Thursday, December 1, 2011

My story: From the beginning to the present

Life is a funny thing.
It always throws curve balls at you: unexpected forks in the road, a closed door, an open window.
This is going to be a very long blog..or journal...or whatever you want to call it.  I'm warning you now, so you can just skip to the end if you want album info or have touring questions.  I'm going to tell you - My Story - as best as I can.  It may not be in the right order all the time, or it might stray a little, but....I think in order to get why I do what I do, you gotta start at the bottom of the stair case.  I'm going to try to tell it as factual as I can, without attempting to evoke emotions from the reader.  Sometimes I dislike autobiography's that attempt to call for sympathy or apathy or any of that.  
And also, many young aspiring musicians have always asked for advice, (Not that I'm a know it all or give great advice, ha, but...oh well).  This story isn't necessarily one that can give anyone a clear path way into music, or good advice about diving in either, but it can show you that everyone's path in music, or in any kind of dream they have, is always filled with unpredictable forks and uphill climbs,etc.  But now I'm just rambling.... Let's get back on track. 
Many strange things have happened to me this year, and it took a while for me to wrap my head around it now, and finally here I am to answer your questions, shed some light on some of you eager, old school "Meg and Dia" fans, and to any one who is curious, let ya know about my plans for the future!  
But first, let's go back.  Way back.  
I've always had a passion for music.  My dad used to be a radio DJ in Korea so he always had his records going on in the house.  A lot of Queen, Chicago, Toto, you name it.  (Funny side note: He never listened to The Beatles.  He always said, "The Beach Boys is all I need.  No Beatles).  Hah.  I got into them later on in life when my sister Meg started playing some of their lovely tunes on the guitar.  Anyway, away from side note.
I started singing at the age of 9.  And by "singing," I mean, wailing.  I had a very small range, and terrible, TERRIBLE pitch.  You'd be lucky if I was on key for one note of a song sometimes.  I couldn't sing harmony worth crap.  I couldn't hear it.  So in a way....  I started as a very unnatural musician.  The whole "God Given talent" thing isn't necessarily my story.  I hated piano lessons.  I quit.  I hated guitar lessons.  And after begging my mom to let me quit that also and stay home, she finally threw up her hands and let me.  I was still very young at that age.  
One thing that did come naturally to me was yodeling.  I heard Leann Rimes sing "Cowboy Sweetheart," and that's when I really got into singing.  I started practicing every day.  I started messing around on the piano more, even though I still refused to take lessons.  I got better at staying on key.  I spent all my pocket money and allowance on CD's.  By the age of 15 I had so many CD's they basically lined the walls of my room.  (Most of them were country CD's).  
My dad started booking me little gigs.  During lunch time at old folks' homes I would go sing a 20 minute set of Patsy Cline, Tanya Tucker, and Connie Francis.  Then I started yodeling at County Fairs in the small town of St. George, Utah.  I sang at Rodeo's on a "stage" on  the back of pick up trucks in my cowboy boots and jean jacket.  I sang at Christmas parties and charity events and business conferences and sometimes, if I was good, my dad would drive me 30 minutes out to an old ice skating rink on Wednesdays.  (Wednesdays was karaoke night).  I loved to go skate there and then sing some Shania Twain and Paul Simon.  
  I kept this up until I was 14.  When I was 14, my older sister Meg started getting into music.  (Before she had become engrossed in music - she, unlike me, enjoyed piano lessons and was classically trained for 9 years - but suddenly some kind of crazy passion started.  Call it "becoming a teenager" if you will).  She had her heart broken.  Puppy love.  And so she bought a guitar and wrote her very first song EVER.  It was called, "Masterpiece."  
When she played this song for me on her guitar I almost lost my mind.  It was the first time I had ever heard an original song.  The first time I ever saw an old notebook paper with her poetry, her lyrics scribbled all over it.  The first time I thought, "Woah....I didn't know there was anything beyond singing to tracks/ Kareoke).  (Keep in mind, I was only 14! Ha).
Anyway, after her first song, "Masterpiece," she began to write songs like crazy.  It fascinated me.  I thought she was the best songwriter I had ever heard.  In my eyes, she couldn't have created a bad song.  And of course, I was crazy jealous.  (Sister rivalry if you will).  I thought, SHE'S singing these amazing songs, while I'm singing Dixie Chick Kareoke songs!  
Anyway, she quickly formed a band and started playing around St. George, Utah.  She sang and played the guitar, and 2 friends of hers backed her up on drums and bass.  The first time I saw them play I almost died.  It was so amazing to me!  A real live band!  I begged Meg to let me join the band.  I told her that I'd sing whatever, and I wouldn't be a nuisance.  She declined.  She said the band was fine how it was, and she didn't need her little sister running around with her.  (How uncool could a high school cat be with her little sister in the band anyway!)  Funny to think of how our mind sets were back then.  
Finally, my mom said that she would ground Meg for a week if she wouldn't let me sing just one song with them at their next gig.  (It was at a little arts festival.  They set up a tiny stage on the back of a truck.)  I flipped out with glee and of course Meg was mad and also embarrassed in front of her friends, but I got to sing up there with her and NOTHING could have made me smile bigger that day.  
After that, Meg continued on with her band and I, behind my locked door, started trying to learn the guitar as well and started trying to write my own original songs.  I started practicing guitar and piano on my own, to my mom's surprise and delight).   The first song I ever wrote was called, "Hold on."  I still remember the title, although I don't remember how it went at all.   That's probably a good thing!
Then one evening, while I was enjoying a burrito at a mall (still 14 years old, Meg 16), there was a karaoke session set up right outside the Mexican restaurant.  Of course my mom put my name down, and as they called me up to sing a Garth Brooks song, I grimaced at my mom hoping none of my friends from school would walk by.  I sang the song.  Afterwards, a guy walked up to me.  He explained that he had a brother that played the guitar that was looking to start a band....the rest is history.
