NoiseTrade One-on-One

CLIF Bar Bash: Spotlight Interview with The Secret Sisters

sxsw-2017_clifbarbash-mixtapecoverWe’ve got FOUR DAYS of day parties planned during SXSW this year and we’ll be bringing you over 60 bands on both stages at The Blackheart. We’re partnering with CLIF Bars for our first two days (Tuesday, March 14 and Wednesday, March 15) and you can RSVP here:

To help get you ready for the musical melee of our CLIF Bar Bash day parties at The Blackheart (3/14-3/15), here’s a spotlight interview with The Secret Sisters.

NoiseTrade: For your forthcoming third full-length record, you’ve been recording with Brandi Carlile as your producer. How did that partnership come about and how has the experience been for you?

Lydia Rogers: We met Brandi for the first time back in 2010, when we were invited to open a tour for her and Ray Lamontagne. We spent that entire summer on the road with her, and became fast friends. I think Brandi connected with us because of our mutual love for classic country, and since then she has taken us under her wing and has been a huge support source for us, in good times and bad.

Laura Rogers: The experience of working with her in the studio surpassed anything we ever imagined. We all worked smoothly together, she helped us craft our newest batch of songs into something we are more proud of than anything else we’ve done. It was special to watch Brandi and the Twins find their groove as producers, and I think they have a real knack for it. I think part of what made the collaboration so unique is that they are all performers. They know what it’s like to create something in the studio that you intend to recreate in a live setting, and so all of our work together focused on making a studio product that could be easily replicated at our shows. She taught us to be better singers, she helped us find more confidence in ourselves, and when you listen to the record, you can tell that it was a really perfect match.

NT: While your first two albums definitely share the common denominator of your otherworldly sibling harmonies, there are also distinct sonic differences in the musical direction of both release. What can you tell us about the songs and sounds that will surround and support your vocals this third time around?

Laura: With the 3rd record, our songwriting inspiration mostly came from a 2-year period in our lives and careers that shook our belief in ourselves and our music. So there are songs about heaviness and how to release it, songs about losing everything we thought was important, songs about discovering what it is that grounds us and makes us who we are. The sibling harmony part hasn’t changed; we will always be harmonizers. But these songs feel more raw, more honest than anything we’ve ever written before.

Lydia: As we made this record, we all agreed that sonic perfection and pristine vocals shouldn’t be the goal. If they happened accidentally, then they could stay in the final mix, but we really wanted to allow our human-ness to be heard. This album has all the things our fans like about us, but it feels like we’ve finally found our groove as singers and songwriters. We know, more than ever, what we want to sound like, and we’re proud to have figured out how to stay true to ourselves while still pushing ourselves to grow.

NT: Since this is your first SXSW, what are you looking most forward to?

Lydia: I’m most excited about seeing some new music that we haven’t discovered yet, and about seeing folks we know who are performing. We’ve always heard about how mind-boggling SXSW is, and so I think we’re both curious to see it in person. Literally everyone we know in the music world goes to SXSW each year, so it’s going to be cool to finally be going ourselves.

Laura: I’m looking forward to the music, of course, but I also know Austin has great food, so logically, I’m looking forward to eating.

NT: Are you altering your normal setlist/show in any way for the SXSW audience?

Laura: We are definitely going to incorporate a lot of our new songs into the set. SXSW feels like a good time to show folks what they can expect on our new album, so the goal is to get people excited about the upcoming release.

NT: Are there any bands or panels at SXSW that you are planning to check out yourself?

Lydia: We definitely want to try to see some of our hometown friends at the Single Lock Showcase at Weather Up. Otherwise we’ll probably take recommendations from folks once we get into town. That usually works best for us when we are overwhelmed by how many bands there are to see!

NT: What made you pick the song you did for our NoiseTrade SXSW sampler?

Laura: This is actually a previously released song of ours, called “You’ve Got It Wrong.” It’s a special recording of the song, which we wrote several years ago when I was going through a terrible relationship. We think this song embodies everything anyone needs to know about us: sisters singing harmony on a really sad song.