On August 23rd, Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas are bringing soulful vocals and upbeat gothic-pop to the The House Cafe in Illinois. Currently on tour in support of their debut album Secret Evil, we had the opportunity of speaking with the lady behind the project, the lovely Jessica Hernandez. Enjoy our new interview below as we discuss late night mescal sessions, thrifting and Yahtzee, $500 worth of Taco Bell gift cards, and fashion.
AMBY: Hey Jessica, thanks for speaking with us today. What have you been up to lately?
Jessica Hernandez: Just been getting ready for the record release show and the crazy few months of touring to follow. Secret Evil comes out the 19th, our release show is the 20th, then we leave for a month the 22nd. It’s a super busy but very exciting time for the band right now.
AMBY: Your upcoming release Secret Evil comes out this month. What was one of the best moments you had while recording it?
Jessica Hernandez: Probably the late night mescal sessions that Milo and I had. Once we finished the basic tracking for the album and most of the vocals were done, Milo and I spent a good chunk of time in the studio just the two of us and our engineer Manny playing around with sounds. We would drink some mescal and fill the room with crazy synths and pedals and experiment for hours. Some morning we would wake up and laugh at how ridiculous the shit we did the night before was, but we kept a lot of it.
AMBY: What influences can be found on the album that might not be apparent to a listener?
Jessica Hernandez: Honestly I tried not to think too much about influences or what I was going for or wanting it to sound like. That gets into dangerous territory for me and leads to comparing yourself to other artists. I just tried to be really open minded and let each song take its own path. If it had a surf feel then we would go there and then experiment with tones that we liked to make it our own.
AMBY: In support of the record’s release, you’re on a North American tour where you’ll soon play The House Cafe in Illinois. When on tour, what are some things you like to do for fun?
Jessica Hernandez: A lot of eating, thrifting, and yahtzee. Most of our days are spent in the van driving so we have to get creative to pass time and not kill each other. Shit gets pretty weird when you’ve been stuck in a van with 5 boys for 17 hours. Every day is different though depending on the town, we might go hiking or kayaking or bowling or whatever there is to do wherever we’re at.
AMBY: What are some quintessential items you must have when on tour?
Jessica Hernandez: The guys like to call my suit case “the cadillac” because it f*cking huge. They convinced me on our last tour not to bring it since most nights they would see me struggling and end up just carrying it for me. With the cadillac I brought about half my wardrobe including about 6 pairs of shoes. Lately I’ve toned it down a bit. Aside from wardrobe I usually pack a little bag that I keep in the van full of snacks. It’s mostly tuna, apples, rice cakes and peanut butter. We have a big bin in the van filled with board games, and another filled with books that we all share, plus a lot of sleeping bags and pillows for floor nights and overnight drives. Oh and we can’t forget the $500 worth of Taco Bell gift cards that lead to bad decisions after a night of drinking.
AMBY: We really like your unique style and are wondering who inspires it? Do you feel it has an influence on your sound?
Jessica Hernandez: Well thank you…and yes! I feel like it all goes hand in hand. Style is just another form of expression and somehow my style ends up matching our sound. The more I get to know myself and figure out the direction of the band the more the two become even more connected. I have a lot of influences but my number one girl is Gwen Stefani.
AMBY: If you could be a fly on the wall at any given time or event, where would you want to be?
Jessica Hernandez: A high school dance in the 1960’s when all the biggest motown bands were playing. The Supremes played at my grandparents high school dance. It still blows my mind to think about that. I would have loved to be there.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas that nobody knows yet?
Jessica Hernandez: I have webbed toes on my left foot. Weird right?
Thank you Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas, for giving us your answers!
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Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout