Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas are performing in NYC tonight at Cake Shop in the LES, and tomorrow night at Spike Hill in Williamsburg. Opening for them is Detroit-native and recently-turned Brooklynite, Jeremy Freer (frontman of  Detroit band The Juliets) who has just launched his own solo project.  With two shows back to back in NYC, there is no excuse not to make it out!  Real Detroit Weekly has dubbed Hernandez a “powerhouse chanteuse;” she’s been doing music full-time for a few years now, in September 2009 a show at Detroit’s popular Dally In The Alley festival inspired her to put together a band, and the show was so successful that the Deltas was born. The Deltas include Jessica Hernandez- Singer, Guitar, Keys Taylor Pierson- Keyboard, Accordion Benjamin Sturley- Bass Stephen Stetson- Drums John Raleeh- Trombone and Michael Krygier- Guitar.

With The Juliet’s success and support even from Detroit big-wigs like Chrysler, Freer has re-located to NYC from Detroit to continue to build his music career even further. In addition to his solo project, his brother and him have yet another project together appropriately named FREER BROS.  PLAYGROUND DETROIT recently got the opportunity to interview both of these Detroit homies- a double-interview feature for you guys!


Jeremy, how has NYC been treating you?

It’s been good, it’s a hustle. There a lot of ways to make money and do things you wanna do here. Unless you come out here with wealthy parents you’ll probably find yourself in similar situation, I’m just hitting it all from a bunch of different angles.

What do you miss about Detroit most?

I miss my friends and family the most. And a few little spots that have personally shown me a lot of love over the years.  Plus, you know Detroit’s got some awesome young people who are at the top of their game.

When did you decide to start on your solo project?

I write a ton of music.  More than I could possibly ever contain in one project.  One of the reasons I moved out here was so I could do more musically.  I’ve been composing for Modern Dance, on top of my normal songwriting stuff, and I’m finishing a record for a new project called FREER BROS with my brother, Jeffery Freer.

As for the solo thing I’ve been threatening to bring the world yet another solo singer-songwriter for years, but I didn’t- for a number of reasons.  I like hiding behind the collective of a band. I’ve always been the principal songwriter with everything I’ve done, but if it receives major criticism, my bandmates and I all share the blame!  Another part of it was a confidence thing,  but,  I’ve now finally decided that I’m confident enough to step out on my own.



How long has the band been together? Where did everyone meet?

We’ve all played together for different lengths of time. I started as a solo artist doing my own thing, playing acoustic shows and sneaking into bars with a fake ID to play open mics. I moved home to Detroit from Chicago and met my bassist Ben, he was the first to join the band followed by John a short while after. Everyone has been in the band for different lengths of time. Mike is the new guy right now and just started coming on the road with us pretty recently. We’re all from Detroit or the Metro Detroit area so we all knew each other from the music scene out there.

Who are your biggest musical influences?

My influences are all over the place. I went through a lot of musical transitions from my early days getting into ska and punk, transitioning into hardcore and screamo, which led to my my math rock phase, which led to indie rock, which led to writing and not listening to music unless it was something classic. Throughout all of those phases there have always been the classics, Neil Young, Screamin Jay, Tom Waits, Wanda Jackson, Tammy Wynette, Gram Parsons.

Can you tell us about The Bakery Loft? 

The Bakery Loft is a large open space above my families business, Mexicantown Bakery, in Detroit. The space had been vacant for a long time collecting dust and boxes of old receipts for my families businesses. When I moved back home, I started clearing out the space the play music and practice, and I got a little carried away, and started adding to it. My friend Kate Daughdrill, and I launched Detroit SOUP there and a free monthly yoga which started getting people into the space. Everything was going really well, so we decided to build a stage and start doing some small shows there. We started out doing some local noise bands and some crazy experimental shit, and when they shows started to do well the word got out. We started doing our own shows there and built the stage around the sound and vibe of the band. It became out little home. We have been too busy lately with touring and recording to take on more shows since we run it ourselves- but hopefully once we have some downtime to get organized we can start it up again.

How does the city affect you and your style?

There is a definite “I don’t give a F*ck what people say” attitude.It’s a weird confidence that the city has despite all of its setbacks. It lets people feel like they are a little invincible and pushes you to take some leaps you might not have taken otherwise.”

What is one of your favorite spots in Detroit?

We pretty much spend all of our time at Armando’s eating tacos and drinking margaritas.

Describe what you imagine Detroit to be in 10 years.

I honestly have no idea. It’s been consistently teetering and surprising me since I was a kid. I don’t even think I could answer that without sounding somehow overly enthusiastic and pessimistic at the same time.

What’s next for you?

Right now, I’m working on finishing my upcoming album and then I leave for El Paso to mix the record in a couple weeks. After that we take off for a 5-week national tour then back home for the album release.