For the better part of the past year, Delta Spirit have been as busy as they've ever been. Touring behind their fourth–and highest-charting–effort, Into the Wide, they're relentlessly zig-zagging the country. Though not yet a household name, the group retain a fervent fan base. Before they take a break, singer Matt Vasquez and his band mates–already known for their dynamic live shows–determined they wanted to give fans something that celebrates what Delta Spirit have done for the past decade.
"Knowing that we're not going to do our own show for a while, we wanted to do something that was unique," he explains while taking a breather in Austin, where he's writing a song with friend Robert Ellis. "We thought, 'Why not bring some friends along and jam instead of having an opener?'"
So far, they've enlisted Ellis, members of Cold War Kids, Young the Giant, Deer Tick, the Walkmen and Dr. Dog to join them onstage. Many of the guests will only feature in their respective outposts, but some will travel with the quintet for the duration of the tour. "We've been friends with a lot of folks for a lot of years," Vasquez says. "It's kind of a mishmosh of our larger community, which is kind of insane because we've met a lot of great people along the way."
The spontaneous nature of these shows–which won't have a set list–is something the group sees as both challenging and exciting. They've been rehashing deeper, older songs Delta Spirit haven't played in a while–or ever–in addition to learning a number of covers and their friends' music. Though they're slightly concerned at how their fans will react to the constant lineup shuffling during any one show, the singer says, having a friend onstage will serve as enough of an endorsement to quell any fears.
While talks of an extended break may alarm some fans, Vasquez says there isn't any dissension in the ranks. On top of an upcoming solo album, he has a child on the way. His band mates also have side projects that will keep them busy until the time comes for them to begin work on their next album. Vasquez projects the break will last a little more than a year, which doesn't necessarily mean they'll be inactive. Ultimately, he believes, the time will help the band ready their next batch of material without worrying about the pressures of meeting a deadline. He puts a rough time frame of their next release to be in around 18 months.
"We aren't the type of people who can shit out 10 songs," Vasquez says. "We just want to take the time and make it good–like last time–which isn't that long."
An evening with Delta Spirit and Friends at the Observatory, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600; www.observatoryoc.com. Wed., 8 p.m., $25. All ages.