Steadily climbing the ranks of Detroit’s musical standout acts, Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas offer a gritty and raw approach that is the perfect compliment to their home city’s rock and R&B legacies. The Motor City influence is prominent in 25-year-old Hernandez powerful vocals. With a fall tour and 2014 LP on the horizon, next year is set to see the band break out of their city and reach newer, more public heights and levels of attention.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Hernandez to discuss the band’s forthcoming, as-of-yet-untitled 2014 record. This is what she said about it.
When did you begin writing the material for your forthcoming album?
It’s always crazy with a debut album because there are songs from a few months ago and songs from a really different point in my 20-year-old life.
What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing? Why was it so troublesome?
Probably “Dead Brains”. It just is this one thing live that always feels so good and trying to capture that in a recording process was really difficult. We ended up having to change a lot of things for the album because sometimes things that you do live just don’t translate on a record.
Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?
“Dead Brains” again hah. The first recording I did of this song was in my basement on a cheesy toy Yamaha keyboard, a three-piece drum set and an electric guitar. It has since grown into this other beast that is great but it’s just a different song basically. I eventually want to release all my shitty home recording to show people all the different phases songs can go through.
Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?
All of the horn players were friends of my producers who came in from Mexico City. Danny Zlotnik played sax and clarinet and helped me with some horn arrangements. Yoanny Pino, who plays with the Afro-Cuban All Stars, played trumpet on the album.
Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?
Milo Froideval produced the album. I’m actually in Mexico City as we speak visiting him. The two of us just vibed right away. My biggest thing was finding someone that I felt really comfortable with. That comfort I had, let me be more experimental and not shy to try a bunch of weird shit out without feeling judged. He has a great ear for tone and textures and added all these creepy little elements that I really wanted to have on the album. He also was really good about being honest with me about stuff that just wasn’t working.
Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?
Just a feeling of happiness and morbidness.
Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?
Yeah, we’ve been on the road a lot this year and have been playing these songs every night. The crowds are always different and I’m constantly surprised about which crowds take to which songs. It’s nice though, there might be a song I’m just not into playing at the time but hearing someone react positively to it can make me fall in love with it again.