Monday, January 30, 2012

An interview about me by YOU!

So, for those of you who don't know....Yesterday I told my facebook/ twitter friends, that if they had any questions for me to answer, to post them up for me so that I could compile an interview made by YOU.  Here are some of the questions ya'll asked me, and here are my honest answers!  Thanks for being a part of this! XO - Dia
P.S. There were a lot of questions, so sorry this interview is pretty long.  But hey, no one's forcing you to read all of it! Or any of it for that matter... :) I tried to answer as many as I could without going overboard!  
P.P.S. There were a lot of questions about whether I am going to France, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brazil, etc. etc. I'm going to answer all of those questions now: I am not sure when I am going to get an opportunity to travel over and visit you.  I would absolutely love to though!  Hopefully the radio and the label can make that wish a possibility for me sometime soon!  Thank you for your invitations to come visit and play music for you!  As of now, there are no confirmed plans to travel anywhere, but we are working on it!  

Alicia: What is your favorite song to dance to?
Dia: I am a big Beyonce and Lady Gaga fan.  I like to listen to them when I'm trying to get pumped up for a run! I also like to listen to Foster the People.  

Marlon: Ya'll twins?
Dia: Nope!  Meg is older than me by 2 years.  We used to look really different, but now we've kind of morphed into one, although she's slightly taller and...hate to say it, but about 10 pounds lighter! Blah! You can tell us apart a lot better in the photo below.

My mom, a little carried away with bows. 

Robert: What's the hardest thing about tour?
Dia: Being away from family is the hardest part.  Also, being in a relationship is even more difficult.  I am not very good at long distance relationships.  I have had many good relationships in my past fall apart slowly because of the distance.  The second hardest thing about being on tour is finding any privacy.  Alone time is nice sometimes. :)

Sean: What's your favorite venue to perform at?
Dia:  I really enjoy performing at any "House of Blues," because it's a clean venue with a great sound system, great monitor system, good catering, clean accommodating green rooms, a nice, open backstage area, a good bar (ha!) and usually nice crew.  

Patrick: Do you have a boyfriend?
Dia:  No, I do not. My last relationship ended last July. (Wow, it's been a while!)

Angela: Why did you call your album RED? Any special meaning?
Dia:  When I was really young, I was scared to go to my first day of school.  I was crying and making a fuss and wouldn't let go of my mom's hand. I told her that "nobody would like me," and that "I wouldn't make any friends."  My mom told me to wear red, because everyone loves and notices red and that she was sure if I wore that color, people would want to talk to me. Of course she was full of crap, but at the time, I was very young and believed her.  So I put red was kind of like Dumbo's magic feather.  Suddenly, everything was all ok, and I felt confident.  

Nyguyen: Will "Meg and Dia" make an album as a band in the near future?
Dia:  Not in the near future.  Right now we are looking at a pretty busy year promoting RED.  We're hoping to be on the road a lot this year.  M&D hasn't even had a chance to tour on "Cocoon" yet, so if we do do anything soon, it will be a tour before any studio time.  That's something that we haven't really thought about at all though lately to be honest.  We're just super focused on the new album right now, and on touring.   

Justin: What's your vocal range?
Dia:  Haha.  I'm sorry, but I have no idea.  If I start singing a song...I'll raise or lower the key until it feels right.  

Jessi: How do you find time to stay fit on tour?
Dia:  I don't!  Haha.  It's really difficult actually.  On some days, like today, I won't exercise at all, because there are no showers at the venue.  I don't want to get all sweaty and then have no where to clean up before playing a show!  On Blake Shelton tour dates, I try to exercise sometimes.  The other day I ran up & down the stairs in the arena we were playing! :)

Minh: What's the craziest thing that's ever happened to the band?
Dia: Being on this Blake Shelton tour!  It blows my mind every night!  Hmm...but in all day we get a knock on our door.  Our bus is parked outside of the venue.  There are 4 cops outside.  One of them says they need to see _____.  I say, "why?"  They say, "_____ is under arrest because of ________."  (Side note: The reason they were under arrest was a complete mistake and not true in any way). I say, "No.  You cannot take ______.  That absolutely never happened.  In fact, that's an impossibility because that person was with me at soundcheck during that time.  "No," they say. "______ is under arrest."  I say, "Well, we are in a bus here that we have to pay for, and without playing the show we don't get paid.  We're already in debt.  Couldn't _____ play the show?"  The cops look at each other and then agree.  So _____ played the show while 2 cops stood backstage on each side.  Talk about a fun show for ______.  Right after the show _____ was arrested, questioned, and then released.  The cops, the same day,  apologized for the faulty arrest. 

