Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Delta Rae and its fight for marriage equality
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
2013-02-19

This article shared 6250 times since Tue Feb 19, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Rock band Delta Rae are a friends-and family-act with Ian, Eric and Britney Hölljes forming the centerpiece and Elizabeth Hopkins, Mike McKee and Grant Emerson adding to the sound. Their music can be described as Fleetwood Mac meets Blues Traveler. Hailing from North Carolina, this sextet is constantly touring and bringing their music once again to Chicago this week.

We talked about their homage to gay love by phone when they were out on the road.

Windy City Times: Hi, Ian. Where in the world are you?

Ian Hölljes: We are driving out of Utah, heading toward San Diego. It has been a real geographical conundrum what that route looks like. I can't really picture it in my brain so we are leaving it up to GPS.

WCT: You are always touring, aren't you?

Ian Hölljes: Yes, all the time.

WCT: How is it touring with your sister and brother?

Ian Hölljes: It's okay. It is good at times then at other times like right now when Eric is helping to direct me with the GPS that it is horrible! Eric says, "Hi." Overall, I feel lucky. The rest of the band feels like an extension of family. Honestly I can't imagine it any other way, which is not the normal way of being connected to your family but I think for the three of us it has become very natural. We are slowly implementing more distance because we used to live all together too. That was a little tough but now we are beginning to get individual identities.

WCT: You all grew up in North Carolina?

Ian Hölljes: Unfortunately, it is not that simple. My brother and I were born in North Carolina. My sister was born in Nashville, Tenn. Then we moved to Georgia and finally California, where we met Liz, our fourth singer. Eric and I came back to North Carolina and have been there ever since. The group has joined us there three years ago.

WCT: Was it a musical household when you were younger?

Ian Hölljes: Yes, in different ways. My brother started teaching himself piano when he was about 7. I never took to an instrument so easily. I started playing and songwriting in college. We all grew up singing and that was the main thing. I don't really know where it comes from to be honest because my parents had nice voices but were never professionally inclined toward music and didn't play an instrument.

We were self-directed towards loving to sing and our parents played a lot of great music in the house growing up. We started leaning towards Fleetwood Mac and Les Miserables and everything in between. That was our early childhood music education.

WCT: Your group is often compared to Fleetwood Mac, even switching singers like them.

Ian Hölljes: They were a big inspiration for us when we were contemplating how the band would work. We wanted this harmony sound. They are the only models, along with The Mamas & The Papas, that has reached a classic quality. They have so many great records and songs. That is what we wanted. We wanted the songwriting to be strong enough so that there wouldn't be one identifiable voice every time you hear the songs on the radio. The only one out there that knows how to do that is Fleetwood Mac.

WCT: Fleetwood is touring again. Are any of you going to the concert?

Ian Hölljes: We don't have plans to currently but I really hope we get a chance to go. It is tough being on the road. You don't get to see as many shows as you would like to. Recently, we re-recorded our song "If I Loved You" to send to radio. It is on our album, Carry the Fire. We had the thrill to have Lindsey Buckingham play guitar on it. It is unbelievable. His guitar work is distinct. He is such an incredible songwriter and has such a sensitivity and nuance to express the song in a beautiful way. This is something we never expected to have happen.

WCT: Congrats. I interviewed Stevie Nicks for her last solo record. She's a bit of a diva.

Ian Hölljes: Well, if anyone deserves to be, then it's her.

WCT: Delta Rae sounds like a Designing Women character.

Ian Hölljes: [Laughs] That is right. No, the name came from my mother. She is writing a book about a girl from the South who summons the Greek gods back to earth. We were going over names for the band for weeks and finally we thought about Delta Rae. Our mother was gracious enough to use it. It has been a really lovely synergy around her work and what we are doing. She has actually made incredible headway on the book. She is very close to finishing it up so we are feeling very excited about that.

WCT: Let's talk about your song "Chain of Love (A Song For Marriage Equality)." Did you write the lyrics?

Ian Hölljes: I did.

WCT: What inspired it? Prop 8 had something to do with it, I imagine.

Ian Hölljes: Correct. We grew up in California, like I mentioned, so I was monitoring the Prop 8 decision. When it was revealed that it had gone the way of discriminating against gays, I was really heartbroken. I think I, like a lot of people, get caught up in my bubble of family and friends and forget where the country is on gay rights. Literally that day I went in my room and wrote that song in about 20 minutes. It was a heartfelt reaction to the decision coming down.

WCT: Where did this empathy for the LGBT community start?

Ian Hölljes: Our history with gay rights really starts with my mom. In Marietta, Ga., she was a gay-rights advocate. She was with a city coalition that was trying to repeal a county resolution that said that Cobb County did not approve [gay people]. That was my context for understanding the struggles, with my mom being very involved and a public advocate.

We would get death threats left on the car windshield and neighbors shunning us. It was incredibly constructive to a 10-year-old on how cruel adults could be to one another. It has been something that has been close to our hearts ever since then and grew. We have many friends who are gay and lesbian and we feel for them. It has been wonderful to watch the tide turn.

