Interview: The Raveonettes
Published on October 29th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Copenhagen noise-pop gurus The Raveonettes recently released their gorgeous sixth studio album Observator, so Rocksucker fired some questions over to singer/multi-instrumentalist Sune Rose Wagner – one half of the operation along with Sharin Foo – in the hope of finding out a little more about it…
Congratulations on another splendid album. Why did you decide to title it Observator? Is it due to your experiences of living in a new country, or does it have anything to do with the 17th century newspaper written by Roger L’Estrange?
Thanks. It’s called Observator because all the songs are observations of daily life as it unfolds through the eyes of the cursed man. All the songs are based on personal experiences, some good but mostly bad.
Your lyrics have always dealt with personal experiences. What would you say are the predominant themes on Observator?
Unrequited love. Hopeless romanticism and a longing for something unobtainable.
Why did you decide to bring in a piano for this one?
I’ve written the last two albums on the piano so it was just a matter of time before we’d use it. When I wrote the song “Observations” I loved the way the piano theme or motif sounded and it didn’t translate very well to guitar, so I kept the piano.
You’ve said that you use samples in your music, but I’m not sure I can spot them on Observator: were there many samples used on this album, and if so where are they?
We’ve always used drum samples, comes from my love of hip hop music, which is the music I grew up listening to and still love. With samples you can change the sound for each song and make it fit perfectly. The sound of the drums has a huge impact on the mood of the song.
How did the US tour go? Which were the best shows, and why?
I loved it and I think the best shows were Boston, SF and NYC.
To what extent do your back problems dictate tour and/or recording schedules? Have you had to cancel many shows?
No big issues right now and I don’t anticipate anything in the near future, but I have to be a little careful though. I can’t lift heavy things and stuff like that.
You’re both very influenced by film, apparently even more so than by music. Have you ever thought about going into film-making?
I’ve started writing many screenplays but it takes time and it’s hard for us to find a lot of spare time. I would love to though. I’m moving to LA soon and know some great film producers out there so you never know.
As usual, there is a lot of good music coming out of Scandinavia. Do you have any particular favourites?
I can’t say I have right now. I haven’t had a chance to listen to much lately, but I plan to while I’m here at the moment.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
I don’t know if they’re particularly obscure but I’m in love with Savages. I think they have that rare, raw energy music is all about. I find them tremendously inspiring.
Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your life in solitary confinement, with just the entire back catalogues of five different musical artists for company, whose would you choose?
Buddy Holly, Suicide, Wagner, The Cramps, Oasis.
Sune Rose Wagner, thank you.
Observator is out now on Vice Records. For more information, please visit www.theraveonettes.com