From Melbourne, Australia, comes unapologetic rock-n-roller Dallas Frasca. The band — also featuring Jeff Curran on guitar and Josh Eales on drums — has been playing for a full decade and has collected a number of awards (to include Artist of the Year), and they have supported legendary artists like Patti Smith and Van Halen.
You can feel the trio’s presence even through the speakers. Dallas’ captivating voice backed by a driving beat and relentless guitars makes for terrible background music; you’re invested by the end of the first riff, and you have to see it to the end.
I got the chance to speak with Dallas about her experiences, tour stories, and inspirations.
Germ Magazine: Hello, and thanks for agreeing to this interview!
Dallas Frasca: Thanks so much for having me!!!
GM: Let’s start with how you got into music. What made you want to pursue this as a career?
Dallas: Music is something that chooses you, and there’s no point fighting it. I suppose it was a film I saw when I was around 12 years old (Crossroads — soundtrack by Ry Cooder) that sent me on a whirlwind to discover blues music and soul singers, and then I guess I became obsessed. I soon after picked up the guitar and was always playing my Nana’s piano when I was a kid (very badly, ha).
GM: Where do you find inspiration for your music?
Dallas: Everything! I guess with lyrics, maybe it could be something someone said that triggers an idea or something relevant to what the band and I feel passionate about at the time. Music inspires me and personal experiences… Three chords and the truth right? But I am open to the idea that the universe is always providing us messages; we are simply the antenna.
GM: I love that! How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
Dallas: Honest, heavy, and vulnerable, like opening up your rib cage and revealing your beating heart.
GM: Very fitting. A lot of female-fronted bands don’t get the recognition they deserve in such a male-dominated industry. What has been your experience as such?
Dallas: It surely is male-dominated, so I suppose it’s a numbers game really. I mean, would it be fair if radio stations / festivals, etc. had to play or support half male / half female? That wouldn’t be fair to men then, so I guess it’s up to women if they actually want to play music and their heart is in it? Good music always prevails, no matter what gender you are. There is nothing stopping women; you just need to love it. I suppose it being male-dominated can be intimidating for women; I know I generally deal with male booking agents / promoters / bands / managers, etc. and have had my fair share of misogynistic “experiences” (totally another conversation), but I love the industry and learnt to have thick skin early on in the piece. It’s also full of strong, wonderful, and encouraging men as well. I view it like this: I’m in a band, full stop; I will never be promoted as “female fronted” if I can help it as I don’t think it matters. You have to find where your music fits.
We are about to embark on our seventh European tour. In 2013 we played in front of 40,000 people at the Le Mans 24-hour circuit race in the south of France. We have never had a lot of support from the industry in Australia in terms of radio play, so we went and found somewhere that did. I really don’t think that has to do with being male or female.
I loved a recent Brody Dalle tweet that said: “They say women can’t play guitar as well as men. I don’t play the guitar with my f***ing vagina, so what difference does it make?” I would like to think I rock as hard as the boys and won’t ever play a “female fronted” gig night, which actually magnifies the problem. I mean, they don’t put on “male fronted” nights, do they? Haha. There is no link between what gender you are and playing music, so until more women feel like playing music, then I guess it will even out. I think the industry will have more to choose from when that happens.
GM: Do you have any weird or funny stories of things that have happened on the road or at a gig?
Dallas: Believe me, the stories are plentiful, haha. My mind is racing with many stories. Maybe the time I fell off a blow-up kids’ castle whilst crowd surfing on 5,000 people and cracked my skull was funny — well, not funny, but a pretty wild experience. We ended up using footage from the “fall” in our latest video.
GM: Yikes! Do you have any advice for young writers and creators?
Dallas: Yes, yes, yes! I am always seeking advice myself as the challenge to fill a blank canvas is one of my life callings, and I don’t think there is any one formula that can be told as we’d all be writing hit songs then, wouldn’t we? Haha. So I will say this: Write something that you like; don’t worry about what anyone thinks when you start, just get the muscles working. Persistence always wins. If you want it bad enough, then learn all facets of the industry and read anything you can on songwriting and just go for it. Ask people for advice, but only take on board what feels right for you. The core of the entire business is about songs, so learn how to do that. Collaborate with other songwriters; you always learn something new from that kind of experience. Make a rad video that fits with your music. Don’t be precious about ideas. Listen and learn from the greats. Don’t be afraid to write a heap of ‘sh*t music’ cause that’s going to happen for sometime. Surround yourself with a supportive team who believes in you and you in them, and, most importantly, enjoy it. Be brave, be strong, and don’t let fear be your GOD.
GM: Great advice. Finally, where can we find you and your music?
Dallas: I think you can find all our shenanigans on our Facebook page.
GM: Thanks again for being a part of this. Your energy is infectious, and I can’t wait to hear more from you.
Dallas: You are rad.
Check out the video for Dallas Frasca’s song “Today”:
[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RX-ABSmZp9g” width=”480″ height=”300″][/su_youtube]