Sunday, October 02, 2011

Music is Mother's Nature

Brody Dalle's maternal instincts have driven her back to rock, writes Jo Roberts.

By: Jo Roberts
Date: March 05th, 2010

MUCH has happened in the life of Brody Dalle since 2004, when she last played a gig in her birth country of Australia. The band she was then fronting, Los Angeles punk rockers the Distillers, imploded the following year. The same year, she married Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme. A year later, they became parents to a baby girl, Camille.

And now, Dalle has a new baby. This one is called Spinnerette and comprises guitarist Alain Johannes (of Homme's QOTSA), drummer Jack Irons and former Distillers guitarist Tony Bevilacqua. Going by the band's self-titled debut album, released late last year, it's less punk, more glam rock, with melody, grunt and sex appeal to spare. It's evident on songs such as the super-catchy single, Ghetto Love, and in the cover artwork, featuring the barely dressed nether regions of a tattooed woman. Umm Brody, is … that … you?

Yeah and they airbrushed the shit out of me,” Dalle laughs. “My pregnancy war scars vanished… poof! I don't have big enough balls to let it all hang out, I'm not at the Jamie Lee Curtis level yet. Originally, I used a picture of Monica Bellucci's torso and well, after that, what does a woman do?'”

With the acrimonious split of the Distillers, Dalle, 31, admits she briefly contemplated not returning to music to focus on motherhood.

“Mostly because it seemed like the easy way out,” she says. “Also, when you become a mother you feel guilty about everything, so again it seems [sometimes] like the easy way out. [But] my mum didn't get to follow her dreams of being an artist and I know that had a negative effect on her happiness, so to make her loss worth it and to give my daughter the gift of loving what you do and following your heart, I must work.

Dalle began her career at age 14 with Melbourne all-girl band Sourpuss, meeting her band mates at an all-ages show. “I think it was the Meanies,” she says.

With grooming from Collingwood's Rock'n'Roll High School, Sourpuss went on to open for acts such as Dinosaur Jr and Hole, and play festivals including Summersault, which was where Dalle met her first husband Tim Armstrong, whose punk band Rancid was also on the bill. In 1997, aged 18, Dalle moved to Los Angeles to be with Armstrong, marrying that year. When her marriage to Armstrong ended in 2003, Dalle stayed on in LA with the Distillers.

With Homme, Dalle is now married to one of rock music's most admired and influential figures thanks to his work with both QOTSA and Them Crooked Vultures.

“Joshua is my husband and my best friend; his impact on me is so huge, words cannot do justice,” Dalle says. “In terms of influence musically, it's not one of aping his style or sound, it's more the quality of his songwriting and the work ethic he possesses that I aim to model for myself. He has the very rare ability to use both sides of his brain equally, he's a downright anomaly - the 'artistic businessman'. There should be a wax model of him at the national history museum in the 'evolution of man' section.”

True to her genes, four-year-old Camille has already proven herself an astute music fan, from Yo Gabba Gabba! – “we took her to see the live show, she got to meet all of the characters afterwards. She was so stoked to meet Foofa” - to the B-52s, Ramones, Howlin' Wolf and, of course, Mum and Dad's bands.

“Spinnerette is top of her list though,” Dalle says. “That's how I know I've made a good record.”

Spinnerette play the Corner Hotel on Sunday. Book on 9427 9198.