Deborah Vial
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Deborah Vial

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Band Rock Adult Contemporary

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Nov
05
Deborah Vial @ ING Direct Cafe - Waikiki Beach

Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Aug
20
Deborah Vial @ House of Blues Dallas

Dallas, Texas, USA

Dallas, Texas, USA

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Deborah Vial has lived a colorful life. Even if you didn’t know about her performing for troops in combat zones or opening for bands like Concrete Blonde and Chicago, you’d still sense the depth behind her music. The songs feature a solid rock vibe but with the kind of lusciousness that can only come from a singer-songwriter. She's clearly lived every word that comes onto the page and out of her mouth. It's full, rich, passionate, and something you should hear for yourself.

The performer is mostly known in indie rock circles, living in Maui with Caron Barrett, a musician and music producer in her own right. The two are partners in life and business—pictured here are Barrett on the left, Vial on the right— and their latest album is Stages and Stones. Their video "Don't Make Me Take It," is a dark ode to obsession, sexy and disturbing, and shot by openly gay director Israel Luna (Ticked-off Trannies with Knives). Now Vial and Luna have released a video for the single “Angel,” so we chatted with her about music, her relationship with Barrett, and why being closeted isn’t an option.

What was your inspiration for Stages and Stones?
Caron and I had been involved in a lawsuit for close to three years so we stopped writing. Stages and Stones was the end result of that tunnel. I finally felt ready to write again, but I also felt very confused as to where to begin. I was a changed person. I had become a grown up.

The CD’s title came from the stages we all go through in life, the stones we step upon trying to reach the nearest safest shore, and the stones people throw while we are doing it. The fear of making a mistake. All the while knowing somewhere deep inside that you cannot be broken.

Each song is meaningful to me. I recorded them for myself and my friends. If anyone else likes them, that is an added bonus. I always hope that others will like them, but that is not the end game. I am old enough now to know it is impossible to please the masses and maintain any truth.

Why are you using Maui as a hub, rather than a more music-centric city like Los Angeles?
We did fly to LA to record the CD after numerous attempts at getting it done on Maui. But the music industry is such a different beast than it was just a few short years ago. Music is free now. People buy a song and share it. The recording studios are all hurting as well as the musicians.

I polled every player I came in contact with in LA regarding how they are making money, and everyone had the same answer: touring. You have to go on the road to make any money, and we are currently working out a European tour for Summer 2012.

That said, I do it because it is part of who I am. The idea of no longer [creating music] would be as odd as my saying, “Oh, I am no longer an Aunt.” I do it because I cannot not do it. If we make money, that is a bonus. Not the focus.

You become a crazed lesbian stalker in the video for “Don’t Make Me Take It.” How did that come about, and how did you meet director Israel Luna?
I contacted Israel Luna via Facebook after seeing his movie Ticked Off Trannies with Knives. I loved it.

"DMMTI" was a song I’d written about aggression and obsession. Not just sexual aggression but cultural and ideological aggression. [The video] needed to convey the absolute taking over of someone else. The raw power. All I told Israel was that I wanted the video to reinforce the themes in the song: crazy, raw energy.

Israel came back with [the idea of] Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, and I said, “Hell, yeah.” It was a concept I had never dreamed of, and I dug it. He is an extremely creative and talented writer/director/editor. I love the risks he takes. The videos are his art. I am merely along for the ride, hanging my head out the window. I give him complete and total free reign.

It is important to me to include members of the LGBT community in my videos. Erica Andrews and Krystal Summers, who are two of the stars of Ticked Off Trannies with Kniv - Gay.net


Deborah Vial has lived a colorful life. When the Dallas resident graduated college she spent years overseas performing for troops in Croatia, Macedonia, Iceland, Korea, Germany, and Finland to name a few. She's met NATO soldiers and marveled at men and women from utterly opposite worlds coming together for a common good, visited the Korean Demilitarized Zone, and walked the streets of Zagreb at the heels of the Croatian War for Independence with the threat of sniper fire hanging overhead.

"I have had more than my share of adventure while performing overseas," she says. "My respect for our military men and women is profound. We could not enjoy our collective life without them."

But upon returning to Dallas in 1996, she found that performing in the local bars wasn't that exciting any longer. "Britney Spears was climbing the charts with her disturbingly hairy Lolita act, and I could not find my place," she says.

Then, things changed. Vial got the opportunity to be an opening act at Lilith Fair in 1999, and this propelled her to leave her band and create her first solo CD. Soon she was opening for favorite artists like Concrete Blonde, Beth Hart, Ryan Adams, and Chicago.

She also met Caron Barrett, who owned a Dallas-based indie label called Last Beat. The two became partners in life and business, moved to Maui, and have continued producing albums (for themselves and others) ever since. Vial's work holds a solid rock vibe but with that lusciousness that can only come from a singer-songwriter; she's clearly living every word that comes onto the page and out of her mouth. It's full, rich, and passionate.

The latest album, Stages and Stones, was doing well in the indie music scene so Vial and Barrett decided to make a video from the single "Don't Make Me Take It." Enlisting openly gay director Israel Luna (Ticked-off Trannies with Knives), the video is a dark ode to obsession, both sexy and disturbing. Check it out and let us know what you think - SheWired


Deborah Vial gave up her role as lead singer for the Dallas band Blanche Fury six years ago to strike out on her own. The band gave her the opportunity to see the world, having been booked for an international tour of military bases (no one asked, so they didn't tell that the all-girl rock band just happened to be an all-lesbian rock band), but it was as a solo that she got opening slots with headliners like Chicago, Ryan Adams and Lisa Loeb, and a featured spot on the Lilith Fair stage. That solo success has culminated in the release of her first full length CD (a previous EP appeared in 1999), Cooler Heart.
The music really transcends category, with dance beats meeting rock energy and all of it subsumed to the power of Vial's distinctive, appealing and powerful voice. That voice is put in service to a set of love songs, created by Vial and a variety of collaborators over a period of three years, but there's no dewy-eyed girl pop here. Vial appears in the persona of a been-there, done-that lover without illusions. There's a challenge to the listener in every line, but it's a challenge worth meeting, and the resulting performances carry a level of depth and conviction that create one of the true rarities in the world of music - pop music for grownups.

