INTERVIEW

“ Greg Gilbert, lead singer with Delays, seems buoyant in bringing the last year up to speed. “We have been slaving over a hot record, recording it quicker than the first album but it took a long time to mix. We went into the second album in a better position than the first‚” We’d only […]

Greg Gilbert, lead singer with Delays, seems buoyant in bringing the last year up to speed. “We have been slaving over a hot record, recording it quicker than the first album but it took a long time to mix. We went into the second album in a better position than the first‚” We’d only ever written in a bedroom before.”

Comparisons with The La’s and The Beachboys followed Delays’ first foray onto the scene in 2004; was there ever a resemblance? “I like both of those bands but I don’t think it was accurate. I think there is an electronic side to what we do and the [new] album has gone more in that direction. It’s just generally tougher and bigger sounding. We’ve all grown muscles on the road”
But recording the album hasn’t kept the band complete hermits. “Yeah we did a thing with Teenage Fanclub and The Go-Betweens in Spain. We were the young pups on the bill, which was nice, and The Lennon night [on Radio 2] was a buzz because there were all the other artists like Gomez and Jamie Cullum joining us on stage. I don’t know if that came across on radio. It was quite surreal”.

But despite being the ‘Young Pups’ amongst their peers, Delays don’t feel they form part of the music fraternity. “We feel utterly removed by virtue of us following our own inspiration”. Following this inspiration has created what Greg describes the band as ‘Fabulist’: “fabulist‚”in that it’s a grand sound, grand emotion and high romance. It’s just on the right side of bombastic”, as he puts it. Describing their music as melodic pop is nothing Delays feel ill at ease with, which perhaps sets them apart from their contemporaries. “There are bands that do melodic pop music but are quite self conscious of it. They’ll try and temper it by putting in some obscure squeaky noise, as a little wink to say, ‘it’s not really pop music. It’s got a dark underbelly really’. We don’t do that. We’re very pure. I don’t think there’s a lot of bullshit about what we do”.

So who listens to music that openly ‘wears its heart on its sleeve’? “Disenfranchised people who don’t feel catered for by pop music really,” answers Greg. “With the first album we weren’t coming through as part of the scene at that point. We weren’t on anybody’s ‘ones to watch’ lists. We just did gigs and anything we did achieve was purely off the back of the record”. And in 2004 Delays achieved a lot indeed; a top 20 album and singles, soundtracks to films and adverts that stick firmly in your head and countless people describing ‘Long Time Coming” as, ‘you know, the one that sort of sounds like Dolphins at the beginning’.

After a long absence with the band touring America, going through a couple of crises and putting pen to paper to develop the ‘Delays sound’, the question is, have they pulled it off? Confidently, Greg professes, “The reaction from people who have heard the single and the album is the best reaction we have ever had”. And have the fans held out for them? “At the end of the day my conclusion is success isn’t based on record sales. We know it’s great.” And Delays probably know so because of their appealing straightforward pop. “When touring, what we do translates wherever we go. There’s no secret handshake in understanding what we do. It just goes over wherever we go. I think it’s because we’re really honest”.

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