Having their music featured on TV shows like "True Blood," and "Vampire Diaries," performing at festivals like Bonnaroo, and touring all over the country, it is hard to ignore Delta Rae. The tight-knit group of talented musicians (3 of whom are siblings), have made their hometown of Durham proud. Just last year they released their debut album Carry The Fire, and are currently on tour, proving their amazing and raw talent.
Delta Rae stopped by the iHeartRadio studios in New York City recently, where they talked about everything but the music. Find out what the band had to say about being a family, their hometown in Durham, and what makes a Delta Rae party in OffBEAT with Delta Rae below.
Your first question is what makes people a family?
Spending 12 hours in a band with people for days on end. Family are people that you feel comfortable being vulnerable around, and trust. It’s a complicated relationship. We were just talking about this the other day [because] blood family is really important and there’s a connection there, but you also go through life and you start incorporating in your inner circle, people who are as fundamental. So it’s a complicated relationship, but you know when you have it.
What ghosts follow you around?
We actually wrote a song about this. We have a song called "Surrounded," and the chorus is "surrounded by ghosts." One is for the ghosts of the place that you’re from and the south has a lot of that. We’re all in North Carolina now, [but] we’ve lived in a lot of different places, [and] that follows you as much as you may want to escape it. It’s a part of your interactions with people and a part of where you fit into things. The ghosts of the people that you loved and the ghosts of family. That's where you feel it most common or most often.
What ignites fire?
Passion ignites fire. Regardless of what you’re feeling passionate about whether it’s two people feeling passionately in love, two people feeling passionately opposed, it can be either. It’s also sort of how you define fire. Fire can be something destructive, it can be something that warms you when you’re cold. Passion is the spark of two people [that] feel strongly that will ignite a fire. Maybe it’s two ideas or two souls, or two consensus, because in war there’s fire and it’s two different philosophies, or sides you are creating.
How does Durham define you?
Durham defines us in a lot of ways and it’s both positive and negative. It’s a home ground for a lot of us, and I think that it’s been a source of really great tension for us. It’s been a place that we encounter some of the ghosts that are a part of our lives. But then also it’s been a place that has both really embraced us, and has sort of pushed us at times, and then had some friction. The south is a place where all of the debates that America has ever gone through are still so alive. You have to be who you are and stand up for what you believe in everyday.
Durham is a wonderful place, it’s been instrumental in forming this band. It just forged us because when we started the band, it was four singers and we moved into a house in the middle of the woods and it was a fixer upper. So we needed to fix it up together and we fought so much during that time. It was horrible but it was also really great, because we had pride in this thing that we created, and we were also sort of secluded so we could sing whatever we wanted. We could make the music we wanted and not feel like there were people around judging it while we were making it. We could fight with each other as loud as we needed too. It was a haven, it was a safe place to do all that creative work that needed to be done, so we owe a lot to there [Durham].
What disappears when morning comes?
When the morning comes the past sort of disappears in a way. You wake up and it’s all still there, but with each new morning you have a chance to build something new. It’s such an incredible period. It’s in a lot of our songs, because it’s so, it’s so full of possibilities.
What does life look like after death?
[We] don’t know what comes, what life looks like after death. You can sort of only hope and speculate on it but that feels like the most exciting version of what it might be.
What do you want to be forgiven for?
[We] don’t want to be forgiven for all the stupid things that we've have done, especially publically because you know then they effect other people. And yet if you didn’t do that, you wouldn’t be growing. As much as we’d like to be forgiven, you sort of get to those places in life where you realize, like you lose someone close to you, or something devastating happens to someone else, and you’re sort of left on the other side of it going "you know I just need to live everything day loving the people who I love as much as I can love them, you know just you know I could lose them, I could be gone and they would never know how much I care about them." So, the only things that we really look back on and feel like we want forgiveness for is when we’ve done something hurtful. We just want that to be where all of us in the world look at each other and are like, "We’re not always perfect, and it’s not about forgiveness it’s just about acceptance."
What do you carry on from those who came before you?
[Ian, Eric & Brittany] - Super blonde hair. Our family is very musical and we feel like we're carrying the torch in that way. Both of our parents are professional musicians and instructors, so we feel like we’re carrying the torch in that way.
Some, well all of what we do is so in extraordinary limit to of our parents and the people who came before them, but our parents are our heroes, and in a lot of ways great story telling is something that we want to carry on from them. They’re both incredible story tellers, and funny, and loving, and heroic. They just stand up for what they believe in. Our mom stood up for gay rights in Georgia when we lived there, and it was very tense. We would get death threats on our car. It was risky [but] she did it anyway, and it was the right thing to do. Our dad was the same way in California, people would speed up the road in their cars in this little neighborhood. There are kids on that street, and our dad would jump out in front of the cars and almost kill himself. [He would] get in people’s faces and say that’s not okay in this neighborhood, not happening here, and it was so cool. They thought Sasquatch was on their car. Both of our parents are just really cool, and we want to carry that on. We want to carry on the courage to do the right thing in the moments when it matters.
What makes a Delta Rae party?
Brunch, mojitos, waffles, caffine, pouched eggs, hash browns. We go to brunch every chance we get. So breakfast food makes a big part of the party. Really really good food, we are serious about what we eat. Everyone invests in their own way. The Delta Rae party is an investment.
Check out "Bottom of the River" which has been featured in the HBO series "True Blood"
Listen to "Dance in the Graveyards" which has been featured on the CW series "Vampire Diaries"
Photos by Shelby Case