1997 – 2008ish
Deloris may have been a musical group of undecided number beginning in Frankston, Victoria and ending up in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. They put out four albums of varying degrees of worth, difficulty, secrecy, point and success, not to mention EPs, badges, tee shirts, tapes, voting requests and general pleas. These include The Pointless Gift (recorded to two inch tape in Leederville, Perth by Marcus Teague, Simon Heelis and Luke Turley – released on Quietly Suburban in AUS and Scientific Laboratories in the UK), Fake Our Deaths (recorded to two inch tape in Richmond Victoria, half inch tape and CuBase in Preston, Victoria and to Pro Tools in Harkaway Victoria by Marcus Teague, Simon Heelis, Dan Brimelow, Leigh Lambert – released on Dot Dash), Ten Lives (recorded to two inch tape and Pro Tools in Harkaway Victoria and Revolver Arcade in Prahan Victoria by Marcus Teague and a motley crew including Daniel Brimelow, Ben Gook and Luke Turley – released on Dot Dash) and “the album of which no one speaks” (called Fraulein, recorded to DAT in Rye, Victoria by Marcus Teague, Simon Heelis and Luke Turley – released on Halflight) – due to it being old, and so an exhibit of something someone else did really.
They toured the nation countless times, slept on a fine array of floors, never did make it overseas but played lots of gigs, – though never any festivals, never could get on any. crazy – performed with some with people like The National, Okkervil River, Lou Barlow, The Delgados, Mountain Goats, Augie March, Something For Kate, Purplene and The Tucker Bs, decimated bank accounts, looked after their own affairs with middling results, enjoyed high rotation airplay around the country, thrilled ourselves with audio accomplishments the likes of which we could never have dreamed, ditto as dudes, had a bunch of members come and go and generally cemented down all our best friends forever.
But…we are not really they anymore. They’re not really there. Deloris were an idea, a ruse, a lot of words, sticky-tape, parking fines, sore fingertips, photocopying, notes and a lot of waiting around for the black hole to zip shut. It never did. Everything ever, so on and so forth. If you’re reading this – and this is a moment of clarity – we love (and did always love you) for all of time.
HOWEVER. More to come. From something else already begun (and continuing – behind closed doors, pseudonyms and funny masks) with some people from Deloris and other fringe-dwellers – nearly finished now, concerned with buildings, prehistoric man and thumb USBs. Woah x 2. (UPDATE: Out 2015.)
Marcus released his debut solo record as Single Twin in April 18th 2011. More here.
Here, however, we will continue reflections on the glorious stoop of what was, could’ve been and may once be. This page will continue to be used as a conduit, a love letter and a flapping white flag.
UPDATE: Came across the press release we used for Fake Our Deaths. It excludes the period following its release, as well as of course the Ten Lives period, but it’s probably the most detailed history of Deloris we ever put to paper. May as well add it here.
Deloris – Fake Our Deaths press release and band history
We left the bars drunk. We had 4 coins between us and the sleet had jammed the river back up to the guts of Olivers Hill, and now with the night coming down on us we could see no road. With an oar each, we stumbled our way to the parlour, leaping up to smash the chandeliers, cracking the slate and running our wet paddles along the gun racks, grass spilling from our jackets, piano strings round our wrists. Wooden instruments tuned in our hands and started up and they played what sounded nice. We sang with the wood, turning it to hum on our chests and warm our teeth. Blah. Canaries flew from the corners; rubbish fell from our mouths.
We called the first record Fraulein. It had nothing to do with recording near our then hometown of Frankston, Melbourne; in a place near the beach called Rye, and everything to do with making 5 days sound much longer than they were. That was 1998. Luke was in the band then playing drums. Simon did it because he knew we didn’t have a bass player, and Marcus drew the cover for the record one afternoon in a portable on the back of a lecture sheet. He also got glandular fever a week before it was recorded, which was pretty stupid. So it was made up of stories put to DAT tape and somone’s grandpa’s tape recorder and a dictaphone, and we were happy. So happy we played some of it around pubs and halls and folks heard of it and started making up their own stories about it. People passed the room while we fiddled with domestic beer and coils of cables and parking tickets. They asked us what was going on with it all and so every so often we’d press the ground outside and check for marks. No signs pointing to no signs at all.
Halflight Records from Perth were the first to notice them. They followed us to a local show and told us they should take our music back with them to Perth. They did and Fraulein came out in shops with both our names on it. The cover was made from tracing paper fed through the photocopiers of a school. Soon we were sent things they’d written about us, like this from Melbourne street magazine Inpress:
‘Why aren’t Deloris huge? An extremely accomplished debut album that’s as good (if not better) than a lot of the stuff currently taking up space on national playlists, Fraulein is ambitious without ever over reaching.‘
We stayed up late with Halflight in Melbourne. We became friends, and so well known to each other that a year later we followed them back to Perth to see if we could make some sense of all this again. They had their own recording studio and so we bought a ticket of our own to see if there were some things inside of it that we missed.
