By Trevor Morelli
CALGARY – Vancouver’s Dear Rouge, the husband and wife duo Drew and Danielle McTaggart, are a musical power couple who are not easily bothered by close quarters, minor squabbles and bringing a marriage into the music. “I can’t imagine Drew being out there and me not being able to experience all of the stuff that he’s experiencing. I think it would be a real disconnect. We love it and it works super well for us,” says Danielle.
It’s been a hectic year for the Juno award-winning duo, putting in numerous reps in on the sweaty summer music festival circuit and all the while promoting their latest album, Phases, released in the spring.
“Festival days are a little bit chaotic,” says Drew. “But on the other hand, the overall festival vibes are the best time to be a band because you’re playing in the summer, you’re travelling to different cities, you’re not really playing on tour,” he explains. “You kind of fly in to a festival on the weekend and then you have the week off, so it’s really balanced. And then you get to see all the other bands that you’re fans of, cause it’s super fun to be able to do that and hang out with other bands.”
“We love it,” Danielle seconds. “We’ve had the opportunity to be right next to like, Jack White, one show we watched him the whole time. We were side stage for Cage the Elephant and the lead singer just stayed and hung out with us. So, it’s just cool to feel like no matter what level you’re at as a band, in that moment you’re all just peers and you’re all pursuing creative endeavors and being the most honest you can be in your music. It’s pretty sweet. Festival season is amazing.”
After breaking into the mainstream with their debut LP Black to Gold (2015, Universal), which featured the hit single “I Heard I Had,” Dear Rouge knew they had to come up with something special for the follow-up effort. Danielle says there was pressure to repeat and build on that initial success, but the band focused on growing rather than living up to outside expectations.
“We tried super hard not to let that affect us, knowing that this was kind of a moment in time that every band thinks about, like ‘Oh, is this going to be as good as the first album? Are we going to grow?’ and all those questions,” she enlightens.
“At the end of the day, we felt like ‘Oh yeah, we’re stoked on these songs,’ and it was a really fun journey. And it basically strengthened our own creative desires, what we actually wanted to make and what we felt like we believed in and the things we wanted to say through our music.”
“You’re setting your trajectory almost, like you’re locking it in,” adds Drew. “We spent ages writing a bunch of different stuff to make sure this was exactly what we wanted to do.”
Dear Rouge perform October 25 at Access Event Centre (Morden), October 26 at The Exchange (Regina), October 30 at Bo’s Bar & Grill (Red Deer), Nov 2 at Starlite Room (Edmonton), Nov 3 at The Palace (Calgary), Nov 5 Hume Hotel & Spa (Nelson), Nov 7 Sapphire (Kelowna), Nov 8 The Blue Grotto (Kamloops), Nov 9 Commodore Ballroom (Vancouver), Nov 10 Capital Ballroom (Victoria)Access Event Centre, Bo’s Bar & Grill, Capital Ballroom, Commodore Ballroom, Dear Rouge, Hume Hotel & Spa, Sapphire, Starlite Room, The Blue Grotto, The Exchange, The Palace