A little bit pop, a little bit indie/alternative rock, Del Pelson’s catchy style can’t be pigeon-holed. The band’s sound is somehow both laid back and energetic, thanks to the diverse personalities and styles of its four members.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Cal Nelson – lead vocals/guitar
Garrett Kealer – drums/backing vox
Patrick Montanari – keyboard/saxophone/guitar/backing vox
Nathaniel Spiner – bass/backing vox
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Del Pelson? How long has the band been around?
Del Pelson has been kicking since January of 2015. The group pulled all-star members, Garrett Kealer and Nathaniel Spiner, from former rock band Faku. Cal Nelson was formerly a member of Utahn punk group The Immatures. Patrick Montanari is the founder of local piano-rock group Monty, which Cal has since joined. Cal and Pat also play in reggae-rock group Fireside Prophets.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
In the last days of the USSR, there was an American spy that went by the name Del Pelson. That man’s real first name was Cal, so upon banding up with Cal Nelson, Garrett and Nat petitioned for the band to honor that mostly-unknown man’s life and service by naming the band after him.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Cal Nelson holds the title of Chief Songwriter within the band. Topics and perspectives range wildly, but some song topics include love or lack-of, hope, friendship/relationships, historical subjects, substance abuse or sobriety, food, and plenty more. The group purposefully writes about a large range of topics to keep the creativity flowing as much as possible.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Each member of Del Pelson listens to vastly different music on a daily basis. When the group gets together, this huge range of inspiration becomes apparent.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Garrett and Cal met through a college jazz quintet. Performing with that group revealed the two shared a close musical understanding, which led to the addition of Nat and Pat in a rock setting.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect...
We don’t have much of a pre-show ritual. We usually spend the time setting up and getting any drinks – we might discuss the set list or if there is anything special we can do at that particular show to set it apart from any other shows we play. We used to do pre-show parking lot kung fu, but Garrett had to sit out at one show after Cal whooped him – so we stopped that.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
We’ve played a lot of great shows but I would single out the New Years Eve show we did most recently. It was just a lot of fun to get our favorite bands on the same bill at our favorite local venue. We had so many friends, family, and fans come out to support and party with us. It was a bit surreal when we were onstage at midnight to realize how many people decided that seeing us perform was the best way to end/start the year.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Now that is an unfair question! There are just too many really superb bands to be able to just pick one or two.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Listen to our new single, “Traffic,” now!