Earlier this month, Deltron 3030 dropped “Pay the Price,” the long-awaited return from the Dan the Automator/Kid Koala/Del the Funky Homosapian project. Billed as a futuristic commentary on the world around us, the song showcased rapper Del in fine fettle over Dan the Automator production and scratch tactics from Kid Koala. So with the Deltron 3030 release date now just a couple of months away, Hive caught up Dan the Automator to get the scoop on how the project’s plot relates to political issues going on today, how you can work out the featured guests on the album with a little bit of YouTube sleuthing, and the all-important possibility of another Deltron beer.
So is the new Deltron album finished?
Yep, it’s finished. The exact date it comes out will depend on my Pillowfight project which was just released. So Deltron will be a few months yet, I can say that.
Is the first single, “Pay the Price,” representative of the sound of the whole album?
No, it’s just a sample of it. I would say there are three or four types of song on the record and that’s one of them, like the upbeat energized sound. There’s some introspective stuff that’s more orchestrated with strings on the songs, there’s a few darker things I suppose, and there’s also a narrative bunch of songs. Those are the main four styles.
Where does “Pay the Price” come in terms of the album’s story?
I think it comes pretty early, it might be the second or third song on the record.
Can you flesh out a few more details about the plot?
Basically, the premise and the concept is to do with it’s ten years or so after the previous record and it’s ten years after what’s going on in the world today, so between that and the future, it’s a commentary on the world. It has a lot to do with what’s going on in the US and the world, so there’s things that have happened like banks collapsing and Occupy Wall Street that’s all covered. But it’s extrapolated to the future so you get to the point where we have the liberty to talk about what’s going on today but with a combination of the future. So there’s things like polluted planets as part of the Deltron world.
If Romney had won the last presidential election would the content have changed much?
Maybe, but there is a lot about greed and politicians taking over there anyway. To be honest, the one thing I would have wanted to include in the new record if we had done it later was a little bit of pertinent commentary about the automatic weapons and people going crazy shooting people. I’m not sure how we’d have done it as it’s a futuristic record, but we’d have liked to include that a lot.
Are there any lyrics or commentary on the album that’s likely to shock people?
I don’t know if they’d shock people but I think Del is a very poetic and profound writer and he brings something to it that I’m interested in. I think that he’s a combination of being aware of his surroundings and also not aware of his immediate surroundings, so he’s able to look at things from a fairly refreshed point of view. It never ceases to amaze me what he comes up with. There’s moments when it’s really poignant. So the shock is in the timeliness of what he says.
Did Del stick to the concept and plot you discussed when writing his lyrics?
We talked a lot and obviously the record has taken a long time to come to fruition but when we got down to doing it, he definitely stayed true to things we had discussed for a long period of time. I’m not saying we agree on everything 100% and the lyrics are definitely his thing, but we were able to show the mood and feeling that we wanted and had been talking about for the past couple of years.
Del mentioned the story involves a “band of like merry pranksters” when he spoke to us about the album.
Ha ha, well the whole Deltron thing as far as I look at it, it’s people who operate not outside the law but outside the purview of it. So it’s not a happy-go-lucky take but it’s observing the world from some sort of an outsider’s view. The Deltron characters are not here to blow up the Death Star — they’re here to report on it. That’s kinda more the vibe, so the lightheartedness of that type of term is about how they check out the world. It’s about being able to roll through it and check it out from the point of view of not being the catalyst for what’s happening immediately.
Can you real any of the featured guests?
[Pauses.] You know, if you really wanna figure it out you can go and look at YouTube ’cause we played a bunch of shows in Canada and like Rock the Bells and brought some people out. Some of them are on the album. I’ll let people figure that out.
What’s your favorite song on the album at the moment?
We have a song called “The Return” – it’s apt! It’s not the most incredible title but it fits the mood and the feeling I have about the whole thing.
Finally, is there any chance of another Deltron beer to tie-in with the new album?
I would love to do another beer! We had the one out last spring and it was a great beer and really enjoyable. Hopefully we can have a continuing relationship with different purveyors. Another Deltron beer would be a very cool idea.
Deltron: Event II is out sometime this spring. Stream “Pay the Price” below: