The second season of NBC’s hit television series “The Voice” premiered immediately after the Super Bowl to a record 39.6 million viewers. The singing competition featuring coaches Christina Aguilera, Cee-Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine is a cultural phenomenon and The Current’s Mark Lewis was recently able to catch-up with the runner-up from the first season, Dia Frampton during a tour stop at Sacramento’s Power Balance Pavilion where she opened-up for her “coach” Blake Shelton. Read a review of Frampton’s actual performance by clicking on http://www.arcurrent.com/top-stories/2012/03/26/american-river-college-meets-the-voices-dia-frampton/ and discover whether Frampton was more than just a great interview.
The Current: Good afternoon Dia thank you for taking the time to talk to us.
Dia Frampton: Yeah, absolutely thanks for having me.
So Dia, Javier is crowned the winner of season one of The Voice with you becoming the runner-up. Describe that exact moment when the studio lights shut-off and you’re in the car leaving the Universal back-lot – what did you do?
I felt a lot of relief actually because I felt that Javier really deserved to win and I didn’t really want to win [laughs]. I felt comfortable being runner-up. Javier has an amazing voice and he had his family there. It’s one of those things that during season one of The Voice I feel like because we all really didn’t know what it was and we didn’t have any pre-conceived notions we all became really good friends and I think that people could tell that it was really genuine on camera. Javier came out to the show in Seattle because he was doing the morning news out there and Xenia just came to a show in Bakersfield. We also keep in contact and hangout. If any of the top four had taken the crown I feel I would have been happy. The reason I was relieved on the drive home was because it was just this big, long thing that began in January and we were sequestered in a hotel and had auditions and even before the blind auditions people don’t know that there were three auditions and it was just a long, long process we had to go through to get to that point. I also felt really proud of Javier and proud of myself. It was a flood of emotions. I felt very grateful to Blake and very grateful to Miranda. I got to sing my last song with her on the show that was really probably one of the most special moments of the entire show to sing for the last time with Miranda Lambert who I’ve looked up too. It was just a flood of emotions. Sorry, I just kind of rambled [laughs].
Not at all, it’s endearing [laughs]. Now you’re no stranger to touring and recording. You’ve recorded records with your sister Meg in the past and last year you released your first solo album entitled “Red.” Describe how “Red” came about in terms of getting a label and essentially embarking on what is now your solo career?
Yeah you know my solo career just kind of happened and a lot of people have asked me “why did you choose a solo career?” and I say ‘why did a solo career choose me?’ because as you know I’ve been in a band for a really long time and I could have gone solo in the past and I feel like it kind of got to the point where I have this polished bucket that I was holding my whole entire life that as soon as all the lemons fall in this bucket I’m going to make awesome lemonade so that’s what I’m going to do. So I just spent years touring and working really hard making records at my mom’s house and just sitting there the whole time polishing that bucket waiting for the lemons. This is a really weird metaphor I know. Then I feel like one day as I was polishing that bucket, a bunch of lemons poured down into this laundry basket that was sitting next to me. For a really long time I was thinking to myself why did the lemons fell into the laundry basket while I was waiting for them to fall into here but a really important thing that a friend told me when I talked about whether I should do this solo thing was that he said ‘You know what – we all have dreams and we all have ambitions but things don’t always work the way they do on paper or the way they do in your head or the way you’ve been hoping for. It’s so silly for you to ignore the fact that the lemons fell in the laundry basket and you can work on the fact that the lemons fell in the laundry basket and he said you know you can move them over to the other bucket and that can work in end. Sometimes that happens and you have to work with the change.’ After he said that I felt that it clicked in my head and I went and talked to the band and I said ‘Listen – 11 million people just saw my name and it would be king of silly to go back to the band.’ Granted a lot of people during this time wouldn’t know that you were in Meg and Dia and there wouldn’t really be a big difference but it really would be a huge difference and I feel like I’m still getting people who are listening to Meg and Dia and are saying ‘Oh I didn’t know you were the Dia from The Voice and I watching that with my mom and it just clicked.’ So I couldn’t go back to that. Right now the same people that I’ve been with for six years are still in the band and touring with me and Meg helped write my record however a lot of things have changed. It’s been an interesting transition, sometimes stressful because I’m not used to being the quote, un-quote, front woman but we’re going with that change and we’re making lemonade out of lemons.
