An unlikely union of a Stone Temple Pilot (bassist Robert DeLeo) and a Def Leppard (guitarist Phil Collen) has taken place, in the form of the new band, Delta Deep. A merger of the blues and rock n’ roll, the band also features singer Debbi Blackwell-Cook and drummer Forrest Robinson, and their self-titled debut album will be released on June 23rd (via Mailboat Records).
In a recent interview that little old me conducted for the BraveWords website, Collen explained how the collaboration took place:
“It’s me and Debbi Blackwell-Cook, who is a 60-year-old black woman, who’s got this great soul voice. It’s somewhere between Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner…a Chaka Khan kind of power voice. She’s my wife’s godmother, so she has sung at our wedding and has been singing since she was two years old in her church – gospel and soul and everything. We would sit around the house and just goof off, and before you know it, we had people going, ‘What is this you guys are doing?’ Initially, it was just Motown stuff. And they’d say, ‘Where can we buy this?’ So we started writing songs. When we got Robert DeLeo from STP and Forrest Robinson on drums – who played with everyone, from TLC to India.Arie, and the Crusaders – it sounded like Rage Against The Machine does blues or something! It had this different kind of energy. We hadn’t really planned it that way, but we tracked all these elements of black music – from where it started from slavery to gospel music, blues, soul, jazz, rock, the whole gamut. Just an expression of all that. I think you hear all these elements coming out in the music. We were blown away by the direction it took, really.”
The rest of the interview can be read here (in which Collen talks about wanting to tour with Delta Deep, and also, an update on Def Leppard’s next album, which he states, “I think it’s the best thing we’ve done since Hysteria“). You can also see footage from their live debut in Los Angeles below.