Judy: What are your (and the band's) favorite snacks on the road?
Dia:  Here is our rider for the tour:  (P.S. a rider is a list of foods or items a band can ask for, for each show.  It's like...a grocery list that must be provided.  Depending on the budget, we might get 2 things off our rider, or all of it.)  
Dia Frampton Rider:
2 packs of water
Almond Milk
Soy milk
Coconut water
Kombucha teas (assorted flavors)
Hummus and Pita chips
Kind (vegan) bars
Cliff bars
Whole wheat bread
PB & organic jelly
fruit tray
Veggie tray
fruit roll ups
toilet paper
kashi cereal
socks (mens)
unscented candles
Naked Juice or Odwalla juice
Carrot Juice

Chelsea: What are your phobias?
Dia: Planes and plane crashes scare the crap out of me. Sharks.  I have a hard time swimming in the ocean because of them.  A friend or family member dying.  Expired foods.  I check the date of everything I drink/eat!

Grant: How did you and Meg get your start? How did you get out there, like before you were on the voice?
Dia: Read my blog, "My story, from the beginning to the present."  It's on this blog as well.

Julia: Do you do meet and greets at every show?
Dia:  I try my best to!  Some venues don't allow it, plus sometimes there isn't enough time to make it happen.  For instance, it's rude to do a meet and greet during someone else's set, so during Blake shows, I never do that between his or Justin Moore's set.  If the venue allows it, we try to do quick meet and greets in between sets. :) 

Janice: Who would be your dream collaboration?
Dia:  I would love to write with Tom Petty or The Avett brothers.  

Marifer: How old were you when you went to your first concert, and who did you go see?
Dia:  Hmmm.... I'm not sure which one was my first.  I went and saw Lila McCan when I was younger at a fair.  I went and saw "America" with my dad at a casino.  I went and saw "Jimmy Eat World," on my, I believe it was, 16th birthday.  

Victor: For Meg, can you make Chandler the Robots for super heroes? 
Dia:  She has her stupendous chandler!  It has a super hero cape and everything.  Check it out here:

Ashley: What is your ideal concert?
Dia:  I like shows at venues with good sound systems first and foremost.  I also like to go with a couple friends, although, some of the best shows I have been to have been when I've gone alone.  You can really lose yourself in the music that way.  

Regina: Do you miss performing at Warped tour?  Would you guys ever do it again if you had the chance?
Dia:  We've done Warped for 3 years, so no, I don't miss it.  Yes, I would do it again if the timing was right, although, I don't know if I would be able to do the whole thing.  That tour is the hottest outdoors tour I have ever been on in my life!

Tray: If you could have a celebrity crush in a music video, who would it be and why?
Dia: Oh man.  Hmmmm.....  I think it would be fun to have Michael Cera in a video.  Ryan Gosling or James Franco I wouldn't mind at all either.  I think my all time crush would be Matt Good though, so it would be awesome to have him in a music video!

Brittany: What types of books do you like to read?
Dia:  I like a little bit of everything.  My favorite books would be
1. The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand
2. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
3. A tale of two cities - Charles Dickens

I really enjoy classic literature.  The "Wuthering Heights," "Jane Eyre's," and "Sense and Sensibility's" type books.  I finished the Harry Potter series a while back though and thought those were good fun.  I'm now reading "Kitchen Confidential," by Anthony Bourdain.  (Hope I spelled his name right).  

Brandy: What is Nick's favorite drum kit? 
Dia: Nick says, "Hmm...uh...Craviotto, because they sound the best." 

Jackson: What is your favorite song out of the ones you have written?
Dia:  Man, that's a tough one.  They're all special to me in different ways.  I'm pretty proud of the lyrics in "Daniel" or "Trapeze."  They were the most organic...they just kinda seemed to flow out of me because I was feeling sad. Ha!  Sadness always helps feed music, I think.  

Tray: What musical artists out there do you truly admire and why?
Dia: I really admire Tom Petty, because he's an amazing songwriter and is good at writing simple yet meaningful lyrics.  I also got to watch him perform once and he was awesome.  I admire Modest Mouse for their uniqueness, and details to stories.  Their music sounds like nobody else's.  Bon Iver, because he makes me sleepy and relaxed in a beautiful way.  

Princess Beckey: Are you guys ever going to tour on your own? I would like to see you as a main performance.
Dia:  We are doing headliner performances right now...  Where you been girl!?

