Meg Frampton , 2009

 

Written by: Jason Perlman

 

You have been touring for about two years now and after being out that long; does each show still get as exciting today as it did when you first began a full US tour?
We still get very excited when we play, but I think it is just different things that we get excited about.

 

Not that you have to pick one over the other, but it has got to be great playing a tour like this one where the fans are up close and personal versus a Warped Tour where maybe a lot of the fans are there, but maybe not there just for Meg and Dia. How do you handle both types of situations?
Well, even on the Warped Tour the kids are there to see you because they come to see us when it’s our time to play, so there are still going to be your fans even on the Warped Tour. I would actually say we have more of our fans at the Warped shows than the club shows because most of the kids at the club shows don’t know who we really are. But the only real difference in the obvious, one is inside and dark with lights and the other is outside when it’s hot and its daytime.

 

After touring for two-and-a-half years, how have you seen the growth of the band Meg & Dia as a band?
Last night we played probably one of our best shows ever and one of the things we have learned over these years is to listen and trust each other. And we can start to anticipate and expect what each of us is going to do. We have just become tighter and are gelling together better as people and that helps to become more comfortable as a musician on stage.

 

Where do you find the time to write when you are on tour for as long as you have?
I don’t write when I am on tour unless I have to. I save all the writing time for right when we get home and I just write the entire time I am home.

 

So sleep is not an option?
Actually, we get a lot of sleep. We got a bus for this tour so we may go to sleep pretty late but we can sleep in until one in the afternoon which happens almost every day. So sleep is not a problem.

 

To be on tour for that long, what keeps five band members together in a van or a bus without someone being strung up and drug behind the vehicle?
Well, Dia and I have been in many different bands before with different members and for some reason, and although I don’t believe in fate, but something set us all up because we go together so well. We are all quirky and like to do a lot of the same things together. We understand each other and mesh very well. We all understand we are out here to play music and have fun. So it is just working out.

You mentioned writing as soon as you get home and writing almost non-stop. How draining is that since much of what you write about is emotional and intimate?
It’s both draining and exhilarating. I think sometimes I can feel it weighing down on my conscious and mind and body because when I write I tend to forget about regular life. I will just get up super, super early; kind of forget to eat food sometimes and don’t talk to anybody. Basically, I will lock myself up in my room and have trouble sleeping because I want to keep writing all through the night. But when my body is doing that, I feel like this is what I was meant to do.  It doesn’t matter if my mind gets tired or my body gets exhausted, because this is how I think I am supposed to be using my energy.

 

I always like to ask this question, especially of a band that gets so close to its fans. Is it more rewarding to see the success of the band rise, or more rewarding to have a fan tell you what lyrics to a song you wrote meant to them?
I think those two kinds of stipulations are very hard to compare in trying to judge which one is more rewarding than the other. Growing as a band and seeing where we were at the beginning to where we are now is one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. So it is extremely rewarding and I am thankful for it every day. I mean every day we play is a good show. I was talking to my drummer the other day and I asked him how he could even play with me a few years ago because I was so sloppy. I am always going to remember how we were and appreciate how we are now. And when fans come up and say they relate to a song, well, that is the main reason we write music in the first place. I remember being touched by music when I started listening and crying to music and listening to certain songs when I was feeling a certain way. So to know that I have created something that someone else can feel the same way I felt those songs is almost unthinkable and very rewarding.

 

Maybe what I respect most about Meg & Dia is the fact the band has been able to avoid the “Aw. Aren’t those girls cute!” syndrome and really have tried to work itself up through touring, songwriting and grassroots growth of fans.
It is all in how you present yourself and how you write your music. It’s about the kind of music you have and how you look on stage to even how you talk to people. We are really conscious of how we want people to perceive us. I think that us starting to write music by ourselves and going to an independent label and went the Indy way and working with all these people that allowed us to have freedom in our creativity and then being signed to a major label has helped us develop into individual artists instead of being packaged and marketed in a certain way and then thrown into things.  Dia and I have a very clear vision of what we want our music to sound like and how we want to be thought of and it is very important to us to stay true to that.

 

You know Garage Band, you can produce a record yourself, and so did that make it easier or harder to work with a producer like Howard Benson who has produced great music. But at the same time, you have a clear vision of what you want.
It is harder and easier. It is harder because we just didn’t walk into preproduction and have an engineer press record and play all of our songs. I had to put a lot of time in working on the demos and coming up with ideas, putting the songs together and recording them and then re-recording them. That took a really long time to that was harder. But it was easier to show Howard exactly what I had in mind because I didn’t have to describe it in words, which is almost impossible to do with music.  So I could actually show Howard with the actual music. That made it really easy for me to just pull out my computer and show him. So it is easier and harder.

 

With the record Here, Here and Here I am sure you had a vision of exactly what you wanted the record to sound like. When it was done and complete, was Here, Here and Here what you thought it was going to be?
When we first started making the record, we really didn’t have a concept or overall sound we were going for. When we first started writing for it, we just spilled our souls out into the computer and whatever came out came out and then it started forming from there. Then, as we starting moving forward be began to figure out what we wanted it to sound like and what we wanted it to say. And now that I listen to it and it is done, it is something we are both very proud of and we know that it is good. When we wrote our first record we really didn’t know what to think or how people would react or even how we felt about it ourselves. But this record is something we worked really hard on and knew what we were looking for.