Interview: Delphi Ravens
Answers provided by Papa B.™ - Founder, bassist and songwriter of Delphi Ravens
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My story is quite different from most. I started my musical journey later in life. I raised a family, worked as a business exec, and founded my own business. But I decided I really wanted to dedicate the rest of my life to music.
Just like someone younger, I learned my instrument, started playing with others, and decided to start my own band and write music. So, I wouldn’t be doing anything else today, this is what I want to be doing until I can’t do it anymore. Love what I am doing!
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I have some property and a bunch of animals too so that keeps me busy when not writing, recording, and playing. I love the outdoors and the wildlife around the property too. My wife fosters cats as well so there is always something to do when I have extra time.
How long has your band been around?
I spent a year auditioning dozens of people before finding the right mix of artists. It all came together at the end of 2019. Everyone knows what happened next - the pandemic. We decided to focus on writing and recording in 2020-21. So far, we have 7 songs released and 4 more with release dates set, and 5 new songs we will be recording in the near future. We have just started playing live gigs and will do more as the year goes.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based in southern Oregon which has a surprising number of good musicians. Our band members have played country/blues, jazz, hard rock, metal, alternative, and even orchestral. A lot of different influences and I lived in the Los Angeles are for many years, so I have influences from that music hotbed.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
It took me awhile to figure out a name I really liked. There are 2 parts to the name really. The Raven is a three-eyed raven, like in Game of Thrones® , that can see possible future events. Delphi comes from the Greek Oracle at Delphi. The Oracle was the “go-to” for any knowledge or problem to be solved even by the great Socrates or Plato.
The combination of knowledge and future sight was what I was going for…Delphi Ravens.
Tell me about your most memorable show.
We did a private show that was a lot of fun and is still our most memorable show to date. But band members have done battle of the bands and tours, so everyone’s experience is different.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
We don’t have a favorite place to play right now. That may come in time but as a group we haven’t played enough gigs together to have a favorite. Would love to play some of the big summer fairs and festivals as well as some of the hotspots in LA like Viper Room, The Whisky, Troubadour, and House of Blues.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
That is a tough one because there are so many great artists out there. As of this moment, I would love to share a lineup with artists like Bamil, Darren Holland, Hannyta. So many to choose from, but I like super talented groups or people who are not big stars but produce amazing music. And not necessarily even our genre of music either.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I would share some advice I got that applies to most everything. Never stop working at your craft. Every great player or artist I have met or seen on interviews will tell you they had to work hard, some for many years, before any success. The best bass players in the world all say they are still learning and believe anyone can learn to play like they do.
Second, learning is a life-long process, not a month or year or two. Persevere. Last, surround yourself with people who are better than you are… there is no way to improve faster. And the bonus is they make you look good too.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Only one thing, start sooner rather than later. That’s it.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Every member has their favorite but mine is Hardest Goodbye. I wrote the entire song, and it is personal. Losing someone you love deeply is hard and adjusting to the loss can take years and that is what the song is about.
Which songs are your favorite to play, and which get requested the most?
A few of the favorites: How Wrong You Were (up tempo and our first release), Hardest Goodbye, Phobia (so much fun to play – all about fears), Delphi Raven (kinda our theme song), and some of our upcoming releases too. Hardest Goodbye and Phobia have been our most requested songs so far.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I write the music for the songs and Kira (lead vocals) writes the melodies. We both write lyrics and I write about 2/3 of them. We also encourage the band to give us their ideas.
Typically, Kira and I will go over the lyrics and musical ideas first. I then put the musical outline of the song on a large pad of paper on an easel (for all to see in the band room). I have the song key, tempo, chord sequences and more on the pad. We start playing the music as written and adjust as we go – either because the melody won’t work perfectly, or the band has some ideas to try. Repeat, adjust, repeat, adjust…until we are happy with the result. Then off to the studio when we have 4-5 songs to record. Mixing after that and set release dates.
We are not a jam band trying to find a sound we like. I feel our process is much more efficient, faster, and we produce some really good tracks too.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
All our songs are emotionally driven. Anger, love, fear, insomnia, hidden messages, wonder, sadness, excitement, and feeling lost are just a few of the emotions/feelings we feature in our music. We have been called a ‘darker’ band as we explore many dark or sad emotional conditions. We want listeners to feel something they can relate to with one or more songs.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We are all pretty laid back, so we really don’t argue. We do disagree sometimes on specifics of a song like a particular chord in a sequence, but I encourage everyone to say what they think, it makes the songs that much better. Unlike most bands, we have a wide range of ages which I think is a big advantage and not a negative. We all respect one another and our diverse views and experiences. I think it makes us much better than bands that only play with people of the same age and background. I am sure they will disagree, LOL.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We will be releasing our first EP later this year and then start prepping our first album for release in 2023. More live gigs later this year and possible small tour in ’23 too. Otherwise, we will continue to write, record, and release new music.
Growing our fan base is a never-ending goal as well!