Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Road

I don't really know what to write about necessarily, but I do know that when one does have a blog, one should most likely keep it up to date.  

I've been on tour for the past couple weeks opening up for The Fray.

It's been incredible, but the only thing I am feeling right now, with a 2nd show at Red Rocks about 6 hours away, is exhaustion.

I think back sometimes to my first tour.  I was seventeen, I think.  We didn't even have a van.  We toured in a car.  We booked it ourselves.  We played in front of 0 people sometimes, literally.  We played for 10 people in a bar.  We played for 80 people at a house party.  We drove a lot. I thought it was exciting.  I didn't care about anything, I just wanted to get my hands dirty.  It didn't bother me that we drove until 5 in the morning, only to pull over in a CVS parking lot.  My parents loaned us money for gas & studio time. (We paid them back after 4 years).  We slept in the park in Berkeley, CA on a drum rug.  I woke up to a cop's boot in my side.  

"Hey.  Hey you! You can't sleep here.  You can't even be here this early."

Early, I thought?  It's night out.  This is my sleep time.  You can imagine their surprise when the bundle of blankets rolled over and a 17 year old girl peered back at them.

"We're playing a show here tomorrow.  Can we just stay here?"

"No.  You have to leave."

I woke up and rolled the rug back up.  They watched me.  I walked back to the car.  My sister Meg was sleeping in the front seat, and our bass player was sleeping in there as well.

"We've gotta move," I said.  But even then, I wasn't tired.  I was thrilled. I was hungry for everything.  I called up all my friends the next day and made up an elaborate story about how I almost got arrested, hand cuffed actually, but they let me go once they realized that I was a minor.  Or maybe I even made it sound more incredible.  Who knows.  Bottom line is: I was having the time of my life.  

Sometimes those memories float back to me when I'm feeling jaded.  On the 13 hour drive to Denver I sat up front and listened to books on tape on my I-Pod.  I looked at the flat country side of Kansas.  

"Can we pull over? I have to pee." I say.

"Can you wait for a little bit?"

"How long's a little bit?"

"Like...20 minutes maybe.  The next small town's that far away.  Otherwise, we'll have to pull over twice. We're running behind."

The boys in the band have been annoyed by my small "girl" bladder for years now.  Hey, I can't help it.  Us girls pee more often than boys do.  Look it up.  It's gotta be a scientific fact.....somewhere.  

We got to our hotel at midnight.  I stayed up till 3 to try to cram in "productive" time.  Writing.  Reading.  Blogging. Studying.  I was too tired though so I just wrote for a little bit and went to bed.

As I'm writing this it almost makes me sick to realize how this blog just sounds like a pity party.  A list of complaints.  

I don't want you to think that is my intention.  It's not, at all.  I'm just being real, to be honest.  

People see me and say, "How is it being a big rock star now?"

I don't get that.  Last week at a show in Florida, a gentleman came up to me.  He looked about 40 years old.  He was with his wife.  I was selling CD's at our merch table.  He looked at me, leaned over and said some magic words that almost made me burst into tears:

"I admire your work ethic."

I smiled, sold a CD to him, shook his hand gratefully and continued on hustling CD's as best I could. 

"Dia Frampton CD's!  15$! Dia Frampton CD's!  I can help anyone over here!"

I was watching a basketball game with Carlo (my guitar player) the other day in the green room.  It was a very popular team against a team we would call, the "underdogs."  The Underdogs were ahead. (I'm not saying which teams because people in sports get pretty angry. Hah.)  

"How are the Underdogs winning?" I said aloud to Carlo.  "Against Team X, they're winning? What the?"

"They're hungry for it," said Carlo wisely.  He's always full of some kind of one sentence "words for the wise."  He says little, but whenever he does speak, it means a lot.  

Some reason, those words hit right at home.  I'm still hungry I thought.  I always want to stay hungry, too.  (What an odd thing to say out loud, but it's true).  

I remember getting tours and freaking out, crying, laughing, jumping up and down.  The first ever "Real" tour my band got was Sugarcult, back when I was 18.

"What?!" I yelled at my manager. "We get to open up for Sugarcult!? I - I know them! They're on the radio.  They've been touring for years.  We...we get to OPEN FOR THEM." I muffled the receiver and let out a yelp.

