Delorean is a group of Spanish punks. Not punks like assholes, but punk rockers. Not punk sounding, punk attitude. Originally the group was a punk band, but after leaving the Basque region (their home) for Barcelona, they began experimenting with indie rock and electronic. Yet an attitude that never is enough, give everything you got, and keep pushing against the norm—well that never left the band.
“Growing up in Basque country, you know getting into the hardcore scene, stepping outside of the mainstream culture, and rules govern the Basque cultural world, was already a political statement that we were not stating but implicitly were making,” say lead vocalist Ekhi Lopetegi in our phone interview. Though the group isn’t explicitly trying to be political, actions speak louder than words.
When a band goes from punk to electronic, one might assume the worst. Bundling raw explosive energy neatly into a conformed four/four electronic format sounds as effortless as controlling a pack of children high on sugar. Yet the move to electronic came naturally. The group that once stepped outside the mainstream culture wanted back in, but with their own twist. They choose dance music because it “it forces you to react and dance in a certain way, instead of listening to a folk introspective track that embraces you and you think about yourself in your bedroom. It’s about building a community.”
After being dissatisfied with the Barcelona dance scene, Delorean decided to follow a different path. Looking to groups like New Order, a punk group that made dance music, Delorean released the EP Aryton Senna. Tracks like “Deli,” were highly lauded, but praise wasn’t enough. “Aryton Senna was harmless, too clean, and flat. We didn’t want to make obvious pop songs,” Ekhi explains, so with their LP Subiza they pushed further. The LP as Ekhi asserts is more complex, but remains as immediate. The heavy layering, with song likes “Warmer Places” having over 80 tracks, creates a lush sound that on the surface sounds like Animal Collective.
With all the production, one has to wonder how the band manages to translate their sound live. While some electronic groups perform as DJs, others as bands, Delorean isn’t an arranged anomaly (drum kit, guitar, bass, keyboard, samplers), but it’s their mentality that stands out. “It’s about the execution of the energy, instead of the right execution of a song.” Ekhi says about their performance style before stating, “The coolest shows are the ones that after you are completely empty out of energy, because you gave it all,” a mindset he attributes to their punk background.
“Maybe if we talk again later this year, I’ll give you more hints of what were going to but right now I feel like the LP done, we’ve been working two years with this same method, this technique, and this way. What’s next, I don’t know, but something else,” Ekhi tells me. The cycle begins again. Maybe a new style in the future? A new home? Supposedly the group has “come to an end in Barcelona.” Who knows, maybe the band will have had enough with change, but I doubt it. They’re just too punk to stay still.