a computer or a phone you can make ... I've got garage band on my phone and that's how I do some of the demos but people can make songs and just put them out there, and we come from a place I guess where it's more than just another song in the cosmic song universe, and I think the physical aspect of the live show the way it's created and everything, for us it's just a natural logical step to go physical.

Shane: Nice. I like to hear that. Like I said, it's frustrating for me. I hear a lot of new bands for   the first time and I just dig the shit of them and then I go and try to find their CD, and some of them offer it on their website but there are so many that are just releasing digital and it's frustrating to me. I hope it changes somewhere along the lines where we start to see a comeback in the CD's. I mean shit, you're seeing some bands releasing cassettes again.

Matt: Vinyls,

Art: Vinyls a thing.

Shane Crawford: Vinyls a thing. I don't think vinyl really slowed down but there was always that cult following.

Art: We were in Lincoln a couple nights ago and some dude was like, "Do you have any Vinyl?" We were like, "No, sorry." I Think the way we tour, we are on the road like half the year and it's harder to, it's less tangible.  If you're like, "Here's a download card," you know what I mean or whatever.

Matt: It's going to go away on a whim.

Art: It's easier to physically sell right there in the moment, a physical copy.

Matt: Most people, a lot of the time people will see us, and not have no idea who we are. If they like us they're not able to go in a record store and buy our CD so it's good to have them with us when we go out on the road. We'll be like here it is right here.

Shane: If I could go back to the Rocklahoma story, just for one second. You guys said you played in the rain. I play guitar a little bit, I'm no pro by any means but how the hell do you play guitar in the rain?

Art: It was challenging.

Rick: I even had mud on the fret. In the frets of my bass at one stage because the...was rolling around in it.

Shane: I mean, even the drum sticks would even fly out of your hand.

Dellacoma: Yeah, the wind was blowing at one point and I opened my mouth to sing and I've got like a mouth full of water. It's stuff like that that you don't think about.

Matt: I remember, like when I'm playing guitar and stuff and I do a lot of string bending, it was really hard tough to get a grip on the strings because they are wet, and the pick kept like, the end you pick with would like slide so you would be playing with the flat end. It was one of those can't bail out of the plane when it's in the air. Just got to ride it out.

Shane: I guess I could ask each one of you, have you guys been able to play with any of your idols? Have you met any of your idols? If so, have you met anybody that you really love but in person they disappointed you? Because I've had that experience a few times.

Matt: I got to meet one of my favorite drummers, Todd Sucherman who plays for Styx, and he was an absolute stand up guy. Better than I would have expected from anybody.  I gave him a copy of the album with my e-Mail address and then he sent me an e-mail saying, "Just listened to your album on the plane last night, it was rocking. Good job." It's like wow, this is really cool."

Shane: How cool is that?

Art: The first year we played at rock U.S.A. ee shared a trailer with Zack Wylde.  Dell got heat exhaustion because we had to play a four hour cover set after the main stage gig and Zack Wylde came in and he was like, "Is everything all right, are you good? Do you need anything?" He was like checking on Dell and stuff.

Shane: I got to meet Zack Wild at the Metal Shop years ago up in Salt Lake City. I've never met a guitar player who can shred like Zack. He totally blew me away. It was kind of a funny story. He was so trashed. He was doing a meet and greet and the owner of the Metal Shop, I don't know if you guys are aware of it, but anyway he was the one who had to drive him up to Park City for the gig. I guess he was puking all over in his car and shit. That guy still got up that night and just killed it.

Matt: Yeah, he was a drinking professional.

Shane: Yeah, I hear he is sober now.

Art: He had a blood clot, and he had to take these blood thinners. The doctor was like, "If you keep drinking these, you will die." Every time I see him in interviews he is always drinking O'doul's. Beck's not an alcoholic so he's still green.

Shane: How about you, as a bass player who was your idols?

Rick: Oh god, there's many. Just bands in general that year we rocked us out. Like just saying, Black Label, Slayer and Skid Row. Yeah, you need to do some Skid Row and feel like a ten year old kid.

Dellacoma: We were checking with Skid Row. Yeah, like Rachel Owens up there like playing boy, you're playing.

Rick: Yeah, you feel like this big but everyone I met has been not even just good guys, but great guys. Just really awesome people. I haven't met any dicks yet.

Shane: It's really funny because the media portrays Rachel as kind of a dickhead.

Rick: Yeah, if you catch them at the wrong time and like, everyone wants to go through their day.

Shane: That guy can write some lyrics, he is a good lyricist.

Art: On his tour we opened for Tracie Guns twice and I've heard he's a colossal ass-hole but we met him and he was a perfect gentleman.

Matt: Yeah, he was totally cool.