I remember getting the Angels and Airwaves tour.  We were on another tour at the time and our manager called us and told our drummer, Nick, first.  I remember that moment so well.  I was laying under a blanket.  I poked my head out.

"What!!!!??? Tom Delonge's new band!? Are you kidding me!"  I freaked out for a good few days.  

Tours came in quickly after that.  We played maybe...250-300 shows a year sometimes.  We toured non stop all the way up until I tried out for The Voice.

We've performed in every state (some 10-40 times) minus Hawaii.

When we got the Blake Shelton tour, that was a reminder of how excited I used to get.  I screamed. I called my mom.  I called my friends.  I did an embarrassing dance in my living room which no one will ever see.  

But other than that, sometimes it's hard to NOT be Jaded.  I've been touring for 7 almost 8 years now.

When my manager called us and said we got The Fray tour, instead of jumping up and down, I sat down and asked him a bunch of questions:

How much will we get paid per show?  Is that enough over the span of days to pay for gas and hotels?  Our sound guys out with another band. We have no front of house.  We have to fly people to the first show in Kentucky....if we pay for those plane flights and shipping gear out, will we break even after the tour or be in the red?  We have no merch. What about merch?  How long do we play?  Can we afford to take out a guitar tech? Can we afford a sound guy?  Are you sure it's okay you loan us money? What about a merch guy?  Sure, I can help with merch, as long as it's not too loud. (I've lost my voice a couple times yelling over loud music and crowds at merch tables. Yikes!)  We don't have enough CD's for the first few shows.  It's a 30 hour drive out to Atlanta with our gear.  Can we make that in 2 days?  What's the merch percentage at venues? The grand piano can't fit with the stage room provided, and we can't afford to buy a keyboard right now....  What piano would I play?  Sure, if we can find someone to "intern" as a tech, we might be able to afford that.... and the list goes on and on.  

The Dia 6 years ago would have said only 5 words:


Don't get me wrong, the list of questions up there would have to happen at some point, but not right away.  There was no screaming with excitement.  What the hell was wrong with me?

It kind of reminds me of dating in a weird way.

When I would go on dates or meet guys when I was younger, say 17 or 18, all I would ask my friend is:
"Does he have pretty eyes?  Does he work out?  Oh really!? He's a musician! Cute! Does he dress well?"

Now, if someone were to set me up I would ask:

Is he financially stable? A gentleman? Does he smoke or drink? What religion is he? Is he honest and respectable?  Ambitious?  Does he want kids? How many? Is he organized and clean? 

How our perspectives can change.  (Ok, ok.  So maybe that was a weird metaphor).  Anyway, the truth is, I love The Fray.  I watch them back stage performing every night.  I've learned so much from them.  I'm so happy we took this opportunity.  I'm screaming about it now to make up for the loss of screams I had earlier.


We played Red Rocks yesterday.  It was cold.  After living in LA for a long while, and touring straight from Texas to Florida and then quickly up to Denver, I was not prepared at all for the cold.  My throat felt like an ice cube as I walked out on stage.  My fingers were stiff.  I wanted to put on a good show, the best show, for all of those thousands of people sitting out in the rain. (Outdoors venue).  It was...34 degrees I believe, and dropping as the night grew older.  I let the uncomfortableness of the cold get the best of me.  I got in my head.  I could see my breath like little puffs of fog as I took in each breath to sing.  I got off stage with a heavy heart.  I didn't feel like I gave it 100%, and if I'm not going to do that, what the hell am I here for then?

I watched The Fray go out there.  The lead singer walked up and down the stairs of the amphitheater.  He sang his lungs out.  He sang with the crowd.  It was even colder when they played.  It was raining harder.  You wouldn't have known though....they were performing like the sun was shining.

I learned a lot from them last night.

And that's the key to it all.  I'm still learning.  I'm still taking baby steps to becoming the performer and artist that I wish to be; To be up there with the performers and artists that inspire me so much today.  I'm still learning, and that makes this all okay.

Today we play Red Rocks again.  I'm gonna give it 200% to make up for yesterday.  And the 17 hour drive to the next show in San Diego?  I'm gonna get some more books on tape, and remember every day to be grateful for where I am at, and even more grateful for my dreams and ambitions of where I hope to go, and who I hope to become.  

I still have a lot of room for mistakes.  I'm still learning.  I'm still deciding what is and what is not worth it to me.  

