Interview med The Regrettes

16. januar 2020

The Regrettes er et band fra Californien, der med et miks af powerpop, punk og garage rock synger om alt fra kærlighed til ligestilling i samfundet. Selvom The Regrettes i sig selv har eksisteret siden 2015, er deres nyeste album How Do You Love? (udgivet i august 2019) det første med de fire nuværende medlemmer – Lydia Night (forsanger og guitar), Genessa Gariano (guitar), Brooke Dickson (bas) og Drew Thomsen (trommer) – som enhed. Sarah fra SEIN og hendes veninde Marie tog en snak med bandet før deres koncert i København d. 20. november om deres musik, at blive taget alvorligt som ung og at have et fællesskab.

Fotos af Sarah Majgaard, collage af Marie Sigberg

SEIN: First, we have some questions about the release of How Do You Love?, your sophomore album. We were curious about how the process of making this album was different than [your debut album] Feel Your Feelings Fool!?

Genessa: Well, oh my gosh, it was very different, I think we wrote it in chunks and recorded in chunks whereas the other album, we recorded it all at once, and Lydia wrote most of the songs on the other album beforehand, so this was different where some songs were written after we recorded some. It was cool because it was written as it was made. So I think that was a little different.

Drew: I played on this one,

Genessa: Yeah, Drew played on this one!

Oh yeah, cause on the old one, it was only you two [Genessa and Lydia], right?

Genessa: Yeah, it was us only [and the previous members], and then Drew and Brooke came.

Because SEIN is focused on growing up and stuff, we were curious about – because I know you [Lydia] were a teen when Feel Your Feelings Fool! was released, and now you’re more of an adult –

Lydia: Yeah, in between.

How has that sort of changed the process or the concepts if it has at all?

Lydia: Um, I mean I think, like, theme-wise a lot of FYFF! has to do with stuff I was experiencing in high school, and then HDYL? is more of a concept album about falling in love which is definitely more mature and something I experienced as I got older – and could actually reflect on better. Because when I was in high school, I was just doing that for the first time, dating for the first time, and, you know, I’m still young, but there’s definitely more of a reflection piece in that.

Again, focusing on growing up and growing as a person: We believe you all started doing music quite young? Did you feel as though people in the industry didn’t take you entirely seriously because you were so young?

Genessa: Yeah, I definitely think that people don’t take you seriously when you’re younger, and I find myself having to correct my own judgement sometimes with people younger than me now, too. I know how I felt at that time when I was like “I’m just as worthy as everyone else”, and sometimes I see someone younger, and I have snap judgement about how they’re going to perform, and how they’re gonna do, and I have to reflect on myself. So it’s definitely something that happens, and I think that’s natural, but I think it’s necessary for people to reflect on how they are judging others initially. We could have had it a lot worse. A lot of the times, it was headlines and articles and things like that that would trivialize what we made because of our age. And I think that what was the most frustrating was kind of seeing things and thinking we had done something cool, and then all of a sudden it was like “Ooh, this cool young band”.

Lydia: They made it seem like a novelty.

Genessa: Exactly!

Do you think it’s different now with the new release?

Lydia and Genessa, in unison: Yeah!

Genessa: I mean, I still feel like we get it which is frustrating.

Lydia: We do still get it, but way less.

Genessa: Yeah. It’s diminishing, I think.

Lydia: I think it’s hilarious when people call us a teen band because I’m the only one who’s ever really been a teen in the band. And then now, it’s actually like 24 [Brooke], 22 [Genessa], you [Drew] are about to be 23. I’m 19, so it’s like, calling us a teen band is just –

Brooke: It’s just inaccurate! 

Lydia: It’s just not true! Now, we’re like the same age as so many bands and artists.

Drew: Yeah, they would never call, like, literally any other band [our age] that.

(...) not a lot of people have a safe space to be themselves, and so the fact that we or anybody can help foster an environment where people feel that there’s somebody like them (...) then I think that helps people feel more empowered.

How do you think it’s beneficial for young people, for example in SEIN, to express themselves creatively?

Brooke: Oh, it’s definitely beneficial! I think not a lot of people have a safe space to be themselves, and so the fact that we or anybody can help foster an environment where people feel that there’s somebody like them, who is speaking out, then I think that helps people feel more empowered and more safe to speak out. I think it also helps create an environment where these people can make friends. Like, a lot of our fans make friends with other people in line, and now they have friends who share the same values they do, so I think that’s cool.

That’s also something that we talked about, a lot of young people, differing from, like, pre-teens to young adults, are speaking out more now, and you do the same thing in your music, and you stand by what you believe in and your creative vision. So that’s really cool!

The Regrettes: Thank you!

And as you said, fans connect but also you connect with your fans, both through social media and your music, obviously. So would you say that connecting with your fans is important to you, and if so, how?

Genessa: Yeah, we definitely think connecting with people is important, and that’s kind of the base of what we do overall, we want to connect with people even if it’s not one-on-one.

Lydia: Like, at a show.

Genessa: Yeah, at a show and then afterwards talking to people and hearing what they have to say. I feel like at a show where we don’t get to talk to people because we’re feeling under the weather or something like that, I don’t feel as good after because a huge part of it is that connection – talking to people and hearing what they feel and sharing that moment with them. 

Lydia: I think for me, the biggest thing, sometimes even more than having a one-on-one conversation, is having intimacy while performing. Seeing people singing lyrics that I wrote about my life, like, that’s an instant connection cause that’s both of us singing that or a whole group of people singing something that means so much, and it’s like this basis for connection, and I think that’s really cool.

