Yours Truly Unify Off The Record 2023 Mikaila Delgado Interview

15 May 2023 | 6:49 pm | Mary Varvaris
Originally Appeared In

The last few years of Yours Truly – the incredible highs, devastating lows, and even a line-up change, have Delgado pumped to get home for Unify: Off The Record.

Photo of Yours Truly

Photo of Yours Truly (Source: Facebook)

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Sydney pop-punk outfit Yours Truly have made waves in the scene since forming in 2016. They immediately found fanfare with their 2017 debut EP, Too Late For Apologies, with the singles Winter and Strangers receiving airplay on triple j.

From there, fans had to wait a little while for new music – Yours Truly then released the 2019 EP, Afterglow, which we called “a near-perfect pop-punk release.” In September 2020, the Sydneysiders dropped their first album, Self Care, to ravenous expectations from fans. The album peaked at #19 on the ARIA Albums Chart.

Last year, Yours Truly returned with the Is This What I Look Like? EP, which featured the bangers Lights On, Careless Kind, and Hallucinate; a collaboration with You Me At Six. While Self Care was inspired by conversations between all four members of the band about their mental health, Is This What I Look Like? saw Delgado isolated and uncertain about her place in the world. 

“My entire adult life has been Yours Truly. With that taken away, I was in a bad place. Not being able to perform was depressing,” she explained upon the EP’s announcement. She poured that into her writing. Brutal, raw and revealing, “all the songs are about coming to terms with who you are and who you want to be.”

In December, five months after the release of Is This What I Look Like, the band dropped the surprise EP, Is This What I Lofi?a "chill as heck" reimagining of their recent release. In March, Yours Truly were part of another collaboration, this time on RedHook’s Imposter.

The alt-rock banger utilises the sci-fi theme of Shapeshifters and body-snatching as a metaphor to articulate a traumatic experience. Imposter is about watching someone you love change into a completely different person before a heartbreaking trail of their past lies and deceptions unravel before your eyes.

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At the time of writing, Yours Truly are wrapping up a US tour alongside fellow Aussies Trophy Eyes, opening for Against The Current before they return home for Unify: Off The Record next Friday – you can catch Yours Truly at the Adelaide and Wollongong legs.

“I’ve been friends with Emmy [Mack, RedHook vocalist] for a couple of years; we also work with a lot of the same people,” Delgado shares after returning from Europe and UK tour with You Me At Six and The Hunna. “She contacted me about singing on a song they sent me through called Imposter a couple of months ago.

Delgado adds, “I remember hearing the song and then talking about it, and Emmy told me what the song was about. Just hearing her talk about what she had gone through… we were friends, but I think this whole experience made us a lot closer because she opened up to me about experiences she was going through and it was really crazy how I was going through something similar.

“[Those experiences] made me want to be a part of it so much more. And then we were like, let’s take this to the next level – let’s put everything into this and make it really cool. The whole song has got to do with having someone that you loved to turn out to be a different person than you thought they were. I think that resonated with both of us. Not only did we become close in the process of it, but I think you can hear it and this song feels electric.” 

It’s electric in a separate way to Hallucinate, which Delgado calls a “great experience”. “People always say, ‘Don't meet your heroes,’ but that was not the kind of situation I had. Especially just coming off tour,” she admits. “I literally told him [You Me At Six singer Josh Franceschi] that on tour, I was like, ‘You exceeded my expectations about who I thought you were going to be. He wrote his part.

“I am a big You Me At Six fan [laughs]; I had a whole Tumblr [blog] dedicated to the band. So, when we asked, it was something that was like, ‘This is never going to happen.’ But like if you don't ask, you don't get to experience anything. And when he said yes, it was like, ‘Okay, this is happening now.’ Like, if I could go back and tell myself, when I was younger: ‘This is going to be happening,’ I would have flipped my shit,” Delgado laughs, recalling the day she met the You Me At Six singer.