With his brother on guitar, and his two friends on drums and bass, I started my first band with them called, "Jade Harbor."  Meg also joined "Jade Harbor" as the songwriter, pianist, and 2nd guitar player.  My very first real band!  I still have my "Jade Harbor" T shirt.  It's an old brown T with a pair of pink head phones printed on it.  My most prized possession.   The bass player of that band also owned a great venue in St. George called, The Electric Theater.  We rehearsed and played there often, and when we weren't playing, I would work concessions from time to time, just so I could be around when other bands came through town.  I loved to hear the music.
We played with that band for a couple years.  
Then, we met a person who said that they would love to manage Meg and I.  That she could help us try and get a deal.  Meg and I instantly got stars in our eyes, and of course, over excited.  However, she said that the band would have to go.  "I can't sign all of you.  You'll have to leave them behind," she said compassionately.  Decision making time.  At that age, all Meg and I saw was the opportunity.  We left the band after all their hard work and dedication.  We left them without barely explaining anything.  We left them to go to LA to take meetings with labels.
To this day, thinking about leaving them still makes my stomach feel sick.  I should never have left them like that.  Abandoned them.  If I could change anything about my life.......  well, we all make mistakes.
(I'm rambling now.)  To make this shorter, basically Meg and I recorded demos to send into labels, took promo pictures, had meetings, etc.  After a year and half of working with our new manager and trying and failing, we amiably parted ways and began a new chapter.
We went back to St. George, Utah.
We went back to The Electric Theater.  Our ex bass player (owner) was nice enough to let us open for acts there.  One night, we opened up for a band called Limbeck on an indie label called Doghouse records.  
We talked to their tour manager.  He smelled of beer and had twinkly, friendly eyes, like little stars.  He had a kind, drunken smile.  He gave us his card.  "Keep in touch," he slurred.  "Send me some new songs when you get 'em.  I know Doghouse records.  They're a great indie label.  They do great things."  We'll call this tour manager, "Mr. X" for now.  With that, Mr. X gave us a pat on the back and left in Limbeck's band van.  (Side note: Mr. X is getting married and Meg and I are singing at his wedding in 2012!  So excited!)
Meg and I went through a couple different bands after that point, just as one would go through boyfriends at that young age.  Each one left us with a bitter sweet taste in our mouth.  
We played shows at churches, old venues, parties, fairs.  Anywhere that would take us really.  We spent all our savings on new equipment.  Our parents helped us a lot as well.  (We finally paid them back after 3 years).  
Meg got scared though one day.  All her friends were now out of high school and going to college.  (Not to mention she got a full ride scholarship to a Utah college based on academics).  "I can't not take this," she said.  I thought I was going to die when she moved out, being the overdramatic teenager that I was.  She wrote, "Just one of those things," (a song you can find on "Our home is gone,") during that time.  She wrote it about us leaving each other.  
So she went to Cedar City and I stayed at home with my parents.  She started a new band up there....she became the guitar player of a really neat indie/rock group very popular around the college.  I started one at home.  We called each other from time to time.
A half year went by.
She called me up. 
"School will always be here for me.  Maybe not the scholarship," she joked, "but you get what I mean.  Music needs to happen now.  We have a shot at this...now.  People who wait never do it at all," she said.  And with that, Meg moved out of her dorms, left her scholarship and was back in my life.  I home schooled while I did my junior year of high school...so I could get out of school a year early. (Basically public school from 7 am to 1 pm. and then home school from 2 pm to 6 everyday for a year).  I knew that we'd want to start touring soon, and I didn't want to hold the band back.  
Meg and I quickly found a bassist, drummer, and guitar player.  We were starting to get serious about making music our career, our life.  After much tossing and turning of band names, our bass player at the time named us "Meg and Dia." Haha.  Ironically, it actually wasn't either Meg or I that named us that.  Anyway, it stuck and that was what we were called.
We started booking tours around the west coast. (We were living in Salt Lake City then.  Meg and I shared a small room in a small house with 3 other room mates).  We booked shows through myspace.  For example, we would find a band in AZ, email them, and say something to the extent of: "Hey.  We're passing through your city on July 8th.  Do you know promoters/  or a venue we could play at?  We are very unfamiliar to the music scene in AZ.  If you do this, we will set you up with a show in Utah.  We know all the promoters and good venues out here."  
So basically, we show swapped.  And we did this following a tour route.  We had little money. (All the loose change we had, we spent to make our first, "Meg and Dia" shirts).  We took Meg's 5 passenger car, hitched a small trailer to it with all our guitars and amps, and drove off.  I was 17 when I first went on tour.  All the shows were quite small.  Sometimes literally 0 people.  Sometimes 100 if we opened up for a popular local band.....  After the show we would ask the bands who played (if there were any) if we could sleep on their floor.  Sometimes we asked people in the audience.  Hotels were too expensive.  It had a 75% success rate.  The other nights we just slept in the car in Wal Mart parking lots or sometimes in parks if the weather was nice.  (My mom still doesn't know that. Ha!) Nick's drum rug made a nice little cushion on the grass.  One night, in Berkeley, CA, we got kicked out of a park at 6 a.m.  It wasn't nice to wake up on the damp lawn with 2 cops hovering over you, their flash lights in your face.  
Months passed.  We recorded a demo with saved up pocket money.  We played as many shows as we could get.  We pushed our music to everyone we could via the internet.  