Marc: How do you write a song? 
Dia:  It depends.  I have no strategy.  Sometimes it starts with a poem.  Sometimes I get really sad and it just pours out of me, melody, lyrics, everything, in 15 minutes.  Sometimes I sit myself down, like going to a job, and say, "Ok, Dia.  Write a song."  Sometimes it's complete crap; Other times, I'm surprised what comes out of me, even when I'm feeling "uninspired."  It's like...there's always an emotion waiting to get its chance to shine.  Me sitting down with my guitar and my pen is giving it an outlet.  

Julie: How fun is it to be on tour with Blake Shelton?
Dia:  I can't even describe it in words.  It has been an amazing experience every single day.  His crew, his team, his band, EVERYONE....they're all so sweet and nice.  Talk about a group of amazing people!  We (the band and I) are so thankful to be a part of it!!!

Renan: What was the most important song you performed on the voice? Why?
Dia: "Heartless."  Simply because it changed my life.

Max: What's your ethnicity and favorite hobby?
Dia:  I am half Korean. My mom is from Seoul.  My dad is of Dutch descent.  My favorite hobby - Yoga, cooking, walking my dog at home (does that count?), writing short stories, and kick boxing when I'm home and can take classes!

Ryan: At what point did you get up and say, "I am going to do music with my life?" I imagine it has to be a eureka moment....
Dia:  When I was 9.  I heard a Leann Rimes song.  My dad bought me her CD.  She was only 14 at the time and looked so young on the CD cover.  I think I really related to that.  My dad played a lot of Chicago, The Beach Boys, America, Boston, Journey, etc.  But when I saw that little girl with the big voice on the CD booklet, something really connected.  I started singing "Blue," and "Cowboy Sweetheart" and told my dad that I was going to be the next Leann Rimes. Haha. 

Katie: How can I learn to get more comfortable playing an instrument and singing in front of a camera.
Dia:  I'm still uncomfortable.  It's hard to teach yourself to not get nervous or to relax.  Your body does what it wants to do, regardless of you telling it to calm down! I'm still nervous every time I play a show.  Don't let the fear keep you away from doing what you want to though.  

Kami: What is your favorite food?
Dia:  Korean food.  Yummy.  I can't eat a lot of foods though cause of my diet.  I love BBQ.  Chicken, mashed potatoes, fried green tomatoes, mac n' cheese. I wish I could eat it all!

Jake: What's the most annoying thing fans/ friends/ anybody says to you or asks you concerning music? 
Dia: "Why don't you put your song on the radio?"  Haha.  It's frustrating to hear that, but people ask that question more than one would imagine.  That'd be like me asking a fresh on the market, new screen play writer, "Why didn't you get Natalie Portman to star in your film?"
Also, it's frustrating when I see comments on facebook/twitter:  "When are you coming to Oklahoma," or wherever, when the tour dates are up, and it's even more frustrating when someone asks that question and we played Oklahoma the night before.  You'd be surprised, but that happens  ALL THE TIME.  
"Why didn't you play Utah this tour?"  ...Uhm...we played Utah 3 days ago....  Uhm..... I mean, I don't expect anyone to memorize tour dates or anything, but it just bums me out when we miss someone by a few days.  When I want to see a band, the first place I check is their website :) I love live concerts!

Jami: When will you be back to Vegas for a show, besides the expensive Blake tour?
Dia:  No idea.  No plans of a new tour as of yet.  Also, most artists do not play the same city within 2 months.  Us artists and booking agents know that as the "2 month rule".  In fact, most artists on a tour are usually under signed contract to NOT play a city in which a tour is going to in the same 2-3 months.  Plus, when you see all the time, production, people, money, and stage set up that goes into the Blake tour, you won't think it's so expensive after all.  A lot of $ goes into putting on a show like his. (It's awesome!)  People are up at 6 a.m. setting up the stage.  What you pay for is what you get...and it's a pretty good deal at the end of the day.  Photo below: Crew up bright and early setting up the stage and camera's.  

Bonnie: What is your favorite yearbook comment?
Dia:  Funny you ask that question.  A friend of mine from high school, (literally one of two friends I had in high school), came to a show in Nashville and started telling my band embarrassing stories about my high school days.  "Yeah, she was pretty quiet in high school.  Her best friend was the librarian.  She never ate in the cafeteria with people...she was always in the library eating alone."  I didn't go to the last day of school....I didn't buy a yearbook.  