You connect about something personal.

Lydia: Yeah!

It seems like your live performances are a very big part of your whole vision. We wanted to know how your relationship with performing live is, and how important it is to you if you could elaborate? 

Lydia: Yeah, I think a very big piece for us – like, the music is one thing. You can make music all you want, you can see that people are listening, see streams, see people buying your album, but if you’re not getting that connection that I was talking about before, then it’s not, like, as beneficial. It feels so rewarding to make those connections and to see so many different faces and to travel to so many different places – not to brag –  but you know, I feel like that’s just such a huge piece of it.

It must be fun as well just to see so many different places and play on stage!

Drew: Yeah, it’s really cool!

We may already have touched a bit on this, but what’s your number one priority when you perform at a show?

Brooke: I think for me, it’s to be as honest as possible on stage cause I think that helps to break down any preconceived notions that, like, we’re not real people, and it’s something untouchable? I think being really honest and looking people in the eye when we’re playing and talking to them as much as we can and getting their participations while we’re on stage – I think that helps them know that we’re real people just like them. And we go through struggles just like they do. And I think that kind of helps set an example in a more tangible way.
Like an older sibling or something, you know? It’s not just this perfect picture of someone on social media.

Lydia: I have a totally different approach, actually.

Brooke: Really? [Laughs]

Lydia: Yeah, so I live life that way, but I feel like for me I’m a performer. I feel like – that’s super interesting – cause I like to be super in the moment, no matter what. And that’s my biggest, I think, goal everyday. But no matter what, if I’m having a bad day or if I’m tired or whatever, I won’t be honest in the way of how sometimes my first reaction would be to just stand there. Like, I know I have a job to do, so I think my way of showing honesty is that sometimes I fake it til I make it. Sometimes I’m putting on a show until I actually feel better – and it works! So sometimes, when I’m walking on stage, I don’t feel a hundred percent. But people are buying tickets, we have a job to do, I have a job to do as, like, a front person. To leave something, you know? So it’s like a weird balance.

Genessa: Yeah, a lot of times, going off of that, I think of the times when I go to shows with my best friends at home, and one of them is having a problem, and we go because we wanna dance and have fun and so, I want to make sure to create that experience! And I try to find a group of people, a group of friends that I connect with almost in a way where I can project myself onto them.

Lydia: Yes, that’s exactly what it is! That’s what I do too. It’s like I have to find the thing [in the room] that’s gonna help me perform the best, you know? I mean, sometimes I’ll be honest, and I’ll talk about my day or other things, and that will be my way of showing vulnerability. But I think, I just feel like I have a responsibility in a way.

So, it depends a lot on, like, who is in the crowd, and what kind of atmosphere there is?

Lydia: Yeah, it does. The energy that’s there, but also just what’s going on personally. And you have to break down – to seperate things a lot – seperate what’s going on in your personal life that day and what not and be like “You know what, I’m on stage, I’m going to put on a show!”

There’s a balance there! 

Lydia: For sure!

I think putting yourself out there and trying to make those connections with others and not being afraid of not being good enough right away - cause that’s the only way you can grow creatively.

Do you have any message to the readers of SEIN? Young people who are creatives like you are yourselves. Any messages or advice or something of that sort?

Lydia: I mean, I feel like what you guys [SEIN] are doing is great, and what we try to do at our shows is the same thing of creating community like we talked about. And I think putting yourself out there and trying to make those connections with others and not being afraid of not being good enough right away – cause that’s the only way you can grow creatively. You’ve got to start somewhere, you start where you may not like your own work, but eventually you’ll get there.

Drew: Definitely, my biggest thing – in the world of Instagram and everything – is you can see people who are at the pinnacle of their craft which I do everyday – it’s to not get discouraged by that cause it’s so easy to get discouraged.

Lydia: You have to stick to your own personal journey. 

Brooke: Yeah, you didn’t see that person’s struggle to get to that point. You only saw the final product.

Drew: Yeah, it’s so hard, I see people everyday that are so much better at drums, and I’m like ‘God!’ 

[laughing]

Genessa: But it keeps you practicing!

Drew: Yeah, it does! There’s a way to go about it when you see it. It demotivates me sometimes, and then there’s a road where it motivates me, so it’s about taking that road.

That’s a big thing for youth or people in general.

Drew: It’s hard to see all these people that are, I mean, yeah, if you’re in that mindset, the other one. I’ve been there so many times where you see your heroes, and they should motivate you. Not, you know… It’s tough to be human. [Laughs]

Genessa: – On the internet! [laughs]

It’s very important for us at SEIN that we aren’t just an online community, but that we also do events where people meet in real life. So, we have an event calendar where people can submit events and find different things that are going on.

Everyone: That’s so cool!

Lydia: That’s like Rookie! [Rookiemag]

Genessa: We had something [similar] we went to with Rookie when we were younger, and it was something that got me through so much, so that’s so amazing that you are doing that here! That’s incredible!

Drew: That’s so cool.

Ok, so we have one last silly question. You can interpret it in whatever way you’d like. How do you love?

Lydia: We’ve gotten this before. So, my answer has stayed the same and that’s just by loving myself first and putting that at the forefront of everything. That’s just how I can live the healthiest and happiest.

Brooke: Mine’s kind of a boring answer, but: communicate. Communicate with myself and communicate with others. And just do my best with each of those relationships, especially being honest with myself. [laughs]

Cool! I think that’s all we had! Thank you so much!

Everyone: Thank you!

Lydia: I really liked your questions!

Genessa: I love what you guys are doing, that’s so cool!

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