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Donavon Frankenreiter – Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy

Written by Mike Hohnen on 12th February, 2013

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Is there anyone more chill than the iconic surfer singer-songwriter Donavon Frankenreiter? I’m sure that if there is, none of us want to know about them. A regular feature on the Australian touring circuit, Donavon will be returning to Australia in the coming weeks thanks to the La Casa team, bringing with him a swag of good vibes, and of course his surfboard.

Sounding as relaxed as ever, it turns out I had picked his one-week off in a long time to call, but if you’re talking music, it’s sure not to be a nuisance. Now, how has his brief downtime been?

“It’s been great, I’m home and have been able to take my kids up to school…be with my family. I’ve been on the road for the past few months, but I’m home for a week, then I have to tour Australia for 7 weeks, but I’ll be bringing the whole family, which will be great, like one big musical surfing trip.”

The tour schedule meanders all throughout Australia and will take Donavon to some pretty remote regional cities that many bands tend to avoid, but Frankenreiter feels very differently about it.

“It’s incredible, I feel fortunate to be able to take part in this. We did it last year too. The La Casa guys and Corona do this amazing thing, which means I can go to all these incredible places in Australia, sometimes doing 2-3 shows in one day – all these free concerts in all these great locations, and I get to see so much of Australia, it’s unbelievable. Last year the vibe was so great I can’t wait to do it again. “

Given the extensive 7-week tour, we got chatting about whether or not he will be filling in some of his spare time chatting with his fans. Regardless of how busy he may be, fan time is a given.

“These kids are pretty mellow you know? I can sense they’re free, and uh, they’re always around – it’s like one big giant meet and greet, I get to meet everyone. And if we’re not too jammed in, there will be moments when we get down to the beach, you know, just out of Melbourne or Sydney or the Gold Coast … a lot of amazing areas to go surfing in.”

For those currently not in the know, Frankenreiter was last in town crashing at Corona’s own utopia La Casa, where he stuck around for an artist residency. By the sounds of things, it was a pretty tough and demanding gig…

It’s such an amazing place. It has a fridge packed with Corona; surfboards; a studio; and music gear. Last year was amazing, there were so many amazing people stopping by, including Andrew from Wolfmother, and a few others came by and jammed out. Such a great vibe…oh yeah, Angus Stone came as well … really bitchin’ place.”

“There’s no pressure, you’re not there to make music if you don’t want to, it’s an incredible vibe, everything is there if you want it.“

Mid-way through last year, Start Livin’ was released and has been toured extensively. You’d think new material would be a hot topic, and you’d be right, as Donovan explains, he has already begun putting pen to paper.

“I feel I’ll be ready to record at the end of the year; I’m gonna take this time to write. Hmm…I never have a formula, they just seem to kinda appear. I’m not the kinda guy who, you know, is this prolific songwriter who’s sitting on 50 tunes. It takes me everything I’ve got to write 10 songs to make a record. The last one only had 9 songs, you know, everything I wrote. Songs don’t come easy – at least to me they don’t…it’s a weird process, it just happens. So I have no idea what it’s going to sound like; it’ll all come together and we’ll record it.”

Donovan has already started his tour in WA, and will hit the east coast of Australia starting this weekend in VIC before heading north. By the sounds of things, it will be the penultimate experience for any of his adoring Aussie fan base. Rest assured if you miss chatting to him at a gig, you’ll be able to catch up cutting sick on a break somewhere nearby the next morning.

MELBOURNE

Friday 15 February
Woolshed Pub
Shed 9,T 18/161 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands
6.00pm-7.30pm

Friday 15 February
Prince Of Wales
29 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
9.30pm-11.00pm

Saturday 16 February
Portsea Hotel
3746 Point Nepean Road, Portsea
6.30pm-7.30pm

Saturday 16 February
Westernport Hotel
161 Marine Parade, San Remo
10.30pm-Midnight

LORNE, VIC

Sunday 17 February
Lorne Hotel
176 Mountjoy Parade Lorne
3.00pm-4.30pm

TORQUAY, VIC

Sunday 17 February
Torquay Hotel
36 Bell Street, Torquay
6.30pm-9.00pm

NSW

Friday 22 February
Coogee Bay Hotel
253 Coogee Bay Road, Coogee
6.00pm-7.30pm

Friday 22 February
Clovelly Hotel
381 Clovelly Rd, Clovelly
9:30pm-11:00pm

Saturday 23 February
The Bucket List
The Bondi Pavilion, Queen Elizabeth drive, Bondi Beach
1.30pm-3.00pm

Saturday 23 February
Newport Arms Hotel
2 Kalinya Street, Newport
4.00pm-6.30pm

Saturday 23 February
Manly Wharf Hotel
Manly Wharf, Manly
8.30pm-10.00pm

Sunday 24 February
Cronulla Hotel
Cnr Kingsway & Elouera Rd, Cronulla
3.00pm-4.30pm

Sunday 24 February
Towradgi Beach Hotel
170 Pioneer Road, Towradgi
6.30pm-8.00pm

Friday 1 March
Bateau Bay Hotel
Cnr of The Entrance Rd & Lumby Drive, Bateau Bay
6.00pm-7.30pm

Friday 1 March
Queens Wharf Brewery
150 Wharf Rd, Newcastle
9:30pm-11:00pm

SUNSHINE COAST

Saturday 2 March
SOL Bar
19 Ocean Street Maroochydore
7.00pm-8.30pm
Saturday 2 March
Noosa SLSC
69 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads
10.30pm-12.00am

BRISBANE

Sunday 3 March
Story Bridge Hotel
200 Main Street, Kangaroo Point
1.00pm-2.30pm

Sunday 3 March
Jubilee Hotel
470 St Pauls Terrace, Fortitude Valley
4.30pm-6.00pm

Sunday 3 March
Eaton’s Hill Hotel
646 South Pine Road, Eatons Hill
8.00pm-9.30pm

GOLD COAST

Friday 8 March
Melbas
46 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise
6.00pm-7.30pm

Friday 8 March
Coolangatta Hotel
Marine Parade, Coolangatta
9.30pm-11.00pm

Saturday 9 March
Komune
144-146 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
4.00pm-5.30pm

Saturday 9 March
Boardwalk Tavern
Hope Island Marina Shopping Village/Santa Barbara Road, Hope Island
7.30pm-9.00pm

BYRON BAY

Sunday 10 March
Brunswick Hotel
4 Mullumbimbi Street, Brunswick Heads
3.00pm-4.30pm

Sunday 10 March
Beach Hotel
Cnr Jonson Street & Bay Street, Byron Bay
7.30pm-9.00pm

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