Todd: Your fashion has a modern yet vintage twist. Where do you shop?
Dia: That's one good thing about can shop the many vintage and fun second hand stores of the country.  I like to shop in random 2nd hand stores.  They smell funny, but they always have great, one-of-a-kind finds.  I like Anthropologie a lot too..when they're on sale!  I get really overwhelmed in shopping malls though....It's good to have a friend there to help pick things out!

Christina: Greatest childhood memory?
Dia:  Meg and I did a lot of Peter Pan things, from creating space ships out of cardboard boxes to try to fly to Never land, to writing our own Peter Pan plays and performing them in our back yard for the neighbors.  (I used a kitchen egg whisk for a "Hook").   Yeah, they made me Captain Hook.  Meg and I made up Tinkerbell "fairy chants" in fairy language.  I think a number of Peter Pan memories would go in my top childhood memories category. :) 

Meghan: What tips do you have for singers? What do you do before shows to get your voice ready?
Dia: Sleep with the air conditioning off if you can.  It certainly dries out a voice.  Humidifiers are great.  Get the ones blowing cool air out.  The hot air ones can make your walls and furniture mold easily.  Don't eat or drink dairy 2 hours before you sing, and I personally try to avoid eating 2 hours before stage.  Smoking is an obvious no no.  Water is the best thing for your voice.  Sure, whiskey "loosens" you up, but it also dries you out.  Tea, as well, dries you out.  Also, if you are sick or losing your voice, people automatically start whispering.  Whispering is hard on your vocal chords.  Don't do it.  

Rita: What's your favorite Disney movie?
Dia: Mulan!  Guess what I was for Halloween in 3rd grade! Boo ya!  

I also love, Aladdin, Snow White, The Emperor's new groove, Tangled, and Peter Pan.

Rita: What are your stories about in your books and are you planning on publishing something?
Dia:  You can read a few of my short stories on this blog!  I'm afraid the stories in my novels are too intricate to get into during this interview, but hopefully you'll be able to check them out soon.  Getting a book published is a big goal and big dream of mine!

Jeremy: Will you marry me?
Dia: Yeah, I think we should just maybe date for the rest of our lives......

Gary: What would be your perfect date/ perfect man?
Dia: Hmm...if you would have asked me that question a few years ago, I would have said silly girl things, like pretty eyes or muscular...or wears boxer briefs.  But now that I'm 24, I look for ...well...kind of unromantic things for lack of a better way to describe it.  My perfect man would be financially stable, have the same political and religious views as I do, and be organized and clean! Ha!  I would like him to be a music lover, but he doesn't have to be a musician.  A guy that reads a lot is a huge plus.  I dig a guy with his nose in a book.  Someone who treats his parents and family well.  Not a huge fan of tattoos.  Someone taller and heavier than I am.  Someone who works out... who cares about his health and his body.  Someone who can quote "The Princess Bride."  Someone who doesn't smoke and drinks responsibly.  A drunk guy wanting to drive me home is a HUGE turn off.  Someone who likes dogs as much as I do.  Good hygiene is a must.  And this, I guess, is a silly girl thing, but I get weak in the knees when a guy has a Spanish, Australian, or Irish accent.  If you've got an Irish accent, you'll have me at "hello." Ha!  The perfect date.  Anything really.  I feel like if you've got the perfect guy, you don't need a perfect date.  A simple walk in the park, a movie on the couch, a concert, a picnic....anything will do.  

Tyler: Which artist would you like to sing a duet with? Do you have any vinyls of RED on sale?
Dia:  I would love to sing a duet with The Avett brothers or Foster the People or Peter Frampton!  (RED vinyls are being sold on our tour dates at merch tables.  I think we'll put them online soon.)

Katie: What is your favorite movie?
Dia:  The Princess Bride.  Hook.  Big Fish.  The Gladiator! Labyrinth. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Amelie.  Wait until dark. The Sting. 

April: What is your favorite place you have visited while traveling?
Dia:  I really enjoy London.  It's a beautiful place.  The buildings, the houses...there is a bit of magic in it all.  It's almost like every old building there has a story to tell.  I really enjoyed Switzerland and Liverpool as well.  

Leslie: If you were enrolled in college, what would be your major?
Dia:  Anything that had to do with writing.  Probably an english major.  

Enrico: If you were only able to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? And who is your favorite cartoon character and why?
Dia:  Apple french toast from my favorite restaurant in LA. (Square one)  My favorite Cartoon character would have to be Calvin and Hobbs!  Oh yeah!

Ben: (for Dia) What's next after the Blake tour? 
for (Meg): Can I buy a sketch, or would you bot-sketch my kid for $? You're her hero but she's not into jewelry yet.
Dia:  No concrete plans after the Blake tour yet.  You should email Meg through her site and ask her!

