|DALLAS FRASCA – The Uber Rock Interview|
|Written by Marc Leach|
|Saturday, 26 November 2016 03:00|
Melbourne alt-rock trio DALLAS FRASCA recently celebrated their tenth anniversary as a band by releasing a new EP, ‘Dirt Buzz’, and then promptly hitting the road for an extensive European tour supporting Ugly Kid Joe.
When the run stopped off in Belfast, I undertook my first assignment for Uber Rock by pulling up a bar stool enjoying a pre-gig chat with Dallas herself. I started by asking her how the tour had been going so far…
Without a doubt, it has been the most fun… amazing… I mean, there’s no words to describe it: it’s been the best tour we’ve ever been on. Jeff [Curran – guitarist] and I have been playing together for ten years and we haven't had a job in that time, so we’ve on the road the whole time. So, to say that is really lifting it up! All of the guys from Ugly Kid Joe have been so awesome to us. It’s only got a couple of shows to go, so I think everyone is feeling the weight of this great friendship that we've all had together that’s not going to be together for a little while.
Now, one thing I wanted to talk about is that I heard a little birdie from the Hard Rock Hell performance that you joined Ugly Kid Joe on stage for a homage to AC/DC, your own national band from Australia; how did it feel getting up onstage with the guys playing, I think it was ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirty Cheap’, wasn't it?
‘Dirty Deeds’ that’s right! You know what, it’s such an honour to jump on the stage with a band that you look up to and you feel really grateful to be a part of this circle… I mean, you think about it: a lot of bands were headlining the festival, that was their big moment, and they (Ugly Kid Joe) made that their big moment. That’s an indication of how great those guys are - and, wow, give me the mic in front of that crowd any day, it was really awesome!
And especially to not only respect you guys as a fantastic band but to also pay homage to AC/DC themselves.
I know, there was a lot of Australian bands on the lineup, so it was really cool. We had a bit of an Aussie gathering, so it was really cool.
You just recently released ‘Dirt Buzz’ which is a five track EP; what influenced you guys to go five track rather than a full album?
Okay, so we did a European tour earlier in May with an American band called The BellRays and we spent about eight months song writing to put out a special release for our ten year anniversary. We only put it out on vinyl because everything sounds better on vinyl. So, after we got back from the tour with The BellRays - Lisa Kekaula is one of my favourite singers on the planet: I think I learned [a lot]about my voice and my style by listening to her as well - I had a light bulb moment and we re-wrote the entire thing, except for one track, in a week and a half before we went into the studio.
Was that stressful?
Well, no. We really had a clear vision of what we wanted to do, and Jeff jumped on board, and I am really happy with this release. Of course we wanted to get it out before we went out on the road with the Ugly Kid Joe boys as well, so the stars aligned for us this time.
The one thing I noticed when looking at the band’s lineup is that it’s a three piece but it’s two guitars and one drum. How does a band that has a lack of bass player get such a big sound like you did on ‘Dirt Buzz’?
Well, there’s a few secrets going on in there. It’s a massive challenge because, when you’re in the song writing process, we serve the songs, of course; so there’s certain sonic, bottom end stuff that songs need that we have to put in with the drums, so that the drums are integral, and we use octave pedals as well. If you think about The White Stripes or The Black Keys, bands like that, the drums were the bass line most of the time… so it’s a similar set up.
So even though it can be challenging sometimes you’ve managed to be able to make it work, like you mentioned The White Stripes and even Royal Blood; it’s amazing how we still have music like this still coming out.
Of course I love those guys (Royal Blood). Well it’s interesting, there’s a lot of those two piece get ups around Australia and I think the singer and guitarist from Royal Blood lived in Australia for months so I think he was heavily influenced by a lot of the bands that were doing a similar thing at the time. I mean he has taken it to a killer level with great songs.
The one thing I am also noticing is while sitting with you here is, we’ve lost the signature red hair! Where’s the red hair gone?
It washed out man! Look, I wanted a change. It’s funny I’ve had people been angry with me for changing the hair, but I kind of felt trapped by what other people thought, you know what I mean? So, it was like “fucking hell, that’s not who I am”: so I changed it. And, look, to be honest when you're on the road, the maintenance for red hair… when you can see all the boys sleeping and having a rest before the gig, when the singer should be doing that - and I'm in the bathroom redoing my hair and shit! So, this is easy this one (points to her blonde hair).
Going back to the tour, when your tour manager tells you you’re going to, take for example; Belfast, Dublin and such, what comes to your mind, outside of the gig, that makes you think “aw I’m actually really excited about going to these sort of countries”?
Oh, my God, I was a massive U2 fan growing up: I suppose there was an education in their albums on this part of the world, so definitely U2. Also my guitarist, Jeff: his bloodline comes from around Ireland, and he’s one of the first Currans in 150 years to actually return to Ireland. So, I took a photo of him walking out of the bus with his feet landing on the ground today!
I bet that must have been emotional?
Oh my God, he really is - and everyone is so friendly here, it’s really next level. And I suppose the reason is that there are a lot of Irish people in Australia - so I think there is that sister, brother connection. We come from your stock!
And I suppose you will go and see the Phil Lynott statue in Dublin or something?
Well, we’ve got three days there, so (Ugly Kid Joe singer ) Whitfield Crane and us are going to hang out for about three days to go and see some stuff and go “oh my God, what just happened?” So we will do that… and then our Australian tour continues to January, so we haven't finished yet!
Following this tour what’s next for Dallas Frasca?
We’ve got the (Australian) tour, and next year we have a few things in the pipe works, so I can’t say too much at the moment… But we will be taking a lot of time off when we get back… well deserved time off. Last year we were on the road for 52 weeks, so it was a pretty big year; but, I mean, this is what we are doing: right now I’m sitting in Belfast talking to you and the wonderful people around here, seeing the sights. Travelling is the best education isn't it? So we’re all doing what we love, so it’s not a drag!