Then we called, Mr. X again.  The tour manager we had met a while back.  We asked him for help.  He said he'd get us a showcase with Dog house.  He said to come out to L.A.  
To make a long story short, Dog house signed us a little while after the showcase.  (Funny side note:  A couple years after they signed up, while talking to people at Doghouse records, they laughed and said, "To be honest...you guys were terrible at that showcase show...sloppy as hell.  But we saw potential...determination...and that is why we signed you.)  We made a record on that label, and toured.  Our first big tour was Warped tour, 06.  It was also probably one of the hardest tours I've ever done.  
Side note:  Warped tour, for those of you who don't know, is an annual music festival...there are food/clothing tents everywhere and about 10-15 stages set out across a large parking lot/ampitheater/field, etc.  Anywhere from 50-70 bands play everyday.  (Those number facts could be a little off, but that's like what it seemed!)
We didn't get to play on a stage...but they said we could play in a small tent.  A tent no bigger than a living room.  Each morning around 7 a.m. we set up the PA system and a little platform that was about a foot off the ground in the dirt....the "stage."  Each morning Meg and I woke up early to "Walk the lines."  
"Walking the Lines" is going to the line of people outside the main gates of Warped tour before the doors open (usually around 10 a.m.).  Since people are just idly sitting by, they are more apt to listen to you when you come up and say, "Hey, since you're just waiting, would you mind listening to my band?" (You push a pair of headphones towards them with your thumb waiting patiently to push play on your Ipod).  Many said, "Get lost."  Many said, "No thank you," but many said, "yes."  And after they listened to 30 seconds or a minute of our song, they'd either buy a CD for 10$, say, "Not my style," or "That's the worst shit ever," or just laugh.  We hoped for option #1.  Meg and I sold anywhere from 5 to 50 CD's a day.  All that money, plus merch money went to pay for transportation, so even though we came out of that tour breaking even, we felt pretty happy about it.  
Warped tour ended.  We did more tours.  I wasn't home very often.  My relationships struggled.  My mom called me a lot with "I miss you's." 
Doghouse (remember: an indie label) wanted us to upstream to Warner Brothers records.  We suddenly became signed to a major label, and with our hats in our hands, said bye bye to the Doghouse staff.  
(I've been rambling too much.  I'm going to try and simplify this story! Sorry).
Meg and Dia recorded another album, "Here, here and here," on Warner/Sire records.  Meg and Dia toured 8-9 months out of the year.  Meg and Dia have played almost every single state 7-15 times over.  Dia learned how to drive a 15 passenger van so Nick (our lovely drummer) wouldn't have to drive so much.  (Meg's a terrible van driver. Sorry Meg. Haha)  Dia learned how to take energy drinks when she had the 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. shift.  Meg and Dia spent 3-10 hours in a van everyday on tour.  We learned how to take showers in Chevron Bathrooms.  We learned how to pee on the side of the road without getting it on our shoes.  We learned how to get through the Canadian border crossing as quickly as possible.  We learned band etiquette on tour toward the headlining band.  For example, don't eat before they do if there's catering...some people are pretty intense.  (And dammit, we got a lot of reading done).  We also met some of the most amazing musicians and people.....  Thanks for the memories ya'll.  Here's a moment to give a quick shout out to "Angels and Airwaves."  No band was ever so nice and generous to us as they were.
Now, back to the story. 
Meg and Dia's record didn't sell very much.  Then the tour offers came in less frequently.  Then we got dropped.
We got sad for a while.  Discouraged.  Low spirited.  
Then we said, "Fuck it all.  We're going to keep playing music." 
We took all the savings out of the band bank account that we had saved from previous tours.  We hired a guy for real cheap to engineer and produce our record. (He ended up being rad).  Then we rented a small, cheap cabin in Tillamook, Oregon and, with the last of our funds, rented out recording gear, and made an EP, "It's always stormy in Tillamook."  
It wasn't enough though.  We wanted to make a full length.  We had extra songs we had done in Oregon, but we wanted to make something...that represented our emotions of the moment.  We had run out of funds to keep the cabin, so I made a phone call to my mom.  
A few weeks later, her couches were moved to the garage, and a drum set sat where her TV had been.  We put microphones in the bathrooms, the kitchen, the hallways.  We set up the engineering room in my mom's dining room.  (She wasn't all too happy about it, but she's always been supportive).  
We recorded our latest album, "Cocoon," in my mom's kitchen and living room in St. George, Utah.
We recorded some songs that are still incredibly special to me.  "Bandits," because I like to write about myself through fictional stories.  "Unsinkable ships," because the last line of that song is the entire reason I, personally, went in to record "Cocoon" when I was so disheartened.  "Said and done," because it reminded me of the love I want and hope to one day have.  
With the last of our touring money, we made "Cocoon."  (The "we" is Carlo - amazing guitarist who's been with us for over 6 years now.  Jonathan - amazing bass player whom we met when we met Carlo.  Nick, who's been with Meg and I since pretty much the very beginning.  He's a great mechanic too if you're looking for one!)  
Now was the tough part.  We did the "music," but now the "business" side came in.  We didn't know how to promote it.  We of course utilized the internet first, putting it on every website we could think of. (I-tunes, bandcamp, etc.)  Then I manually sent in CD's to college radio stations, asking them to please play our songs.  I must have sent out over 250 letters with Demo CD enclosed.  My tongue was dry from licking so many envelopes!  Then we tried to book shows.  (Our booking agent had left amiably as well) so now....no tour offers came in.   In fact, there was no way for us to really get submitted for any tours anyway.  The last headlining tour we did.... half way through we almost had to cancel since the funds were so low with the gas prices up so high and all.  It wasn't a blast getting 7 people into 1 hotel room either.  Winter tours can be rough. 
