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Published on February 27th, 2015 | by Craig Silliphant

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Dear Rouge

We chat with electro-pop duo Dear Rouge as they hit town for a show with The Arkells. Drew McTaggart is a really, really nice dude.

For a guy that has to stop talking once in awhile to cough his way through a cold, Drew McTaggart is sure in a good mood. McTaggart and his wife Danielle make up the duo electropop duo Dear Rouge and it doesn’t take me long to figure out that enthusiasm and optimism are the cornerstone of the band (and not in a weird, creepy way).

“We’re high energy,” he confirms. “We’re positive.  We’re not really writing about sad stuff.”

The McTaggarts met years ago through friends, while each were playing with different projects. Danielle McTaggart was doing a singer/songwriter thing, living in her home province of Alberta, while Drew was playing in an indie rock outfit, playing more shoegazy tunes.

“I heard her sing live and I was like, my goodness, she has a lot of enthusiasm.  She has a powerhouse vocal and she’s sitting up there with an acoustic singing a sad song. I was like, man, we need to try something together…So we got together in the studio and created Dear Rouge after we wrote a song and liked what we heard.”

After Dear Rouge arose from their studio noodlings, they ended up hooking up romantically, and in 2011 they were married.

“It feels like being married twice,” McTaggart says. “When you’re in a band, it feels like you’re married to your bandmates.  Now we’re married twice.  When we finish tour and we’re sick of sitting in the van with everyone, we go home together too.  There’s some challenges, but there’s also some huge positive things.  The fact that we can go out on the road together and one of us isn’t sitting at home.  That makes it quite easy.”

They’re on the road now, hitting O’Brian’s on the 27th with The Arkells, touring ahead of their upcoming album, ‘Black to Gold,’ which drops on March 31st.

“It’s available for pre-order on iTunes or at the shows,” McTaggart slips in.

The album is actually two years old, so the twosome are pretty hyped to release it.  But in the spirit of positivity, they have ways of keeping the songs fresh for themselves.

“When we released [the single] for Black to Gold, it was funny because people were like, Oh I love that song!  It’s so fresh!  But to us it’s old.  But each song is getting a new life and second wind because people are hearing it.  We’re always changing stuff to make it fun for us.  Maybe adding a guitar solo or a crowd participation thing.”

Dear Rouge are traveling with a backing band so they can keep the sound fat, which makes sense, because they put a lot of effort into having a lush, driving sound that’s infectiously upbeat and glossy.

“We wanted something that we could play in the summer at a festival and people would be like, wow, this is amazing, you know?  A lot of high energy.  We’re extremely positive people and we love to get people to move.  We love it when people are smiling and dancing and having fun with us.  A lot of people say that when they see us on stage it looks like we’re just having a lot of fun.”

 

This article originally appeared in Planet S Magazine.

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About the Author

Craig Silliphant

is a D-level celebrity with delusions of grandeur. A writer, critic, creative director, broadcaster, and occasional filmmaker, his thoughts have appeared on radio, television, in print, and on the web. He is a juror on the Polaris Music Prize and the Juno Awards. He loves Saskatoon. He has horrible night terrors and apocalyptic dreams.



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