Delany - Interview

One day you wake up and you realize how much time has passed by… And you remember those plans and dreams you put on a shelf for one reason or another.

Andy Delany

I call it a D-Day – a time for decisions… One that Andy Delany took seriously enough and his decision was that he had “a lot of years to make up for”.

His name is closely associated to Rubicon, which was an early 1990s offshoot of the band Fields of the Nephilim. They released two albums & featured Andy Delany, Peter Yates, Paul Wright, Tony Pettitt and Nod Wright.

Late 2018 saw his comeback with the band Delany and the debut album Mission Creep, with the first live gig on Nov 30, 2018 at Water Rats.

Delany features Andy Delany on vocals & Andy Davis on guitar (also Soho Roses/Bombchild/Bad Head) as permanent members. Live presentation of the album also included Tony Pettitt on Bass (Fields of the Nephilim/The Eden House), Nick Plews on Drums (Aghast/Corpsing), James Quinn on Guitar (Bombchild/Last Rites) & Paul Kimmett on keyboards (Coloride/Ben Drake Collective/SMASH).

Photo: Meg Pettitt

Crow Xp: Welcome, Andy. “A lot of years to make up for”… Tell us a bit about Rubicon and what you’ve been up to since.

Andy Delany: Hi, Crow, thanks for inviting me. Rubicon! Wow, that all seems such a long time ago now. When I first hooked up with the Neph guys I was 27 and ready to hang up my throat believing I was now too old to pursue music. The music the band played me when I first went for auditions really excited me. It was very different to what I’d been used to in previous bands.

All the writing and demo recordings took place in a cold damp coal cellar under Tony’s house in the village of Ashwell in Hertfordshire. It was a pretty intense time; there was barely enough room in the cellar for us all to get in. Writing always tended to be a collaborative process with all present. Very rarely, if at all, did anyone turn up with a complete idea. That way of working was pretty long winded and the end of projects always seemed to be out of sight, but that’s how it was done. We were always longing to get things done so that we could get off to the studio and make the album for real and then get out on tour so that we could do what we really loved which was playing in front of an audience.

When Rubicon came to an end in ’95 I was at a loss as to what to do. I embarked on various song writing projects with a view to selling to publishing companies for other artistes to perform - believing once again that I was now too old to do it myself. None of these came to anything and so with the threat of starvation hanging over my head, not to mention a 4 year old boy to raise, I had to look elsewhere for work.

Over the years I tried all kinds of band formats but nothing really developed into what I wanted. Eventually I settled on the idea that working alone might be the only way forward.

Crow Xp: Your current project - Delany – consists of you and Andy Davis.

Andy: Yes. Once I sat and assembled a number of ideas that I was happy with, I had to decide how I was going to go about recording. I have very little knowledge of recording techniques and although I dabbled with some basic equipment for a while it was clear I was going to need some professional help. Whilst surfing the dreaded FB one day a friend suggestion came up which made me squint at the profile picture and rewind my memory about twenty years. The profile turned out to be that of Andy J Davies.

During the Rubicon years Andy ran a recording/rehearsal studio called Damajive which we used to use for pre-production. The cogs started turning in my head and I visited Andy to discuss getting him to produce an album for me. We did a trial recording of No Need and were happy with the result and that we’d be able to work together, so that was that - the partnership was formed.

Andy got Pat Walters in to drum. Pat was in Bomb Child, Soho Roses, Guns and Wankers and a number of other outfits and was able to pick up on what we were trying to do and deliver.

Crow Xp: How would you describe Mission Creep for those who haven’t heard it yet?

Andy: It is as we aimed for it to be - EPIC ALTERNATIVE ROCK. I wanted a big sound; something that would drive us on to try and bring it to as big a stage and audience as possible. There is enough variety in it to allow me to use all aspects of my voice and keep things exciting.

Crow Xp: Must have been nostalgic sharing stage with Bassist Tony Pettitt again…

Andy: It was. Funny really, there are some people in life that you might not see for years on end but then when you do things just pick up from where they left off. Tony did us a big favour stepping in when he did as a number of our live plans fell through simultaneously. He’s a solid anchorman.

Crow Xp: You presented the album live at Water Rats… with a great line-up… How did the audience take it?

Andy: We were apprehensive before the launch. London audiences can be tough and we wondered how a set of original material might go down, but really we shouldn’t have worried - they were great and got us all feeling confident early on.

Crow Xp: What would you say was the highlight of that evening?

Andy: For me it was just how it all came together. We were on a tight schedule to get enough rehearsing done before hand but I never felt the need to look round and see what was going on, everybody did their job brilliantly. Nick Plews who also stepped in late to play drums held everything together great.

Crow Xp: You said you had a lot of years to make up for… You will tour Mission Creep I believe… And what else can fans expect?

Andy: More live work, for sure. As well as that we’ve started on the next album that we hope will be out late this year so there will be no standing still. The ideas keep coming and while they do we’ll keep recording them.

Crow Xp: How different did you find the music industry? Would you say it’s is now easier for a band to succeed than in the 90’s?

Andy: It’s a completely different animal and I can’t pretend to understand it fully. It’s all about the online world now and for me and others of my generation that can be confusing. I sometimes feel like I’ve been frozen in liquid nitrogen and woken up in a future age. Having said that, we’re working hard to get to grips with it all and I’m sure we will. Nothing stays the same forever and it’s those who embrace change who ultimately succeed. During the first half of the last century it was sales of sheet music that determined how successful a piece of music was.

The online world is just another change in how music is presented to the world and there will be more up ahead.

Crow Xp: I wish you much success with Mission Creep, which I enjoyed very much.

Andy: I’m glad you liked it and wish you well with your zine.