Bill Leeb interviewed about touring with Delerium

Originally a dark, soundtrack-style side project from Front Line Assembly’s Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber, Delerium has evolved to include a variety of guest vocalists and a more traditional song-based structure. Until recently, it was a completely studio-based outfit, but now they have transformed into a live band as well.

After so many years, what made Delerium decide to finally tour?

Bill Leeb : “Well, probably because in the early days it was such a low key side project. I don’t think it would have been worth touring. I never wanted to just go out and play to 100 people a night. I’m just not at all interested in touring like that. So it wasn’t until I guess ‘Silence’ became a big hit for us and we started to sell some real numbers of records. We thought, gee, there are probably a lot of people out there who might be interested in seeing us. We have more of a fan base, and we’d never done it, so we thought we’d just go out there. I think this type of music has a knock against it already, because people always say ‘well, bands like Enigma and all that stuff …. it wouldn’t be that exciting unless they put a lot of money into the show and make it visually interesting.’ We had all those kinds of things against it, but thought it was a bit of a challenge.”

Since it’s a studio-based project, was it a challenge adapting the music for live performance? For example, was it difficult figuring out which parts to have sequenced and which would be played live?

Bill Leeb : “At first, we thought about that. Ironically enough, though, because most of our tunes are still songs we just got a real drummer and a bass player and a guitarist, then keyboards, and just sort of played them out and it sounded basically fine. Then having 2 or 3 singers … we made sure the singers we got could cover all the songs. So we ended up having a five piece band and three singers, and only a couple of the sequences are on disk. So it sounds pretty live. It seemed to work ok.”

Not even counting your pre-Nettwerk releases, you had a lot of material to chose from. What factors determined your song choices for the tour?

Bill Leeb : “Actually, apart from the obvious hits, Rhys just went onto the website and there’s basically a listing of what tracks people like the most. And we just kind of went by that. That seemed to be the smartest way to do it.”

The video backdrop worked well … who created that?

Bill Leeb : “That was Carylann Loepky, who does all the graphic designs for the CD covers. She and a couple of other people put that film together. It took a while and was a lot of hard work. We felt like that was another part of what we needed, something visual to go with the music. I think that’s a big part of the show as well.”

Did you consider making the video interactive … so that it could be controlled from the stage, possibly triggered by MIDI events?

Bill Leeb : “Not at this point. They did edit it to the songs, and that was a whole lot of work. So that’s kind of as far as we’ve taken it.”

Will you be touring outside of North America at all?

Bill Leeb : “That I have no idea about … I’m sure we’ll be talking and reviewing everything. Once the final numbers and figures are in, we’ll have a much better idea of whether we should take this to Europe. Because it costs even more money to go over there.”

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