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We chat with the JaneDear girls about their debut self-titled album!
Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Records

By: Bessie Sorge

In the spotlight, they could easily be considered the next overnight sensation, but for Susie Brown and Danelle Leverett the road to becoming the JaneDear girls seems almost like an eternity. After five long years of hard work and dedication to their craft, the girls have finally honed their sound and are blossoming into a pair of wildflowers who are getting ready to spread their infectious music all around the world.

Last year, country music listeners were given a refreshing treat when the JaneDear girls exploded onto the music scene with their "Wildflower" single.  Fans across the nation couldn't get enough of the catchy up-tempo tune and began requesting the song from their local deejays. It didn't take long for the girls to become one of the top new acts of country music and it was only a matter of time before the nominations began to roll in. A few weeks ago, the JaneDear girls received their first ACM nomination for Top New Vocal Duo or Group, which will be determined by the fans through an online voting system (click here to cast your vote).

We caught up with Susie and Danelle to discuss their their journey to becoming the JaneDear girls and got the scoop on their debut self-titled album from Warner Bros. Nashville, which hits stores nationwide today!  Keep reading for our interview with the JaneDear girls and be sure to follow the girls on twitter @janedeargirls for the latest information on their careers.

***enter our the JaneDear girls signed CD
contest at the bottom of this page***

The two of you were pursuing individual careers in the music business; can you tell us about the night you met and the connection you shared?

Susie Brown

Susie: I moved (to Nashville) from Alpine, Utah about seven years ago. My first gig in town I was playing for a local singer/songwriter - I was plying fiddle and singing backgrounds and stuff - and Danelle came with a friend of hers, Chris, to one of the shows that I was playing at. After the show, her friend Chris came up to me and he said, “Hey, I want you to meet this girl named Danelle. She’s a really good songwriter. She is about the same age as you.  You guys should exchange numbers and hang out and maybe write some songs and stuff.” A couple of weeks later Danelle called me to hang out and go swimming.

Danelle: We went swimming and ended up ditching swimming to write our first song together because we had our instruments in the back of our cars, funny as that is. And we called Chris up to help us finish the song and he was the first guy to notice that we were a duo. Even on that first day he was like, "You play alike, sing alike, talk alike. You know, you should be a duo." And we’re like “Okay, sure." We wrote three songs the next weekend and two hundred songs later we're still doing it.

What was it like meeting John Rich and having him be so supportive of your career?

Danelle: I met John two weeks into moving to Nashville. He from Amarillo and I'm from Amarillo, so we had that hometown bond. He became like a big brother and mentor. And when I met Susie we tried to sing him some songs and he let us down pretty easy. He was like, "Eh those aren't very good, don’t show it to anyone." So we didn’t. We kept working and three years later he saw us play live and was like, “Wow, I’m on board now. You guys got it.” Then he stepped in and helped us get a (record) deal.

How did you guys come up with the name the JaneDear girls?

Danelle: We wanted something that was All-American and that people would remember and we came up with a bunch of different names. It’s really hard to get a name that is not taken already by another band, because once you start putting in names to the trademark office, they’re like "oh, no you can’t have this one, you can’t have that one.” We tried like the Janes, the Dears, Dear Jane, I even thought of Jane Doe, but I thought I was a little morbid (laughs). So anyways, we finally landed on the JaneDear, one word, and D-e-a-r girls because nobody was going to have that name (laughs).

Your musical is so unique and so different - I love it. How would you describe your sound?

Danelle: Rocking, high energy songs that you can dance and make you feel good hopefully.

Speaking of dancing, I think your song “Merry Go Round” should have its own line dance. Have you thought about doing something like that for the osng?

Susie: We’ve thought about that.

Danelle: You know, we’re considering some different options for that song. One of the things we’re been thinking about doing is letting the fans help us come up with one. I mean, why not. YouTube is such a fun outlet so I would love to see what people come up with for that. We watch all the videos that fans post of “Wildflower” and stuff on YouTube. We love watching videos that fans post of our music.