Vial has another band project now, having joined her wife Caron Barrett's band Astrogin, but I hope she doesn't suspend her solo pursuits as a result. Cooler Heart demonstrates that she has something special to offer on her own, and I'm looking forward to the next chapter.

Track List:

Crawl * Save Me * To Ignore You * Cooler Heart * Tell Me (Bella's Song) * Little Crimes * Good Sex * Confident * Trophy Wife (DJ Mikel Yates Re-Mix) * Crawl (DJ Mikel Yates Re-Mix) * Good Sex (DJ Mikel Yates Re-Mix)

© 2003 - Shaun Dale

- Cosmik Debris


Discography

Deborah Vial
"Stages and Stones" - 2011
Tracks - Don't Make Me Take It, Simple Girl, Stages and Stones, Angel, Lose Again, Deals With God, All About You

(Executive Producer - Caron Barrett, Produced and Engineered by Jeff Halbert at Dave's Room, Los Angeles and Caron's Room, Haiku, HA, Co-produced by Caron Barrett, mixed by Jeff Halbert.)

Deborah Vial Band
"Live In Dallas (at the Granada)" - 2008
Tracks - Crawl, Blue Skies, Bored, Poison Arrow, Soon, Please, Little Crimes, Make a move, Tell Me

Astrogin
"Dynamic Trash" - 2004
Tracks - Tell Me, Blankets, Bored, Same, Kiss Me, Tyler Roses, Red Tape, What Could I Do, Time Ticks, I Realize, Why Do I Call, Mystery, Flowers

Deborah Vial
"Cooler Heart" - 2002
Tracks - Crawl, Save Me, To Ignore You, Cooler Heart, Tell Me, Little Crimes, Good Sex, Confident, Trophy Wife (DJ remix), Crawl (DJ remix), Good Sex (DJ remix)

Deborah Vial
"Stretcher" - 1999
Tracks - Good To You, Blue Skies, Everybody Knows, Kiss Me Now, Make A Move

Photos

Bio

And there she stood, a middle-aged woman dressed in a tight black skirt, an equally ill-fitting bolero jacket that I imagined she had pulled from the back of her closet questioning herself if it was still in style after all these years.

She took the microphone from my hands and she sang. I listened as she warbled "Happy Birthday" and I saw my entire future unfold. I realized that I was not but a few years away from being the woman in the bolero jacket. A voice long gone, if it ever was at all. Singing a drunk "Happy Birthday" while people marveled that I was still alive. No. That was not going to be me.

I had had a good run. After graduating college, I spent the next couple of years overseas performing for our troops. I love to tell people that I have seen every country you never dreamed of seeing…… Because you don't want to. Croatia, Macedonia, Iceland, Korea, Germany, Finland to name a few. I have spent time in tents while performing for the NATO troops and marveled at the wonder of men and women from utterly opposite worlds coming together for a common good. I have visited the Korean DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) where North and South Korea touch each other like children, bound by blood, both scared of the others shadow. I have walked the streets of Zagreb at the heels of the Croatian War for Independence with the threat of sniper fire hanging overhead. I have had more than my share of adventure while performing overseas. My respect for our military men and women is profound. We could not enjoy our collective life without them.

I came back to Dallas in 1996 and began performing in the local bars after traveling had lost its luster. I found myself without a road map as to where I was going. The music industry was changing. Britney Spears was climbing the charts with her disturbingly hairy Lolita act and I could not find my place. I had released a "Live" CD with my former band, "Blanche Fury", but I was searching for my own sound. I had the opportunity to be an opening act at Lilith Fair in 1999. That event alone propelled me into my first solo CD "Stretcher". I began opening for many of my favorite artists; Concrete Blonde, Beth Hart, Ryan Adams, even huge monster bands like Chicago. Too many to recollect. Too many glasses of wine between then and now to fully recall.

I met Caron Barrett in 1996. She owned a Dallas-based indie label called "Last Beat". She was also the silent partner in most of the cool restaurants and clubs in Dallas' trendy "Deep Ellum". A mover and a shaker, a guitar player and very attractive to me. We became friends but more on a peripheral level. I signed to her record label and in 2001, after the singer in her personal band, "Astrogin", ended their musical relationship with the throw of a shoe to the head, I stepped in and filled the void. I was more than happy to because Caron and I had begun dating and I knew I was in love. Caron began playing guitar for me at my "Deborah Vial" gigs and I became the singer for her band "Astrogin". I released my second solo CD "Cooler Heart" in 2002 and we released the Astrogin CD "Dynamic Trash" in 2004 produced by the amazing Nick Griffiths of Pink Floyd fame.

But I got burned out.

We both felt like it was time for a change. I wanted to learn a new trick. I wanted to learn how to cook and entertain and grow vegetables. Things that maybe people that are more firmly planted than I had ever been, know how to do. By the Fall of 2004, we moved to Maui with our six dogs. It was not the idyllic situation that you are probably imagining. I will reserve those stories for another time as this is supposed to be a bio.

In 2010, after six years of performing intermittently, the release of a "Live at the Granada Theater" DVD in 2008, we began writing again. We released "Stages and Stones" in August 2011. Produced by Jeff Halbert with additional production input by Caron, recorded at Dave Bianco's studio in North Hollywood. The CD rocks. A complete portray