The mighty Dallas Crane join the epic April Sun line up that includes You Am I, Magic Dirt and The Casanovas which promises to be an awesome night of rock music. The Dallas Crane kit bag includes a truckload of hits including No Through Road, Ladybird, Sit On My Knee, Number All Over and Dirty Hearts to mention a few. Main man Dave Larkin talks about playing April Sun and what’s planned for later this year.
It must be good to finally be able to start playing shows, especially April Sun this week with an absolute cracker jack line up?
Any opportunity to do any sort of gig with the calibre of artists is always a fun prospect for Dallas. I’m looking forward to it. Looking forward to just playing. I haven’t done any of those pod gigs. We’ve done restricted numbers gigs, but we haven’t done any outdoor gigs, where people have been in pods or separated. I think this is the first official breakaway from all of that, so that should be really fun.
We had all those pod-type gigs back in January. I thought that was a good concept. At least it got the industry going which is good.
Yeah. Well, it worked. I think a lot of people loved the pods too. They loved the social distancing, not getting sweated on, especially in the over thirty-five demographic.
Has the last twelve months had much of an impact on Dallas Crane?
It didn’t really impact us, other than we just didn’t see each other or really progress any further with new songs, new recordings and things. It’s just taken a year out of where we were tracking with that. We got to do a couple little gigs online. It didn’t really hurt us on that operational or business level, because we do it at our own pace anyway. There’s nothing really riding on when Dallas Crane plays or doesn’t play for us, personally. So not really. Not like other people.
Even though it’s been a year, did you find that you have missed playing a lot more than what you probably thought you would?
Desperately. Yeah. We did a gig at the Hotel Westwood in Footscray recently, and it was our first gig in almost a year. We did a rehearsal prior to that gig and normally we’re pretty cocky with our rehearsals. We would have just smashed through the set that we’ve been doing for twenty years and work on the new songs, and we were really, really rusty. Like Battle of the Bands rusty. We had to go back and have a real long rehearsal to really polish up a lot of the things that were, once upon a time, second nature to us. So yeah, it was.
It’s a real purple patch for Dallas Crane at the moment, in this part of our career, because we’re doing it absolutely, a hundred percent, for the love, like we did when we started. There was no expectation of results or metrics attached to anything we do now on a career level. It’s just purely for fun. That’s our currency now. Having that taken out of our diary, it’s just the times when we got together, got to travel together and engage in the tour van, banter. That’s the bit we miss the most. The gig side of things has been the hardest.
Do you think when you start talking purple patch that doing gigs, like the April Sun, is seen like a little resurgence for the band? A bit more interest and that will open up a few more doors for more regular touring, or people buying/streaming more albums?
I think so. As far as resurgence goes, we’re a bit like a stock chart. We go up and down in demand. For example, in 2018, we toured with Def Leppard and Cheap Trick in the same year. All of a sudden there were all these hits to the website and there were all these downloads of the album, of the merch. The online store went nuts. Gigs like that can really can do all the work that a thousand press outlet covers and photo shoots can do in forty-five minutes. So any gigs like that, where we’re in front of more than a thousand people generally spur on the next thing. That has been this perpetual motion that happened with Dallas Crane.
We’re supporting KISS later this year at Rod Laver Arena. We’re playing to fifteen to twenty thousand people and we know that after that there’ll be, hopefully, some doors that open from that, because that’s just how it works. It’s how our career has always worked. One thing has led to another. Triple J airplay led to Meredith Festival and Meredith Festival led to the Falls Festival, and that led to the Big Day Out tour. Then, all of a sudden, we had a national profile. It all happened within six months. So we don’t really plan it. It’s just, we’re fairly cavalier with how it rolls. Just going along for the ride, whichever way the stock chart goes.
Playing with Kiss though, that must be like a childhood dream?
Absolutely. Yeah. It’s pretty cool. We were scheduled to play with them 2019 or 2020. No, it was 2019, November 2019 and he blew his voice out a week before the show. We thought that shit, we’ll never get to play with Kiss. Luckily for us, they re-booked and kept all the original support bands in the slot, so we’re pumped for that. What kid didn’t have Kiss cards? It was Star Wars and Kiss when you’re a kid. All these collectibles. It was awesome. We can’t wait.
Do you have new music in the pipeline, leading up to like big shows like that?
We do. Whether it comes out before or not is a blend of whether we can get the ducks lined up in time. We’re not specifically lining up anything to come out prior to, or after the Kiss show. If it happens, it happens. When it comes to working on new stuff, we’re really starting to ramp it up again now, given there’s a bit more activity on the gig side and prospects are looking a little better than they did twelve months ago.
How’s the new stuff sounding?
It’s sounding good. Most of it’s sitting in our drawers at the moment. The real test is when you take it into the band room and you look around the room. If people are slouching over their guitars, it probably means that we won’t be hearing any more of that song, or if there’s genuine activity in the room, then we persist with it which is how we’ve always done it
Is there a bit more of a harder rock edge to it?
Yeah, I’d say it’s always a bit of a mixed bag with Dallas. We never sit down and go, “We’re writing a hard rock record”. It’ll always be governed by mood and circumstance, sometimes. there’s no real fixed harder or softer edge to any of it. It’s always going to be a bit of a mixed bag based on where we were at the time writing it.
Beyond April Sun, are you planning to play more random shows around the country depending on where things are at?
We’re hoping we can get out later this year. There’s going to be some vinyl reissues coming out later in the year, and we’re going to, hopefully, be touring with that as an anniversary thing with a couple of our records. How that reads is still getting worked on now, but we are hoping to get out on our own run later this year.
Is Lent going to make it on part of the vinyl reissue as well?
How about Twenty Four Seven?
Perhaps Twenty Four Seven and earlier 2000 releases. We’ve always wanted to put it out on vinyl, but have never had capacity to do so. It’ll probably, at least, involve those two, self-titled and Twenty Four Seven.
Colored vinyl perhaps? Are there going to be any extra tracks, or is it just going to be just albums as they are?
That’s a good question. There were a couple of tracks that missed both of those records, so if we can fit them on there, if we can make sense to put them on, we might look at it, but it’s a bit of an unknown at the moment.
What else is on the horizon for Dallas Crane?
We’re desperate to just get playing again. We were having such a great time, since Scoundrels came out in 2016. We were having such a great time, getting back on the road again, doing shows and joining some really great lineups. Like I said, probably the most enjoyable five years of our career have been the last five years. Just hoping we can get back to doing that, finding new numbers and just having someone loving what we do.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch Dallas Crane with You Am I, Magic Dirt and The Casanovas at St Kilda Triangle on Thursday 22 April. Tickets from MoshTix