Gantt: I write songs myself. How do you determine the best way to convey meaning with language when writing your songs?
Dia:  It's a learning process for sure.  Nothing I say to you now would help you tremendously.  It's a lot of trial and error.  Songs I wrote when I was younger...listening back on them...I think, "What the?!"  Ha.  It takes a while to find your own unique've just got to keep at it.  

Ricky: What's your favorite kind of music?
Dia:  I love all genres, but I really enjoy folk music.  I love the banjo and mandolin and fiddle.  

Aileen: What is the one thing you would tell a musician who is new to the business?
Dia:  Utilize the internet as much as possible, and keep trying no matter what happens.  It's a dirty business and everyone is doing it.  Why are you different?  Give them a reason to want you.  Find out what is special about yourself and keep that sacred.  Tour.  Touring is a lovely organic way to spread your tunes.  And also...don't get too involved in the business side of things.  It screws with your head.  You're there for the music...the music business...well, leave that to the managers and lawyers.  

Elaina: If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
Dia:  Dang. Hard question.  "If you want to sing out, sing out."  Cat Stevens.  It just always makes me happy.

Adam: I'm studying Entertainment Law & was wondering what your relationship was like with your lawyers? 
Dia:  I only have one lawyer, and I've stayed with him for 7 years now.  He mostly handles my business stuff....the artistic side never crosses over with him much.  He comes out to shows though when I'm in NY! :)  I like to be hands on with things, but like to focus more on the music than the music business.  

Ritzy Rose: If you could have a one of a kind custom made piece of jewelry designed especially for you, what would it be like? What's your favorite color? Where could I send it?
Dia: Funny you ask sister made this for me for Christmas!

I like anything made by people I like. Ha. My favorite color...?  I like all colors...but am not a huge fan of neon colors.  The best place to get something to me is coming out to a show.  I don't have an apartment now...just a storage shed unit.  

Jessie: If you were ever going to have a daughter what would you name her?
Dia:  I have many names but....that one is gonna have to stay a secret.  Sorry!

Shaylie: What is your favorite kind of dog?
Dia: Australian Shepherds or German Shepherds!

Shaylie: If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?
Dia:  I really like my first name! Ha! Thanks Mom and Dad!  But if I had to....I'd change it to Fox.

Jayson: Where is one place you want to take a vacation that you have not been to or enjoyed yet?
Dia: Japan!!!  My friend is from there and keeps talking about how awesome the food is!

Shaylie: What's your middle name?
Dia: Leif

Jasper: Is Meg the tallest one in your family? She seems freaking tall for an asian.
Dia: Hahaha.  Yes, she sure is!  

Vincent: If you could only write one last song, what would it be about?
Dia: Missing someone from home, because that's how I feel right now, so I'm sure writing about that would be the most genuine. 

Erik: What's your geekiest obsession? (TV show, movie, etc.) 
Dia: One time my friend and I tied bed sheets to our necks and made capes and watched "Lord of the Rings" all night.  Yup, loved the books, and loved the movies.

Jenna: Are you vegan?
Dia:  Yes, although I cheat every now and then.  Ok.  I cheat pretty often.  To be honest, I hate being vegan because I lovvvvveee cheese and cream and ice cream, etc. etc. but I've found that my body functions the best without dairy or meat.  

Ryan: What song did you sing when you first auditioned for The Voice?
Dia:  A Norah Jones song.  Can't remember the name just now... "I waited till I saw the sun..."

Luis: Who can punch harder? You or Meg?
Dia: Without a doubt, Meg.  She's tougher than she looks...tiny, little thing.  

Thanks for your questions guys! XO - Dia

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Pros and Cons of tour

Many of you ask these questions...and they usually are popular interview questions too.

"What's your favorite thing about being on the road?"
"What are your "go to" items on tour?"
"What can't you live without on tour?"
"What's the best thing about tour, and the worst?"

Well... there are many pros and cons to tour.

There are the obvious Pros:

And more traveling

Seeing the world
Meeting many different people from all across the country
Trying out new restaurants and eating delicious foods from across the country

Making friends (hopefully) with the bands you're on tour with
Playing music! (Duh!)

Obvious cons:
Showers aren't always as plentiful as you would like.  Laundry machines as well.
Hardly any privacy AT ALL.
Sometimes bands you tour with are complete tools...and yup, you've gotta be around them for 30 plus days.  (That doesn't apply for this awesome Blake Shelton tour!)
Peoples' sleep schedules are different.  You may be trying to sleep while the person next to you is watching TV, the person in front of you is watching a Back to the Future marathon (*cough* Nick!) and the people sleeping under your bunk are snoring.
Missing your friends and family back home
Long distance relationships...well, they suck.

