Glasswerk meets up with The Raveonettes


Before the gig I got chance to meet up with Foo. With a lot of interpretations of the band in my head, I was keen to get the bands own view on what’s going on, and also a little insight into the recent happenings. We started with the bands history.

GL- So tell me a bit about the bands past, how did you meet, and how was The Raveonettes created?

F- The bands history is me and Sune (Wagner) falling in love for music around the 50s, and a certain sense of nostalgia. We then picked up around 5 years ago, started working together, we’ve always had a soul sense of rock n roll history, but wanting to bring it up to date.

GL- Iv read a lot of different reviews and opinions about the band, but how do you want to be portrayed, what do you want people to think about you?

F- Basically that we make really great music, that we write timeless songs and that we manage to hopefully touch people.

GL- I want to come onto the whole 50’s thing and also discuss the idea of the B flat major/ minor thing in the first two albums. What was that meant to be?

F- It was a way for us to be creative, and you know, a way to stand out from the field. It had a bit of strength in itself and it was a way to be young and add a bit of liveliness to it, and it was kind of a tool to make yourself think about the order, about what we’d normally do and then like what we did, and it was just a thing. It kind of originated from the fact that we were a little bit fed up with the music at the time, playing like it was too over- powered, and it was just big and pretentious. I mean this is back in like 1990’s- 2000, and we just wanted to sound really basic. I mean we were kind of inspired by Buddy Holland. He writes some amazing songs, their just simple. And that’s what we wanted to do and we thought it would be really fun to do something minimal, just keeping all the songs in the same key. So it was just like something fun thing that was inspiring at first, just where the sound came from, it made our trademark initially. But then it became a bit of a constraint, because it wasn’t meant to be a rule it was meant to be an inspiration, and then Pretty in Black was more like staggered and all over the place, much more spacey music. It’s just a different style of the Raveonettes.

GL- Were you adjusting to be more poppy in the new album?

F- No not at all, it was just like a natural kind or progression from the other albums. Some of the songs were actually written before we began releasing our first albums, so it was a phase that has always been there but we’ve never really sorted it out. So I guess we really are like a poppy band.but in the previous albums it was like different noises trying to sort themselves out, which is why people might have found it harder to access. I guess this album is easier to access; it’s easier to find the sounds. It was just what we thought sounded great at the time.

GL- So Iv been looking at your tour diary and its pretty intense. You play a lot of places in a short time! When you’re on tour, which places would you say influenced you the most?

F- I wouldn’t say it was the places, it’s more to do with where were at and where the band is at. I mean this tour has been really great because we’ve been on a roll with all kinds of stuff that is really really great, like there have been some really great concerts, and I think that’s what makes it so great for the band and that’s why were touring its because of the show, the link. I mean there are some really places that Iv felt a big connection with like LA is always really fun.

GL- How have the UK audiences responded to you?

F- I think they’ve responded really well. I think now we have evolved and people are beginning to know the songs, and there appreciating and recognizing the songs. So I think it’s a really good time for us right now.

GL- I see you’ve been hanging out with The Kills quite a lot recently

F- We had a few shows with them a few years ago and have basically fallen in love with each other since then. There really great guys, Jamie is like the sweetest most wonderful guy, but yeah, were good friends. We’ve met loads of great friends, were really great friends with The Warlocks there really good people.

GL-You did a few gigs with The Strokes as well..

F-I mean we met over a year ago, I have a great Polaroid of Julian’s butt, yeah.. but I don’t have it hear right now.

GL- Yeah it’s not the kind of thing you carry around right! So you’re going to be back for the Leeds Festival.

F- Yeah we played it about two years ago but were excited this time because last time we played in the afternoon, this time were playing a late night concert, well its not late night but its going to be dark, and its something we love. We feel more comfortable playing in the night time, more nocturnal.

GL- So you have the end of the tour to come, what are your plans after that?

F-Well right now where just taking everything as it comes, we might be going to Australia at the beginning of next year. There’s like lots of things, but were just going to continue as we are right now. You know that’s how it goes, you make an album, you tour for a bit and then you’re back in the studios.

GL- Im actually writing for the Leeds section of the website, do you have any interesting memories from past gigs in Leeds?

F- I can remember we once supported the Cooper Temple Clause in Leeds, and Sune (Wagner) was really pissed off that day for some reason. He ended up going back to the dressing rooms and trashing the whole thing. I got really angry with him. Later on in the tour we got a bill for £500, and we were like, fuck! , that’s a lot of money! So Sune (Wagener) sent them a letter saying that he promised to never do it again and he signed it and stuff, and he hasn’t actually done it ever again!

The gig:

So with many questions in my mind still to be answered, I was really quite intrigued of what to expect from the Danish duo. Well, the first realisation was that the duo had recently been extended to a rocky 5 some, with an extra accompanying guitar, a stereotypical rock n roll bassist and a more chilled out drummer. The duo still prominent at the front however, with Foo holding her ever shy but cheeky approach, with an awe of innocents and flattered smiles, where as Wagner showed no sign of been innocent, and looked cool and exceedingly relaxed as the stylish pair set up ready to rock the avid audience.

And how they did rock. The start showed no sign of the 50’s plod rock band that we had all become so familiar with. This was a band that was ready to grab each and every member by the scruff of the neck and pull them into their whirling drift of powerfully punching rock n roll frenzy. Sounding much more up to date than the pigeon holed 50’s, the band was able to take the past, round up the good bits, and drive it into a brand new era. They were far more instrumental than expected; we still got an insight into the familiar harmonies, but they were often merely a foot note around the great instrumental parts that were to follow. Foo’s guitar had a great spacey synthetic sound to it, as Wagner and the gang worked around solos and melodies to give the songs that extra bit of life. In all, the band worked really well. They kept the original simplicity, but gave it a great new push and helped with create the modern twist the band may have previously needed. As the concert progressed you got a glance at the archaic Buddy Holland influence shining through, but there was no unadorned repetitiveness the band seemed to have previously feared. The Raveonettes had no problems in keeping the large crowd well entertained, with their creativity been ever prominent, and their original style been well maintained, but adding a little on top.

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