Dallas Frasca has just returned from a week-long songwriting camp at her parents’ house in north-east Victoria when she speaks with the BRAG.
Her voice sounds hoarse over the phone, but that is probably to be expected when you’ve toured 50 of the 52 weeks in the past year.
“It’s actually insane, and I don’t know how I’m still sane – maybe I’m not,” says Frasca, the frontwoman of the band that shares her name. The Oz rock three-piece has been slogging it out since 2006, spending most of that time on the road. Surprisingly enough, Frasca and friends have found a home on the touring circuits of France and the UK, where they regularly return. Their Facebook page describes their sound as “rock/riffage/heavy soul”, and so it’s fitting that Frasca herself will take the stage next month as part of Australia’s biggest Led Zeppelin tribute concert, Whole Lotta Love.
This will be the third time Frasca has taken part in the show, which is now in its 13th year. “It’s such a great show,” she says, “and there is so much great energy from everyone who is involved.”
In particular, Frasca speaks highly of Whole Lotta Love creative director Joseph Calderazzo. “I understand why it’s been running so long – because of people like him,” she says. “The musicians involved are next level. It’s so great to be thrown into a room of people that all have a mutual love for Led Zeppelin. It’s so fantastic to have that much energy and so many sounds coming off different instruments. Led Zeppelin songs need different textures and different elements in them.”
Frasca remains tight-lipped about what songs she will be performing during the tour, but it’s safe to say she’ll do a fine job. “I don’t know if I’m allowed to say what I’ll playing,” she teases. “We’re still in the process of working out a couple of songs, so people will have to come along to the shows to find out.”
When asked what her all-time favourite Zeppelin songs are, Frasca seems genuinely stumped, unable to narrow her list down. After thinking it over, she goes with ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’ from the band’s 1969 self-titled debut. “I don’t know, there’s just so many!” she says. “I really love ‘Trampled Under Foot’ too – the groove of it is great. My list changes all the time, though – there’s just so much music. But if I had to choose one song right now, it would be ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’.
“I listen to those songs and think, ‘How did you write that?’ There was something pretty insane that happened when those guys got together, and that doesn’t happen very often with bands. They created this music that was just out of this universe, and there’s been no band that has touched [as] closely upon what those guys created to me. You learn so much, especially by going through the lyrics and phrasing. I always come out of this show picking up a few little tips”.
The coming months will see Frasca and her band head back into the studio to begin recording their fourth album.
“We’re just about at the end of the touring cycle with our last album Love Army, but now we’re ready to go back into the studio,” she says. “We’ll be working with one of my favourite producers in Australia at the moment, a wonderful woman by the name of Anna Laverty. I’m looking forward to getting that buzz going again and I really admire the way she works. This year will be our tenth anniversary together as a band, so to celebrate we’ve got something special up our sleeves.”
[Whole Lotta Love photo by Josh Groom]
Whole Lotta Love, with Dallas Frasca, Simon Meli, Jimmy Cupples, Tim Meaco, takes place at the State Theatre on Saturday August 27; and Laycock Street Theatre, North Gosford, Saturday August 20 and Friday August 26.