The women of Warped: Meg & Dia
(With the Vans Warped Tour coming to St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park on July 26, we're spending this week getting to know some of the women on punk's most pop-friendly summer tour. Today: Utah alt-pop singer-songwriters -- and sisters -- Meg & Dia.)
Age: Meg Frampton (guitar), 24; Dia Frampton (vocals), 21Hometown: St. George, Utah, though Meg now lives in Austin, Texas. Their sound: Quirky alt-rock that straddles the line between indie and pop. Most recent album: here, here and here, released April 21 on Sire Records. Click here to listen to their single What If. You‚Äôll dig them if you also like: Eisley, Rilo Kiley, Kate Vogele, Marie Digby, Kate Nash
Their story: This is the third Warped Tour for alt-popsters Meg & Dia, so guitarist Meg Frampton knows just what to expect.
"I came totally prepared," she said by phone during a Warped Tour stop in Pennsylvania. "I brought my books and my yoga mat, and I know where all the secret showers are."
Wait. Hold up. Secret showers?
"In Montreal," she explained, "there‚Äôs this swimming pool, and you just have to say ‚ÄòBonjour,‚Äô and pretend that you‚Äôre French. You walk with a lot of conviction, and you beeline it to the left, and there‚Äôs a women‚Äôs locker room, and a secret shower in there. In St. Petersburg, there‚Äôs another pool and another locker room, and they‚Äôre pretty free about it."
Keeping clean on tour isn‚Äôt the only thing the Frampton sisters, Meg and Dia, are good at. Their five-piece band has toured with Cute Is What We Aim For and Angels and Airwaves, thanks in part to literate lyrics that range from idiosyncratic to downright dark ("My boyfriend used my palm as an ashtray / and that was on his good days / My scar looks like a bear or a rabbit / They say it‚Äôs just his bad habits.").
For Meg, 24, and Dia, 21, forming a grownup band together was never really the plan.
"I fought it until the bitter end," Meg said. "When we were younger, I started my own punk rock band, and I had my best friend play drums, and my little sister would follow me around; she followed in my footsteps for most of my childhood. And I said, ‚ÄòNo, of course she can‚Äôt be in my band! It‚Äôs my band, and I‚Äôm older, so get out of here!‚Äô Then one day she started singing, and she had this amazing voice, so I put my tail between my legs and said, ‚ÄòYou know what? You‚Äôre a freaking kickass singer.‚Äô"
All your space is belong to them: Lots of artists can claim to have been discovered on MySpace. Meg & Dia were discovered by MySpace. When a hacker fan rigged the social networking site so that all users were directed to Meg & Dia‚Äôs profile, MySpace founder Tom Anderson sent the band a peevish message asking them to take down their page. Then, impressed with their music, he invited them to perform at a MySpace-sponsored tent on the Warped Tour.
The Write Sisters: Both Meg and Dia write songs for the band, but almost always separately.
"We share our music with each other when the song is mostly finished," Meg said. "Dia and I have very specific ideas of how each particular song is supposed to end up. So we‚Äôll get most of the songs done, we‚Äôll get the melodies and the chord progression and the vocals to where all the important parts are set down and recorded, and then the extra help comes in ‚Äî say, if I need help with a vocal melody on a bridge, or if she needs a guitar riff on a verse to make it accentuate the melody line of the lyrics. ... It‚Äôs like with the Dixie Chicks. Natalie Maines had to have those two other girls for her to really shine. Dia and I just have to have each other for it to be special. And that‚Äôs just how it is."
If she could spend an hour one-on-one with any musician, it would be ... John Lennon. "I really, really like the Beatles. I know that‚Äôs really cliche to say, but I think they‚Äôre an example of quirky but simple ‚Äî really getting the point across, but still being specific, and everybody can relate to that."
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*