Lewis Del Mar Talks A Full Band and Creativity
Summer Set Music Festival went off without a hitch this year for their 5 year anniversary. As usual, the festival brought a huge variety of artists, a little something for everyone. We caught up with Lewis Del Mar on the last leg of their summer tour at the festival to chat about Summer Set, their fall tour, and what it’s like creating as a duo yet playing with a live band.
What are you most excited for regarding Summer Set?
Danny: This is the last show of the tour, and we’re so glad we’re in such a beautiful place in the Northern part of the country in the summer is perfect. We go back to New York and get to have some time with our friends, we’ve been traveling all summer.
You’re heading back home tomorrow?
Danny: Tonight actually. We’re headed to go see Bon Iver after at Eaux Claires.
So just come, play, and dip, huh?
Max: Well we’re hanging out now!
Danny: But we’re just excited because he’s got a new album coming out – oh shit was I not supposed to say that!?
Max: He just announced it, so I think you’re cool.
How long have you guys been working on your latest album?
Danny: It’s finished actually.
Max: But we were working on it for around 2 years.
Danny: From the first incarnation to this moment I’d say two years, but we really worked on it for about 4 months.
Max: It’s like a relationship, you know we were hooking up for about two years, but we’ve been official for only so much time.
Danny: We were toiling and working other jobs, but when we sat down to focus on it, a few months to finish it up.
What are you most proud of?
Danny: Most proud of the whole thing. Seems like an arbitrary thing to say but I think it’s sort of the completion of something big. Not sort of a single song, I think it’s the fact that we made an album which justifies all the different angles and styles we take to music stylistically and songwriting wise. It feels good to have an album, the overall idea of creating something.
Max: Dan sort of touched on it, but we have around 4 songs out and it doesn’t really show the entire picture of what our group is all about, so I think with a full album – 10 songs – you can see a lot of different angles to our sound so I’m excited for people to get the full picture.
Are there any conceptual themes to the album?
Danny: It’s just very honest. I think it definitely tells a story but there is a sort of personal narrative in that sense. It’s not anything fictitious or extravagant, just sort of the idea of a coming-of-age in a new place and reconciling the different parts of yourself and coming to terms with the fact that we as 21st century individuals are people who have a bunch of mixed tastes and balance a lot. It’s sort of about finding that balance between the two, in past and present.
[Turning to Max] Did he nail it?
Max: Yeah. Yes. Yes.
The two of you came together to create this, yet you’re touring with more people. Explain this a little, what are the challenges in adding more people in a live setting?
Danny: It’s so funny, because there are no challenges at all. These people are the best people on Earth, they’re all incredible musicians. I think the only problem you could run into in having other people play your songs is that they don’t live it and enjoy it as much as you do. It’s not an idea they’re bringing for life as much as you, but for these three people who are our really good friends, it feels like it is. They’ve taken their parts we’ve made for them and built them all their own, everyone’s excited about it.
Max: It’s been exciting for me to watch because we;re bringing these songs to them already completed, but they have been elevated a little bit by watching these guys take it and make it their parts slightly different or totally different and take on another energy.
Danny: They’ve really brought it to life.
Have you thought about bringing these guys on permanently and have a full band vs the two of you?
Max: Well, we’re live. I’m hoping that these guys are permanent.
Danny: They are our people already and we don’t have any plans on changing that, but I think for the next album maybe it will be a little more band-based. Maybe for the next album that’s also arbitrary and I think it’ll be something we decide when the time comes. Most of them are already planning on playing the next album, it’s been very collaborative and they’re definitely family.
What’s planned for the fall with the release of your album? Are you doing another tour?
Danny: Tickets just went on sale today.
Max: Headline tour in October, we’re coming.
What city are you most excited for?
Danny: I think what we’re most excited for is that we’ve been opening for a lot of acts and we’re grateful to play for a new audience, but we’re really excited to play to our audience and meet our fans. Give them an awesome show and play the album cover-to-cover. Just for us as artists and performers it’ll be the next step to opening our relationship with our style and our fans.
What is your last consistent thought before you go on stage?
Max: [Looking at Danny] I feel like I know what you’re going to say, and I agree with it.
Danny: What? I basically just try to conform the performance to the space that its in.
Max: I knew it.
Danny: It’s true. We always huddle before the show and we talk about the environment and check in and get on the same wavelength really quickly. Sometimes we’ll just stand in the huddle and not talk for a couple minutes. I think what I always ask the band is, ‘Is this going to be a show we just fucking burn?’ Just get on stage and smash these songs in the ground, or are we going to stand back in our own spaces? We take a temperature of the room and where we are, how everyone’s feeling. I like to keep things interesting for myself by morphing the experience every night to the people that are there so it doesn’t seem like the same old, same old.
Max: I basically couldn’t agree more. You don’t want it to just be a formula, at least I don’t. I say to myself to be in the music and on the stage. It’s cheesy, but that’s all it is, being on that stage right there.
Danny: When you get on stage, that’s when you truly enjoy yourself.
Max: You have to let go.
Danny: That’s the part when you’re having fun.