Music is everything to me.  But when people say that, there is more.  It's not just music.  It's the 10 hour drives.  The sleepless nights.  Loading in our gear and setting it up in the snow. (Brrrr!!)  The sacrificing of close relationships.  Missing a friend's wedding.  Missing a friend's birthday.  

But, I decided the best thing to do is always stay positive, and remember what you are working toward.  On a positive note, I get to be home for Mother's day tomorrow!  I told the band, be in the van by 7 a.m.  I'm driving us there!  10 hours from Denver to my small city in Utah, but I'm going to be there tomorrow at 5 p.m. eating dinner with my mom!

I'm exhausted right now.  
But I'm so damn excited to play Red Rocks that I can barely hold it in.

With honesty and love,



  1. As a gentleman in his 40s who loves your latest album, I've got to say I admire your work ethic also! Hoping to see you in Washington some time... (note: there is no DC after that) :)

  2. Wow...thanks for sharing so much with us, it's much appreciated!

  3. Thanks for the read! Always entertaining! I hope you continue to write, you do a fantastic job. Good luck with your tour! Stay safe!

  4. Dia it is always refreshing to hear you sing or read your publishing's. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings... But can't help wonder what that embarrassing living room dance was? ;)

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  6. This is the thing that I admire most about you Dia. I mean there's of course the fact that your music grips my heart and lingers under my skin and has been there to support me through a lot of happy and sad moments in my life. But beyond the talent of your music....what makes you my favorite artist is your honesty. You don't lie to your fans, you don't put on illusions of grandeur and the idea that you're perfectly happy and content all the time and that being a musician doesn't have it's pitfalls and weary moments. I think that's a those who look up to you and wish for their own music career. I think it's good for allow yourself to have those feelings and emotions openly, instead of holding them in and putting on a mask. I think with everything we are passionate about...we can't be successful in it if we don't recognize that passion doesn't negate those "not always pleasant" aspects of reality. Music asks for a lot from you. Your fans ask for a lot from you. And sometimes your tired and a little jaded...but who isn't in this world? I'm happy to see that at this point in your journey...the good parts of what you're doing are still outweighing the not so good parts. But if there is ever a moment in your life where the scale doesn't tip like that...I just want to say that's okay too...because the music you make until that moment is a gift that keeps on giving...and more that you've given to me than I could ever give to you. I didn't mean to make this so long. I guess the summarized version is that I admire everything you do and everything you are and I support you no matter where you go with your future choices in your career.

  7. Dia,
    I was at the show you did with The Fray in Orlando. Towards the end I could see you hiding in the back of the stage just absorbing the incredible atmosphere; as was I. I am an electrical engineer here in Orlando currently undertaking by far the largest project of my life; one of which that will inspire people for generations to come! That little concert has by far been the best source of motivation to complete this project.
    Instead of jamming out to Isaac I was in awe of his passion for what he does and totally envious of him. I now have begun to try to replicate that in my own life and it sounds like you have too.
    I would have loved to seen\heard your reactions when we screamed them back on stage. I am sure you will experience that for yourself someday, as you too are an equally amazing artist.

  8. Yes Dia you're jaded now, u dont say hi to me anymore, lol! I'd probably see u in San Diego and help u yell at merch table, it's not gonna be pretty yell but I dont want u to lose ur voice... The care!

  9. It's so amazing and inspiring to see how far you've come! How do you think 17 year old Dia would react if she knew about your latest record deal and that your touring with The Fray?

  10. I love the reality you share. It reminds me that your real and work hard for what you have chosen to share with the world. :-) have an exciting and safe tour.

  11. Just saw you at Sunfest! Loved it! I also enjoyed your blog and it's honesty!

  12. I love reading your blogs, Dia. I saw you earlier this year at a small show in West Chester, PA. The energy was great and it was amazing seeing you up close like that. Keep working hard and, like they say, enjoy the journey.

  13. Hi. Dia,

    Your performance on the Voice, when you sang with Miranda Shelton is just off the charts...It brings a tear with some of the lyrics, especially regarding the dog... The other thing, is that I have built some houses, and yes I would love to be able to go back, just for a visit...
    Please stay connected with Blake, he's the guy to take you to the top with all his connections...Try to get him to get you on Jay Leno''s show....

    You keep up your good work Dia...