‘The Pointless Gift took two whole weeks of 1999. This time we knew the stories more, could let them tell us what they were doing as much as we could make them up as we went. This time our new friends were helping us with food and instruments and beds and wheels. We started going to things like radio stations and talking about the doing of all of it. When it was made we drove down to a country brewery and played a show to no one and then danced together and tried to steal pizza lights.
Quietly Suburban Records in Sydney heard it and called us and sent emails and we became more friends. We drove up to Sydney to meet them and play our first show there, and over some take-away chicken and tubs of mousse we decided to actually make it all together, put it out for others…and a year later we supported its tiny plastic clicks on a stage in Melbourne. That was at the Empress of India, 2 days before 2001. Afterwards we all went dancing and bowled til daylight.
Once the new year started other people heard something in it again. The Pointless Gift became Melbourne radio station Triple R’s ‘Album of the Week’, and ‘The Age’ newspaper also gave it album of the week, saying:
‘There are many highlights on The Pointless Gift, an assured, diverse, intoxicating piece of work that beckons to be played…and played. A huge future awaits Deloris’
Since there were three of us and Marcus could no longer stretch his hands as far as he’d recorded them sounding, Leigh was round in 2001 doing nothing so we asked him to stand with us and play. Maybe the first time for him was a live-to-air on JJJ where he practiced rubbing a radio on his pick-ups or on RRR or some backyard shows in Sydney but…I forget. It was good all the same. We travelled and showed our record to people in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Perth again. We made a video for ‘Creeping Jesus’ which ended up on a bigger video called These Things Take Time along with great people like Sodastream, Art of Fighting and Adam Said Galore. Things were good.
Then Luke decided to leave us in an alley way next to The Punters Club. There you go. But within a few months we had found Daniel, shaken beside a country highway but otherwise ok. We took him in and left him in a box in the laundry til his legs got right. New stories were happening of course and we wanted to to sit down bout now and draft them out ogether.
Soon they started coming, stories of phones found in the ice and nails falling from the house and boats that don’t bend and feet up on the glass. They were hard but in our room and in our fingers we thought they were correct. It took a while. In March 2002 we went with our friend Anthony Cornish to record ghost versions of it all at an ancient house in the tree-studded hills of Sassafras. It was dusty and damp, but sooon we got wind of what was going on and ran back home to finish them in his cupboard in Northcote.
Not long after we were invited to a converted phone building in Preston belonging to another band of people trying to get the same thing out of their decisions as us. Augie March took their name from a book as well, and they let us use their instruments and equipment and machines and cutlery to try out our ideas around their humming gear. After countless lost bike rides and avoided phone calls and being disbelieving at the night turning into daylight and coffee breaks, we listened to it all and felt we were ok. But the time it was all taking was starting to be what the songs were also about. The stories they were telling weren’t stories any more. But as real as the telling. Ready.
Having saved all our dollars from not eating very well and not fixing things we should’ve fixed, we asked a man called Matt Voigt to record it all. He’d caught the sound for other bands we liked, like Cat Power, The Dirty 3 and Augie March, so we thought he should do the same for us. He liked working at Sing Sing studios in a small street opposite a service station in Richmond, as well as a slightly smaller place up the road called Sing Sing South, which is upstairs above a furniture store and backs onto a couple of green concrete basketball courts. This place became our home for two whole weeks, as we began to press ourselves into its wood, carpet and 2-inch tape machines so it would remember us. We ate badly and slept worse. We recorded for 16 hours every day, sometimes more and we learnt things we didn’t want to learn plus some new things that we’ve probably left there now. We played basketball and drank coffee and beer and went for walks when we started lying out loud to each other and going fuzzy in the head. But in between we fixed 12 songs up to where they were solid and new and could stand and be left. We locked up our cases and put our wrappers in the bin and shook some hands and went back to things as they usually were.
But over the next 6 months we realised things weren’t finished. Music had parts with no singing where there should be singing and some had no sound where it was supposed to be going crazy all over the place. Learning of a studio in the hills of Harkaway, we travelled there amongst the cows and dirty roads to a house with a circular driveway that held a tree in its middle. Next to this driveway were two rooms, separated by a glass wall and a doorway. It was in here that we used a computer to paint colour on some bits, drain the life out of others. After too many late nights and long weekends we finally left those chairs and were able to drive towards the city night with our sounds being around us for the last and first time. It was the start of spring in 2003.
It had taken so long we were at the end of ourselves. It was supposed to be all good but we’d been arguing. Before the start of a long weekend in June, we found a new song that we felt explained all our ideas about everything. We’d tried to record it at the Preston room at Augie March’s place but it hadn’t worked. So we found a day to do it all in, in a room at Sing Sing that was bigger than two of our houses put together. We started at 10am with nothing and left at 3am with it, the song. Usually they take so much longer to build and record than you think they should, but somehow this one made so fast, got right quick. ‘The Unbroke Part Of It’ was the last song recorded but is the first song on FAKE OUR DEATHS.