The Raveonettes have never been your typical indie band. They are more mysterious and yet you swoon to their songs and fall in love with their melodies, which seem dark but more alive than a poppy teen song. They made us speed in our cars through their first EP Whip it On and introduced us to a mixture of old school beats, distorted guitar sounds and daring lyrics about love in the albums Chain Gang of Love and Pretty in Black. The Raveonettes are currently working on their new album with quite a strange formula. The Scenestar spoke to vocalist Sune about the upcoming album and their current tour in the West Coast.
SS: What can fans expect from the new material? Is it a departure from Pretty in Black?
Sune: It is very much a departure, something we always wanted to do. It’s quite different, a lot more personal. The songs are all about lust, inability to make decisions in life. It’s a lot more dark. A lot more dark than we have ever been.
SS: Is it an organic process in formulating an album? A conscious decision to experiment with your sound such as the difference between Chain Gang and Pretty?
Sune: I can write songs. My problem is always trying to get to that sound that is going to be interesting. I have at least three or four albums. Eventually, you will hit that album you will really like. It takes time to find it.
SS: Any collaborations like on the last album with Ronnie Spector on “Ode To L.A.”?
Sune: No. No collaborations.
SS: Three tracks on your MySpace page are demos. Why did you decide to release these “unfinished” tracks? How much do you take into account fans’ feedback? (Sune writes on the MySpace blog: I also wanna add that we really appreciate you guys commenting on the tunes, it’s great to hear some different opinions, and believe me, we do take them into consideration.)
Sune: I know the dreadful waiting time of albums. Some people get discouraged. I like to give the fans songs so that they know where we are going. I always read all the comments people say; most of them I agree with them. People are hardcore and know my music really well. It’s always exciting to put a new song and get comments. The songs we posted last month or so we will put on the new album. We are drawing to a close now so we can’t run around.
SS: What is the song writing process like with Sharin and you living in different cities (Sharin lives in Los Angeles)?
Sune: It is easy. I write all the songs, because I can only write all alone, as long as I am alone I can write, skiing up in Vermont, but most songs are written in New York.
SS: Coming up is a California-centric tour of six shows. Why did you decide to concentrate the tour so heavily here?
Sune: We just did an East Coast tour. We are now doing a West Coast [tour], next a Midwest Coast tour, then European tour. I hate touring. I don’t think anyone likes touring. We just want to do shorter tours but play more.
SS: The shows are presented as Electric Duo performances. How will this show be different from those in the past? Have you done these before? Will there be an opening act?
Sune: Just the two of us, two electric guitars. We just switch around, sometimes she plays bass, drums, whatever we find interesting. It’s a minimalistic type of setting. We just did this before in the East Coast tour. We sort of wanted to go back to that, to find excitement. We wanted to start from scratch, from the beginning, before The Raveonettes. The fans really appreciate it. You can hear the songs a little better [and] there is more interaction with the crowd. It’s fun.
Another benefit to the Electric Duo performances is that getting the whole band together costs a lot of money, when each of the members are in different parts of the world, so this process becomes easier when only Sune and Sharin perform together. And although they live in different cities on opposite sides of the U.S., Sune comments that with Sharin, there is a deep trust between the both of them. They have similar tastes in music, Sharin trusts Sune and Sune knows that he isn’t going to write crap. For them, being a duo is a lot more beneficial, not having to discuss with a lot of people when decisions have to be made.
SS: Now for those Whip It On fans, might we hear the heavy, make me want to speed through Los Angeles songs?
Sune: No, they were very rift oriented. That’s really difficult to do. I wanted to make [the new album] dancey. [Otherwise] it would just be similar to Whip It On.
SS: How long have you been living in New York?
Sune: On and off for about four years. I like the fact that I can walk, and I can go where I want to go. There’s always a lot of good stuff happening and you don’t get bored.
SS: But … what about L.A.?
Sune: I love L.A. but I wouldn’t want to live there. I like the seasons; I like the rain, snow, winter. I wouldn’t want to give that up. I don’t want to drive drunk everyday. Here you walk to a bar and stumble home. Everyone is a drunk driver in L.A.
Sune says they have yet to name their album, but it will be named once they have the list of songs ready, and hopefully, it will be released fall of 2007.
Even then, Raveonettes fans, drunk or not, don’t miss the opportunity to see them in a more personal setting. They are playing a long list of West Coast gigs. And these are the kind of shows that are the most memorable and one of a kind. Come on, give them some California lovin’.
The Raveonettes performed tonight at Spaceland but you can still catch them at several more shows:
June 7 @ Detroit Bar (Costa Mesa, CA)
June 8 @ The Echo (Echo Park, CA)
June 10 @ Little Radio (Downtown L.A.)