INTERVIEW BY JOE FITZPATRICK
PHOTOS BY LEE WILKERS AND ROXPLOSION
Named after Virginia’s famous Piedmont Hunt Country, DELAPLANE captures many elements of the human experience from the pain of growing up to the joy of new experiences. As finalists of the Jammin’ Java Battle of the Bands, the band is one the verge of releasing its debut EP that is eight years in the making. But how will you experience it?
We chatted with guitarist and singer Brian Caperton about how they capture goodness not just in the music but also in each other.
Can you tell us about how your early years in choir inspired this band?
The band’s name comes from a small town in rural Virginia, where I attended choir lessons as a kid. Growing up in choir introduced me to world music, Appalachian folk, and musical arrangements. Stew, our drummer, and I met in fourth grade and developed a shared love of music, beginning around middle school in 2004. I met Don, our pianist, during my first year of undergrad at JMU in 2009.
You guys just released your first single, “Goodness Goes.” What’s it about?
“Goodness Goes” is purposefully upbeat and almost frantic. The song is a one-night journey in search of personal contentment while dealing with social anxiety. It’s an attempt to cut loose.
We wrote it about eight years ago, and it will be the only song of its kind in our discography. It focuses on the trio and is purposefully stripped down. There are only three instruments and my vocals, each recorded in one or two takes during an afternoon.
The rest of our songs were written after 2014.
I understand the song was recorded and mixed by Sean Russell at Cue Recording Studios. What was it like working with him?
The Red Room at Cue had an inviting atmosphere that made us feel immediately at home. Many great artists have recorded there in the past, and the room emanates creativity.
Bringing our A-game was a must.
We wanted “Goodness Goes” to reflect our current line-up, but still have the raw energy of our live shows. Working with Sean made that possible. As our first visit to a professional studio, we couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
What musical direction are you going for on this record?
Consider the Dove features four songs that were written on a trip to Malta. These songs – along with about 20 more originals we’re preparing for LP1 – were written throughout the past three years. Consider the Dove explores themes of escapism, family, faith, and connectedness. We hope our listeners embrace Dove’s more complicated, mature sounds.
Who will you be working with on your upcoming EP?
Consider the Dove was recorded and mixed by our friend Chad Altenberger, who also plays electric guitar on the record. Another friend, Stephen Minnick, plays bass. The next round of songs will feature the progressive groove of “Goodness Goes,” but it will be set against a larger canvas of sound.
A few members of the JMU Bluestones – a Harrisonburg favorite and (in my opinion) one of the best a cappella groups in the country – were gracious enough to stop by the studio and provide backup harmonies. Their contributions sound beautiful on Consider the Dove.
Earlier this year, you guys played shows at Brothers Craft Brewing in Harrisonburg, Va., and Triple Crossing Brewing in Richmond. Have you maintained a close relationship with these breweries since then?
We keep in contact with a few of the establishments in Virginia. Jason from Brother’s Brewing has been especially supportive and kind, and we would hold their beer against any in the state.
Have you played any other local breweries, or are there any you would like to play?
After performing at breweries for the past two years, we feel well prepared to assume larger stages. I’ve always dreamed of playing the 9:30 Club. One time, the lead singer of THE DISMEMBERMENT PLAN brought me on stage to exchange coats, so I’ve almost made it (laughs). We’d like to play Cat’s Cradle (in North Carolina), Jammin’ Java (again), and The National. Oh, and Merriweather Post Pavilion.
In addition to releasing your EP, what are your goals for your band you hope to accomplish this year?
We’re quickly learning there’s no single way to establish yourself in this industry, but we’ve got a few goals in mind. The first is to remain original and serious about our craft. That starts with interesting melodies, tight musicianship, and engaging lyrics.
We want to tell stories with our songs.
Another goal is to enjoy DELAPLANE, along with other aspects of our lives. I’m about to get married and graduate with a master’s in mental health counseling; Stew is getting his master’s of teaching; and Don is an amazing freelance web designer.
We want our music to be enlightening and patient, much like our namesake – that hidden sanctuary in the low hills of Virginia.