We felt we had come to a dead end.  Our record had come out but it seemed like nobody knew about it, or cared.
Time passed.  I moved to New York.  I got a job at Crumbs Cupcakes on Madison Avenue, making coffee and putting red velvet's in cute little boxes.  I took the subway home late at night listening to Tom Petty.  I watched my friend's bands come through Brooklyn.  I got pretty sad.  I called Meg from time to time.  "How's it going?  Anything new?"  ........  "Nah, you?"  .......  "Any luck on that tour in June?"  ....."Nah.... How's work?  Have you gained weight yet from serving all those cupcakes?"
Meg got a job at a jewelry shop cleaning and selling engagement and wedding rings.  Nick played random gigs at bars in a cover band to make extra cash.  We all felt so far away.
Time passed.  I moved back into my parents' house in Utah cause rent in NY got me a bit over my head.  
My manager called me randomly one day.  
"Hey.  There's this new show you should try out for."
I rolled my eyes.  "I'm not doing that American Idol shit man.  No thanks.  Plus, I can't belt out a Celine Dion song, and that's just not me."
"No, no, " he said.  "It's a new show.  It's called The Voice.  They're holding try outs in LA.  You should drive down."
"A show?  No.  That sounds weird."
"Hear me out..."
"Wait...What exactly is this show?  I don't do reality TV.  Plus, I'd be way too freaked out.  I don't know how those singer's do it."
He cut in, "It's not like a real reality TV show...it's really cool.  You should watch it.  I sent you a clip of the show.  It started in Holland.  It was a big hit there."
"What is it?"
"You just sing songs...and the judges don't even get to see you, so you won't be scared.  It's not really a big deal."
"Who are the judges?" I asked.
"I dunno...they haven't picked them yet.  I think Ceelo Green might be one."
"Who?"
"Oh, never mind.  Just watch the clip."
"When are try outs?"
"In March."
"Well, South by South west is in March and I really wanted to go to that music festival.  The band might get a chance to play."
"Well," my manager said, getting a little frustrated.  "Just try out.  It might be nothing at all.  The show might flop, who knows.  So don't even worry about it.  You wanted to come to LA anyway to try and get voice over auditions.  So I'll try to set some of those up, but why not go to this audition too?"
(Side note: My manager, Mike, has stuck with us for about 6 years now.  We found him during our Doghouse years.  He still manages me/us).
"Who are the judges again?  I don't like that word.  Judges. It scares me.  I'm not a big singer....I'm a singer/songwriter.  Shows like that want belters...not weirdos like me.  I'll just get embarrassed.  I just...I can't."
"Listen," he said.  "What's the worst that could happen?  Even if you get 5 minutes of air time, that would be enough for some viewers to google your name, find the "Meg and Dia" band, find the Cocoon album on I tunes.  It's a free way to get more promotion than you guys could EVER do for yourselves.  And I know what you mean...you're not a belter.  But winnings not important.....even if you lose the first time you'll still be able to promote "Cocoon."  It's pretty much the only choice we have as of now...it's the only opportunity that's come up."
"I dunno..." I said uneasily.  
"Just watch the clip and call me later."
I got on my computer.  I watched the clip.  It was in another language.....some good that did me.  
I drove to LA. 
Somehow I ended up waiting in the waiting room with my manager sitting beside me, smiling.  There were a couple hundred people lined up outside the building waiting to audition.  "Just go in there, and play a couple songs and then we can go get tacos at your favorite spot.  Cool?"  
Yeah.....cool.  Sure....
When I went in to play the songs I was so damn nervous my hands wouldn't stop shaking.  I pulled out my guitar.  I pressed the strings down for a Bm chord.  My hands wouldn't stop shaking.  One of the people watching me (there was about 9) said, "Honey, just put the guitar down and sing a cappella.   I gratefully complied.  I didn't realize I'd all of a sudden get so nervous, but all those eyes were on me.  I sang.  One of them said, "We'll maybe call you."
They called that night.  I had to go sing again the next day, but in front of more people.  I did, this time even more nervous.  They said, "Go back to Utah.  We'll maybe email you."
Weeks passed.  They emailed me.  
Before I went out for the 3rd audition, my manger and I got on a conference call with the band, Meg and Dia.  The conversation was mostly like the one I had had with my manager previously.  
"What's this competition about?" asked Nick, (drummer).
"It's a new TV show," answered my manager.
"We'll have to cancel our South by show.  I got it finalized.  Some people pulled some strings," Nick said.
"Yeah, I really want to play South by," Meg concurred.  "I love that festival."
"Well, if Dia doesn't move on past this next audition, she'll be back in Utah and you can do South by," said my manager.  "If she does move on...well, we'll see.  You guys should look at it from a bigger perspective.  If she does get any air time at all, it'll give you guys that much more promotion.  People might google her name and see the band.  People might get on I tunes and get "Cocoon."  What other option of promotion do you guys have?"
"I only want to do this if everyone's comfortable with it," I said.
A pause.
"Yeah, I think you should do it," said Carlo.
"Are you guys sure it's okay canceling our South by show?  We've had it planned for weeks." I said.  
Finally, after a long conversation, the band and I decided that I should try out.  In a way, I kinda felt like I was carrying the torch for us all into the Gladiator ring.  (I know that's an absurd metaphor but, oh well.  It's nearing 2 a.m. now and I'm afraid my grammar's getting sloppy too).  
After that...the rest is history...or can I say that?  That phrase has always been a little funny to me.  
Anyway, I was lucky enough to get put with the best BEST coach and person ever, Blake Shelton.  And was lucky enough to go further than I ever EVER could have imagined on that show.  Even now when I think about it...I feel almost shocked sometimes.  It feels like a dream that I even got past the first audition at all. 
It suddenly and unexpectedly pushed me into a new realm and new opportunities literally almost appeared to fall in my lap.  I got excited.  I got scared.  I started day dreaming again.  I got stressed.  I got exhausted.  I got anxious.
What now?  
Well, the show has ended, obviously.
