MUSIC INTERVIEW: Delilah Bon
Following a fun and incredible set at 2000trees, Delilah Bon (aka Lauren Tate of Hands Off Gretel) spoke to us about her powerful lyrical content, what happens during a Delilah Bon live show and why everyone should check her out.
Hi Delilah, you played a set in the Forest at 2000trees. How was it for you?
Hello! Oh, it was incredible, getting to rage in the Forest just felt so primal. We had a wicked crowd too! I must have hugged like 50 people afterwards. I saw people crying at the end of my set which I get a lot at my shows. Women need that release of anger; they were all telling me how empowered they felt.
Were you able to check out any other artists at 2000trees this year?
Sadly, I didn’t get to watch many people before my set. I caught the end of Cody Frost and got to see Lynks for the first time, which I loved. My bass player Ruena was telling me how much she enjoyed De Staat, Mallavora, Haggard Cat and BEX though. I was gutted I missed them!
For those of you who haven’t heard of Delilah Bon before, can you sum up your sound in five words?
Empowering, rage-filled, mischievous, intimidating and bratty.
How does a Delilah Bon song get created? Music or lyrics? Inspiration?
To keep it interesting for myself I constantly change up my creative process. I have hundreds of melodies and ideas in my phone notes, so whenever I’m feeling a little uninspired, I’ll just listen to my past self-humming the most random, crazy stuff I’ve ever heard then I piece it all together. I write, record and produce all my own music and it’s honestly so freeing being able to do that. I just feel like I can say and do whatever I want and nobody can tell me otherwise.
You’re heading out on a headline tour later this year, what can we expect from a Delilah Bon live show?
I’m only playing a few headline shows this year in Europe. I was originally going to tour the UK again but that’ll be next year now to coincide with my new album. The live shows are so empowering. They’re truly a safe space for women and LGBTQ+ people to come along and feel part of a community. The shows are cathartic but super fun too. We have dance routines and little acting parts, fabulous DIY outfits and bubbles. People always leave my shows telling me they’ve never felt so seen and heard. We dance, shake our butts, sing, scream, cry and then leave feeling like we can actually change the world.
Simply put, you’re out there and changing the narrative – being unafraid to use your voice to make change, discuss topics like misogyny and pro-choice, have you faced any challenges or negativity from it?
You bet! I faced so much backlash when I began speaking out about sexism and started my Delilah Bon project. A lot of the men who followed my band Hands Off Gretel truly hated it and said my new music was “sexist and alienating”. The thing is, I’ve been uncomfortable for years being a woman in music working in these male dominated environments, so as soon as I called it out, watching my followers drop didn’t worry me. I knew that it was a new era and I wasn’t going to candy coat how I was feeling to make these men more comfortable. I’ve had men online threatening to kill me and sexually assault me, even threatening my fans. I’ve blocked so many people over the past two years trying to protect myself, but the internet is scary, you’ve no idea who’s gonna pop up next. I will say, though, that the positives outweigh the negatives. I’m lucky that most of the time my videos end up on the nicer side of the internet and I’ve connected with a lot of wonderful people, men included, because of my message.
Dead Men Don’t Rape is an anthem especially when you’ve performed it live, any standout live moments?
Every time I play that song live, I lock eyes with different people and it’s like their expressions get burnt into my eyelids. A lot of people in my crowds have been sexually assaulted, a lot of them tell me after the show and thank me for giving them a voice with that song. I see a lot of people that no doubt haven’t told a soul about their assault. It’s like they’re being seen for the first time. I can see it in their eyes when I sing that song, the way they let it out. It’s like finally someone is giving them the opportunity to let go and be angry, to let go of the shame. One of my favourite moments was playing that song on tour last year in Glasgow in a packed-out venue. I pulled a few people up onto stage and the next thing I know I was surrounded. More and more women and non-binary people were climbing up and standing beside me, screaming together. I’m usually good at holding back tears until after I leave the stage but that night really got me. I must have hugged nearly everyone in the room that night.
You’ve had support overseas – you were on The Late Show in France to perform War On Women– has your UK experience been as supportive/positive?
Oh yes, France was incredible. They treated me like a star there. My dressing room was filled with all these fancy gifts! I was so not used to it. I told Alain Chabat, the host of the show, that I’d never been on TV before. He couldn’t believe it. He was like, “Wait what?! Why are you not on the TV in the UK?” Haha! He couldn’t get his head around why I wasn’t famous here. I told him they’re sleeping on me.
What messages do you want to spread with your music? Any lyric which sums it up for you?
Through my lyrics I want to empower women, non-binary and LGBTQ+ people. We wanna dress how we wanna dress without the fear we will be sexually assaulted. We wanna walk down the street without being targeted for our gender or sexual orientation. We want bodily autonomy to be free to choose what we do with our own bodies. My music is about community, putting into words what all of us are thinking. I get comments asking me why I scream so much, and men advising me to drop the feminism to be more commercial. I think the lyric, ‘And you wonder why I wanna scream when a girl can’t simply walk down the street’, from my song Where My Girls At sums it up exactly.
Finally, what’s to come in 2023 and beyond?
I’m currently working on my new album. I have way too many songs for it, though, so I need to narrow them down. I have 37 nearly finished! I can’t wait to show more of my humour in the new songs too, it’s so fun. Let’s just say the men who didn’t like my previous album will hate this one, mwahaha. So, I’ll be putting out a new album next year and planning a tour around that. I’m so excited about it.
Keep up to date with all things Delilah Bon HERE!