Punk rock circus comes to town
It's half a lifetime since Brody Dalle ran away to join the punk rock circus.
After 18 years in the fast lanes of Los Angeles, she returns home to Australia to unveil her new band to thousands in Melbourne on Friday and Saturday.
The former Melbourne denizen's opening gig for the epic Queens of the Stone Age-Nine Inch Nails double-header is all about the kids. She married QOTSA frontman Josh Homme in 2007. Their daughter Camille, 8, and son Orrin, 2, are part of the entourage.
''It's not easy,'' Dalle said. ''[Homme] makes a lot of sacrifices. He's got to be away from the kids and any shred of a normal life goes out the window.''
Album and tour-wise, ''he's been on-cycle and I've been off-cycle.
"Now he's ending and I'm starting so it kind of worked out perfectly.''
Diploid Love, out on April 25, is the first album under Dalle's name after fronting the Distillers, Spinnerette and Sourpuss, which she formed as a student of Melbourne's fabled Rock'n'Roll High School in 1995.
That connection paid off in life-altering style that year, when Sourpuss was invited to play the Somersault Festival with US grunge royalty including Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth, Foo Fighters and Beck. At the Sydney gig, the day before Dalle's 17th birthday, she met Tim Armstrong of the American ska-punk band Rancid. She left Australia to marry him soon after.
''It was like life began,'' she said. Not that it was all roses.
''I had to grow up really fast. I moved to LA and ... became this domesticated 18-year-old. I lived in this very different musical world and I was married to a man who was 14 years older than me and that started to cause a lot of problems.''
Her punk rock attack hasn't mellowed much with Diploid Love, but as the title suggests, her new family with Homme has informed her subject matter significantly. The first single is titled Meet the Foetus/Oh the Joy.
''I thought I would write my kids a love letter in that song,'' she said. ''There's lot of little messages just for them on my record.'' They even make a giggling and splashing cameo on I Don't Need Your Love, ''having a blast in the bath''.
Brody Dalle, Queens of the Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails New Zealand dates
Vector Arena, Auckland - March 19
TSB Bank Arena, Wellington - March 20
CBS Canterbury Arena, Christchurch - March 22