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ATP! Interview: Brody Dalle

On the afternoon we spoke, Australian-born artist Brody Dalle was celebrating an anniversary of sorts. “Today actually, the 8th of April, is eighteen years of me being in America,” Dalle realized, “It was on this day today!” Upon her relocation, Dalle formed and fronted LA punk outfit The Distillers, writing three albums before eventually disbanding in 2006. Immediately following came the creation of Spinnerette, a musical fusion of the singer’s ideas that thrived until falling idle in 2010. Flash-forward to this moment; as Dalle prepares to release her highly anticipated solo album Diploid Love, she takes the time to chat with Alter The Press about her new music, personal growth, and being a keen observer to the workings of the world.

Diploid Love showcases Dalle’s musical prowess and development as an artist. Dalle actually wanted to put the record out last year, but decided to keep it under wraps for the extra amount of time. She laughs as she thinks about the process of waiting to release her finished product. “[It’s like] that last leg of plane ride, and you’re like, ‘Oh I just want to go home!’” Dalle concludes that her track “Underworld,” featuring a riff originally penned in 2005, is her new favorite to play live.

Dalle’s songwriting has long been influenced by interest in global happenings. The singer’s acute understanding of current events began when she was young and living in Australia. Her mother was a political activist, and together they attended various protests throughout Dalle’s childhood. After becoming employed at an organic fruit shop with an attached bookstore, Dalle introduced herself to literature foretelling our future and where society was heading. “I’ve always been kind-of socially or worldly motivated, or wanting to know what’s going on.”

Dalle delights in being asked if she’s discovered any good books recently. That’s the beauty of her presence – one moment Dalle is a punk legend, and the next she’s chuckling while discussing a Jon Krakauer novel about polygamy and murder and how it was awful, yet incredible. Dalle proceeds to explain another, titled “Born To Run,” that tells the story of the Tarahumara Indians and the way they journey barefoot across all terrain. Laughing again, Dalle continues, “Yesterday I tried to run on my treadmill with bare feet and it was amazing… except that I burnt my feet on the rubber and it was kind-of painful!” There is a sort of brilliance in Dalle; fans can take comfort in her relatable, humble, and genuine demeanor.

Strong female representation in the music industry is a necessity according to the singer. Dalle jokingly asserts, “There’s plenty of time for boyfriends and other shit like that.” She illustrates that there are tons of women out there playing that aren’t getting the fair exposure in the mainstream. Dalle explains that it’s all about dedication, and stresses the importance of taking the time to become a master at what you love.

Last year marked the 10th anniversary of The Distillers’ Coral Fang, and life for Dalle has been nonstop ever since. “Two marriages, a couple bands, two kids, a dog, a fish...” she reflects, “I’ve toured the world, I’ve done a lot.” Looking back, Dalle feels sad over the decision to end The Distillers. She remembers just being in a bad place, pressured to head back into the studio after touring for two years and feeling broken as a group. Although she personally finds reunions to be cheesy, Dalle admits that the possibility of getting the band back together isn’t completely out of the question. Until then, the singer continues to play various Distillers tunes at her live shows to audiences’ excitement. She states, “Some of those songs should be heard.”

Brody Dalle is back, and she’s here to stay. She assures us, “Punk rock is always gonna be there. As long as there’s teenagers on the planet, there will always be punk rock.” Dalle may have matured past the mohawk, but she’ll never outgrow her original message. “Fight for what you believe in, stand up for yourself. Don’t take any shit. Get to the truth.”

- Laurel Weber

Diploid Love is available now via Caroline Records.

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