Universal/ Republic decided to pick up their option to sign me to their label.
The "Meg and Dia" band is not signed, and is still independent.  The "Meg and Dia" band is still very important to me.  The "Meg and Dia" band will remain separate from "Dia Frampton," although, all 5 of us members of "Meg and Dia" will be involved with "Dia Frampton."  The "Meg and Dia" band will do separate tours, separate albums, etc.  
What am I doing now?  I'm trying to record a "Dia Frampton" album while also trying to include the band in as much as possible.  They've been nothing but supportive and excited about this whole process and I'm lucky they stuck by me through this whole waiting game.   I've been writing a ton since the show's ended, and have also been having a great time writing with people who inspire me.  I got a chance to write with John Mayor's guitar player (Huge fan of John Mayor and their music).  I got a chance to work with the keyboard player of Florence and the Machine.  We worked on a track together....making an interesting drum beat by clicking shoe heels together and picture frames.  I got to work with the keyboard player of Foster the People, Isom Innis, and Mark Foster,  a band I really enjoy.  It's been great to write and create music with so many inspiring people who also share a passion for music.  It kinda makes me feel like an apprentice sometimes too.  
(Side note:  I wrote this blog a month ago...was a little shy to put it out till now.  So the timing is a little weird. Obviously the album has been recorded and is complete.)  
Also, Meg (who's been swamped with jewelry making lately) has just flown out from Austin to now come write music with me for the "Dia Frampton" record out late this year or early 2012.  We just wrote a song called, "Hearts out to dry," and have been having a great time writing together again.  Meg and I are going to try to write as many songs as possible together before the deadline comes from the label to pick the 11-12 songs that we think are the BEST as well as the most cohesive for an album (which is really important to me).  I'm very happy Meg came out here to create again with me.  She's not only a talented songwriter but guitar player as well.  (Side note:  Many ask why Meg didn't try out with me.  Well, I had no idea duos could try out until casting had ended....it was too late).  
I'm now living with Carlo in LA (best room mate ever), and Meg's been hanging out in my room.  (She takes up a lot of the bed)  Ha.  We are working on making an album that will make us proud.  
We are going to be touring early next year....and we hope to see you.  The same members of "Meg and Dia," will also be touring with "Dia Frampton."  Meg and I will continue to write songs for "Meg and Dia," but also will write songs for "Dia Frampton."
Side note:  It's been kinda cool to have 2 projects...it almost makes me feel like I have an alter ego.  In "Meg and Dia," I can write poetry to slow, melancholy waltzes, and with "Dia Frampton," I can explore fun dance beats that instantly make me wanna get up and dance around.  I like that about dance music...it's almost like medicine.  It makes you happy.  And then the sad songs....the ballads...they're kinda like a companion when you yourself are sad.
The label's wanting to put out the album soon, Dec. 6th.  It's been both stressful and exciting.  Stressful because I want to write something great, and a time limit on that is always straining, but exciting because I can't wait for ya'll to hear it!  
That's pretty much were I am right now.  Writing, recording, and trying to get my 5 minutes of downward dog in so I don't go crazy.  It's been really important to me to be a part of the writing process on this record.  Even with the little amount of time allotted for getting this thing out, it's important to me to write what is real.....  I haven't yet had a song just handed over to me, made from a professional factory of song writing experts.  The perfect hook.  The perfect length.  3 minutes, 30 seconds.  I've been very vocal about writing on my own, with my sister, and with people who creatively I look up to, like those writers mentioned above to name a few.  And Universal has actually been very supportive in this.  (Yay, Universal!)  It's kinda crazy how some records are made......some singers even hold "song writing camps" in which a bunch of "hit makers" go out to a retreat, write like crazy for a week together, and then at the end of the day...they listen to all 80 songs give or take, and pick the best 10.  Not for me though.  No, no, no.  Meg taught me better.
So that's my story up until now folks.  To wrap it all up, I want to thank you all for being so supportive.  I want to thank Meg and Dia listeners for also supporting and understanding.  I want to thank the band I've been playing with for over 7 years now!  I want to thank my sister, my family, my manager.  I want to thank Universal.  I want to thank all of you who get on my facebook and write lovely comments and who tweet at me.  And THANK YOU for coming out to shows as well and sharing the music!
If you want to keep in touch with us and me here's the info:)
P.S.  I called the new album RED, because one day when I was very young ( I think 2nd grade), I was crying and upset to go to my first day of school.  I told my mom that no one would talk to me or notice me or want to be my friend and that I was scared to go alone and she had to come with me.  She wrapped me in her arms and said, "Just wear red.  Everyone notices red and is drawn to it!"  Of course she was feeding me some mumbo jumbo, but red became to me, what the "magic feather" became to dumbo. 
XOXOX!
Meg and Dia's "Cocoon" is on I-tunes or meganddia.com 
Meg has an AMAZING jewelry line (hand made and super cute) at www.chandlertherobot.com
         Meg is also starting up another band....they don't have music recorded yet but will soon, and I'm sure you'll see that all on her website soon up above.  
Nick's been playing in a project at home in Austin, TX too, acting as the drummer for the band and engineer.  Yup, he knows all about amps and microphones and cables and drum microphones and pro tools equipment and reverb.  I have no clue.  Maybe someday he'll end up recording YOUR band.  
Carlo (guitar), my dear roomie, plays drums in a church band, plays nintendo at home, and is starting to run crazy long marathons.
Jonathan (bass) is dog sitting in LA, grows broccoli plants, and just started doing yoga.  He plays in a Beatles cover band back in NJ.  
That's all for you now ladies and gents!  Thanks for reading.  Much Love.  

