By Tracy Dietlin
Two of my favorite performers in the valley recently did a video spoof on the Tiger King and when I watched it on FB I laughed so hard. It really made my day. Laughter is so important right now and so is music. Doug and Meg are the amazing duo you can (or should I say could) here performing all over town. Dougie van Sant is the frontman for the many CVMA award winning Flusters and Meagan Van Dyke won Best Female Vocalist at last year’s CVMAs. They took some time to chat with me about how they are dealing with Covid 19 quarantine time.
CVW: I love the video you did for “I Saw a Tiger,” the spoof on the Netflix series Tiger King. How did that come about? How long did it take to film it?
Doug: “Like millions of other people, Meg and I watched Tiger King in a matter of days. As soon as we finished, I knew I wanted to make a video for “I Saw A Tiger”. I went into Meg’s closet, threw on her Hannah Montana wig, a pair of her earrings, one of her chokers and my cowboy hat, and got to work. The video was shot by my good friend and business partner Wolf Mearns. Together we own Tracker Studios, a fully-outfitted, cinematic production company. We shot the video in just a few hours at our condo complex in Palm Desert and performed the song live. We spent a day on editing and away it went to the internet.”
CVW: What other projects are you working on while in quarantine?
Doug: “Meg and I are working on LOTS of creative projects. We recently released a video of us performing a duet of “Imagine” by John Lennon. The same creative team as Tiger King was used for “Imagine” but this time we brought in Will Sturgeon to mix and master the track. I’m also working on a bunch of original music and some really fun collaborations. I just finished a track with Alex Harrington called “Wait a Minute” which will be out on May 15th under his house label ApresDisco. I’m also working on a collaboration with a really cool Synthwave Metal band from Palm Springs called Jetfire. The Flusters are gearing up for the release of their new single “We Were Young”. Meg and are I currently cooking up our next video as well. It’s going to be a good one.”
CVW: I know you’re doing FB live shows from home. How do they feel compared to real shows?
Meg: “Setting up a livestream is a lot of fun! My favorite part, aside from performing, is being able to communicate with the viewers. I love that viewers can comment and we can talk to them in real-time. I also love the fact that we can have friends and family from all over the world log on and watch us, especially those who don’t typically get to see us. We’ve done one live video which was hosted by Coachella Valley’s FB page. We’ve been brainstorming ways to collaborate with Coachella Valley and Craige Campbell for some time and when he invited us to play, we were ecstatic. With it being our first one, we really didn’t know what to expect and I was a little nervous because they have a large following. At one point during the video we had close to 200 people watching and it now has 8,000+ views! We love performing our regular gigs, but there’s something really special about going live on social media and entertaining those who need it the most.”
CVW: Do you feel like you’re getting a lot of support?
Doug: “We’ve been getting lots of calls and messages from friends, family and colleagues. With most calls, the ‘how are you holding up’ portion of the conversation is quite brief and then we jump right into collaborative brainstorming. I love that when most people contact us, it’s to engage one another creatively. Pandemic or not, we live to create!”
CVW: Have you been checking out other artists as well?
Meg: “Yes! I love that our desert has such a rich music community. There’s never a shortage of musicians who are streaming live on social media or coming up with unique ideas on how to keep the music going. Now, more than ever, it’s important to keep creating and inspiring people through music. It not only gives us something to look forward to as performers, but it allows us to connect with our community in ways we normally wouldn’t. Our music-colleagues are taking the time to curate really great sets of music and it makes us feel excited and motivated to want to continue to do that too!”
CVW: What music has helped get you through this time?
Doug: “I’ve been listening to a lot of different music but really, the music that has gotten me through is my own. Not in the sense that I’m my own biggest fan. I don’t dance around my house to Flusters albums on repeat or anything like that. What I mean is it’s been so cathartic to be in my studio day after day, fleshing out ideas and expanding my creative boundaries to see what comes out on the other end. Then I blink and it’s dinnertime. It’s a very trance-like experience when you tap into that creative realm and time doesn’t move at the same pace. It’s extremely meditative.”
CVW: What else are you doing to get through? TV Shows? Stuff around the house?
Meg: “I am grateful to be working remotely for my job at the McCallum Theatre. It’s keeping me focused and busy throughout the day. This has also been a good time to think not about what I’m losing out on, but what I now can get back to! I spend so much of my time out and about, especially in season, that I am actually really enjoying my time at home. It’s given me the opportunity to work on things that I haven’t had the time for. Doug and I have been able to really focus on creating new content. We’re really proud of the two videos we put out recently. We are also working on revamping Doug & Meg Music so that when we go back to work, we have a fresh sound. I’ve finally been able to put some focus on my blog, Mad About Meg, so it’s been fun for me to collaborate with other bloggers and get back to creating more content. I just want to stay busy and channel this unique time into a personal victory by tapping into the things I haven’t had time for.”
CVW: What are your thoughts about everything we’re dealing with right now!
Doug: “There’s a lot of fear and uncertainty about the future. We are living in unprecedented times. None of us know what tomorrow or next week looks like. I feel extremely grateful to still be able to use my gift to connect with people and make them smile. I really feel for those that require human contact to share their gift i.e. stylists, massage therapists, tattoo artists, etc. Either way, my wish is that we all come out of this having gone through a positive metamorphosis that has made us stronger human beings. If you’re like me then this pandemic has caused you to slow down, look inward, and really count your blessings.”
CVW: What do you most look forward to when this lockdown is over?
Meg: “I can’t wait to get back to performing! I also can’t wait to see our family and friends, go out to dinner and just get back to normal life!”
Doug: “I’ll second that. I miss the stage. I miss backyard BBQ’s. I miss family and friends.”
FB and IG handle is @dougandmegmusic
@dougiefluster and @madaboutmeg