Madeleine and Lucas Roger of local folk band Roger Roger say there are benefits to forming a band with your twin.
“Like having similar interests, living together for a long time and easy communication with each other,” are some of the benefits, Madeleine says.
Roger Roger have been able to use this to their advantage to come together and make music that is powerful but carries a genuine vibe.
“Intensely memorable hooks, faultless harmonizing and lingering melodies,” is how their website describes their music.
The twins have not played music together for a long time because they were both involved in other creative pursuits. Yet they have been able to make listeners wholeheartedly enjoy their great sound and their genuine way of storytelling through their music, according to their website.
This year, they released their album Fairweather, which reached the No. 1 spot on the National Folk/Roots/Blues charts.
The duo also had the chance to make their mark on the Canadian music scene this year by playing at Folk Fest, University Of Winnipeg’s Roll Call event and many other gigs and music festivals across the country.
This gave them the opportunity to travel across Canada, which they say they really enjoyed, because it gave them the chance to discover so much of Canada and see unique places they have never seen before.
“We are super grateful for everything that has happened to us in 2016 and are hopeful to be able to grow more as musicians,” Madeleine says.
The traveling has helped stimulate growth as meeting people on the road – including other musicians – was inspiring when it comes to lyric writing, Madeleine says.
Their songs can be about almost anything from their own experiences to nature, but one of the most common writing strategies for them is interpreting stories they have been able to learn, she says.
They gather stories from “strangers, friends, acquaintances on the road most typically,” Madeleine says.
Roger Roger, and especially Lucas, are inspired by bands like The Hold Steady. “They've created a whole bunch of albums that follow a storyline of the same fictional characters - you end up feeling like you know them personally,” Madeleine says.
In her case, Madeleine draws a lot of inspiration to write from the Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. She loves his choose-your-own-adventure approach and how he has the ability to describe his paintings as an act of dreaming.
“He didn't believe in straight lines or flat floors, and was obsessed with spirals, and making his own paints out of things he found in nature during his many voyages on his sailboat,” Madeleine says.
Madeleine and Lucas listen to and appreciate the stories they are told and put them into their own perspectives.
“Storytelling has the ability to dazzle, confuse, move, anger, inspire and connect humans to themselves, their imaginations and each other. Kids are so good at it. We're just trying to get back to that careless freedom of storytelling, but with a better handle on the English language,” Madeleine says.
In 2017, Roger Roger has plans to tour across Canada, writing and making the band a full-time gig. They hope to play a few shows in Europe and say they’d love to go to the U.K.
Published in Volume 71, Number 15 of The Uniter (January 12, 2017)