Temecula Road recently released their debut single What If I Kissed You and they made their UK debut at C2C: Country to Country earlier this month.
The trio are sisters Emma and Maddie Salute and long-time friend Dawson Anderson. Despite still being in their teens, the trio are rising fast with the backing of Radio Disney and a burgeoning fanbase.
I caught up with them backstage at C2C to find out how they formed, discuss their new single and talk about being starstruck when on tour with some of the biggest names in Country music.
How do you feel to be part of C2C?
Emma: It’s so surreal to be here because we dreamt about coming to London our whole lives. To be performing here is crazy.
Dawson: It’s awesome. Like she said, to think that we’re actually overseas now promoting our music and meeting the amazing fans. We hear that they are the best fans in the world and they been nothing but that so it’s been awesome.
Have you been quite surprised by how much we embrace Country music in the UK?
D: For sure. When we were younger, I thought country was just a United States thing. To see how much they embrace out here is really, really awesome and they have a different dedication than people in the States do. It’s really really neat. They’re amazing out here.
One of the things that I often when artists come out here is that audiences know the words to absolutely ever song. Have you found that when you’ve been performing?
Maddie: Yeah we just had a performance and we have a song (that we performed) that we’ve never put the full thing out and somebody was singing along to it.
Emma: We performed a single that we just put out about a month ago and people were singing along to that too. We were like ‘oh my gosh’.
Your new single is What If I Kissed You. What was the inspiration behind that song?
D: We all really connected to it. The first time we’ve heard it, we thought it was really, really great song. We looked around and we thought it was a great song and a song we wanted to put out. We have a video for it that’s on iTunes right now and the video turned out really awesome. It has some great actors in it. I just think the dynamic of the anticipation, that feeling of the moment before when you think ‘what’s going to happen’, I think we really connected to that in the song.
E: Our main thing is when we release music we want it to be relatable for us but for our fans as well, especially for our age group. That’s really important to us.
Tell me a little bit about how the band came together. Emma and Maddie are sisters but how did you get involved Dawson?
E & M together: Yes! We’re sisters (laughs)
D: So like you said the girls are sisters and they’ve been listening to country music their whole lives. Their parents would play CMT they sang along to it, even when they were little. I know Maddie was singing along to Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood when she was 4. I was actually born in North Carolina and I started playing guitar at about 10, and singing shortly after. Being from there and having the experiences that we did, we all grew up with country music and it was always in our blood. We met through a vocal coach and came together and started singing around, then next thing you know here we are Temecula Road.
What kind of roles do you have in the group?
D: That’s a good question. Yeah I would we do have roles. We’ve never talked about it but I think we do.
E: What do you think my role is?
D: I would say your role is definitely the organiser. You factor out things that aren’t important, in terms of when we’re getting worked done and whatnot. She’s also like the harmony queen. She’s amazing. We all work with harmonies but she’s so good at it. I’m jealous. I don’t understand!
M: What about my role?
D: I don’t know. I got to take a second to make sure I get this right.
E: She’s the powerhouse vocalist of the group.
E: I have more of a Southern voice. Dawson plays the guitar awesome. We’d be nothing without the guitar. I play the Mandolin as well.
D: We all helped to write and we all helped to form our sound. There’s no dictator saying that we need to do this. It’s 33 percent all the way.
E: Wow, you really did the math there!
D: OK it’s thirty three point infinity three but you get the point! It’s split into thirds for sure.
You’ve been championed by Radio Disney. What’s it like to have such a massive brand backing you?
D: It’s crazy. It’s amazing to be able to to share our music through an outlet like that. They’ve been nothing but great to us as well as the label. It’s just cool to be able to work with them. They’re great people, they’re so nice and they really do care about music and getting artists heard. It’s awesome be able to say that we had our music on Radio Disney.
You’ve toured with some of the biggest artists in Country music. What were those experiences like and what advice did those artists give you?
E: I mean it’s been crazy! We’ve opened up for Martina McBride, Eli Young Band.
M: Kenny Rogers.
D: Sara Evans. I think there’s something humbling about that to be able to say that you’re on a stage alongside of them. Even just opening for them – it’s just amazing. They’ve given us a lot of really great tips. We had some tips from Kenny Rogers when we opened for him and he said ‘remember just always focus on the music because even in the low highs and lows of your career if you’re focused on the music it doesn’t matter’. That’s something that’s really awesome that we have kind of gone, to just really care about the music.
Do you ever get starstruck when you’re on the road with these huge stars?
D: I was starstruck like five minutes ago when Dan + Shay walked by! Do you guys have any starstruck moments? I know you do…
M: Me? Are we talking about Carrie Underwood?
D: I would say Martina when you met her.
M: Oh yeah when I met Martina. I’ve met Carrie twice and I don’t remember the first time. I was too in shock. It happened! We have pictures.
D: As much as we are artists, we’re also just as big a fans of other people. It’s so cool to be able to be next to these people because we’re supporting them too. We’re like ‘oh my god I’m going your concert and I’m going to be in the front row, I’m buying the meet and greets and all of the merch. I hope this can help you guys!’. We’re always all about supporting other artists.
That could turn pretty awkward if you have these starstruck encounters, then you end up supporting the artist on tour and they’re like ‘oh you’re those crazy people’….
D: I hope that never happens.
E: (laughs) Yes I was like crazy person!
D: If they said ‘you’re that weird guy who’s been in the front row for like four nights in a row for the tour’, I’d be like, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about!’.
Are you working on an album at the moment or an EP?
E: There are definitely more singles coming.
D: More music is going to be coming for sure. We’re writing right now. We’re making sure that we stay on top of that. I mean people ask all the time. Are you guys doing an album or an EP? It’s kind of up in the air. It just depends on what happens but definitely more new music to come so stay tuned for that.
Are you planning to come back to the UK to do your own headline tour at some point?
E: That would be amazing! We have no plans as of right now but that would be amazing!
D: We will definitely be back because we have had the most amazing experience so far.
Temecula Road’s new single What If I Kissed You is out now. Watch the music video for the track below: