Being chick rock stars among a sea of men means more than just knocking out kickass tunes and building your fan bases in different cities. In addition to serving up fresh and funky music, the indie-pop-rock sisters fronting Meg & Dia—who have recently found themselves commonly touring with all-boy bands—constantly have to stand their ground and show the lads that girls can be just as dedicated to their craft.
“Being a girl in a band, I took a lot of crap while we were on the road. Boys from different bands would be like, ‘Here, let me show you how to mess with your tone,’ and ‘Let me show you this riff,’ and ‘You always just play these power chords,’” Meg, 23, says. “So from constantly hearing positive criticism—but criticism nonetheless—I wanted to step it up and really show that guitar riffs are important, and musically, we want to be looked at as a band that knows how to play its instruments.”
And Meg & Dia’s newest delivery Here, Here And Here is certainly a mark up. Lyrically and melodically, it’s a richer and more mature delivery than the five-piece’s previous offerings. “There’s definitely a conscious effort when I’m writing to make it more aggressive and in-your-face because naturally, people think ‘female’ and think ‘Oh, it’s going to be soft and pretty,’ which is awesome, and we write a lot of songs like that, but it’s important for female artist to express themselves in a number of ways.”
As well as proving that girls can have just as much grunt as men, Meg says there are plenty of other lessons she’s also taught those on tour. “There’s tons of challenges once you get out on the road. One of the things that I had to do [on a recent tour] was interact with them [boys] really openly and have a drink and show them they don’t have to be, like, scared around me—make them feel comfortable,” she explains. “And after that, it’s also a really fragile balance because then you have to lay down boundaries and be like ‘Okay, I’m on the road, I’m a girl, I want you to feel comfortable and have a good time,’ but at the same time show them what is appropriate and what’s not appropriate. After you set boundaries, they figure it out and they’re really respectful, and it’s a lot of fun.”
Meg and Dia Frampton have been honing their music skills for years. The girls, who originally hail from Utah, first graced crowds when their parents entered them in fairs and art shows at a young age to show off their talents. The duo self-released their debut, Our Home Is Gone, in 2005 before unleashing Something Real through Doghouse Records in 2006. MySpace helped boost the girls’ profile, and in 2007, the band signed a deal with Warner Bros. Records. Meg says she’s amazed they’ve made it this far, and that she always thinks about how lucky they are.
“I never ever thought that would happen. My big goal was to be signed to an independent label—like, that would have been awesome and my life would have been complete,” she says. But somewhere along the way, the right person passed their stuff on to someone at Warner and the rest is history. With the right amount of encouragement they took the major label leap and there’s been no turning back. “It was unbelievable and completely unexpected, and at the time I didn’t think it was going to be a good decision for us because I wanted to stay at an independent label a bit more and get more comfortable with our live show, and as artists, before we made that step. But it’s been incredibly awesome.”
Being a sister duo in the music industry, however, means that often the girls will get painted with the same brush as other music siblings. “We get compared to Tegan and Sara all the time and we were trying to get a tour with The Veronicas. People are going to compare you with people they find similar because that’s how they judge an artist. They’ll say, ‘That sounds like so and so.’ It’s just something that rolls off your back you can’t take it personally. You just have to focus on writing your own music, playing your own shows, making your own records and doing what’s important to you.”
With an upcoming spot on this year’s Warped Tour, the band plans to work hard to push the spunky and solid songs from its newest record, which Meg hopes fans will embrace. Either way, she feels like she’s doing exactly what she’s supposed to be doing right now. “On every tour I get to a point where I’m like, ‘I am so tired of wearing flip flops in these gross showers, I’ve been drinking way too much coffee, I haven’t been sleeping at all, I’m miserable and I want to go home.’ I definitely come to that point every single tour but then when I’m home life gets really repetitive. I have to be travelling and on the road and I really don’t think I could live any other way. I plan on touring for as long as I can.”
Here, Here And Here hits stores April 21. Catch Meg & Dia on the Warped Tour when it hits Camden, NJ, on July 17, or check out myspace.com/megdia for dates near you.