Though they originated in different parts of the country, Roanoke frontiers Taylor Dupuis and Joey Beesley found each other at a small blues club in Nashville, Tennessee. The couple, who serve as the lead vocalists in the band, recently played a show at The Family Wash along with their friends and band mates Jo Cleary (violin), Zach Nowak (vocals and mandolin), John Fiorentino (bass) and Kyle Breese (banjo, drums and harmonica). From the first lyric to the last strum of the mandolin, everyone in the room could sense the alluring captivation the band exudes. Their genuine camaraderie in life translates as melodic symmetry in its purest form on the stage. I had the profound pleasure of sitting down with Joey and Taylor to discuss the birth of Roanoke and the influences for their severely awaited album. Their personalities are a as authentic and vulnerable as their music, and I could not be any more excited to share their interview.
Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado I present Roanoke…
What is your musical origin and how did the band come together?
Joey and Kyle moved here together from Florida, and I am originally from Michigan. We all met working at B.B. Kings and were new to town, so we just started jamming together. As we started jamming, Joey and I noticed that our voices blended well together, so we started writing and playing. Kyle liked what we were doing and started playing with us. Then we met Zach through a mutual friend, and he became our mandolin player as well as singing backup vocals.
What other genres have you explored prior to forming this band?
Joey: I personally experimented with a lot of other genres while I was growing up in South Florida. It’s so far out of the way that you don’t really get a lot of one musical genre, you get a little bit of several different genres. I have tried my hand at blues music, rock music and singer/songwriter music.
Taylor: I think Americana is cool because you are getting a little bit of everything. We have definitely experienced the country, blues, folk and rock and have put it all together to create the Americana sound.
Tell us about your upcoming album…
The album comes out May 13, and we have been working on it for about two years now. We have been working so hard on the album, so the fact that it is finally being released hasn’t really hit us yet. We had never recorded an album before, so that the time frame of the album was based upon the fact that we did not know what to do and we had to figure it out and give it all we had.
As for the process of recording the album, we started recording it at Reel Love Recording. The building is an old church built in 1935 that is located off of Charlotte Pike. They pushed all of the pews aside and built a studio, so that contributed to some of the “big room” sounds on the album. We recorded the album all analog at Reel Love, and after we finished at Real Love we took everything to Sound Emporium to record the last song of the album. We used tracking room A and used all of the fun stuff in that recording studio.
What does the next year look like for the band?
We will be playing as many shows as possible. We are planning a tour for the summer. While we are here in Nashville we will be networking and playing here as much as we can. The direct and next step for us is to try and find band representation.
What is your favorite venue to play?
Taylor: We played a show right near my hometown of Freeland, Michigan. That was really special to me. I moved away after high school so I hadn’t seen some of those people in a long time. So many people came out and were supportive. They made us feel like rock stars. New York was a crazy experience at Rockwood Music Hall. We got our van broken into! It was definitely such a milestone for us to play in New York though.
Joey: We played New Jersey, which was a 4-hour show. The crowd was literally into it and dancing the whole time. It was a lot of fun, and we even got to be interviewed by a radio station out there that like our music so much they asked us to play an hour live show on the air. The small beach town just seemed so welcoming to us.
What would you have done professionally had you not gone into music?
Taylor: This kind of goes hand-in-hand, but I love acting. Acting is definitely another passion of mine, and I actually had to choose between moving to Nashville and moving to L.A. for acting. I ended up choosing music over acting.
Joey: I don’t know, I would either be writing for a blog or a newspaper. I would maybe do some sort of outdoor, instructive activity like kayak instructing or something like that.
What movie or film resonates with you the most?
Taylor: I really love Hook. You get Robin Williams and Peter Pan in that movie. It’s a good movie from my childhood that is still relevant.
Joey: I am a big fan of Catch Me If You Can or Shutter Island. I am a big Leo DiCaprio fan. I am also a huge Adam Sandler man, so I would also have to say Waterboy.
What is your favorite soundtrack to a movie?
Joey: The soundtrack to Almost Famous is great because it has a lot of those deep Zeppelin cuts. O Brother, Where Art Thou has a great soundtrack as well.
Taylor: I was going to say O Brother, Where Art Thou, so I am going to take that one. We love anything with T Bone Burnett.
Where is you favorite local spot to hang out?
Taylor: We live in Inglewood and love going anywhere in East Nashville. I am obsessed with sushi so we go to Koi in East Nashville a lot. The whole band lives together, so we also spend a lot of time at the house together. We practice on Tuesdays and Sundays and try to have a secure practice time. We will get off of the road from playing shows and just say, “Hey…you guys want to hang out or something?”
Joey: As for the dynamic of living together, we all get a long really well. We all respect each other’s space. We love hanging out at Mickeys a lot. Mickeys is kind of a cool “swing in and hang with your buddies” type place.
What album could you play on repeat without getting tired of?
Taylor: We listen to a lot of Jason Isbell. We listen to both Southeastern and Something More Than Free. Raising Sand is an amazing album. We listen to a lot of vinyl, so we really do listen to things on repeat all of the time.
Joey: I did the whole “play on repeat” thing with Metamodern Sounds in Country Music by Sturgill Simpson, Southeastern, Raising Sand, and Augustana’s self-titled album.
What is your go-to word or phrase in the English dictionary?
Taylor: I say a lot of profane things, but I don’t want to use that. I say the big “F” word. I also say the word “super” a lot, but I used it in weird way. I will say, “I am super not going there today,” or something like that.
Joey: I make a lot of sound effects when I am talking. I will say, “It was like deh and then DAH and deh!” My whole family does it. What is the most profound thing you could think of? Whatever it is, that’s what I say the most!
What word do you gravitate toward when you are writing songs?
Taylor: I feel like I use “home” a lot in my songs, or more than I should. It’s a very roots-y word.
Joey: I use the word "break" a lot in my songs.