ADALITA supplied pic of adalita

Flat out: Adalita de-stresses by doing ''mundane'' things such as going for a walk or watching TV.

A quintessential rock chick and the former frontwoman of Australian rock band Magic Dirt, Adalita Srsen is back on the scene with a spirited new album, All Day Venus, a coming national tour and a renewed sense of purpose.

At 42, she has survived relationship meltdowns and the loss of former partner, mentor and bandmate Dean Turner (from a rare form of tissue cancer, in 2009), as well as shifting styles and tastes, to emerge triumphant and still in-demand, both on record and in person. The guitar-wielding Srsen - daughter of a Croatian street performer - fronted Magic Dirt for 20 years, delivering hits with the Victorian alternative rockers such as 2002's Plastic Loveless Letter.

Then, at Turner's prompting, she embarked on an acclaimed solo career. She was once in a band named Deer Bubbles, has been a popular regular on the SBS television show RocKwiz, and remains a beloved fixture in the Australian music community. When not touring, she helps champion animal rights, has been a vegan since her teens and is a keen photographer. Today, she headlines St Jerome's Laneway music festival with her new band.

I'd describe my latest album as …

Oh, I don't know, I just write the songs [laughs]. It's dark, it's moody. It has a strength and a vulnerability to it. There's a band involved, so it's an energetic, loud experience. It's a collection of songs, rather than some journey. It's a menagerie of tunes.

My inspiration these days comes from …

Well, I went through a hard time relationship-wise, went through some major changes, and so I documented a lot of that. I always seem to be documenting the bad bits [laughs].

Making a living as a working musician today is …

Hard. It's hard to get people out to shows. People aren't buying records. Technology has completely changed everything. It's pretty dire. I'm not sure if it'll get worse or better. But music is so important, such a big part of people's lives, so hopefully we'll find a way to keep going.

What I try not to do is …

Focus on the money side of things. If I start concentrating on that, I just worry, which isn't very productive. I can't imagine what it's like for kids just starting out today, I don't know how they'll make a living out of it.

My inspirations when I started out were …

I've always been inspired by people like Kate Bush and David Bowie, [and] when I was younger, unique artists, a little bit odd. I'm a bit weird, a bit odd, so I guess I felt aligned with artists like that. As I got into the alternative scene, bands like Sonic Youth, guys of our era, were a big influence as well. But I'm constantly inspired by local bands, too. And artists like Neil Young. A bit of everything.

On my stereo …

I've been listening to a lot of 1950s male pop acts - bands like the Everly Brothers. And classical music.

My goals for this year are …

To be more productive; to write songs for the whole year, not just for the couple of months leading up to an album. I've got a lot of ideas, I feel really full of songs, so I'll just write. There'll be more of me out there in 2014.

To unwind I …

Watch TV, or go for a walk. Really mundane things, things that my brain can switch off. That gets me quite relaxed.

Adalita performs today at St Jerome's Laneway Festival (sold out) at Sydney College of the Arts, Rozelle. See lanewayfestival.com.