Formed in 2018 with big ambitions and aspirations, Deleo was founded by Denis Navarro in Montpellier, France. They always had their motive as “The Best is Yet To Be” and it really shows throughout the struggles they had to endure, from confinements to losing band members to the global pandemic. That motive later became the name of the band’s debut album as well. The band began as a duo when guitarist Denis met Eleonore, the singer, and that’s how they named Deleo, by mixing both their names together.
Denis Navarro was already a well-known composer for many alternative rock acts and has managed to evolve and grow to this day. Denis was already experienced in marketing and communication, and through sending demos to many agencies and recording facilities, he managed to land a deal with British producer James Sanger, credited with twenty Grammy Awards and the sale of nearly 70 million records, between U2 and Madonna, Roxy Music and the Pet Shop Boys, Dido and Annie Lennox, Phil Collins and Liam Gallagher.
Amazed by these talented Frenchies, Mr. Sang invited the group, which was by then a five-piece, to his studios in Normandy. Under his endorsement came the recording of several songs, including three impeccable singles: “Unfair”, “Mythomania” and “Going Home,” but then the project was abruptly stopped due to COVID. These circumstances forced Denis and what was left of the band to revert to being a three-piece with Emilie (ex Alone and Me) on vocals and Félicien on bass. Under the independent label My Own Records, the debut album, the giant of eleven tracks, “The Best Is Yet To Be”, is expected to be unveiled to the world sometime in late October. They have so far graced us with the beautiful and dark single “Satellite” from this album, which our team has already reviewed and loved.
Please enjoy our interview with Deleo below.
- Hello, thanks for joining us in this interview. First, we would love to tell you how much we love the new song “Satellite,” and we are looking forward to the rest of the album. How are the recordings going so far?
Thanks ! we are delighted that you like Satellite. This album was recorded at Ma Ferme studio in Sérignan in November and December 2021 under the direction of French producer Philippe Uminski and sound engineer Benjamin Bousquet. Philippe has worked with the greatest in France. He is most certainly the most gifted French producer of his generation and who knows English rock and pop the best! We got on really well, he knew how to understand each of the titles, and what we wanted and He brought us the sound and the arrangements that we were hoping for!
- Allow me to backtrack a little and tell me about the first couple of years when it was just Denis and the old members. How did the band come together and what was the initial vision that you had for Deleo back then?
the group was created under the recommendation of the producer James Sanger who after a successful experience with the English group Keane wanted 2019 to reissue the experience. Back from a weekend spent in his studio, I contacted musicians, and then the band was formed. We rehearsed for a long time to prepare for this recording and then went up to his studio in Normandy for almost 3 months. The time to record 11 tracks leaving to James Sanger, arrangements, and programming… everything was ready to schedule an album release in 2020
- I read on your website that after the first three singles were released, you scrapped the recordings you had and started anew due to COVID. Did that hinder the album or the band in any way?
Yes, we had prepared for an album release at the end of 2020, with 3 singles scheduled to launch it. The first was our favorite song Unfair released on March 20, 2020, a few days before the first lockdown. A lot of things then changed… We maintained the 2 singles but wanted to postpone the album because it could not be accompanied by concerts. The crisis lasted 2 years and the morale of the group was well reached… pushing some members including Emy Eris the singer to leave the project in April 2021. The bassist followed a few weeks later. That’s life! Paradoxically, the period was conducive to making new encounters that structured the group and its support. I met a new singer, a new bassist, and a new producer and label, Philippe Uminski, one of the most gifted of his generation! Who despite his experiences in variety carries within his knowledge of rock in all its immense variations! Having talked a lot with him, we found a lot of commonalities and offered to re-record the album with new arrangements and a sound closer to my DNA. And yes, I was raised to the sounds of Cure, Killing Joke, and Cocteau Twins! So we left for 2 months in the studio with the desire to sound more rock and punk without falling into nostalgia for the past.
- Can you please tell me more about the album’s sound and what is to be expected from it?
we wanted a real rock album! with saturated guitars, with chorus & flanger effects. We spent a lot of time listening to the album Pornography des Cure or Violator by Depeche Mode, David Bowie, PJ Harvey, and the Pixies… Philippe did an admirable job on the backing vocals with Emi! The album is really dichotomous, with a hard sound sometimes hermetic that intertwines with a soft and angelic voice. Finally, the album is a synthesis of everything we love!
- Just for fun, and because I’m personally a fan of Siouxsie Sioux, The Sisters of Mercy, and a lot of these veteran Post-Punk bands, were you at all affected by these bands or any other similar goth bands in your sound or looks?
Yes of course! as I said, the album is a tribute to the guitars of the Cures, the riffs of Killing Joke, and the lyrical flights of Siouxie! All this is put in a shaker with some pop-disco-groove ingredients and you release titles like Satellite, You Feel, or Mythomania!
- It seems like Deleo has many different genres and influences. Would you please tell me which genres, movements, or particular artists you consider to have had a remarkable effect on how your music sounds?
Our sound is a mix of lots of influences! The bassist is a fan of the Red Hots, me of Placebo, Radiohead, and Depeche Mode, and Emilie, of PJ Harvey or Skunk Anansie! I think it’s reflected in our titles!
- If there was a single artist, living or dead, that you would love to embark on a world tour with, who would it be?
Difficult !! I would say… dead, David Bowie alive Placebo!
- Do you think the music of Deleo fits only a certain stereotype of music fans? Like only goths or punks, maybe, or do you believe it to be more universal than that?
You have to imagine the album as a moon with two sides, a dark and tortured side with titles that we love to play: Lonesome Traveler, Cosmic, Unfair, Mythomania… and another brighter limit dancing with You Feel, Back To Hell, Satellite,… so finally it is an album that can be listened to at different times of the day or your moods! It’s not an album for goths or punks it’s more an album for fans of rock, guitars, and sounds that we thought lost!
- What skills have you gained now, as musicians, that you did not have at the start of your band’s formation?
research and work around sounds! Sound is really part of the composition work. A simple chord sequence can really be revealed thanks to a few pedal additions 😉
- Is there a particular venue, location, or festival you dream of headlining one day?
Yessss! Festival de Nîmes aux Arènes !!
- Is there a musician that Deleo dreams of collaborating with in the future? And if so, who?
Thom Yorke !! His new band “The Smile” is so fantastic !!
- Lastly, I would like to know how the particular brand of music you play is received in your homeland, France. I know for a fact that the goth sound has its following in the UK (where it originated) and to a lesser extent in North America. How do French fans compare?
The goth style still has fans here but more generally the French public still loves alternative rock or post-punk. Bands like Placebo, DC Fountains, Archive etc… work very well here. So with an album that does not rank in any style precisely but that draws its inspiration from several currents, we hope that the public will adhere!
Thank you for joining us today, and I hope your debut album sees the light of day and garners the appeal and success that it truly deserves. I already have a feeling that only “The Best Is Yet To Be” for Deleo from now on.
Thanks a lot !!