Delgado and Franceschi met on the day he was recording vocals for Hallucinate in London. “We did the music video together a couple of months later,” she shares. “He is such a supportive person. I really look up to him, and getting to know him has been really cool. Just knowing that he cares about me and my band makes that collaboration feel really special to me because he feels like my friend now.”

After the release of Is This What I Look Like?, Yours Truly pared it right down on Is This What I Lofi?, an EP inspired by Delgado’s childhood of gaming and a game called Coffee Talk that she played during lockdowns.

“It's this [Nintendo] Switch game where you make coffees with people in the cafe, and you talk to them. It’s not anything intense; it's just chill and has this lo-fi music playing in the background,” Delgado explains.

As Delgado played Coffee Talk and heard the lo-fi music in the background, she found herself relaxed during a painful and befuddling time. “All of a sudden, I started listening to lo-fi playlists and the rest of the guys were like, Oh, sick, like, we like this as well [Lachlan Cronin (guitar) and Bradley Cronan (drums) left Yours Truly last month. The band is currently a duo of Delgado and guitarist Teddie Winder-Haron].”

While we’ve passed the three-year mark since the world locked down in March 2020, Delgado can’t help but reflect – especially when Yours Truly’s most recent release was created during a pandemic.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen with the band; I didn’t know if we were going to put out an album,” she says about her emotional state at the time. Delgado asked herself, is this the end of touring? If life was going to change forever, would she feel fulfilled again? Was she going to be happy with her life? All those thoughts and confronting questions ran through her mind as the distraction of being on tour was gone.

Delgado shares, “I had this concept thing and asked, ‘What am I without touring? Who am I? What do I like? What do I think? What do I want to do with my life?’ That really inspired me, lyrically.” Since Covid-19 restrictions eased and playing gigs became a possibility again, Yours Truly have embarked on the most extensive touring they’ve done in their career.

“I think I've fallen back into the thing of like, ‘This band is my identity; this is the whole thing that my life is; I don't have time for anything else,’” Delgado states. 

Being in Yours Truly means dedicating a lot of time to playing shows, writing music, trying to figure out the next steps for the band, and all the other things happening in the background. “I did think to myself, ‘I can't fall into back into that again.’”

On the Is This What I Look Like? EP, Delgado asked many questions about herself. “I think Lights On is a really good example of that, ‘This is what I look like kind of thing,’ and asking, ‘Who am I? How do I perceive myself? I don't think I've figured that out yet,” she continues, because, like many Australian bands coming out of two years without playing live music, she’s jumped back so hard into life and getting back to normal.

Delgado shares, “I’ve gotten obsessed with life and being in a band again. I'm still trying to figure it out, and I've made the conscious realisation that I've jumped back into that again, and it’s so hard to not do that when you’re enjoying life.

“I feel like it proves to you that people have life purposes, and when you find something that feels right to you, it doesn't feel like a chore – it feels like something that you're meant to do. But I think finding the balance is the thing that I'm trying to do right now.”

The last few years of Yours Truly – the incredible highs, devastating lows, and even a line-up change, have Delgado pumped to get home for Unify: Off The Record. “I think they're [those dates] are gonna be absolutely amazing,” she exclaims, especially as it’s a line-up Yours Truly aren’t often a part of. “I think it's cool that you've got some bands doing some of the dates, some not. So, you get this mix of festivals – I know people that are flying to different cities to see different line-ups.

“We play the Adelaide date with Thornhill – we've known them for so long. It was never on the cards that we would ever do anything with them because our music is so different,” she adds, “So getting to play with our friends – even Teenage Joans is another band we’ve never been able to play a show with.”

Hometown shows like Unify don’t just offer something different in terms of line-ups, but something other than the expectations many bands are feeling. Delgado explains, “Since the world opened up again, Australian bands have been trying to get out of the country and doing a lot of overseas things.

“And, you know, we have a lot of [international] bands coming to Australia, but it's nice that we're all going to come together and do the shows with friends and labelmates. That’s something that I didn’t really see happening anytime soon.”

Yours Truly will be performing at Unify: Off The Record. You can buy tickets here.