I’d be re-missed if I didn’t mention meeting you and your sister, Meg during a stop on the Warped Tour a few years back. Together, you both really stood-out and made an impact! What is performing like now that you are on your own?
There is a lot of pressure because I feel like most of the time all eyes are on me. It’s stressful because even the on-stage banter has changed because between songs we’d talk and I’d turn my back and drink some water and walk around. This time after every song I have to be the front woman and engage the audience and the one thing that’s helped me is Blake on tour because he such an amazing front person. The moment he goes on stage, everybody loves him. He just has the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. It’s amazing and it’s effortless and it’s genuine. Every night you tell that he loves the crowd and the crowd loves him and he’s not reading off a script and he’s being honest on stage. I’ve just learned so much from him.
What can a sold-out crowd here in Sacramento expect from you performance-wise this evening and in future shows?
That’s always a hard question because with a live show you can never know what to expect. Every show is different. I think about a week ago, Meg had food poisoning and was sick, felt like crap and had her head in a toilet but she had to play a show. There’s always something so different with what’s going on. Granted that we had food poisoning and we don’t want to bring that back [laughs] but it’s just always a different environment. An important thing I learned from Blake is that you have to give it your all and you’re there for the music. I also have to realize that the crowd – you know something could have happened to one of them like they broke-up with their boyfriends and they come to the show. It’s always just that energy that you have to feed off of. I always get so happy when I see someone singing the lyrics – for me that’s such a personal thing and it really boosts my excitement for being there. If I see somebody singing the lyrics, I get all tickled inside.
A lot of people in attendance are going to get to hear your solo stuff for the first time this evening – do you feel a sense of pressure to perform “Heartless” because that’s what fans of The Voice might be expecting?
On the Blake tour I’m only doing 20 to 25 minutes to open the show so I play all songs from “Red” because I want the audience to get a good taste of what we’re doing now. If I do have an hour, I’ll play “Heartless” from time to time and I felt at first that it was weird to play the covers from The Voice. I kind of want to represent myself as an artist and not a reality television person. At the same time, I have to look at the fact that “Heartless” propelled my career and I am really grateful to that song. It really is a special song to me. I don’t know… mixed emotions.
Is Dia tuning into the new season of “The Voice?”
I definitely am watching the new season!
Sacramento’s pride and joy Lindsey Pavao has been compared ad naseum to you. Do you see the similarities?
I do. It’s hard for me to step outside of myself and look at it for another person’s perspective. To me, just because somebody has a similar voice doesn’t mean it would shoot them toward me. I don’t know, I think as an artist you’re always going to be compared to me. The important thing right now is that they are comparing her to me tone-wise. She might put-out a record and it might be all Nirvana-like who knows? I’m excited for everybody watching The Voice.
Do you have any words of advice for Lindsey going forward after she’s just won her first battle round?
I would say one thing. Take everything day by day. Go slowly and don’t get ahead of yourself. Don’t start learning three songs in case you make it to the finals. I think you should focus on the one song you are doing and hone it in. Prepare yourself mentally and don’t get over-excited and too wrapped-up in it because there were amazing singers that went home during the battle rounds and that doesn’t mean that they’re bad singers. A lot of the show is so many different factors. Everybody is incredible. It’s not like American Idol where there’s months of auditions with random people. The second thing, which I think is the most important, is don’t read the internet. I don’t want people looking up their blind audition on YouTube and seeing some bad comments and freaking out because that’s not what you need on your plate right now. I know that there are good comments but there are also so many that you don’t need to be a part of. Surround yourself with your family and friends and you don’t need to read a 13-year-old’s mean comment on a YouTube video or something ridiculous.
Finally, what’s next for Dia Frampton when the Blake tour wraps?
In April and May we are probably going to take a break. After that we are hopefully going to go overseas and tour. After that we have no tours confirmed but we have submitted for a lot of late summer and fall tours but we are definitely hoping to be out on the road.