Exposure: The Raveonettes
- David McNamara
- 1 December 2009
The Raveonettes - Bang!
Danish duo The Raveonettes are the perfect example of a great band determined to shoot itself in the foot. Copenhagen’s hippest exports make impeccable rock songs that are so addictive you will be singing them in your sleep, yet after seven years they have still to produce one mainstream hit despite numerous attempts.
Perhaps it is because their songs are often morbid tales of drug addiction, suicide and rape delivered in sugar sweet vocal harmonies. Even the sultry presence of lead singer and femme fatale Sharin Foo cannot disguise the fact that the lyrical content is simply too dark for popular consumption.
Their fourth studio album, In and Out of Control, seems destined to suffer the same fate. It may possess a plethora of instant indie classics like the blissfully elegiac ‘Last Dance’ but there is also the not-so-subtle ‘Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)’, which is certain to rub some listeners the wrong way. The pair certainly seem intent on establishing themselves as the musical equivalent of ice-cream laced with razor blades and this latest offering will inevitably capture the hearts of more love-ridden romantics.
I caught up with guitarist Sune Rose Wagner to get an insight into one half of the provocative duo and find out where the inspiration for such bitter sweet indie anthems comes from.
How would you describe The Raveonettes to a friend?
Oh my God you're gonna fucking shit yourself!!! Better than Sabbath and Tom Jones combined!
Would you say you are a retro act or would you say you take your influences and do something progressive with them?
Of course we're all fake and retro. What did you expect? Ok, seriously, we're all new and exciting and right here, right now.
Where do you get the inspiration for the lyrics?
Everyday life really - so much misery and suffering in the world. It's not hard to find something to write about.
Is it meant to be a shock tactic to provoke a reaction?
No. It is merely a reaction to the sweetness in the music.
You recently completed a US tour. Do you have any interesting stories from that experience?
Nope. Nothing exciting ever happens to us. We’re always the ones who just play and travel. Apart from the time we got all our gear stolen from the van in Brooklyn. In fact, they took the whole van. They took our vintage guitars, amps - everything. But that was years ago now and we’re not dwelling on it.
What is the worst show you have ever played and why?
Spring break in Daytona Beach, Florida. It was sponsored by the US Army. The war in Iraq had just started and they were recruiting people to go overseas. We somehow got mixed up in all that and demanded that they closed their stands while we were playing. Needless to say we were extremely unpopular and they had to send a security guard to our backstage room because they were afraid we were going to get killed by an angry mob. Two people actually came to see us play after that.
What was your main goal for In and Out of Control?
No goal really, we just have to write and record because it's an addiction. We still dream of world domination but we would have to change our ways so much we would become a fake outfit. No need for that.
What can people expect from a Raveonettes live show?
An honest band with nothing to hide - we're the real deal!
What is the best thing about living in Denmark?
Danish hot dogs and other fatty foods
The Raveonettes play at ABC2, Glasgow on 15 Dec.