46 comments:

  1. Loved reading the whole story!!! I loved you on the voice and bought every single one of your voice itunes hits! Been following you on fb and can't wait to buy your album.

    You are a beautiful person and going to go very far!

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  2. Love Love Love this. Once I started reading I couldn't look away. I really enjoy when artists make an effort to reply to their fans, it allows me to still see you as human and not some robot that gets a 15 minute recharge and then goes back to following some pre-planned script for the rest of your lives. Keep up the good work. Can't wait til the 6th when I can listen to the full album :)

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  3. I read the entire story! I hope Meg & Dia stays together, but more importantly, I believe that all of the band members future will be bright. You guys make lovely songs and you and your sister are great songwriters! :) Us fans will always support your decisions!

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  4. I just read that all and very interesting and been a Fan since the beginning , Actually saw you at Warp Tour 07 , im from detroit,Michigan.

    I could relate tp many things in that story and actually funny story when my friends and I were watching The Voice , at first we weren't sure if it was you at first than realized it was you its Dia from Meg & Dia lol.

    well thats it good luck with everything

    side note you probably meet tons of people but I did say I hi to you in 2006 when ou were with Jonzeta, Anberlin, that tour with to write love on her arms, plus saw you with Angels in Airwaves that was really cool.

    Local Celebrity

    David Benjamin Haven

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  5. What a story! Thank you for sharing. Thought you were fantastic on The Voice, and that you should have won! I was a Javier fan at the beginning because he's from CT (where I'm from) but your voice won me over! Will definitely check out your current album and your older stuff. Keep doing what you do and stay true to yourself first and foremost!

    Athina :)

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  6. I hope this clears up some misconceptions that some have had. I wish you,and the band, the best. Congrats!

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  7. Dia, thank you so much for taking the time to write this and post it. I've been following Meg and Dia for a while now, but only vaguely had an idea of the obstacles you guys had to overcome. It takes a lot to keep on putting out the time, money, and effort to pursue your passion even though it feels sometimes like it's getting you no where. Really, you make me want to be a better person, you have no idea.

    Personally, I love Cocoon much much much more than your previous albums. It just sounds perfect. Idk how to explain it. So raw and real. Lyrics are what mean most to me as a music lover and yours are fantastic. And the fact that you recorded it in your mom's living room? Are you kidding me?!

    Not to make this comment one of those generic "I love you, you're amazing" comments, but...god damnit, I love you! YOU'RE AMAZING.

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  8. Love the blog keep up the good work. It would be pretty to cool to see and Meg and Dia song book.

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  9. i really really enjoyed reading this and i like the way you write. i've been on a meg & dia kick since last year...or actually probably the year before. haha. and i'm still on it. and by that, i mean i basically listen to you guys all. the. time. like non stop! anyways it's nice seeing how one of my very favorite bands started out, struggled, and are now finally being noticed. everything is paying off. you guys deserve so much success, it's not even funny. and i feel that you're way more talented than a lot of people who are "big" now. so i really enjoyed bragging about you to my parents and friends and a lot of other people when you were on the voice, no lie. i also kind of related to this whole blog entry because i'm trying to "make it" also, just with photography. i want to get somewhere and be able to make a career out of it just like you guys are doing with music. it inspires me to keep pushing and trying and going after what i want, so that someday i can be successful too. and hopefully someday in the future i'll get to work with you! that would be a dream come true. :) thanks for being awesome and i can't wait to buy "red".

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  10. Thanks for sharing this! I'm so happy you guys overcame all your obstacles and had such inspiring determination! Your music has been such a major part of my life for several years now, it's hard to imagine life without your music. Honestly. Thank you so much for sticking with your dreams!
    I'm really excited for Red, and any other projects from the Meg & Dia members :)
    Good luck with everything, and congratulations on all your hardwork paying off!!

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  11. I've missed your blogs Dia! Your myspace blogs back in '06-'09 were entertaining and even made me cry at one point (it was the one about Here, Here and Here)! I'm glad to hear everyone is expanding their musical endeavors and Meg & Dia will still play together. I'm hoping for a MaD tour next year!

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  12. Holy moly Dia. I just spent the last hour and a half reading this!! (I'm a slow reader that gets easily distracted haha) But this is amazing!!! I had no idea you started out singing country...and yodeling!! And with all of those struggles that you and the band went through, most people would have just given up. I'm glad yall didn't. I'm soooooooo effing happy you're getting all these opportunities now!! I listen to Meg & Dia probably, literally everyday!! Yalls songs are ridiculously awesome...nothing like any other songs I've heard. I'm extremely excited for your new album to come out as well!! 5 days!! Ok. I'm done now. Good luck to you and the band with everything in the future!! Congratulations!!

    p.s. I'll be seeing you and Blake in Vegas next March!!! CAN'T WAIT!!

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  13. I've missed your blogs as well. It is great to hear that the other band members are doing fine. I'm excited to hear this album!

    Just a quick question: are the bonus tracks for RED only available on iTunes? I prefer a physical disc over digital tracks, but I definitely want these extra songs. If they are only on iTunes, can they be purchased separately from the rest of the album?

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  14. I actually read the whole thing, and got sentimental reading all the old memories, it reminded me when I first started to get into MaD.
    Can't wait for this record to come out, so far it sounds so good.
    Hope the best for you!

