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  • Interview: The Raveonettes

    Mon, 12 Nov 2007 12:53:21

    Interview: The Raveonettes - Sune Rose Wagner lusts on film, nostalgia and <i>real</i> musicianship

    The Raveonettes Videos

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    Danish duo The Raveonettes have two feet firmly planted (with equal weight) in two very different musical worlds. One half happily languishes in the throes of the feedback-induced, swirling, modern ambivalence of shoegaze and indie, while the other is stuck in a time-warp of that slightly dangerous, slightly harmless sonic fishbowl of bubble-gum '50s pop where prom queens and hip-swiveling reign supreme. Their unabashed love of Buddy Holly and nostalgic kitsch has only amplified their credibility as one of indie rock's most innovative bands.

    As their fourth studio album is released, the bluntly titled Lust Lust Lust, we caught up with lead Rave, singer Sune Rose Wagner, on the eve of the band's European tour to find out what turns him on.

    Your sound is drenched in early American rock 'n' roll. What drew you to this nostalgic era?

    It was the music to begin with, because I come from a very small town in Denmark near the German border on a little island. My parents didn't listen to music, and I didn't have any friends to listen to music with. So, I started… I discovered it on my own. I would just go to the local library and get vinyl and stuff. What I mostly got was mostly compilations—like '50s and '60s compilation stuff. So that was really the first music I ever listened to. That's how I got introduced to music.

    Do you remember the first record you ever listened to?

    It would probably be a Buddy Holly song or Fats Domino or Jerry Lee Lewis or something.

    Was your love of that type of music part of what moved you to the U.S.?

    I started traveling here when I was 18 years old. I went everywhere really, cross-country and up and down the coasts. I traveled with friends. I lived in LA for a while; I lived in Seattle for a while. I lived in New York before and now I moved back to NY, so I've been a lot of places.

    For your first few releases you worked with musical constraints—all songs in B minor, B minor flat. Why did you decide to ditch the conventions/rules of the older albums, or at least not publicize it?

    Well, on the last album we just wanted to, I guess just do something different—trying not to repeat ourselves too much. It's fun to work with constraints and stuff. We just wanted to do something different for Pretty In Black.

    Do you find it harder to write without those constraints?

    No, that was pretty easy too, but you see, the thing is I still think that working within constraints makes the music a little more interesting. So, on the new album we went to that a little bit and had the guidelines again, I guess.

    You've said that this new album is the most personal for you? Why is it different from your others?

    Well, I think it's because in the past—in the songs—they've been more written from more of a nostalgic point of view and in a third person style. I just thought with this one that it would be nice to do something that was just a little more personal, and there was a lot going on in my life at the time anyway, so it was easy to write. So, I thought that I didn't want to disguise all these emotions and feelings in characters. I just wanted to portray it the way it is really. It was kind of nice to do it really, but it was different too.

    Do you prefer writing in characters, or being a little more honest?

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