However...below is the biggest con of them all!

And just because I love are some more photos.  I was walking in NY when I walked by a bunch of adorable puppies in the window!  I wish so badly that I could get a dog, but I don't think it's fair to keep one cooped up on a bus most of the day, and where would he pee anyway?  And who would watch it when I have to leave unexpectedly.  Oh wonderful dogs, ruler of cats and all other creatures, I hope I can get one of you soon so I can cuddle you all day!

This one's face below just breaks my heart. I wish I could have taken him with me!

Cons of tour
It's really difficult to keep in contact with the outside world on tour.  The person I usually miss the most on tour, although I miss all my family and friends, is my mom.  When I'm home I love to watch movies with my mom and cook and try to learn some more Korean.  (Yes, I am half Korean. My mom's from Seoul).  Also, I have 4 younger sisters, and sometimes when I come home after 3-4 months of tour, I feel like I've missed some quality time with them in their youth.  It's almost as if every time I see them they've grown and inch, or have suddenly developed boobs, or their hairs down to their butts.  I missed being at my little sister's very first dance.  I would have helped her pick out a dress, do her make up, curl her hair...tell her to behave herself, dangit!  I would have yelled at my other little sister's basketball coach when he screamed out to her, in front of everyone during a game, "You suck! Get on the bench!"  (Yeah, rude right? I mean, I understand constructive criticism, but not in that way and especially not for a younger child).  I never miss one of their basketball games when I'm home, and if I would have been there during that.... oh mama.  That coach wouldn't think I'm so shy after all......  My head gets hot just thinking about it!

Dating on the road is really tough.  You're busy all day, and you don't want to talk too much either.  I've had times in my past when I've talked on the phone to a loved one after a show, and then the next morning have lost my voice.  
But sometimes being on the road can be lonely.  This Valentine's day, you better be my Valentine so I don't feel so lame.  I'll be yours too!  It can be a  mutual agreement.  Single for V day is just rubbing salt in the wound people!

Random tips for tour:
"I'll be 5 minutes" means I'll be a half hour, so grab a book.
For girls: You can never have enough tampons
Even though it's been only 1 day, your socks AREN'T CLEAN!  Change that pair of feety gloves dudes! Please!!!!
If you take longer than 15 minutes in the shower, you might for some odd reason become the least popular on the bus.
For girls: Even though the crowd is often somewhat far away, shave your legs!  The audience can smell the fear in your tiny hair particles....
Yoga mats are handy, plus they make you look cool.
They're called headphones people.  You may want to blast ______ band in the bus for 3 hours, but who wants to have that in the background while they're trying to read.
Keep away from your guitar player if he's had over 4 drinks.  Being thrown up upon 3 times in my life is quite enough to last me for a bit.
Keep a journal
Make an effort to call your friends often
Once one person gets sick in the bus...just sit and accept defeat and wait for the cold and flu to nestle in on you.

But all in all, at the end of the day, with both the pros and cons of tour, I'd much rather be on tour.  You see, I feel like half of my heart belongs to the road anyway.  And I am loving playing music for ya'll!  I would never want to give up this for anything:

Thanks for coming out to see us on the road!

P.S. If you are in Nashville, come see us tonight at Exit Inn!  And if you are awake early tomorrow in Nashville, tune into FOX News Tennessee Mornings!

And thank you Music Choice for having me for some lovely interviews!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Only in Nashville

Oh Nashville!  How I love thee!  Your sweet tea which you pour so freely, (and usually with free refills!)  Your music that streams out of every open bar.  The upright bass found so easily.  The smells of freshly made BBQ sauce.  The home place where songs like "Isabella," and "The Broken ones," were brought to life.  Where Blake and I recorded vocals for "I will."  Where I found love at first sight by this cute dude jogging down the street with...wait for it... yes an adorable dog! (Obviously it wasn't mutual love at first sight. Dangit!)  Oh Nashville.  Thank you for having us....I hope to someday move here and nestle in your fried okra and possibly move in next door to Loveless cafe.  Oh Nashville, send some cute Cowboys my way. (Preferably between the ages of 25-33 thank you).

And not to be too picky Nashville, but if they could be taller than me as well?
Ok, Ok...sorry.  I went off on a tangent.