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  15. I really enjoyed reading this. It's refreshing to hear back from you, and really remember where you guys as a band had come from. After "The Voice", I've almost forgotten just how much you guys have gone through... Now I know just why I haven't been able to see you guys perform live since Warped Tour 2009... You guys have been in a rough patch. But things are looking up now, and I couldn't be happier. I also love the early tidbits you've added about just starting off in music... You guys are REAL. Which is what has made you guys stick with me for my entire adolescence growing up. I could never thank you enough.

    I can't wait to hear what's next in store from y'all. And RED is so far, sounding good!

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  16. Thanks for this Dia. You have truly inspired me to keep writing, playing, and singing songs. I hope you and Meg and Carlo and Nick and Jonathan come back together soon as Meg & Dia and go on tour! Have FUN!

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  17. Wow... that was definitely a shocking read. I wouldn't have guessed in a million years that you'd have undergone all those trials and hardships. Even more amazingly, you persevered throughout all of them!

    It's so cool to see someone who's real and down to earth find serious success in the music industry. It's too full of nonsense and music without any soul behind it. You should be so proud of yourself.

    I'm eagerly looking forward to the album and all that you and the band will do in the future! I'm sure you've learned this, but seriously, never get down on yourself. There will always be people who don't like you or give nasty comments, but the truth is that you're incredibly talented and will succeed wherever you go.

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  18. Dia, you and Meg are an inspiration! You have made a dream reality through hard work and perseverance. All the good things that are happening are way overdue.
    I knew some of your story from previous interviews and blogs that you had done, but I had no idea of all these details that you let us in on. Thank you for writing this. I am really fasinated by this story. I wonder if you knew all the stuff you would have to go through at 14 would you have so readily chosen this life? You are force for good in this world. Continue to inspire through song and words. You have made a fan for life. I know that I am not alone in that.

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  19. Wow! Thois was really interesting! I knew Meg & Dia had some struggles, but not as much as you described! I'm so happy you guys have pushed through! I like knowing I've supported you guys before The Voice. It makes me feel like I helped you out when you needed it most.

    Thanks for taking the time to write this all out and share it with us! :)

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  20. Aw, I miss you! I'm so excited to get my hands on your album next week. I hope you (and the rest of the gang) come through SF sometime! It has been way too long.

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  21. I just want to keep this short by saying Meg and Dia's story and your story have been very inspiring to me. Whenever I get down on myself and just want to give up, I honest to God think of Meg and Dia and how hard you guys have to worked to get where you are today. I'm so thankful that you have finally gotten the success you deserve. Can't wait for RED.

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  22. Thanks so much for the story. It's an early Christmas present for all of us. I had never heard of you or Meg & Dia before the Voice but I've become a true fan, buying all of your albums and even going to my first concert in decades at the Voice tour in Boston.
    You're one in 7 billion Dia. Good luck !

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  23. i actually just posted this on meg's blog but its appropriate here too. such an amazing journey to witness you all from 2005 in the tiny balazo gallery in san francisco to right now! i will truly miss the tiny shows but now i will scream all the louder at the larger venues.

    thanks meg and dia! for amazing everything

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  24. Meg and Dia has been my favorite band since i heard you guys four years ago. i was so excited to hear that you were on the voice. i loved reading your beautiful story. you and your sister both inspire me to continue to be creative, and to not give up on my music. (or anything that i have a passion for, really.) thank you for being the person that you are. i hope that Meg and Dia starts touring sometime soon, it's been my dream to watch you guys live. good luck to you. :]

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  25. I don't know will you read this comment or not, but i really want to say that after reading this blog, I wanted to cry (so emotional>< but i don't why!) Anyway, I believe that Meg & Dia could pass through all the rough moment before, the band will have a bright future! Coz you all are really passion in music ( that is what musician should be ) and i never think that ur songs are bad ( actually are really awesome )! I know that operating a band actually more or less needs some money, but today one of my friend told me that, he doesn't want to play music to make money, and i think what he said is right. For the people who really love music, they will play music whenever they want. It's not about money. And i know you guys are the same with my friend! so, no matter what, don't give up and keep on writing more and more songs!
    I really admire you, I love music too. I play percussion, I play piano, I learnt violin(however, i cant sing, i will be out of tone>.<). But I could never play it well. Somehow I blame on myself why i couldnt be perfect, why i just cant play it well. So, i am really admire you and at the same time i feel jealous that you can have a band and you can play well with the piano and guitar!
    I don't what typing, a little bit confusing.hope you will understand.
    i will support you and Meg & Dia forever! trying my best to come over just to watch your performace....one day!
    xxxx

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  26. My family and I enjoyed 'discovering' you on the Voice, couldn't believe you didn't win it, but often that gives you the freedom to do more of what you truly want to perform. May you have much success, one request, please watch your language, I know it is 'young and cool' to be profane and obscene, but it does offend a lot of people and why go out of your way to do that? Be known for the good things, Dia, be someone we can all whole heartedly admire :)

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  27. WOW, That was a fascinating read. I'm glad you told us the story. This answered a few of my questions, such as 'what will happen to Meg and Dia now that you're "Dia Frampton." I look forward to seeing Meg & Dia live!!

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  28. I was one of those people at the '06 Warped Tour that somehow got a hold of your music and instantly fell in love. I was 15 at the time. Now I own a house, and I'm getting married next year, but yet here I am, still anxiously awaiting your new records. I'm using two of Meg and Dia's songs as my first dance, and the song I walk down the aisle to, I also have planned multiple Meg and Dia lyric tattoos in my near future. Long story short: you guys are amazing. I've been a fan since the beginning and I've never been so inspired by one band.

