by Ryan Meehan
Life has a way of letting us know what we’re supposed to do and when we’re supposed to do it. We can distract ourselves, but life is persistent. Jessica Hernandez knows that. She knows that no matter what gets in the way, time won’t stop for anyone. Be it struggles or triumphs, Hernandez is ready for whatever, whenever Never one to adhere to norms or outside pressures, Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas have learned lesson after lesson along their rise as one of Detroit’s favorite bands. They’ve honed their craft in sell-out shows and tours than span the nation. It’s easiest to classify Hernandez by seeing the people that come to every show. All races, all ages, all fans of good music. Jessica is first-generation American grew up in and around Detroit. There are few regions more impressing as the nitty-gritty of Rock City and it left its mark on the 25-year-old artist. Her voice is instantly recognizable. Its strength and soul are matched by an honest vulnerability. Whether she is singing heartfelt words about someone that has left this world too early, or belting out a danceable tune through a big smile, Hernandez is unforgettable… especially with the ultra-talented Deltas behind her and she’s our guest today in 7 questions.
RM: Where did you first become so enamored with music? Who was the first artist that you can remember hearing that you just absolutely fell in love with what they did?
JH: I honestly got into music at such a young age that I couldn’t even tell you who influenced me at the time. I remember being about 4 years old standing in front of the TV annoying the shit out of everyone, singing at the top of my lungs. I would make up songs about EVERYTHING. Sing about moms pork chops or soggy socks, everything was a dramatic musical at that age.
RM: Which artists have been the most influential to you when it comes to the craft of songwriting? Why is it that you feel such a connection with what they do from an inspirational standpoint?
JH: Tom Waits, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, all Motown, Wanda Jackson, a lot of older female country singers like Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette to name a few. My influences are kind of all over the place. The only common theme is that they aren’t really current, with the exception of a couple artists who are still kickin’. I love music that is timeless and can stand out in any decade no matter what trends everyone else seem to be following.
RM: What can you tell us about the new EP “Demons”? What was your approach towards putting that record together?
JH: It’s a really good blend of all the different styles of music we play. Its a little creepy, a little dancy, a nice eerie fall EP that gives people an idea of what the full length is going to be like.
RM: I love the beat in “Caught Up”…How did that song come together and lyrically what is the meaning of that track?
JH: Thanks! It’s funny you say that because I actually wrote that song with that beat first. I recorded that drum part then just started messing around on bass and the song just kinda happened. The lyrics actually came a little later when a friend of mine was going through some really weird shit in her relationship. I thought it would be a nice gift to a friend to give her a voice and tell her story. Not sure she liked how honest it was but she did like the song…
RM: What is it about the internal makeup of your band that allows you to put together such awesome live performances? Is it more of a “comfort level” thing or just about assembling a killer cast of musicians?
JH: It’s a bit of both. We’re all friends outside of the band so it makes playing together really laid back and comfortable. It’s nice having guys that I really trust as musicians too. It makes me feel like I can just go nuts and be totally in the moment with an audience and not have to be worried about what the guys are doing.
RM: I saw in another interview that you did where you told the story about how your parents were skeptical when you decided you wanted to go to college, but supportive when you told them you were dropping out to pursue a music career. In the same interview you mentioned your parents’ work ethic and how your mother is still working at 70…Do you attribute that to them wanting you to have more life experiences as opposed to educational ones? Do you feel now that you aren’t in school that you have been able to have more of those life experiences?
JH: My parents didn’t go to college and became successful business owners, so they have a different idea of what success means. They definitely know the value of education but they see education and success as something different than college and a degree. Life teaches you a lot if you let it. Just depends on how you want to live your life.
RM: You’ve said before “I play a lot of instruments but I don’t play them well…” Do you think over time that you’ll ever feel confident enough to say that you do play an instrument well? If that day comes, will that instrument be piano or guitar?
JH: I hope that days comes! It’s a little hard for me because I have a bad case of musical ADD. When I sit down to write I love being able to hop on any instrument and lay down my ideas. I end up spending so much of my time writing and “dabbling” that I never take the time to focus on one thing and get really good at it. Hopefully in the next ten years I’ll be shredding and I can join Cannibal Corpse.
RM: What’s up next for Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas in the remainder of 2013 and into 2014? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
JH: Writing a lot, touring a lot, summer festivals, and putting out our first LP! Maybe I’ll get a puppy.
Make sure to catch Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas at the last Spectra reading of the year tomorrow night…Saturday at Rozz Toxx in downtown Rock Island…
Jessica Hernandez Official Website: http://jessicahernandez.net/
Jessica on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaHernandezandTheDeltas
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