When Jeanne asked if I would be interested in doing a Q&A with the band Dala I jumped at the opportunity. You see, I am a proud Canadian and love to see my fellow country(wo)men doing well in their chosen field. Plus, I adore their sound and knew they would be a fantastic find to share with our loyal readers here at the Daily Grommet. They were not only gracious enough to answer my questions, they are offering up a signed CD, Everyone is Somone, for one of you lucky folks. Read on to hear about them and about how to win.
1. What's the most important thing we should know about Dala?
The most important thing you need to know about Dala is that we're best friends who love to sing together.
2. What instruments do you two play?
We both play acoustic guitar and piano. Amanda also plays the Mandola (a type of mandolin) and I play the ukelele.
3. Can you tell us how you got your start?
We met in our high school band class, in Scarborough Ontario. I was playing the trumpet, and Amanda was sitting behind me in the bass clarinet section. We each took turns singing with our school jazz band, so the first songs that either of us ever sang in public were big band tunes, ("I've Got You Under My Skin" and "My Funny Valentine" for example). When we finally started singing together as a duo, we realized that our voices blended really naturally. Some people said we sounded like siblings. We started songwriting together, and performing at coffee houses all over Toronto. At that point we were both still in University, with music as a side project. Then in 2003, we met our current manager Mike Roth. That was the turning point, as he really encouraged us to take songwriting and performing more seriously. We both decided to pursue music as a full-time career, and we haven't looked back since!
4. Who are you inspired by?
Our musical heroes include Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, CSNY and Simon and Garfunkel.
5. Do you two write all of your own lyrics/music?
We write most of our music collaboratively. We don't consider a song to be complete until both of us are happy with the lyrics and the melody.
6. What's the most challenging part about what you do ... and what's most fun?
I think the most challenging thing about what we do is keeping a healthy balance between our lives on the road and our lives at home. Amanda writes a lot of letters while we're on tour, and that helps her ward off homesickness. We both love performing live, that's where we're in our element. I love that feeling I get when we finish a brand new song. It is so exhilarating!
7. Who would you collaborate with if you could choose anyone – dead or alive?
Amanda and I are both completely in love with Fleet Foxes. They have brought harmony back into the spotlight, and we would love to sing with them one day.
8. What’s currently playing on your ipod?
I'm currently listening to "McCartney" (his first solo album) and Kathleen Edwards' "Failer"
9. So, what’s next for Dala?
We just finished filming a PBS special called "Girls From The North Country", and hopefully that will be broadcast sometime this summer. We have a busy year ahead of us, with shows all over Canada and USA. Some of the festivals we'll be playing include: the Strawberry Music Festival in Groveland, CA, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, The Edmonton Folk Festival, The Vancouver Island MusicFest, and the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Colorado. You can check our website www.dalagirls.com for all our upcoming shows!
General contest rules: To enter, you must be a U. S. resident, and at least 18 years of age and you must leave a comment or question for Dala. No purchase necessary. The winner will be randomly selected and will receive a signed copy of their CD, "Everyone is Someone". Employees, contractors, and the families of employees and contractors of Daily Grommet, Inc. are not eligible to enter. You are not eligible to win if you have received a prize or giveaway from Daily Grommet in the last six months. Void where prohibited. Contest will run from 8am EST through 10pm EST March 10, 2010.