Delorean's Ekhi Lopetegi

Michael Cranston

delorean Ekhi Lopetegi

Photo of Delorean's Ekhi Lopetegi by Ben Crocker at Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto.

It’s almost too fitting that the first thing Ekhi Lopetegi, Delorean’s chief songwriter, and I begin talking about is the weather.

“In Spain, it’s been a long winter. It snowed in March in Barcelona.”

“That sucks.”

“Yeah, it does suck. I just want to put my shorts on.”

“Me too.”

More than any other descriptor, the word “sun” or any variant therein (i.e. “sun-soaked”, “sun-filled”) applies to Delorean. Their beat-driven pop owns the summer brand better than Corona or beach volleyball. Not to say the Barcelonan foursome only apply to seasonal warmth – give last year’s Ayrton Senna a listen, and regardless of the weather, its immediacy is undeniable. The band now returns with the full-length Subiza, a more textured and layered effort. We spoke with Lopetegi before their Toronto show opening for Miike Snow about the tour, lyrics, the differences between Subiza and last year’s Ayrton Senna E.P.

How do Delorean songs translate live? What sort of equipment are you using

When we recorded the album, we didn’t think much about the live set. We wanted the songs to be as good as we could make them. So when we realized we needed to put that in our live show, the stage show was basically using samplers to trigger sounds that we thought of in advance. We just triggered them. Sometimes we use backing tracks, but not a lot. It’s just to keep some percussion and some beats that the drummer follows. The rest of the samplers are triggered in real time … we finally got the formula to get a balance between the need to use backing tracks and the need to use samples.

Do you have a favorite song to play live?

The song we play [best] is called “Endless Sunset” … it’s the one I love playing the most.

Is it fair to say Subiza is a continuation of the Ayrton Senna EP?

Yes, somehow it’s a continuation of the Ayrton Senna EP. But for us… we were not as happy with the result of the E.P. even though we were happy with the reception it got. We wanted it to be more electronic and complex and layered. Sometimes, [the E.P. is] too obvious and harmless to us… from the band side, there were cool things, but there [was] another piece we [hadn’t] achieved. We started to work on Subiza right after the EP.

Before the Pitchfork review and the attention, Subiza was recorded and ready to be released. We wanted to make what we really wanted to do … Keeping with the idea of beat-driven pop tracks, with more layers, complex, more worked and arranged we were looking for something not as obvious, something more atmospheric. It’s beat-driven, and pop, but we wanted it more layered and complex.

Subiza also sounds more emotional than Ayrton Senna. Lyrics from “Grow” likes, “will you ever understand the decision I’ve made” carry a lot of weight. Was this change intentional?

I think the songs are more emotional – it’s true… I personally feel like this is the first time I’m singing from my very heart. I’m truly singing the lyrics form my heart. I kinda feel like the emotions and feelings in the songs and lyrics are stronger than the emotions on the Ayrton Senna EP. In that sense, it’s more intimate.

Was there a personal event that precipitated that change – to make you speak more from the heart?

It is based on some crucial events that happened. But we were worked very hard on the Subiza album musically and we poured our hearts and energy to make these songs. In terms of lyrics, I wanted to give the songs some consistency, and be sincere, and somehow crucial or heavy in some way. Without being dramatic, I don’t really want to sound dramatic – but just make songs more consistent, and give the songs some weight.

Why was “Stay Close” chosen as the first single?

“Stay Close” is the song that we finished [the fastest], we usually work on songs for months – three or four months to finish one song. “Stay Close” was fast: we only had six tracks of the song, and suddenly it was finished. We always thought it was a pretty good first song to show everybody. It represents what the album is – all the elements we used in the album are on this song. It’s not a hit single, but it’s representative and immediate.

Yes, the immediacy of “Stay Close” is similar to that of “Seasun” and “Deli”

Yes, it’s immediate and fast. I’m thinking about it right now – it’s just the best song to get inside the album, know what I mean? It’s the song which you can enter the album the easiest and fastest.

Is it a love anthem?

It’s definitely a song about love. It definitely refers to somebody, but at the same time, it’s not made explicit. Keeping it simple and brief, I think it makes it more – how do you say? – stronger. That way it speaks to more people than if I’m talking about something concrete and particular. I like to think of both the music and lyrics not being… weird [and] strange… but about saying simple things that have weight – that way you can maybe, if you’re lucky, speak to someone. That’s all I wish.

For the past year, I’ve been wondering what the lyric in “Seasun” is. Can you share it?

It’s just, “the sunrise hits my face, and I will never be the same again.”

Does that make sense?

Perfect sense.

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