The name Dallas Crane has not been seen around as much recently as it was in the mid-to-late 2000s when it was kind of everywhere in Aussie rock circles. Between approximately 2004 and 2009, the band’s profile experienced a steady rise, with the release of albums three and four, relentless touring and multiple ARIA Award nominations.
There’s a good reason why Dallas Crane have been under the radar since that heady period – they have been on a four- to five-year break from the scene after many years of relentless hard work. Fans of the band and Aussie rock in general can rejoice now, however, as 2014 marks the quartet’s return to the scene in both a recorded and live sense. Vocalist, guitarist and founding member Dave Larkin caught up with the BRAG to discuss the break and the comeback.
“We were one of those bands that were just in fifth gear the whole time,” he says. “We never really took a break at all. It just got to critical mass and we just decided that, for a number of reasons, [a break] is probably the best thing to do while we all worked on other things. We wanted to keep the idea of Dallas Crane interesting, rather than just going over the same thing all over again.”
Dallas Crane have released a new single entitled ‘Get Off The Dope’, and even on first listen it sounds as though the band has barely been away at all. The old magic is still very much there – and Larkin tentatively agrees, although it did not always feel that way within the group.
“Haven’t been away? That’s good you say that! When we first got back together, and Pete [Satchell, guitar] and I had been doing our own things for a few years, there was definitely a divide in between styles and the way we went about writing songs. It’s taken about 20 songs, between ourselves, to get to a point where it’s like, ‘This sounds like something that could be a Dallas Crane song,’ rather than solo acts being played by Dallas Crane. It’s starting to find its feet again, musically, because it doesn’t take long to lose that.”
A new single out generally means a new recording is on its way. Larkin confirms this is indeed the case for Dallas Crane, although he is as yet unsure as to what form it will ultimately take, especially in the current musical climate where things appear to be slowly but surely moving away from the album format.
“We’ve definitely got enough tracks for a new album,” he says, “but we’re kinda just liking putting out new songs every few months, because it’s a lot less effort. You can just keep it interesting for each other and the fans, and you can just focus on the one song. It doesn’t mean we’re not going to do an album, but we’re kind of in two minds whether we’re going to bother as well.
“A lot of bands go and spend thousands of bucks producing, and putting all their lives on hold for a record, and then it gets up on iTunes and people only give a shit about two or three songs.”
The band is back on the live circuit again with dates in Melbourne and Sydney. Larkin is looking forward to getting back on the road with Dallas Crane, although again somewhat tentatively.
“I think so!” he laughs. “Personally I love touring more than anything … as far as our touring compared to the old days, 40 to 50 dates in a row, I reckon it’s going to be more subject to demand. We definitely won’t be out there pushing a barrow of shit up a hill.”