How long did it take you to record this album? Was it a lengthy process?

Danelle: We’ve been for about five and a half years now, so we have probably about two hundred songs that we had to sift through for this album and cut it down to 11. It took a long time for development; we had to figure out what we wanted to be like stylistically and what we wanted to say. But then once we got in the studio with John, it was great because it didn’t take that long because we already had a vision for what we wanted.

Were there any funny moments in the studio recording the album?

We chat with the JaneDear girls about their self-titled debut album!
Danelle Leverett

Danelle: I would just that over all it was just a lot of fun. It’s really important to have positive energy in the studio otherwise you can lose the magic, if you will. We’re friends with some of the musicians that play on our record and really comfortable with everybody so it’s really fun process.

Susie: Yeah, it was fun like doing all the vocals and stuff because I tried to dress up in an outfit that would remind me of the song (laughs). So each song that I went in and sang in the studio, I had a different outfit for that kind of got me in that mood and that feeling and that place for the song. So, that was kind of fun.

What is the story behind your first single "Wildflower"?

Danelle: I wrote the song about two summers ago. I had this electric mandolin that I had never played before that my dad bought me, and I decided to take it to my co-write with my two friends. I had a little flower that I’d bought from Claire’s in my hair that day and when I was rocking out on some kind groove, my co-writer was like “why don’t we call wildflower because it’s kind of got a crazy feel, but it’s sweet at the same time”. So that is kind of how the idea was born and about two hours later we finished the song and it ended up being our first single. It was a really fun experience.

I’ve heard a lot of artists talk about the importance of the follow-up song. How important is that second impression on the audience? Have you chose your second single yet?

Danelle: I think it’s really, really, really important. We don’t want to be a one-hit wonder (laughs).

Susie: No.

Danelle: It was a hard decision because there are so many great songs on the album. But on radio tour, there was song called “Shotgun Girl” that also stuck out along with “Wildflower”. I think it is going to be a great follow-up. You know, it’s just in the same ballpark. It’s like high energy rock and up-tempo.

What’s the story behind "Shotgun Girl"?

Danelle: We wanted to write something that just talked about love, lasting love, about having a partner for life, and both Susie and I haven’t gambled with that in our life. We’re really, really fortunate to have good examples of love and what that means. So, obviously its about riding Shotgun with a dude, and yes I love to do that, I love to ride smack dab in the middle of a truck. But it’s also more than that, about finding someone that you can ride along side with through life and share that journey with. And it’s something that Susie and I both want to find someday.

We chat with the JaneDear girls about their self-titled debut album!

There is a great mixture of songs on the album, from the rockin' up-tempo tunes to the ballads. Can you talk a little about putting together the mix of music that you have on the album?

Susie: Danelle and I have written so many songs together that it was cool kind of picking through them all and figuring out exactly how we wanted to compile this debut album. Danelle wrote a bunch of songs about me and I wrote a bunch of songs about her, and then we wrote a bunch together. So there’s a lot of different flavors and different sounds on the record, which I think is really fun.

There a new generation of country music artists moving in. What do you think about the comeback of country music with present day artists like Taylor Swift and Gloriana, Band Perry, Lady Antebellum and now you girls?

Danelle: Well, thank you for putting along side of those artists.

Susie: Yeah, thank you.

Danelle: I just think that it’s a really exciting time to be a part of country music because, you know, country music is what’s selling; it’s what people are going to watch in concert.

Susie: Families can all enjoy and listen to (the music), and parents don’t have to be worried about the lyrics. You know, Taylor Swift is selling more albums than anyone (in) pop, country, whatever. I’m just proud to be in a format that’s dominating music right now. It’s very exciting.

What message do you guys want you fans take away from the album?

Danelle: Hopefully, they just feel really good and inspired by listening to it. It’s a feel-good record. It’s not a downer, it’s not a depressing album.

Susie: It’s just something that you can stick in your car and crank up and have a good time with your friends.


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JUNE 6-9, 2013

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