Trail Mix – The Secret Sisters

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The trials and tribulations recently suffered by Laura and Lydia Rogers, better known as The Secret Sisters, have all the trappings of an episode of VH1’s Behind The Music.

Promising band catches lightning in a bottle with first release. Major label drops said band after second record. Hard times ensue.

Other artists have closed up shop for less, and it was surely tempting for the Rogers sisters, but quitting was not in the cards. Despite the hard times, the music was still there. But it needed an outlet.

And in stepped Brandi Carlisle, who volunteered to produce the sisters’ next record with Tim and Phil Hanseroth, and an outpouring of fan support through a crowd sourcing campaign. The end result, You Don’t Own Me Anymore, The Secret Sisters’ third record, marks the triumphant return of the sisters from a dark, dark place.

The record’s title is certainly not subtle, and contained on the record is a spirit of resilience, with the collection of songs definitely stating the storm of hurt the sisters sailed through in no way squashed their muse. Indeed, it might have made it stronger.

I recently caught up with both Laura and Lydia to chat about the new record, redemption, and keeping secrets.

BRO – It’s not difficult to see the parallel between your story and that of the mythical phoenix. Is there a sense of redemption, a rising from the ashes, with the release of your new record?

TSS – That seems to be the most prevalent theme throughout the record. We both feel that these songs were our way of healing from the trauma we’ve endured lately, and they sum up our thoughts and reflections on what we’ve learned from those struggles. Those hard times have made the easier times shine.

BRO – Best part of being in a band with your sister?

TSS – The best part is having someone on your side at all times. We don’t always agree, and lots of times we don’t even get along well, but we both know that our sisterhood is the top priority. We always choose each other, we always fight for each other. We both know that we can count on one another for encouragement and comfort, through good and bad moments.

BRO – How was it working with Brandi Carlisle in the studio?

TSS – It was everything we could have hoped for and then some. We adore her and the Hanseroth Twins and feel that they truly understand who we are as people and musicians, and they created the ideal atmosphere to capture our authentic selves. They were inspiring and encouraging and this record would be so different without their contribution.

BRO – We are featuring “He’s Fine” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?

TSS – Thanks for playing it! On the surface, that song is about an estranged former love interest whose life moves forward while the narrator struggles to let go. There are deeper nuances to the song, mostly symbolic, of strained business relationships with successful people whose vengeance wrecked our dreams.

BRO – Ever had a secret that was really, really hard to keep?

TSS – Absolutely! Keeping our new record a secret was really hard! Our fans knew we were going to be putting one out, but the record was done several months before the release date was announced, and we were so proud of it. It took self control not to show everyone what we had been working so hard on.

The Secret Sisters are spending the weekend in Wisconsin with jamgrassers Leftover Salmon before returning east in late July. For more information on these dates, the new record, or when The Secret Sisters might take to a stage near you, please visit their website.

And be sure to take a listen to “He’s Fine,” along with tracks from The Zephaniah Ohora & The 18 Wheelers, Cowbell, and Rev. Sekou on this month’s Trail Mix.

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