  14. you really inspired me dear....i'm medical student and i love musics....the first day i saw you was on the voice...from that very day i become your fan...then i downloaded all your songs and videos...when i hear your voice,i feel like heaven,i lost all my tiredness....i'm inspired by you,you really work hard dear and you r so simple and kind heart....and 2 me you are the best...we are always with you dear...

  15. That, "I admire your worth ethic" quote from a fan was probably just the right thing that needed to be said. The amount of "work ethic" I've seen you all put forth since The Voice has continually blown me away. You guys get off tour just to jump right back on, it's incredible! Not to mention all the other nonsense that goes on outside of tour. I've been around as a boardie since about 2007 and I've never seen you all so active and busy like this past year has demonstrated. I'm sure the fact that you guys are more active with blogging on the Internet has helped with that, but it's still truly astonishing to witness this "nonstop" sort of attitude. You're exhausted, sure, yet you keep it all going. You guys inspire me every day. And I must say, I especially love hearing about Carlo's words of wisdom! Someone needs to write up a book of quotes for that guy. Wish I could drive out to Cali to see you guys again, but I have costs to think about as well! Anyway, in conclusion, try to take it easy Dia, we're rooting for ya!

  16. You're growing up kid. I'm so excited to see the success you've been having this last year. I've got to be honest though, I miss seeing 18 year old Dia singing her heart out to just a hand-full of us here at home in Salt Lake. But whether it be 25 people at Kilby Court or 10,000 people crammed into the Maverick Center, I'll be there cheering you on.

  17. Oh, Dia!!! I understand you 100%. As a former musician reading your words brought back precious memories.(and a few scary ones,haha) The one thing I wish to say to you is...... You are 100% normal! !00% fine!!! These are all great traits of someone who has a huge heart, cares about others and has a dream. These were not lists of complaints, but rather like you eluded, just a woman with a huge heart being honest and telling it exactly like it is. Remember also... you are not alone. I trust you... you will always do the right thing and you will always make mistakes here and there. But it's what you do after the mistakes that matters... and for you, I do not worry!

    If you are bored on your drive.... listen to a new album by the Malaysian artist YUNA. Listen to song 2... it will make you smile I guarantee:)

    Mike Michael

  18. Coming from someone who witnessed your first performance at Red Rocks last night, I have to say you did much, much better than you give yourself credit for! And from my seat center stage (...and only 57 rows back!) I was definitely digging your performance, as were the strangers around me who were totally impressed. And believe me, you handled the cold a lot better than a lot of us Colorado natives!

  19. Thank you for sharing so much truth with the world. As someone with a normal desk job it is nice to feel like we have a little in common. Everyday is not a fairytale. I only found out about you from the voice but I saw your show in Kansas City earlier this year and have purchased Stupendous Chandler and a Willie necklace from Meg. You are both so talented and I wish you all the success you work so hard for.

  20. You're a great singer, you write your own song and you even drive your own tour van??... Cool!! Dont think Christina can do that.

  21. "It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important."
    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  22. Dia, l like your songs very much and hope yout songs to be remained in many people's mind forever. Have a warmful welcome at home after successful concert at Red Rock!

  23. Dia, l like your songs very much and hope your songs to be remained in many people's mind forever. Have a warmful welcome at home after successful concert at Red Rock!

  24. I don't mind hearing the complaints and how it's hard. What draws people to you and your music is your realness. Many people put on a show or a seperate personality but when people watch you, listen to you, read your blogs, they feel they're getting the real deal. It's a brave thing to put your hopes out there in writing for the whole world to read, and the reason I follow you is because although you've reached a certain level of fame, you still relate with the rest of us. Keep it going and don't change...and damn 250-300 days touring...that is unreal

  25. you INSPIRE us! i LOVE you! Happy Mothers' Day to your mom

  26. Wow, I admire you very much Dia. You have always been honest, and yes you're right, you are still learning. And your fans are also learning with you, and I'm one of them.

  27. Dia, this is what makes me love you and Meg so much. As I told Meg, I didn't even know you before the voice, but ever since knowing you and your music. You have quickly become one of my most favorite and admired singer/songwriters! you and meg are truly divine human beings. Please keep doing what you do best and keep your feet on the ground and don't change, but grow an excel to the best that you and Meg can be!!

    Being able to see what you and the band go through from backstage in Fairfax just makes me respect you what you do as a performer even more! it can be so stressful but at the same time so rewarding!

