SoundTown Series: Delta Spirit's Jon Jameson talks about their new album and Friday Night Lights

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Roots rockers Delta Spirit are relentlessly busy. In the midst of recording their third album, they have been touring up a storm--hitting the festival circuit heavily, between Lollapalooza, the Newport Folk Festival, and now SoundTown. Gimme Noise chatted with founding member and bassist Jon Jameson over the phone about the band's upcoming album and what makes their music come alive.

Hey Jon! So, catch me up. What can you tell me about the new album you've got in the works?

Well, we've spent the last three months recording. We've drilled songs out, you know, five days a week, and made a serious job out of it. We were able to tour a little bit less, so that's been kind of nice, and we've been able to work on making these songs something we love. The last few days we've been recording at Woodstock in this old church, and we're super excited about the work we're doing.

That's cool. So can we expect to hear any of those new songs at SoundTown?

Yeah, definitely! We've kind of been on a trend lately of playing five or so new songs at shows and getting a grip on how to play them live. It should be a great new batch.

Awesome! Good to hear. You guys just got done playing Lollapalooza, how was that for you? What were the highlights?

Oh, it was amazing. We played our own pre-show at Lincoln Hall the night before, it was sold out, and we've been recording for so long that it felt really good to play our own club show, you know? And then we played kind of an earlier set for Lollapalooza, and it went really well. That was probably the most people we've ever played for.

How did the SoundTown gig come up for you? Are you excited to play it?

Yeah, well, we have a booking agent who's always looking for us and we didn't really have any idea what it was, but it seemed like a great lineup. We're pretty excited about it.

Yeah, it's really some of the best local bands from the Twin Cities area, plus, you know, the Flaming Lips. (Laughs) I'm interviewing Wayne Coyne following you, actually, and I'm sweating over it.

Oh, that's awesome! Are you going to talk to him about how he takes naked photos of his wife for Twitter?

I was actually planning on focusing more on the gummy fetuses.

(Laughs)
Yeah, stick to the important stuff.

Right. So... You guys seem to be high on the festival circuit... do you prefer them to a show at a venue? How do they compare?

Well, we love playing our own shows and touring, but festivals are really unique for a few different reasons. It's nice because you get to watch other bands, and that never happens, unless you're touring with them, and it's not really the same. On the other side, it's always kind of a challenge to make something your own that isn't your own, and to connect with everybody, to really make sure you look at the faces in front of you. It's usually a challenge, but we're into it.

You've said before that your music "comes to life" when you're playing it live. Can you describe that feeling? How is it different than playing it on your own, practicing or just without a crowd?

Yeah! I mean, I think it's kind of... what could I compare it to? Metaphorically, it's almost like... a book is a book whether it's read or not, and I feel like it's almost like that with a song. When someone is hearing it with you, that's how it's meant to be. It's just not to play at people but to connect with them, to honestly look at them, and I think that's just part of who we are. That's just our feeling as a band. When you're in a rock band, sometimes that's just a lot of people who want to be cooler than the next person, and that's never been us... I don't know, that seems a little too emotional, but that's just how I see it, I guess.

Your song "Devil Knows You're Dead" was recently featured on the series finale of Friday Night Lights. Are you guys fans of the program? How did you find out about your song was going to be featured?

Oh, you know, people called... I have no idea about who the person was or the specifics, but I think it's really a great thing. It's a show that none of us were familiar with before, but we have really good friends who are die hard fans of the show, and they called us and were like, "I was crying when your song came on!," so that's cool. All of us watched the clip over and we were like, "cool, there's people playing football, and our song is playing in the background," and we didn't really connect. Then afterwards a couple of the guys got really into it and watched the whole series, all the seasons. It's pretty cool, we're just really grateful.

And last question... what are you most looking forward to about playing SoundTown? Are you going to be there for the whole two nights or is it just like a hot minute sort of thing?

Yeah, it's definitely a hot minute, because the next day we're playing in Nashville. But every show I've played in Minneapolis has been amazing and I think that Wisconsin is beautiful, so it should be a fantastic show. We're really honored to be a part of it.

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Somerset Amphitheater

715 Spring St., Somerset, MN

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The SoundTown Music & Camping Festival 2011 is coming to the Twin Cities!  Featuring more than 30 bands, including The Flaming Lips, New Pornographers, DeVotchKa, Ghostland Observatory, SoundTown is looking to add two more local bands/artists to their lineup and play on stage from August 19th – 20th.

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