Delphic's on a mission to make electro music with soul
“We wanted to make electronic music with soul... electronic music that will be remembered in 10 years time, or 20 years time." - Richard Boardman, on the intention behind their tunes.
"It's alright to just make really cool dance music and be slightly obscure but if you want to push music forward, you’ve got to help put it into the mainstream." - Richard Boardman, on the pushing music boundaries.
“I don’t mean to come across as a cliché but the only pressure we feel is our own. We’ve sacrificed relationships, we’ve sacrificed very close friends, we’ve just got each other, really, and we lead quite introverted live." - Richard Boardman, on being totally music-obssessed.
By Jordana Borensztajn. Feb 5, 2010.
Delphic set out to create electronic music with soul and very quickly scored a spot on the BBC’s prestigious Sound of 2010 list. That’s not a bad outcome for a band that formed less than two years ago.
The Manchester threesome, who officially got together in ’08, have already played on massive festival bills like Glastonbury, Creamfields and T in the Park. With a debut that’s only been out for a few weeks, the trio’s already made a splash as far as Australia, hitting Aussie airwaves with their dreamy, euphoric and electro-infused single “Doubt.”
“We wanted to make electronic music with soul,” the band’s frontman Richard Boardman tells Nova. “That was the initial train of thought behind the record. We were listening to a lot of dance music at the time and we were really interested in some of the dance music from the early 90s, with the euphoria and feelings it evoked,” he says.
“We wanted to make electronic music that will be remembered in 10 years time, or 20 years time – that has depth to it. It’s hard to create a feeling from electronic music.”
As dance music becomes more mainstream right across the world, Boardman says the band isn’t trying to move with the times. Rather, the threesome’s goal is to push music boundaries as much as possible. “What we’re doing isn’t necessarily a reaction to dance music, it’s more trying to fuse some of our dance references into pop music because it’s alright to just make really cool dance music and be slightly obscure but if you want to push music forward, you’ve got to help put it into the mainstream. Like Bjork.”
Featuring in third place on the BBC Sound for 2010 list, a huge spotlight has shone on the band since the prestigious list was first unleashed. Industry experts and music enthusiasts across the world look to this list as a gospel guide to artists worth watching.
“I don’t know how we feel. It’s nice to get public approval from someone like the BBC… Everyone around the world is talking about this list but it wasn’t such a big deal. Everything just gets out of hand. The number one person on it every year has got so much hype that you could never possibly live up to it. It’s such a talked-about list,” he explains.
“We’re alright because we knew that within two weeks of that poll, our album would be out so we didn’t have to go write anything. We wanted to have our album ready so that people wouldn’t just hear a name – so there was some substance there and it wasn’t all hype.”
Shooting to fame in this way – similar to Little Boots, Passion Pit, La Roux and plenty of other wicked artists on last year’s list – can put a lot of pressure on a young group. Boardman says the only pressure the trio feels is self-inflicted. Unfortunately though, this doesn’t make it any easier to manage.
“I don’t mean to come across as a cliché but the only pressure we feel is our own. We’ve sacrificed relationships, we’ve sacrificed very close friends, we’ve just got each other, really, and we lead quite introverted lives,” he explains.
In addition to working together, the threesome also lives together. Boardman says they’re constantly immersed in music which goes a long way in fuelling their creativity. “Our house is like organised chaos. We know where everything is but maybe to someone else’s eyes, it would look messy and all over the place. In terms of washing up and food and everything, we’re always very tidy. We’re meticulous individuals but there must be about 13 or 14 keyboards in there, and there’s a piano and an organ. It’s just full of equipment. We’ve got a little studio in there as well but not everything fits in the studio, so in every room we’ve got thousands of leads. We see it as essential to the way that we work, really. We want to be surrounded by it at all points.”
Trying not to sound too sentimental, Boardman admits the close bond between the three guys plays a huge role in the creative journey that they’re travelling. “We know each other inside out musically, and I guess in every way. We’re close friends and we argue quite a lot because we spend so much time together, which is natural,” he says.
“Actually, some of the most exciting creative moments can be born out of these arguments or pressurized situations. And it’s really important because we’ll be having a big row at three in the morning about something – probably completely inconsequential – and then all of a sudden a spark will just appear and someone will hit the piano and we’ll be on it.”