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:: Spotlight :: Dallas Crane - Strong, relentless rock

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

The hearty, feisty rock ‘n’ roll of Dallas Crane is gathering momentum across the country. The Melbourne band has been relentless in touring and getting themselves noticed. With their steady development over the past three years, they are starting to witness the fruits of their labour in gaining greater recognition. They have a new, self-titled album and they’re set to rock across Australia for most of the remainder of 2004. The patience and optimism is something that Dallas Crane bassist Pat Bourke reinforced when I spoke to him recently.

Q. Tell us what it means to get to this stage in having this new album? You’ve been there since the last album.

A. Yes, I go back three and a half years with the band, and it’s been pretty tough. It’s been a slog and we’ve set about trying to make money through touring. Some opportunities and different things came along. We said “no” to a few people and stuck it out, waiting for the right record deal and the right people to be working with. It’s taken a few years but we’re happy where we’ve ended up.

Q. About three years ago I had my doubts as to whether Dallas Crane was going to succeed in any form, but I’ve noticed great improvement in that time…

A. Lots of live shows have developed us immensely and into better songwriters too. It’s made us a lot more savvy as to what goes on in the industry. We’ve got very sensitive “bulls**t” meters. We knew what we were doing was good and we knew that we had to keep doing it. It’s the old clich√©, “Stick to your guns” and then it works out. Some people get plucked from obscurity and into the limelight. In reality, there are only a few occasions where it achieves great success. Normally, you have to put in the hard yards. We’ve always had a positive outlook and confidence in what we do; patience in waiting for the right thing. We’re glad we’ve done that and we’re fired up. We have a record that we really love. It sounds the way we want it to sound.

Q. The album has the band rocking hard with lots of drive and edge…

A. We give it our best shot. People have given us good feedback. It’s a true representation of the band. There’s a bit of the fire from the live shows in there. We’ve built a certain fanbase from the relentless touring and I am sure that they will be happy with seeing these songs performed live. We’ve always had to impress a crowd with songs they don’t know, but we’ve been stringent in our song selection and it will be good to go out to a crowd that has heard our record.

Q. The upcoming headline tour gives you a chance to really assert your authority…

A. Yes, that’s how we’re looking at it. We’ve been on the road, having done good supports, released singles, etc. Now it’s time to release our own record and sell it.

Q. Is it like a brand new phase for the band?

A. Yes, this is the first record that I’ve actually played on with the band, and the first one we’ve done with the Alberts label. There is some deep-rooted history there and hopefully we can become part of it.

Q. A big chunk of Australian music history, with artists like The Easybeats and AC/DC, to name a couple…

A. They don’t sign many acts. It was nice to be considered and they signed us on the basis of our demos and through meeting us. It wasn’t on hype. We’re happy with that part of it.

Q. Production was done by Wayne Connolly, who has done some underrated work in the past (Knievel, Glide, etc). What was he like to work with?

A. He’s really good. We’re happy that we made that choice. Wayne was the first person who knew what to do with the band in terms of this album. He had the same kind of attitude towards tones and work – very easy to deal with and very knowledgeable. He was willing to try different things and keen to capture the band’s strengths. He has a similar taste of music to us and a good sense of humour. I’ve spoken to him since and he’s very proud of what was achieved.

Q. Do you think it’s the sort of album that will grow?

A. I hope so. I’m sure that people will be able to get more out it with several listens. We wrote it with depth and hopefully it will stick around for quite a while in people’s minds.

Q. Now you’re set to headline a tour under the banner of “The Filth & the Grime” tour…

A. It’s how all good rock ‘n’ roll tours should be.

Q. Yes, you must have a thing about old movies, in particular spaghetti westerns, following last year’s “A Fistful Of Dallas” tour…

A. There’s a bit of that “Good, Bad, Ugly” theme. We’re into old movie artwork, like the spaghetti westerns. We’re huge fans of Ennio Morricone soundtracks. That’s a big influence on me. Dave (Larkin) is really into them too, and also The Godfather” soundtrack. We often play that at rehearsals. We’re really looking forward to the tour. We’ll be playing about 80% of the album live. Then, we’ll be supporting The Living End on their upcoming tour, so it’s a busy couple of months.

The album “Dallas Crane” is out now. Check our national gig guide for Dallas Crane dates on “The Filth & The Grime” tour.

For more information, visit

www.dallascrane.com