  28. Hey Dia, just wanted to let you know that you have a fan in Brazil! :) Your voice is so amazing, and like someone said in the comments here... besides that you have an honesty that comes out of you whenever you sing that is too adorable. Keep it up. And thank you for your music :)

  29. I've been hearing your voice in your EP's since back in Meg&Dia.. And I am Asian.. Malaysia to be precise.. What makes you guys different from the other bands is that you guys do it with hearts.. Certain tone in your voice kind of different compared to others, more sincere with delicate touch in it.. Yellow butterfly still catches tear, Going away is still one of my fav.. And the list goes on and on..

    I am not a musician, nor am I capable to play a guitar.. I am an economist.. But the journey behind your life is what I can relate.. One must journey hard path to gain achievement, especially when you are at zero point.. Success can be measured by experience and hard work.. What you wrote makes me realize how tough life can be..

    Hope you will never lose hope on everything that you do.. Be strong, there's always will be a sun after such gloomy days..

  30. After all, without the hardships, we wouldn't know the degree of our insecurities. Our room to grow. To improve.

    Sometimes it just takes a slap in the face for you to realize where you are, and what you've been doing. Even though you've been growing so much, there's always still more room to grow, and I'm so glad you took up this opportunity to tour with The Fray. "What's to lose" eh?

    It's weird how perspectives can change over the years. Even when you feel yourself as "the same person you were yesterday", things are constantly changing, including yourself. I still can't seem to wrap my head around that idea... It's like, just when you think you know something about yourself, something comes up and makes you say, "Oh. Maybe I'm not all like that."

    I may be speaking some mumbo-jumbo right now... but... I really don't know what I'm doing in college right now, when my heart desires to be elsewhere. I'm in a bit of a rut, and that old adage that "time heals everything" seems to be so strained lately!

    Thank you for the update though Dia, it's always nice hearing back from you! :)

    1. Oh, and being able to be back in Utah with your momma absolutely warms my heart! Throughout the past couple years I've heard updates of y'all always having to miss your mommies and missing days like these...

      I'm just so glad you're able to be with her now. (This year is actually my 1st-year not spending it back home! It definitely hits you.)

      Keep being you Dia, your dedication to everything you do is so inspiring! It inspires me to constantly get out there and do what I want to do already, when I've so much fear in myself.

  31. Dia, changes in thoughts are good, it means you grow up. I am glad that you have the above thoughts. It tells us a lot. Not every people can keep their dreams, and you, now you are achieving your dreams. Stay strong Dia! When you are tired or when you are confused, think of us(the people who support you), think of the "magic words", and think of the happy moments. There is no perfect in this world, but there is always a "better". Although you said you still have rooms to improve, anyway, I think you have done a great job and it inspired me. Dreams!
    Be yourself always, and don't lose yourself.
    I am happy that I could know you, Thank you Dia!
    We are always here:)

  32. thank you for sharing this. it means a lot to me, somehow.

  33. I enjoy reading your blogs and listening to your music. Both are truly inspirational. Your passion and hard work for your music and what you do really comes through.

    Your blogs are never a reflection of your complaints, but an expression of your experiences. Your desires, dreams and motivation to follow your passion to make music and grow as an artist. You inspire many fans to make the devotion that you and the band make every single day to not only follow your dreams, to never lose focus, but to continue to work your butt off and stay the course.

    Continue to make amazing music, because all of us fans hope that you and the band continue to grow and follow your dreams ^.^

  34. How can I, one man, say what hundred thousand
    Have not yet said, though daily they bestrew you
    With such voluminous praise that when I browse and
    Click on your name that's spread the cyber-zoo through
    I find you've got more fans than Desmond Tutu?
    Were I the good bishop I might away throw
    My fond and foolish wish through verse to woo you
    But as I'm not, forgive me when I say (though
    My chance be zero) bobohai-jusayo.

  35. I remember that 17 year old - your face literally glowed, your smile beamed, your energy seemed endless... she's still in there, even as the body slows just a little bit each year, that innocent wonder remains... always remember to stop sometimes, no matter what, no matter how busy life gets - always remember and give yourself the time to find her, nurture her, and keep in touch with her - she is your heart...

  36. lovely blog if you want we can following each other???? kiss

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  38. Great story i have always wanted to know what life was like constantly travelling and being on the road thank you for sharing your story if your read this comment Dia good luck in your journey as a musician and may you continue to have success in the future