Continuing on with our women in music series featuring women in outstanding bands, we’re landing in Nashville with Roanoke and their own Taylor Dupuis. She’s one-half of the vocal pair that breathe life into the Americana sound they’ve created, and that can be heard on their self-titled debut, out May 13. So yup, this Friday. So before you mark your calendars to pick up a copy of that – make sure to read what Taylor had to say about being in the band, taking care of business, saying goodbye and more.
Kendra: Did you guys head to Nashville to pursue music, or were you guys lucky enough to live there already?
Taylor Dupuis: We all moved to Nashville to pursue music. Joey and Kyle moved here together from West Palm Beach Florida. I moved here from Michigan after meeting a couple of the touring members of Foreigner at my hosting job. I was trying to decide where to move to pursue music and decided to ask them their opinion. I ended up moving to Nashville about a month later. Kyle, Joey, and I met here in Nashville and started playing music together. We then met Zach through a mutual friend and jammed with him and found out he was from the same town as Kyle and Joey. We all clicked immediately, personally and musically, and thus began Roanoke.
Kendra: Was the duo-vocals a conscious decision or did that develop over time?
Taylor: Joey and I both moved to Nashville to pursue solo careers as musicians. We met while working together at B.B. Kings and we were both new to town and always looking to collaborate. We started singing together which eventually lead to writing together. Joey wrote a song called “This Love” that ended up on the album. I added some harmonies and our voices blended so well together that we just kept writing and singing together. Eventually we decided that going the duo direction was something we had to do, or at least try; before meeting each other singing in a duo was never really something either of us thought about, but the harmonies, the songs, and the voices were there, and it just made sense.
Kendra: Whatever it was, it works beautifully on your self-titled debut out in May. If you had to compare the album to one place in Nashville, where would that be and why?
Taylor: Thank you so much! Probably our house. Which is kind of weird to say, but we all live together and the album is a product of all of us coming together as bandmates, housemates, and as a family. Having a house together has given us a safe creative space to come together and create songs that we love. We spend a lot of time outside, and nature has a big influence on all of us. On a bigger scale I would say East Nashville. East Nashville is such an amazing community with so many talented musicians that we look up to and have even become great friends with. It is such an encouraging group of people. Its got that small town feel, which I love because I grew up in a small town called Freeland, MI. Everyone seems to know everyone, and everyone is so receptive of the music that’s happening all around East Nashville. So that small town feel definitely plays a part in the album.
Kendra: It’s got this great Americana sound, and I’ve noticed a lot more younger people are getting into the scene in recent years. So much so it’s getting more mainstream. Why do you think that is?
Taylor: I think that people are really starting to appreciate it more. To me, Americana is true, honest, raw, inspiring music, and I think it’s really a breath of fresh air to some people. In the past few years or so music has been going in one direction, and I think that people are beginning to notice the musicians that are branching out. Americana is great because it has so many influences, and it doesn’t put musicians in a box, or categorize them into one genre. Its got country, blues, folk, rock, etc. A lot of these Americana artists are using influences from older music, which is great. Artists like Brandi Carlile, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, and Chris Stapleton are really paving the way for Americana artists. I think that Americana music will continue to grow and I honestly can’t wait to see the response. We are really excited to be part of the Americana uprising.
Kendra: One song that can be found on the debut is “Heavy Goodbyes.” What’s your advice for dealing with saying adios to someone for good?
Taylor: That’s a good question. It’s something so many people have to endure and it’s never easy. When I started writing “Heavy Goodbyes” I thought about how difficult it is to say goodbye to someone you love, and I thought about how I would handle that situation, if I were never able to see that person again. My advice is, enjoy the time you have with that person, instead of wasting time on saying goodbye. If it is meant to be, it will be. Think of your loved one fondly for however long, but let them go.
Kendra: Back to the band. You play a big part, often managing the business end of things. Is this because women get things done or just because you happen to be the best at it in the band?
Taylor: I think a little of both? I have a Communications Degree so that definitely helps with the business side of things. My mom always taught me to work hard for what I want, and I’ve never wanted anything more than to play music for a living. I always knew it would be hard work so the work doesn’t bother me. I just look at it as something that has to be done, or else I won’t be able to do what I love. It also helps that I always have to be doing something productive. I’m working my butt off so that we can continue to move forward as a band. We all are! I’m just sort of the one to take the initiative on a lot of the business side of things, but I would not be able to do it without the guys. We make sure that everyone does their share. Ive learned that when your in a band it is essential that you work as a team and that everyone does their part in order to move forward. But we are all new at this, and I’m still figuring things out.
Kendra: Are you also the one helping when it comes to booking shows, and do you guys have any coming up this summer?
Taylor: Right now we are all booking shows. All the time. Its our first time booking our own tour, so it’s definitely been a learning process, just like everything else. We are doing three short tours this summer. The Midwest in June, the Northeast in August, and the Southeast in October. We are dying to get back on the road!
Kendra: With Roanoke having these great duo vocals going on, if you had to make a mixtape of your favorite duets…what five songs would have to be on it?
“Poison & Wine” -The Civil Wars
“Magnolia Wind” -Emmy Lou Harris and John Prine
“Through the Morning Through the Night” -Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
“Leather and Lace” -Stevie Nicks and Don Henley
“There was a Time” – Mandolin Orange