Here is a photo album of Nashville so far! :)

Walking down town.  Everyone is so sweet and polite here.  Only in Nashville is there a guitar the size of 5 of me in the window of a boot shop.

Only in Nashville does the sweet tea flow like wine.  Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano.  I'm talking about a little place called....Nashvillllleeee.

Only in Nashville do the waiters give the ladies the menu first and take the ladies orders first too!

Only in Nashville does the band playing at the local bar - in between songs - single me out for drinking water and THEN cover a Blake Shelton song about drinking!  If that doesn't make you smile ear to ear you have no soul.  (If you haven't heard "Drink on it" by Shelton...well...get on it!) Only in Nashville is there an awkward beaver statue outside of the bar.  

Only in Nashville 

Thank you for having us music city!  I'm off to explore more of you.  

Madison, WI

Thank you for having us Madison!  We would love to come back when you're not so freezing!  Here's some photos from our travels :) Thank you to everyone for coming out to the show! XO - Dia

I had no part in the making of this pathetic snowman.  My snowman would probably look something like Butters from South Park.  If you ever get me in a good mood, I'll do my Butters impression for you.  From what I am told, I'm not all half bad.  (P.S. Whoever made this's not pathetic.  I'm sure it was quite awesome when it was at its full peak).  

It takes hours to set up a stage.  This is us just getting into the venue and looking and analyzing the size of the stage, where the piano should go, the best angle for the amps so that they don't rebound off the walls.  But if you think that's a lot of, just wait till you see the Blake Shelton stage and set up.  It takes HOURS upon hours to set up the stage, the PA, the lights, the props, etc.  The crew wakes up at 7 a.m. or earlier and gets to work, climbing the tall ladders to put up the blue lights, laying out the textured floor, putting up the stairs, the drum riser, the walkway.... And it looks out of this world.  The next time you're thinking 50$ is expensive for a're paying for a lot with that 50, and it's worth it.  

My sister loves learning and exploring new cities.  No, my hair didn't get longer...this is her below reading up on the local hits. If you come out to a show, you'll probably see her stage left playing the guitar, piano, synth, drums, percussion.  You name it.  She has her own blog too and homemade jewelry site. She loves to say hello, so at a show, don't be shy.  She's pretty nice...ok, ok, she's really nice.

This is Nick Price, my drummer, below.  I've been playing music with him since I was 17.  Funny random fact: We (Meg and I) met Nick through a car accident.  Meg crashed her car in a grocery store parking lot (Yeah, us Asian drivers. I know, I know...)  but then we took the car into Nick's parents' body shop, called Price Auto.  Nick was working there and worked on Meg's car.  We started talking about music...and....7 years later, here we are.  You'll see him on the Shelton tour as well. 

Carlo Gimenez (guitar) and Jonathan Snyder (Bass).  They play nintendo on the bus for HOURS.  Boys.

So, that's us in Madison.  Nothing too crazy, but...just wanted to send greeting.  Now we're gonna hit the road again! Much love - Dia

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Country in my Blood

Country in my blood

I grew up singing country.  It's a part of me that I kind of forgot about.  Some of the first songs I ever sang were by such artists as Patsy Cline, Tanya Tucker (loved her!), Shania Twain, The Dixie Chicks, and The Judds.  When I was really young, I listened to nothing BUT country music. I loved it.  I sang at Rodeos in Utah, county fairs, festivals, you name it.  I even tried out for The Country Showdown in St. George, Utah a couple years in a row.  I attached a picture of myself at the Utah State fair up in Salt Lake City, for your pleasure & my embarrassment.  I won first place, the big blue ribbon, for yodeling at a talent contest. I was 14 years old and a proud little girl in my jean jacket.  I sang a song called, "The Yodelin' blues." 

