We’ve loved The Raveonettes from day one, so it was a bit of a thrill to get an opportunity to talk with them. Taking the Mary Chain’s noisy guitars and the self-acknowledged influence of the Everly Brothers, mixing it with the beautiful vocals of Sharin Foo and the brilliant songwriting of Sune Wagner, they created a huge buzz with their first ep ‘Whip It On’. Their new album ‘In and Out of Control’ is their first since leaving Sony and carries on the tradition of scathing guitars and great vocals. Sune Wagner took some time while touring to answer a few questions for us.
TDOA: In and Out of Control is your second album for Fierce Panda. Can you talk about the advantages and disadvantages of operating on a non-major label?
SW:We have a more personal relationship with the individual people who are working our album. We’re in complete control of everything we do and we make a lot more money ha ha…sometimes it’s a shame we don’t have bigger budgets to get David Lynch to direct a video or something…
TDOA: Why did you leave Sony?
SW: We fulfilled our 3 album deal and decided to try our luck with an independent. All the people we used to work with at Columbia were all gone so we felt it was the right move.
TDOA: Anything that you’d change about your history with them, in retrospect?
SW: No. We had complete creative freedom and we worked with the big guys like Don Ienner. I loved it.
TDOA: How do you feel about the process of making videos? Creative outlet or necessary evil?
SW: I can’t say I totally enjoy it but sometimes it can be fun. We wanna get into making more low budget videos with wacky ideas. We’re shooting one very soon and it’ll definitely grab people’s attention and probably won’t ever be shown on any commercial station.
TDOA: Can you talk about Thomas Troelsen’s contribution to the new album? I know you share writing credits with him, but I wonder specifically about his contributions. Did he write guitar or vocal melodies or did he just assist in the arrangement of songs?
SW: Thomas is an amazing songwriter and like me, he works very fast. He’s a melody writer but has many ideas about all the various instruments. He would constantly challenge me to write better melodies and play the guitar a little differently, it was a very creative process.
TDOA: How has the songwriting process changed for you since Chain Gang of Love? Do you find that your influences are changing and has that affected how you write?
SW: I don’t know if the influences has changed but as a songwriter you obviously get better at your craft.
TDOA: I’m really curious about the song, Boys Who Rape. Did Sharin write the lyrics and what led to the decision to address this topic?
SW: I wrote the song as we were recording the album cause I felt we needed a little attitude and up-tempo stuff on there. It was vaguely inspired by an old friend who was raped mutiple times by her uncle. Those pigs.
TDOA: Do you prefer playing live or recording in the studio?
SW: I like them both but being creative is more fun.
TDOA: You’ve acknowledged the influence the Jesus and Mary Chain had on the band early on. There seems to be a lot of bands that have jumped on the bandwagon, but aren’t trying to add the other influences that you have. Do you find these imitators annoying?
SW: No. I like what we do with our influences and we have a tremendous amount of respect from other bands. I think it’s great to be able to inspire other people like that.
TDOA: What are you listening to these days and can you tell us about any new bands that we should be listening to?
SW: I kinda enjoyed the XX album and also a band from SF called Girls. We’re on tour right now with The Black Angels and I’ve always loved them to death.
TDOA: Once you’ve completed your current tour, what do you plan to do next?
SW: We end our touring on December 18th in London and then I wanna start writing the next album and I also wanna release another solo album. We’re working on a song for a cool movie and we have plenty of touring coming up in the new year too.