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Not just a girl and a guitar

The band TFS in 2018 (from left): Fiona Kitschin, Gareth Liddiard, Erica Dunn (OW2003) and Lauren Hammel

As a thirteen-year-old, Erica Dunn (OW2003) would grab her guitar and head off to the city to busk. She is now in three successful Australian bands and has a long list of distinguished achievements, including a coveted ARIA award for the Best Hard Rock/ Heavy Metal Album 'Deep States' with band Tropical F*** Storm (TFS), who are currently touring Australia.

An enviable Australian music success story, in 2018, eight months after their first live gig, TFS were releasing their debut LP 'A Laughing Death' with Meatspace and booking a US tour! Never again would Erica be pigeonholed as 'a girl and a guitar,’ even though she still enjoys exploring that side of her art.

Erica has also received critical acclaim for her work with other bands including Palm Springs, Harmony and Mod Con, and won Live Guitarist of the Year at the National Live Music Awards in 2019, Best Female Musician at the Music Victoria Awards and a host of other nominations for work with Mod Con, and their recently released second album, Modern Condition.

Erica’s exceptional talent and passion runs deep. Her lyrical contributions, lead guitar, lead vocals and work on the keys often leave patrons in awe, especially those unfamiliar with her prodigious skills at live shows and gigs.

Involved in the arts from a young age, her talents were nurtured throughout her years at Wesley, with standout performances in Drama, Music and Theatre offering a glimpse of things to come. 'Palm Springs & Friends' came out of her time in New York in 2017 after she successfully applied for a song writing residency.

Erica has also found time post-Wesley to teach refugees and following exploration of the punk and rock scenes in the UK, spent close to a decade broadcasting in the drivetime slot on Tuesdays at PBS106.7, only recently giving up this much loved position due to touring commitments.

Awards that are highly regarded in the industry seem to accumulate on an old piano at her parents’ house. It’s not that Erica doesn’t value these accolades, but the guess is, it’s a combination of limited space and it not being in her nature to show these things off!

Dawson Hann

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