Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll? If only it were that simple. Despite wearing the influence of ’70s and ’80s bands like The Clash, The 101ers and Primal Scream, there’s much more to Melbourne rockers The Delta Riggs, according to bassist Michael ‘Monty’ Tramonte. “Although we do have sex, take drugs and play rock’n’roll, we’re pretty tame,” he says. “We’re not actually very wild – we’re not one of those kind of bands.”
In general, The Delta Riggs try not to take themselves too seriously – at the end of the day, they’re just mates hanging out, and that’s what they find most exciting about creating music together. But don’t be fooled – though they are certainly laid-back and humble, the Riggs have had some amazing opportunities thrust upon them. They’ve jumped on tour with Kasabian, Foo Fighters, and even met Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page by chance backstage at one of their shows.
Tramonte is still in awe of touring with a band like the Foo Fighters, which the Riggs did in February and March last year, and can hardly believe they were given the opportunity. “The touring on that level was just ridiculous,” he says. “It was so well-oiled, there were so many crew involved, it was just amazing. You can do that forever, that kind of style of touring – you wouldn’t get sick of it.”
But Tramonte also has dear memories of the 2014 tour with Kasabian, listing it as one of his favourites so far, because of how at ease the headliners made their counterparts feel.
“They kind of reminded us of us, in a way,” he says. “They were just a bunch of really great mates, and got all personal. They were silly – like they carry on with a bunch of really silly stuff.”
Indeed, The Delta Riggs can be pretty silly too. Though the name of their second album, Dipz Zebazios, was intended to be open for interpretation, Tramonte admits there is a bit of a story behind it.
“Dipz Zebazios is a person that’s like the god of celebrities. He’s pulling all the puppet strings and he’s up in the clouds, and the name just came from our artist friend who had a piece of artwork that had a title that was similar. Then there was a pile of dips next to it, like Jatz and dips, so we were like, ‘Dipz Zebazios’. It’s kind of silly – we’re a silly band. People think we’re really serious, but we’re not.”
It’s this quirkiness that gives the band its spark. Although there’s a wide spread of musical interests in the group, like hip hop, punk and alt-rock, different sounds get meshed together in the writing process and it all comes together to form a united sound.
“It obviously has to end up sounding cohesive, like we are the same band, which I think we do quite well in the end,” says Tramonte. “We’ve got those punk songs, and rock’n’roll songs, and just kind of groovy songs and stuff, but it all sounds like the same band.”
For Record Store Day in April, the band put out a new collection, Dipz From The Zong. Again, the Riggs made the name of the mini-album an in-joke – they were listening to Cyprus Hill’s Hits From The Bong on tour and figured they should pay tribute. Despite the fact Dipz Zebazios was still a fresh release, the choice to follow it up so quickly was inspired by the likes of Kurt Vile and The War On Drugs, who’ve similarly released extra tracks after an album and given a platform to songs that didn’t quite make the initial cut.
“There were a couple [of songs] that were looming but didn’t really fit, but were still kind of cool and weird. There’s this fucking turbo song on there – 3D Jetfighter – it’s this crazy song. And there’s a song on there called Hey Victor that just didn’t fit on that record at that time, and it was just a good excuse.”
But as much as they love hanging out and creating music, The Delta Riggs really are all about transporting people through their music. “I just hope that we can kind of take people away from the mundane, their everyday lives. Like you’re with us for an hour, and that’s all that matters right now.”
Written by Erin Rooney
When & Where: Torquay Hotel, Torquay – January 15, Whalers Hotel, Warrnambool – January 16 & Lorne Hotel, Lorne – January 17