Delta Spirit frontman returns to rock with debut solo album
Preston Barta // Editor
When it comes to the best rockers of the modern era, few are as versatile and intoxicating as Matthew Logan Vasquez. Dabbling in Americana, noise and good old-fashioned rock and roll, Vasquez has proved himself a notable riffmaster with a mic in one hand and a six-string in the other.
After many successful years fronting Delta Spirit and performing with Middle Brother, Vasquez is taking a slight detour to release his first full-length solo album, Solicitor Returns, on February 9. His debut follows his Austin EP released back in November and sees his return to his days of rock.
Vasquez has been touring around Texas in preparation of his album release and will venture around the nation at the end of March. “I figured if I can’t tour the country because it’s freezing cold in a lot of places, I could just tour Texas,” said Vasquez, who recently played at venues in San Antonio, Houston and Denton. “I’ve been to Denton a couple of times, having toured there with Dr. Dog. It’s such a great town where you can walk around. It’s so pretty out there.”
One wonders what makes a place stand out when a band plays as many shows as they do all over the world. “It’s always been a variable thing,” said Vasquez. “It could be playing a venue that has a good culture or a history to it. There’s just something about a room and people’s history of going to big shows that happened there before you. If you get the right mix, it can be a great venue. Doesn’t matter if you play where you can hear a pin drop or in front of thousands, they are both equally as fun.”
In the groundwork stage of Solicitor Returns, Vasquez mentioned most of his songs were originally submitted for Delta Spirit. “Like the Middle Brother stuff, Delta Spirit passed it up. It wasn’t because they didn’t like it, but because it didn’t fit with the album and the direction we were going in,” said Vasquez. “Like ‘Everything I Do is Out,’ which is the single off my first solo EP, that song is basically a Motörhead song. It didn’t fit with Delta Spirit, but I like that type of music and wanted to make it.”
In addition to writing his songs, Vasquez also did most of the instrumentation. “I did everything except for the drums and some of the guitar,” said Vasquez. His EP and debut include guest appearances from guitarist William McLaren (Delta Spirit) and drummers Matt Aveiro (Cold War Kids) and Loren Humphrey (Guards).
While some songs on his debut are not shy to making you want to turn your car volume up to 11, there are other songs that are quiet and cinematic, something you could imagine being used in a Richard Linklater (DAZED AND CONFUSED, BOYHOOD) film. “To be used in a Linklater film would be great. If that could get that out there in the world that would be so cool [Laughs]. I grew up in Texas and his films capture true experiences.”
Next to music, Vasquez strongly admires film as well, having shot the music video for “Everything I Do is Out” himself. “I bought a green screen and did it in two days. I messed around with that and my editing software, Final Cut. It was pretty smooth and easy,” said Vasquez. “I would love to branch out into filmmaking, but the problem is it’s such a money pit. If I ever did, though, it would be surrealist material, much like David Lynch’s body of work. But for now, it’s music.”
Vasquez is playing at Dallas’ Three Links tonight at 9 p.m. with A. Sinclair and Kevin Aldridge. He’ll perform a preview of the songs from Solicitor Returns and few career favorites from Delta Spirit and Middle Brother. Visit his website at matthewloganvasquez.wordpress.com for any information on his tour and album release.