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  29. i just realized that the whole end of my comment up there ^^^ rhymed and pretty much sounded barf worthy and cheesy. hahahahah

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  30. I'm speechless. :') Thank you for taking the time to write this long blog, Dia. You guys have been through so much and everyone should know! I've been following you guys since middle school (and am now in my second year of college) and I cannot say enough how grateful I am that you've never given up. I love you all for doing what you love (and doing it so passionately)! I feel so lucky to have witnessed your crazy journey from both afar and in person. I'm so happy for you guys!! Thank you for everything~

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  31. It appalls me that I actually read the entire post, and I ended up smiling.
    I've been a fan for around six years now since I heard Monster for the first time. I loved here, here, and here to bits and I had it on repeat incessantly for about a month. And for the past few days, I put Don't Kick The Chair and The Broken Ones on repeat for the past four day; I expect my sister to throw my laptop out the window pretty soon because of it.

    How odd that while Meg & Dia were in the midst of musical struggles, I was just frustrated there hasn't been new music yet.

    I don't even remember how I found out you were on The Voice, I think it was because I did a random Google search wondering what Meg & Dia were up to after playing here, here, and here for the millionth time...and ended up coming across the audition clip on YouTube. I ended up watching the show just to see you. I happened to be in NY, and every time I saw a The Voice poster on the subway station, I smiled.

    Often, I just feel hipster. I loved Dia Frampton's music before it was cool.

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  32. This is amazing, I remember when you came to Winnipeg about three years ago and opened up for Secondhand Serenade. I came to the concert for SS, but I heard your music and immediately fell in love and came home with "Something Real" and a Meg and Dia tote bag I still carry around everywhere. When "Here, Here, and Here" came out, it was all I could listen to, day and night. I was googling Meg and Dia earlier this year and stumbled upon a youtube video of your blind audition for The Voice, and pretty much flipped out because I was so excited! I said, Why did I not know about this before!?! I watched every episode and was so happy every time you performed :) I've really enjoyed watching you grow musically and thank you for your amazing music!! I've always been rooting for you!

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  33. hi dia, greetings from argentina!
    i and my best friend had adopted "i will" as our song so THANK YOU for it.
    love all the album.

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  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  35. I am pretty much impressed. Dia you are one talented singer/songwriter. I admire you so much, your songs are real and tell stories. Stories, happy or sad, pretty much amazing. Thank you for filling my life with your Meg & Dia songs for the past few years, also for the new album, Red, I'm glad you got to experiment with other songs such as dance songs. Hopefully one day, you guys will get to tour Europe and visit your UK Fans. I can't wait till that day comes. I'll be eagerly waiting in line till I enter that venue. Thank you for your amazing music Meg&Dia..and Dia. Thank you for giving us a bit of your time to write about your story. THANK YOU.

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  36. I first heard you in 7th grade when I was 12 years old and fell utterly in love with your music. Since then I have all your music and each time you come to Arizona I have been at every show. I am now 18 years old, a freshman college and Meg and Dia have been my favorite band for the past 6 years.

    After reading this I am amazed and just love the band even more! I am looking forward to all of the future Meg and Dia, Meg Frampton and Dia Frampton music. I will faithfully continue to be a TREMENDOUSLY HUGE fan!

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  37. Dia... I watch the voice only to see you.. lol... I really like to hear your voice and to look at your performance, I just can't resist it.. I love you! <3

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  38. Reading this made my heart happy. I've loved you since the day I was searching for some song (I can't even remember what it was now) and happened upon "Monster" around 2005-6ish. I instantly fell in love when I watched the video. "The rest is history" if I can even say that ;o). The first time I saw you was in a suuuper small joint in Scottsdale, AZ in 2010. I was so close to the stage I almost peed my pants while my bff watched me "geek out" over you guys. She's amazing, she had no idea who you were and went with me anyway. I saw both you and Meg walk out and over to the bar. I was too stupid to get your autographs because I was so scared. Damn! Anyway. I super freaking love you guys! I love "Red" and listen to the cd (yes, I buy cd's still...I'm a sucker for a physical copy from my favorite band) almost everyday.

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  40. You're amazing. You're seriously my hero, have been since I was 13. Your music has seen me through everything from breakups to hospitalizations to family shit to rehab. Your song, nineteen stars, saved my life. Thankyou for not giving up on your music and in turn never letting down those of us you inspire to live better lives.

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  44. Hey Dia,
    I just went to your concert recently in LA this past week. Even though I haven't been to a concert for two years, I really enjoyed the band's performance and it just reminded how amazing live shows can be. I've been a "fan" since Something Real and remember the times when you guys played with Anberlin. My friends always made jokes (in a good way) about Meg wearing a dress with nikes back then haha. I honestly listened to that album 100 times at least, but for some reason I never kept up with Meg and Dia after that. After reading your story I felt sad and a bit guilty for not being a more committed fan. You guys have been through so much and it feels like I've joined the bandwagon after the voice. sorry. I just wanted to say thanks for all your hard work and just sticking with it even though the odds were against you. And I really appreciate that you're still deeply involved in the music and everything you do for your fans. Thank you and keep it up!

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  46. I think i just acquired a new obsession. I was listening to the dubstep version of monster and it led me to the real music video. i don't know i just kinda kept listening to that song and watched u jump up and down holding that bulb or heart or whatever it was.. it was approximately around 2 am in the morning and i listened to this song monster of yours and searched online more about u and I kept staring at your pictures until it was 6 am in the morning. You're half korean ? that makes my obsession worse. your voice is wonderful. the lyrics, as u stated in many events that your lyrics are inspired by books, literature etc. Gosh how could you be so much more than wonderful ?
    Trust me I've never written so much to anyone or for anyone. No, never in my life i did.

    : )

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