The Recording Academy Texas Chapter recently played host for GRAMMYs On The Road at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, held Oct. 12–14 at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. The Chapter conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists performing at the festival, including indie rock quintet Delta Spirit, country/rock trio the Devil Makes Three and African/Latin American group Sonámbulo Psicotropical.
Delta Spirit discussed performing at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, having their music placed on the soundtrack to "Friday Night Lights" and their favorite GRAMMY moment.
"Our time here can best be described as hot and humid and fun, and crazy," said frontman Matthew Vasquez.
Hailing from San Diego, Calif., Delta Spirit were founded by bassist Jon Jameson and drummer Brandon Young, former members of emo outfit Noise Ratchet. The pair teamed with multi-instrumentalist Kelly Winrich and Vasquez to form Delta Spirit. The group issued their debut album, Ode To Sunshine, in 2007, peaking at No. 16 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart. History From Below was released in 2010 and peaked at No. 8. Adding guitarist Will McLaren, in March Delta Spirit released a self-titled album, which peaked at No. 1 on the Top Heatseekers chart and gained presence on the Billboard 200. The group is currently on tour throughout the United States and Australia, with dates scheduled through January 2013.
The Devil Makes Three discussed their musical influences, songwriting process and their instrumentation.
"I feel awesome about it," said Cooper McBean regarding playing the banjo. "I find it kind of bizarre as the banjo is sort of a horrible thing to inflict on the public, but the public seems to like the abuse and I'm happy to dole it out."
Combining elements of blues, country, bluegrass, and rock, the Devil Makes Three are an acoustic trio featuring guitarist Pete Bernhard, McBean and upright bassist Lucia Turino. Based in Santa Cruz, Calif., the trio released their self-titled debut album in 2002. Longjohns, Boots And A Belt was released in 2004, followed by 2006s live album A Little Bit Faster And A Little Bit Worse. With the release of 2009's Do Wrong Right the trio topped Billboard's Top Bluegrass Albums chart. The album features 10 original tracks, nine of which were co-written by members of the band, plus covers of Elvis Costello's "Cheap Reward" and Blind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues." Their second live album, Stomp And Smash, was released in 2011 and peaked at No. 4 on the Top Bluegrass Albums chart. The Devil Makes Three are currently on tour throughout the United States, with select dates scheduled through December.
Sonámbulo Psicotropical discussed the meaning behind their name, their songwriting process and the band's "magic hat."
"Sonámbulo means sleepwalker," said vocalist Daniel Cuenca. "For us it's Sonámbulo Psicotropical. Psicotropical is like the mind of the tropics. [It's] a mix from Latin American music and also funk, rock and other influences. It's the way the tropics work. [They] always mix everything and make it their own."
Formed in 2006, Sonámbulo Psicotropical's members span Costa Rica, El Salvador, Cuba, and Colombia. The lineup currently consists of Mauricio Ariza, Esteban Brown, Juan Cuellar, Daniel Cuenca, David Cuenca, Manuel Davila, Tito Fuentes, Alexis Leal, Roberto Román, Mario Vega, and Miguel Vega. Combining instruments such as guitar, keyboards, bass, congos, and saxophone to form their "psycho tropical" sound, in 2012 the group released their debut album, A Puro Peluche, in the United States.