Rick: Yeah his whole band was really nice guys. Cool.

Shane: I got to see LA Guns quite a few times.

Art: Actually the dude who is singing for Tracie guns is here. We met him at the hotel yesterday.

Dellacoma: Mike O'mara.

Shane: Oh really?

Dellacoma: Yeah, he is going to be singing with the Def Leppard tribute and the Led Zeppelin tribute and he is the singer for Tracie Guns.

Shane: Let me ask you as a vocalist, who were your idols growing up? I mean, what made you want to be a vocalist? Is it something you just knew growing up or was it a natural talent?

Dellacoma: Yeah, I grew up in an Acappella Church, so it was like whether you wanted to or not everybody sang so otherwise you were the one who tell us who's not singing. You couldn't hide behind an instrument. I grew up singing. I discovered rock and roll in high school. I guess I haven't really met any of my I guess vocal idols I guess, if you will. For me Steven Tyler and Chris Cornell and Scott Weiland were probably my biggest influences. Out here on the road, I'm trying to think, I don't think I've actually met any vocalist.

Art: Lamont.

Dellacoma: Yeah, Lamont from Mark 22. Actually, the other night we played this tiny little bar in   Topeka, and it was some guy I have never heard of, he was just traveling through, Mel Washington. I never heard of him before, not to sound like...

Matt: He won a Grammy Award.

Dellacoma: Yeah. He blew me away and that's pretty rare, because we see a lot of bands.

Matt: Mostly in the low range ones.

Dellacoma: Even average, every now and again I mean ... and that's not talking shit that's just the reality. It is what it is. Mel really blew me away as a vocalist. As far as big bands I'd say probably Def Leppard. They really impressed me because I had never seen them before, and I expected especially with the way their music is, that they would either be not doing it very well or playing the backing tracks but they blew me away. I saw them twice and we played with them at the festival and then I got to get a guest pass to go walk them in Australia and both times. You could tell that they weren't using tracks because there was one time you go to cough and his vocals cut out and you're like, "Oh that's live," that's good, that's good.

Matt: Yeah, Def Leppard blew my mind.

Shane: I would love to see their tour with Tesla. I've seen Tesla quite a few times.  Yeah, Jeff Keith is one of my favorite vocalist. He just makes it look so easy. He doesn't seem to strain or struggle very much at all. I don't think Tesla has ever really put out a bad album. I wasn't a huge fan of their last one, but they are a good band.

Art: Yeah, they are. Their guitar player Frank Hannon is pretty sick, and him actually, we met him at one of the festivals.

Shane: I've never met him, but he seems like a really nice guy.

Art: Yeah, apparently he is just a real big hippy stoner dude, from what I hear. He seemed rad.

Shane: I won't keep you guys much longer, I'll wrap it up. How would you describe your music to somebody who's brand new? Like today, who is coming to your show that is seeing you for the first time but has never heard your CD. What's the best way to describe your music to those people?

Dellacoma: Rock and roll. I like to use the words brash and reckless. I feel like we take a lot of chances. We are very much organic.

Art: I think we're just a groovy hard rock band. That's really what we try to be. We play everything in the set is a little different every night. We never play everything the exact same way. I take a lot of pride in that. Most bands, it's note for note the same way. They never change anything. Watch five gigs, there are different aspects to it.

Dellacoma: We create something onstage that's not, and yeah, there are going to be nights that it's similar. It's not going to be completely different every night. Yeah, we definitely create something different I feel like on stage.

Shane: My last question I guess will be, I'll give you guys the opportunity to plug promote anything you want to say to our readers on the blog and I'll let you guys get back to what you do best.

Matt: Drinking beers.

Art: Drinking beers.

Shane: I love it!

Dellacoma: Thanks for reading or listening or whatever. If you do go to Rocklahoma, we're going to be there obviously so come out. We're that sort of band, we love writing music and playing music and we're very interactive as well. Don't be afraid to get in contact online. We're also the sort of band that major record companies and radio stations don't care about at all so the way that we get to do what we love to do is by people sharing our stuff online and by telling their friends about us. Don't underestimate how big a cog in this machine you are purely by sharing it and telling your friends. That's huge for us. That's something that money can't buy.

Art: More than likely we will be in a town relatively close to you.

Shane: Again, welcome to you guys to southern Utah. We are proud to have you. This is kind of a new thing for us, and I hope it gets bigger every year. We appreciate your time, and look forward to the show tonight.

Rick: Appreciate you having us.

Shane: Anytime. We'll definitely tell our readers to pick up your stuff and share it with a friend.  Thanks guys.

Matt: Thanks guys.

Art: Thank you so much.

Rick: Thank you.

Dellacoma: I appreciate it.



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