“This is the biggest dressing room we’ve ever had! It makes us feel like rock stars”. Speaking exclusively to Gutter backstage at their sold-out, debut UK headline gig at Glasgow’s Oran Mor, Alabama born and bred sibling duo Lydia and Laura Rogers, aka The Secret Sisters, talk working with T Bone Burnett, day jobs and culture shock.

The Secret Sisters’ first album has already been causing quite a splash on this side of the Atlantic, and it features the work of legendary producer T Bone Burnett, who has previously worked with Elvis Costello, Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, Counting Crows and Clay Pigeons. “Working with T Bone Burnett was really fun! He has been so helpful in every way, he has given us a lot of advice, and he has an amazing ear for music. He has been a great friend, and we’re very grateful for his involvement” enthuses older sibling Laura.

The album is soaked in their country roots and showcases their beautiful voices to great effect, but The Secret Sisters LP does feature a surprise or two. “A lot of people have asked us why we chose to cover Sinatra’s ‘Somethin’ Stupid’, but we wanted to include songs on the record that aren’t classic country. We don’t wanna be boxed into just one genre. We feel the addition of this and other tracks adds a lot of variety” explains Lydia.

Finding a country/pop niche in today’s modern market seems almost impossible, however The Secret Sisters have prevailed. “I never expected this album to do what it has. I think we just set out to make an album that we could be proud of, and we did that”.

They’ve barely had time to catch their breath between what was by their own admission, their “accidental discovery”, recording their album, and now a tour which sees them travelling as far afield as Australia. “It was difficult at first,” reflects Lydia, “we were pushed into the music industry so quickly, but now I think we’ve learned to deal with it a lot better. We always miss home, but we really enjoy touring and travelling”.
“It’s less of a culture shock nowadays” interjects Laura, giggling.

So what should punters expect at a Secret Sisters gig? “We always want people to feel like we’re in their living room, we like to create intimacy. We want it to feel very comfortable and casual, and we’d like everyone to have fun,” Lydia explains.
“It’s a sharing experience. I hate a show when a crowd is silent, I like a push and pull between the audience and us performing on stage” continues Laura.

They’ve also wished a firm goodbye to their day jobs. “I was working in Nashville and I was a nanny for a little girl, and I loved it. If this hadn’t happened for us, I love kids, so I’d either still be a nanny or I’d be settling down and having kids right now” Laura laughs, albeit very seriously.
“I would still be in college” Lydia says. “I was studying Graphic Design. I guess I would still be doing that, although music is what I always wanted to do.”

Having the opportunity to record albums and travel the globe is exciting for most young women, but is sharing the limelight with a sibling all it’s cracked up to be? “The biggest pro is being together, and knowing when you’re homesick, the other is, too. You can bounce off one another. But it does get really tough, we’re in the same cab, the same plane, the same hotel room…you never really get a moment of peace,” Laura explains.
“But, on the other hand,” offers Lydia, “any frustration we have, we can take it out on each other, and it’s OK. It has gotten so much better than it used to be. We were in Australia last week, and we never fought at all, although I think that was because we had different hotel rooms.” The sisters share a laugh.

“I think the experience so far has really changed us as people, and not in a bad way. I think it’s made us better people. It’s given us the chance to see different places, meet new people, and experience different cultures and backgrounds.” Laura reflects, smiling.

Both Laura and Lydia show a humble appreciation of the reaction and endorsements they have received from musical peers and fans, along with a warm, good-humoured demeanour. Here are two girls who convey a genuine love of music, and the career they’re carving out for themselves.

Listen: Tennessee Me

Check out the review of their Oran Mor show here.

Related posts: