Juno Award-winning band Dear Rouge made an appearance at Osheaga this year, offering an energetic show to music lovers. They took the time to talk about plans for a new album, the origin of their band name, and the layers to music.
Confront: What do you think of Osheaga so far?
Danielle: Amazing. Big!
Danielle: I’m really looking forward to seeing the bands and the different Montreal bands we haven’t really heard of.
Drew: The grounds are unreal. It’s on an island and we took a golf cart along the river and it’s amazing.
Confront: Apparently your band name is a play on Red Deer, Alberta. Would you say certain locations inspire your songwriting and sound?
Danielle: Yes and no.
Drew: Yes and no. We can’t get away from where we’re born. I was born in Vancouver and the Seattle, Portland music scene really shaped what I listened to post high school. And there’s a lot of go-tos that I do in my songwriting now because of the early stuff. And same with Danielle.
We used it as a joke, I was joking with my brother. And he was like you should call the band after something about the girl, where she’s from. And I said well, Red Deer, there’s nothing cool about that.
Danielle: Aww, Drew, don’t say that! It’s awesome.
Drew: We switched it around and then we called it Dear Rouge. We thought that sounded cool. We changed it like a letter, addressing the color red, and rouge in French is like passion. So it really resonated with us and our music.
Danielle: So it started with remembering where you’re from and it ended up with addressing passion and love in your life.
Danielle: That song was written inspired by a children’s book that I loved growing up, and I read it recently when we were writing the album. It’s called The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis. I read a part that was talking about Edmund walking through these fields and how they were all changing from the snow and the cold to this warm colour, and everything was coming back to life. It really touched me, thinking about the phases and seasons of life that we go through where it’s not so good and not so bright, and it’s cold and it sucks, then moving into that new season when it becomes a beautiful thing because you’ve learnt so much and you’ve grown. It becomes a part of who you are.
Confront: Which of your songs is the most meaningful to you right now?
Danielle: I would probably say “Black to Gold” for me, because of what I said and also because it was a single that made a big impact and when we play it live, I can feel that connection between myself and the audience.
Drew: I would say “Tongues” because it was the last song that we put on our album. We’d barely signed with the label, and we wanted to put one more song on and we had to fight for it. They said the album was fine, so we spent our own money to record it and then we snuck it on there last second, and it’s become a huge part of who we are right now. It was a radio single so it’s special. It feels like our sincere fight to put out music.
Confront: What’s the best aspect of being in a band with your significant other?
Drew: The best aspect is that you don’t have to leave them at home when you go on tour.
Danielle: That would be hard.
Drew: It would be impossible. It’s hard because we spend 99% of our time with each other, but if I was to go on tour, knowing what tour entails, to leave my spouse at home, it would be horrible. I don’t think it’s a way to last long. They have to find a way to come on or you have to be creative in how you tour. A lot of artists will say that, so we’re very grateful for that.
Danielle: I would say that the creative aspect is really cool. There’s no question whether that person is in it for the right reasons or who wrote how much percentage of a song or anything like that. It’s more this equal partnership. We’re still individuals obviously but we very much share the same vision and that’s easy if you think about a lot of bands who break up based on how much a person wrote on a song. That’s a big one, there’s arguments over that.
Confront: Are there plans for a new album?
Drew: We’re right in the middle. We are just booking recording studio time this week and we’re playing three new songs today in our set. And we’re happy about our new stuff.
Confront: What would you say your motto is these days?
Danielle: There’s nothing to lose. There’s only a lot to gain, and I would say that we’re just going full force ahead with this dream of doing music and not letting anything slow us down.
Drew: My motto is be present. In music, you can look ahead to our next album, you can look ahead ten years from now. You can look to the past. But be where you are right now. And right now we’re in Osheaga, we’re about to play a set, and that’s great.