What happened to my country background you might say?  Well, I got "cool."  Or in other words, super lame. Ha. High school happened to me, and peer pressure, and "hip" music, and I no longer talked about how much I loved Tim McGraw, but rather how cool punk-rock bands were.  My friends all listened to Blink 182 and screamo-rock, as we called it.  The kind of music where there's a double kick drum, and you can't understand the words cause the singer is screaming them out.  The kind of music I listened to in my car when I snuck out at night and put in my fake nose ring. (Yes, I had a fake nose ring! I was too scared to pierce it, too scared of needles).  It's funny to think back on all the silly things I did in high school.  Who wears a fake nose ring?  Oh yeah. Me.
Anyway, as I grew older, and started to write my own songs, I began to shape my own style.  I left punk-rock behind and began to go the singer-songwriter route, which felt most natural to me then, and still remains true.  ( I like to write songs the simple way: Me and an acoustic guitar, or me and a piano). 
Now, at the good old age of 24, I finally feel like I've found myself as an artist.  It took a while, but now I know what I love, and what is "me."  I know what I want to write about, and how I want to write about it.  I know what I want to represent, and what I want to stand for in my music.  I know what instruments I want to put together to make a song.  I know when to push a song to its limits, and when to let it be as it is, simple, and mine.  
Being in the music industry for so long....the touring, the writing, the traveling, the performing.  Well, one can get a little jaded sometimes.  I needed a wake up.  I think you'll find it very surprising that I hardly have listened to music in the past year.  What do I listen to when I'm driving? On my I-pod? My computer? On a plane ride? Jogging?
I listen to talk radio.  I listen to interviews.  I listen to books on tape.
That's how jaded I was.  That's how tired I had become of a thousand songs flooding my I-pod, a million different new artists popping up everyday.  Song writing teams I had met on my ventures to make an album: Song writing teams I had respectfully declined.  Teams of writers that sickened me in the way they constructed hit songs together like a child would put clothes strategically on a paper doll.  I couldn't listen to the radio without saying to myself, "and the song's 30 seconds in so here comes the BIG chorus," or, "And the bridge is in at 2:45," or "It's gotta be at 130 BPM's (beats per minute) if it's gonna get on the radio."  
I needed a wake up.  A big reminder of why I love music, and why I do what I do.  
That wake up came the first day of the Blake Shelton tour.  The wake up was harsh and beautiful and liberating.  
I can't remember feeling so many different emotions in one day as I did when I watched Blake's show.  What an artist, and what a performer!  I don't care if you like country music or not.  A good musician needs to be recognized regardless.  That is Blake Shelton.  
Of course, I've always respected him.  I enjoyed so much being on his team on The Voice.  I enjoyed being his student, his friend, and still do.  But watching him perform like that, in front of seven thousand front of a sold out crowd all singing his words...Well, that was something else.  
It not only awakened my love of music, watching him sing, but it also awakened the 14 year old Dia.  The Dia in the jean vest.  The Dia who sang on the back of a truck at the rodeo while horses ran around.  The Dia who yodeled "Cowboy Sweetheart," at a nursing home luncheon.  
Damn, there's still some country blood in me after all!  And a lot of it.
Today, as I checked my facebook, wrote an email to my mom, put my make up on, organized my laundry, (It sure piles up on tour), I had my portable I-pod radio on.  And I played The Dixie Chicks, Patsy Cline, Blake (of course), Garth Brooks, and Tom Petty.  
I sang a lot.  I cried...just a little, mind you! Woohoo, I love music!
Each new show I'm singing more and more to Blake's songs.  (Ol' Red is definitely one of my favorites).  That song reminds me why country music is great: The songs can really weave together a great story.  Every night I'm backstage singing to "She wouldn't be gone," and "Who are you when I'm not looking." Even if I'm a floor below the stage, waiting to take a shower, I'm still singing along to the music that's seeping under the door. 
I've gotten a chance, on special nights, to come out and sing with Blake on stage.  

We sing a song together called, "I will," that's on my album RED.  Singing with him each night makes me so happy (and so nervous).  The first night before the first show, Blake and I ran through the song with the band and I completely messed up the words in the first chorus.  Yikes!  It's one thing to mess up on stage alone, but when someone else is singing with ya, it's like they're depending on you in a way, like both of us are pulling on a rope in different directions, equally weighted, keeping each other balanced and on our feet.  The words that I'm singing to him, I truly mean.  For someone who's given me so much, I wish I could give it back in some way.  He gave me hope in a career in music when I was lacking faith in myself, and now he's revived that musical spirit again! 
This tour has been truly amazing, and we're not even a week in!  It feels so great to be out on the open road again, and to meet so many new people.  I feel so blessed to be here with my friends, my band, Blake and his amazing crew, and all of you who come out to the shows.  When there's 7,000 people singing along to a song in the same room, well, it really is magic.  Thank you Blake for taking us on tour & letting me dip my toes in country music again!  And thank YOU country music for sparking the fire in me once more and throwing me into a  nostalgic, happy, lazy Tuesday. 
I'm going to go through my I-pod now and flip through the bands that have truly touched me and just lay on the couch and listen to their records from front to back.  I'm going to listen to Patsy Cline again.  And tomorrow at the show in Madison, Carlo (my awesome guitar player) better play that banjo like mad on "Isabella."  I love me some banjo!  And dammit, I'm gonna buy me a cowboy hat!