Delta Will: The Wavelength Interview

Purveyors of: Upbeat, dreamy, sonic experiences with synthesized pop beats, mesmerizing loops and an otherworldliness that avoids the clichés of what one would expect from music written by an alien. Yes, an alien, read on.
File next to: the Avalanches, Beck, Owen Pallett/Final Fantasy
Playing: WL 611 a.k.a. “Wavelength’s Endless Summer,” Saturday, August 16 at the Vintage & Flea Market (1251 Dundas St. W)

Visit Delta Will’s bandcamp page and you’ll notice the tag “outerspace” appears. Read the new album description, “inspired by the experience of becoming an honourary human being (cdn spelling)” and you’ll likely be baffled but intrigued. Head to and be deliciously puzzled by an obscure blog post dated June 26, a letter from an extraterrestrial who has left this planet and his earthly research in the form of golden, 3 1⁄2” floppy disks. My research reveals more questions than answers. What I do know, however, is Delta Will’s second EP, especially its title track, “It All Glows,” has been playing on repeat, and can’t wait to see a live performance on Saturday at WL 611.

First and foremost, I want to know: who is Delta Will?

Delta Will is the name I chose for a new music project three years ago. Delta as in change. Will as in willingness. Then I started being visited by an alien spirit that took an immediate and profound interest in music. This alien would borrow my body so it could get a more native experience of life on Earth, and it started writing and performing songs this way. So over time, it’s this alien spirit that came to be known as Delta Will.

Your most recent EP is “inspired by the experience of becoming an honourary human being.” Can you articulate some of the challenges Delta Will faced on Earth and how that’s influenced the music?

Delta Will decided to stick around for a while and started to have intense human realizations. It had to face its own mortality for the first time. It had to get used to getting tired and becoming kind of useless at the end of each day. Losing a loved one. All these were new concepts to Delta Will.

On June 26, 2014, there was a letter posted on your website articulating that Delta Will is returning to his home planet and that Delta Will is now yourself, Brandon Johns, Milan Schramek and Lowell Whitty. How has this changed your music and performances?

Yeah, we didn’t really get a full explanation of anything from this alien spirit. It just said its official research here was complete, although it was likely very difficult since D.W. was truly committed to the human cause and life on Earth. So in honour of Delta Will the alien obsessed with Earth, we Delta Will the band of humans have decided to carry the torch. I think musically, we’re just sounding more and more like a band, since we’ve been playing shows together for a year. And our performances aren’t as… alienating. Not that our shows were all that weird before. To the audience, it was just a guy wearing fake gold Ray-Bans with a guitar and a looping pedal, claiming he was from another planet. Delta Will the alien lived inside of me, so the change was subtle. You would have to know me to know something was off. And since that guy with a looping pedal is now joined by three other guys playing drums, synth, bass and another guitar, the live show is just more of a party. It’s been great.

Can you articulate or reflect on your songwriting process? Is your looping pedal integral to the songwriting, or is it something you layer on top after initial musical ideas are identified? Do you anticipate continuing to use loops moving forward despite now having a full band?

I enjoy looping because it lets me explore grooves and soundscape ideas in a really intimate and iterative way. I can be really meticulous with the nuances of certain harmonies, or syncopations. And when the exact repetition of that idea sounds cool, then I’ll opt for looping. But I also love jamming with other musicians, and we now write parts for many of the songs together and drop the looper from the equation.

How would you describe your sound?

I always struggle with this question because I want to list at least four genres of music… but I think at our core we’re an alt-folk band. I’m usually writing the songs as if they were folk or soul songs, and then we take them in different directions, from quiet and rootsy to spacey and groove-heavy. On Saturday, we’re playing a duo set, with just myself and Brandon, and it will probably reveal more of our ambient electro influences.

What’s next for Delta Will?

We’ve been writing and demoing a first LP for some months now. We’re just about ready to take it into a studio. So that’s going to be our focus for a while, but we’re also playing a few shows this fall.

—Interview by Shannon Roszell

Delta Will plays “Wavelength’s Endless Summer” on Saturday August 16 at the Vintage & Flea Market, 1251 Dundas Street West at Dovercourt.