WCT: The lyrics "love doesn't know when it's a sin" are such powerful words. You are reaching a lot of people with this song.

Ian Hölljes: Thank you. It comes from a real place of connection to it. It has meant a lot to me to see people's reactions to the song. It is very much mutual.

WCT: You played at Bottom Lounge last time in Chicago and upcoming at Lincoln Hall. I wish your mom could be at the show. She sounds amazing!

Ian Hölljes: She is. I wish she could be there too.

Look for that sold out concert at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., on Sunday, Feb. 24. Visit www.lincolnhallchicago.com or www.deltarae.com for details.


This article shared 6250 times since Tue Feb 19, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER 'Wicked' returning to Chicago in 2022 2021-11-30
- The blockbuster musical Wicked will return to Broadway In Chicago's James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., on Sept. 28-Dec. 4, 2022. Now the fifth longest-running show in Broadway history—and featuring songs such as "Popular" ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2021-11-29
- "The obvious one would be A Little Night Music. I know I could do that role very well now that I've gotten to this stage in my life, and you know it's a beautiful song in there. It's perfection."—Sarah Brightman reveals ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Netflix, Kal Penn, Dennis Rodman, 'The Voice,' 'Euphoria' 2021-11-28
Video below - Terra Field—one of the Netflix employees who organized the walkout around Dave Chappelle's comedy special The Closer—has resigned from the streamer, Deadline reported. Field, along with B. Pagels-Minor, organized an ...


Gay News

Broadway titan Stephen Sondheim dies at 91 2021-11-27
- Stephen Sondheim, one of the giants of Broadway songwriting, died Nov. 26 at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, according to media reports. He was 91. Among the works in the legend's oeuvre are Company (1970), Follies ...


Gay News

EVENTS John Grumpy Co. presenting 'Black Sunday' Nov. 28 2021-11-24
- John Grumpy Co. is hosting "Black Sunday," which will take place at HVAC Pub, 3530 N. Clark St., on Sunday, Nov. 28, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.. This event will feature celebrity DJ Jamal Smallz. "Black Sunday" will ...


Gay News

MUSIC Grammy nominations announced; GLAAD comments 2021-11-24
- On Nov. 23, the nominations for the 64th Annual Grammy Awards were announced. John Batiste, the musician who also serves as the bandleader on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, led among all nominees with 11 ...


Gay News

MUSIC Controversial rapper DaBaby postpones shows 2021-11-24
- DaBaby's return to touring following fallout for making anti-gay comments at the Rolling Loud music festival in Miami this past summer has been postponed, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. The rapper's been promoting his "Live Show ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ '9-1-1,' Billie Jean King, Lena Waithe, singer Mary Lambert, White Party 2021-11-21
- Actor Rockmond Dunbar left the Fox show 9-1-1 after four seasons over a vaccine mandate, Deadline noted. His gay character, Michael Grant, was abruptly written off in the Nov. 15 episode, leaving fans of the first-responder ...


Gay News

Rainbow Railroad plans 'When I Am Free' benefit concert to get LGBTQI+s to safety 2021-11-20
--From a press release. Videos below - Chicago, IL (November 12, 2021) - The annual Chicago 5 Lives Fundraiser hosted by Rainbow Railroad is proud to return this year with "When I Am Free", a benefit concert offering attendees a premier evening of ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'Dante and Beatrice in Florence' Nov. 28-Dec. 5 2021-11-19
- Porchlight Music Theatre is partnering with Hershey Felder Presents: Live from Florence and its second season of productions. The launch of this new season from Hershey Felder is the new musical film Dante and Beatrice in ...


Gay News

Lil Nas X part of 'Jingle Ball' on Dec. 7 2021-11-17
- Queer rapper Lil Nas X will headline KISS FM's Jingle Ball Presented by Capital One this year, run in coordination with iHeart Radio. The event will take place Tuesday, Dec. 7, at Allstate Arena at 7:30 ...


Gay News

Chicago Therapy Collective to honor Trans Day of Resilience 2021-11-16
- On Saturday, Nov. 20, Chicago Therapy Collective will release an original music video cover of Wildfires (Sault, 2020) in honor of Trans Day of Resilience (TDOR) 2021 and the racial justice uprisings of 2020. According to ...


Gay News

'When I Am Free' concert supporting Rainbow Railroad on Dec. 3 2021-11-16
- "When I Am Free: A Benefit Concert for Rainbow Railroad" will take place at Center on Halsted's Hoover-Leppen Theatre, 3656 N. Halsted St., on Friday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m. During this event, there will be ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Theater items, Lady Gaga, 'Justice League Queer,' Tom of Finland 2021-11-14
- Eighteen months after he died of COVID, the life of playwright Terrence McNally was celebrated in a packed house Nov. 1 at the Schoenfeld Theatre, Gay City News noted. Tributes poured in from theater artists, while ...


Gay News

Britney Spears' conservatorship ends 2021-11-12
- The conservatorship that has controlled Britney Spears' finances, personal life and medical decisions since 2008, and which for many years was controlled by her father, Jamie Spears, has ended. On Nov. 12, Los Angeles County Superior ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.