Being compared to Janis Joplin is tough, although considerably better then being compared to someone shit. If anyone can handle the pressure though, it’s Dallas Frasca, the Victorian singer songwriter whose no bullshit attitude is balanced by her soulful lyrics.
When Music Feeds got a moment with the busy songstress, she was packing her shit into a car for a songwriting session in Federal, just near Nimbin. She was a little exhausted though; she’d played a small rural festival called the Big Day Out, in downtown Gold Coast.
“Oh it was just so ridiculously good. They’re pretty strict with other bands, but we got to hang out back stage. I watched Fear Factory side stage, we were hanging out with Lily Allen, and it was just so good.”
To top it all off Dallas drew one of the “biggest crowds on that stage the entire day” which comes as no surprise to those who’ve heard her music. From her tunes you can tell Dallas is the kind of girl you don’t fuck with, because you’re a bit scared, but at the same time you desperately want to know her.
Before she was kickin’ it with Lily Allen at Australia’s biggest music festival, Dallas was in a tiny bar in Abbotsford, Melbourne, where a chance encounter with a stranger led to a wonderful night of jamming.
“Jeff Curran came and saw one of my gigs in Abbotsford, Melbourne. We were both living there, during one of the set breaks and we started chatting and I said ‘fuck man come up and have a play.’ So he did and then it just kind of erupted and we ended up jamming till 5am, and we knew something was there.”
That something was probably pins and needles, because sitting down for that many hours is bad for circulation. Luckily for us Dallas stood up on her feet and started marching forward, doing cool shit like winning the Triple J Fusion award and acting as stand in front woman for legends Midnight Oil.
Do tell how that came about?
“Dude it was the best thing ever! I was reading one of Rob Hirsts’ books about the tour they did in USA, and we were on the road, at some festival and these two old dudes jump out of the car and asked us where a particular stage was, they were moving their gear. And we were headed there so I said, ‘here I’ll show you and help you carry your gear. Hi my name is Dallas.’ Then I look up and just went, ‘Oh my fucking God, I’m reading your book.’ I couldn’t believe it, I had so many questions.”
This meeting led to Hirst appearing on a Dallas Frasca B-side track and an appearance at an Amnesty International event held by the Oils. Proof that being polite pays off!
On the road experiences like that make up the majority of the album Not for Love or Money, which Dallas composed over eighteen months of touring.
“Yeah, I find it really difficult to write on the road. It took eighteen months to put together; we had all these things jump in our way. We went to go into the studio, we had a two week window, and the day before we went in there, this other band leaned on some piece of equipment, busted it. Two week repair job. Those situations definitely fuelled the emotion and power on the album.”
Human error is a bitch but the band wasn’t deterred, eventually finishing the album and releasing it to critical praise. The best thing though, says Dallas, is “when we play and half the people are singing the words. It’s amazing, I suppose coming from a pub environment where you got to play hard to get attention to suddenly playing with love and conviction. It’s special man.”
Speaking of special men, Dallas recently struck a bond with Xavier Rudd, which resulted in a tour and a few nice little collabs.
“We toured with him last year and he heard my song ‘It takes a strong man to be with a woman like me’ and he goes, ‘Man I’d love to play on that song,’ so we did twenty three dates around the country with him and on the last show we played it together.”
The next step for the burgeoning band will be a brief sojourn to Tasmania to promote the album before heading back to Europe where the band has garnered some support following an appearance last year at a festival in Cognac. When I ask Dallas how it was, the first thing she says is “I met BB King” which seems enough for me.
“No seriously it was amazing. We were flown to France and we had paparazzi following us, then we went to Montreal for International Earth Day, representing Australia. It’s ridiculous.”
Take one listen to Not for Love or Money and you’ll realize it isn’t ridiculous at all; in fact it makes perfect sense. Before heading back to Europe, Dallas Frasca still has a few local shows in the pipeline. Visit www.dallasfrasca.com for full details.