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:: Spotlight :: Interview with Dash & Will

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Amongst the plethors of good new talent to emerge in Australia in 2008 are Dash & Will, two 18-year-old female singers with terrific potential. Dash & Will are the names they would have had if they were born boys. Instead the girls were born as Charlotte Thorpe With school finally out of the way late last year, Dash & Will threw themselves into their music. They got a band together, played more and more live shows and started concentrating on recording their debut album with well known music producer Barry Palmer.

Dash & Will have been constantly out on the road since April, playing live shows all around the country. Already in 2008, Dash & Will have supported the likes of Ben Lee, Matt Costa and Faker's Nathan Hudson. In May and June, they headlined the Rock The Schools tour across NSW.

And now, Dash & Will have an instantly infectious debut single, “Pick You Up” out through Universal Music Australia. I had the pleasure of meeting the young ladies for a chat in Melbourne recently.

How did you come up with the showbiz name Dash & Will?

It became a pastime for us; trying to find names. We looked for over a year and we asked our parents what we would have been called had we been boys. It was Dash & Will.

It seems as though school held you back from getting out there to do your musical thing…

We did Year 12 at school last year and there were times when we just wanted to walk out and do music. But we stuck at it, doing demos when we could. Although it had been hectic doing Years 11 and 12, we were at a very accepting school. The teachers supported us greatly. We went to a school not academically driven or conventional like others. They encouraged us to pursue our particular interest. We had the latitude to go to the studio after school. The teachers are really pleased with what we've done now.

Tell us about being involved in the Rock The Schools programme?

Rock The Schools was great. It was a great reaction, playing to nearly 700 kids each time. Kids were clapping and screaming. Such a good experience for us as we'd just recruited the full band (four guys joined us). We played every day for three weeks and became a tight unit pretty quickly. The guys in the band understand what we do and we've hit it off well.

You've also done a few other support slots in the last three months…

We'd previously done a few support shows in an acoustic mode. We played with Ben Lee and Mandy Moore. It was good to meet them both - they're very down-to-earth.

Is it too easy for observers to comapre you with other female duos?

All they want to do is compare us with The Veronicas and Tegan & Sara. We just need to cover our own end and let people know that we are Dash & Will. We are different. We're probably a bit more laidback.

Any particular people who have influenced your careers?

Never really had a strong influence. Just by seeing live shows. I knew we wanted to be up there performing. We've both had very supportive families who have constantly encouraged us to go and write pop songs. Barry Palmer has been a big rock for us. Being around him in the studio has helped us develop. It was also good news to get a publishing deal with Mushroom Music. I love the people there.

When did you write the songs for this debut album?

Lots of songs were written a while back - we've been writing since we were seven. We wrote many songs around the age of fourteen and they form the basis for the album. Every song sounds different on the album.
“Pick You Up” is probably the rockiest song. Generally, the songs are fresh and energetic with a couple of ballads thrown in.

What are the plans for the short term?

We would love our album to do really well and that we can tour Australia, then go overseas. We're looking to do festivals over the coming summer period.

I am aware that you looked at several ways to set up the band in a business-like fashion. What would you suggest for other aspiring musicians like you?

We would advise anyone to get out there and play live, and to apply for government grants whenever they arise. We performed at open mics nights for a while. You should push and push and push until someone signs you up.

"Pick You Up" is out now through Mercury/Universal.

The album “Up In Something” is due to be released in September.