From an appendectomy to orgasms, Dallas Frasca talks to Kylie Cobb about the prolonged 18 month gestation and glorious delivery of the band's new baby, third studio album Love Army.
She was cackling to herself as she entered the Elefant Lounge Cafe in Sandringham, Melbourne. Needless to say I quickly checked my fly (which was securely fastened I'm pleased to say) and before I could ask Dallas what was funny, we leapt into an enthusiastic conversation about my new favorite album, Love Army, by Melbourne's notorious riff-rock trio, Dallas Frasca.
From left: Josh Eales (drums); Dallas Frasca (vocals, guitar); and Jeff Curran (guitar). Picture provided.
With this new album, Dallas Frasca are the voice of a generation. They pit themselves against the greats like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd with standout tracks, Today, Here All Along and Love Army, and hands down, hold their own.
Love Army was conceived on the streets of London in early 2014 when the band discovered an army of hessian dolls dispersing messages of love throughout the city. Watching people's positive reactions to the hessian dolls was instrumental in setting the direction and purpose of this album. The band were so inspired from the street art by Spanish artist and visionary, Piluca, they knew then and there they had to continue this message of love the only way they knew how - through sound and song.
Creating an album that would have the social impact they envisioned didn't come easy. Dallas Frasca were ruthless in pushing themselves and each other to create epic musical stories, truthfully and soulfully. Dallas tells of tears and tantrums, the most touching when she recalls guitarist, Jeff Curran, singing for the first time on the extended, revamped version of politically infused track, Lizard Boy.
“He came out of the booth and I’m not kidding tears were just streaming down my face. It was a real moment.”
Bed-bound for all the wrong reasons in a Parisian hotel room (she had an emergency appendectomy mid-tour), Dallas took three weeks to conceptualise, research and write the title track, Love Army. Did she set out to create a ten minute, eminent soundscape? "Not at all," explains Dallas, "It was a question of how do I get the message across in a way that captures the real essence of the story." Crafted like the Nordic myths she studied, the track tells the tale of the deity, Goddess Freya's interaction with humanity at its worst - on the battlefield - told via a sublime, vivid soundscape of vocals, violins, guitar and more. Rather than bringing her choice of fallen soldiers to her afterlife field, as per the traditional Nordic tale of Goddess Freyja, the Freya in Frasca's song blows orgasms to each and every soldier, who fall to the ground writhing in ecstasy! In their post orgasmic bliss, the soldiers join and march as one. How bloody awesome is that?
Without a doubt, we see Dallas Frasca extend themselves musically and emotionally on this album. Many hands have touched this music, and Dallas was adamant that all involved fully understood and embraced the vision and higher purpose of the album. From new label, Social Family Records to guest artists, including Danny Leo (King of the North). Collaborating with Whitfield Crane and Sonny Mayo (Ugly Kid Joe) certainly influenced their journey and New York producer, Andy Baldwin (Bjork, Morcheeba) was instrumental in pushing the band's boundaries.
“I really trusted Andy to take me to a place I didn’t necessarily agree with at the time.”
The result? Undoubtedly their most diverse and best work yet. You can tell each and every song has been constructed, de-constructed and re-constructed to have the perfect composition of riffs, harmony, tension, crescendo, composure, abandon, drama and the straight out rock-fucking-roll, the band are renowned for.
"In the past we tended to write songs to fit a three-piece. With this album we didn’t limit ourselves, making sure that we used whatever was needed to service the song.”
And limit themselves they did not! Love Army is incredibly diverse, offering something for everyone:
● Commercial rock pop? Check.
● Acoustic ballad? Check.
● Political protest? Check.
● Love song? Check.
● Sex, drugs & rock n roll? Check.
● Epic 10 minute anthem? Check.
● A big social fuck you? Check. Check.
Eighteen months in the making and the band's commitment, determination, vision and hard work have paid dividends. Overcoming hurdles like a drummer change, which she likened to a marriage breakup, writer's block and an appendectomy, these rock stars used the disappointments to fuel their determination and desire to make this their best album yet.
All in all, Love Army is a true labour of love that will see Dallas Frasca fulfill their ambitions to dominate the world through love, rock and multiple orgasms.
by Kylie Cobb
Be sure to catch them this month for the official launches around Australia:
Thu 28 May – Racehorse Hotel | Ipswich
Fri 29 May – Parkwood Tavern | Gold Coast
Sat 30 May – Big Pineapple Festival | Sunshine Coast
Sun 31 May – Hotel Brunswick | Brunswick Heads
Fri 5 Jun – Pirie & Co. Social Club | Adelaide
Sat 13 Jun – Gapview Hotel | Alice Springs
Fri 19 Jun – Howler | Melbourne
Sat 20 Jun – Republic Bar | Hobart