They're Back: The Secret Sisters Open Up About Music Industry Rejection

Jul 17, 2017

Laura and Lydia Rodgers are not shy about the hardships they've faced as musicians and sisters. The duo first spoke with Lake Effect in 2011, when they were up-and-coming stars touring with artists like Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. Six years later, they stopped by again to discuss how they've grown as artists through some of their worst times. 

Laura and Lydia Rodgers, also known as The Secret Sisters, in the Lake Effect studio discussing their third album.
Credit Mitch Teich / WUWM

After the release of their second album Put Your Needle Down, The Secret Sisters admit they fell on hard times. A legal battle with a business associate and the accompanying bankruptcy led to a creative standstill for the sisters. 

"We went through a spell where we felt like music, which is our love in life, that it had betrayed us," Laura says. 

The Secret Sisters say the money-making side of the music industry tried to get the best of them. Rock bottom came when they learned they were dropped from their record label. But understanding why the two women felt so much pain was a task for their third album, You Don't Own Me Anymore. 

"It was just that the fall hurt a little more because we had gotten to such a high place," says Lydia. 

Both Laura and Lydia processed the hard times differently and they struggled to create a cohesive music-making relationship. While Lydia spent days writing music to cope, Laura looked for house cleaning jobs to avoid writing. As they perform their new album, Lydia says the audience can connect with the different issues they both faced. 

"We've seen that in our most recent shows and promoting this record. A lot of people will come up to us after the show and say, 'You know, I just filed chapter 7 bankruptcy and I'm going through the exact same thing and so that really touched me when you talked about these things on stage.' Because a lot of people don't talk about it, they hide what they go through," she says. 

From facing their homesickness to singing about the pain of rejection, The Secret Sisters say the new album is emotional and reflective of the pain they both experienced. Even as they recover from a rough patch of years,  both Laura and Lydia say they're still looking forward to a fourth album.