If you have good tunes and your hard-working there will be a path for you no matter what.
I recently had the chance to talk with Danielle from Dear Rouge about the release of their newest album, Phases, their recently embarked on tour and what the future holds for women in the music industry.
So originally, back in the day, you were in a band called Gaetz Ave. and Drew was in a band called Maclean. From the time those bands existed and starting Dear Rouge in 2012, how have you seen the Canadian music landscape change? Either for better or for worse.
Yeah that was my first band ever. Drew was in a way cooler band than me; he’s always been way cooler then me. I guess there is good and bad. For us it’s been amazing. I find now we can control the artistic side of it. Back when we started it was controlled more by the labels and the industry. Now we just have more say and more creative control then ever before. I mean all artists have that opportunity to make something and put it out there and create buzz and excitement around the music without needing that whole process. I feel that’s been the biggest change, with regards to social media, like Spotify and Apple Music. Streaming services have almost become the new radio even though radio is still important. Our country is amazing in supporting its artist and I’ve recognized that over the last five or six years.
I realize you probably had this question before but I still have to ask. How is it being in a band with your husband?
(Laughing) I would say being in a band with Drew has to be the best case scenario. I think I would be jealous if I was sitting at home while he was on the road meeting all these amazing people and playing music. I would say the pros way out weigh the cons. Also though, we don’t hold back, if there’s something we want to fight for or want to do… I mean you’re brutally honest with the person you’re married to. Sometimes I feel bad for the guys in our band. They get to see Drew and I argue about things. Being in a band is like being married in a certain way because you’re with those people non-stop and you get to know each other so well.
On tour, being with the rest of the guys, do you manage to find time for yourself? Does everyone figure out their own time to just do their own thing? Do you ever get sick of each other?
Everyone, now because we’ve been doing it for a long, we know when somebody needs their space or to just take a break. I’m definitely a take a walk, just put my headphones in person or I’ll find a random $10 pedicure spot. Drew never get sick of people; he’s always in the middle of the party. With any job you just need that time to recoup. Nature walks are my jam.
Phases, your new album, came out March 9th and the first single, Boys & Blondes, was released last October. Are we due for a second single anytime soon?
When we release Boys & Blondes as a single we didn’t think it would stay on the charts as long as it has, which is really cool. It was meant to be a song that just said we’re back and we want to kick ass. We’re just waiting for that song to have it stay in the sun and we will move on to the second single. Our song, Black to Gold, got to number two on the charts but we’re still really wanting that number one. I just want that little SOCAN trophy.
The tour you’re on now just started March 27th. How does the rest of 2018 look for Dear Rouge?
We’re on this tour until mid-April and then we’re going to go down to the States. Rather than touring across the whole country we’re just picking a select few cities to try and play multiple times. So, we’re going to do Seattle, Portland, and other West Coast cities and then New York where we lived for a year; we’ve got a lot of friends there. Then we’ll probably hit L.A. and Chicago. Summer, we’re doing a bunch of really wicked festivals. Festival season is the best. I love it so much!
At the Junos this year Buffy Saint-Marie and Grimes did a wonderful intro, before Lights performance, about how proud they are of women in the music industry in Canada, yet there is still a long way to go before women are seen as equals. As the front woman of Dear Rouge, have you had any struggles and do you feel that the statement still rings true?
I personally have become more confident with my own roll and my place in the music industry. I think that helps with pushing the cause of women being equal to men in this industry. But yes there still is a long way to go before it will be equal. Even in terms with how many women are in successful bands compared to male bands in the industry, we have a ways to go on that front. It’s becoming more important to have diversity. I feel good and respected, I guess less mansplained to, if you want to use that term.
Do you feel an added responsibility being a female representative in the music industry?
The best thing you can do is just be you and not be afraid to say things that you believe in. Just be your true self. I feel like that would be inspiring to others. I don’t feel pressure to try and be the face of the movement. I just need to keep doing what I do and if people ask me I’ll answer, Yeah, women are wicked! One thing I can say, at the Junos, when I saw the Lights drawings of all the women who have been nominated, something happened in me where I just realized one thing we can do as women is support one another. That’s one thing I feel a responsibility to do more of. I need to push other women forward rather than be intimidated by some bad-ass chick.