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Interview: 2022 Must-Know - The Regrettes

Interview: 2022 Must-Know - The Regrettes

"I feel like there's just this special little pot that you get to throw all this shit into when you're in a band," says Lydia Night of Los Angeles-based group, The Regrettes. The band first stepped onto the scene with their 2017 debut 'Feel Your Feelings Fool!' record, and will be releasing their third album 'Further Joy' later this year. The band is made up of four members - Lydia Night, Brooke Dickson, Genessa Gariano, and Drew Thomsen

Their two latest singles 'Monday' and 'You're So Fucking Pretty' put on display two different sides to the band. With the former showing the head-banging, hip-shaking bratty side to their music, and the latter showcasing the strength in their more stripped-back and vulnerable songs. Night describes the track 'You're So Fucking Pretty' as a stepping stone in her self-discovery and hopes that others can feel empowered by the track, continuing: "I think the most beautiful part about the song is that it really is just about the vulnerability in telling someone: You're so fucking pretty and I know I probably don't have a chance anymore. It's really beautiful to me. I think that's what's special because that can exist in friendships and any kind of relationship. I just think it's a cool thing we did."

Their upcoming 'Further Joy' album was the most fun that the band has had making an album, with Night revealing, "It's just awesome, and it's gonna be something a lot of people connect to more than ever, in our music." It was also an album-making process that brought the band closer than ever, with Dickson explaining: "I feel like we got to know each other so much better through that process too. It happened naturally as we were getting closer as friends, and just creating and getting closer as musicians, and creating stuff out of what we were building together."

The band is currently touring across across North America until mid-March, but we were lucky enough to chat with Brooke, Drew and Lydia via Zoom before they hit the road, to talk all things their upcoming music, their fateful Joshua Tree trip, and Seabreachers...

MUST-LISTEN: 'Monday', 'California Friends', 'A Living Human Girl'.
YOU WILL LIKE, IF YOU LIKE: Lauran Hibberd, Best Coast, Bikini Kill, Skating Polly, Greer, Beach Bunny... and watching 'The Powerpuff Girls' reruns.

CDM: In 'Monday', you sing, "Gotta get the fuck out of LA / Run from the sun before it burns my brain." What do you think it is about a change of scenery that can shift your mood and mindset? 
LYDIA: It's everything. The trip where we wrote 'You're So Fucking Pretty', that was us finally after being stuck in LA for so long, getting out and being around each other. That's the only reason we were able to write so many songs so fast, because it's just refreshing and almost feels like magic. I don't know how to describe why this happens, but a lot of times, I could write a song in such an easier way, if I'm in the middle of some office, I've never been to, alone. For some reason, that sterile environment which is super weird and uncomfortable that I've never been in, feels easier for me personally, to be creative in, than sitting in my room that I've tried to write in again and again. It feels like sometimes settings become the thing that stops you; maybe it's an anxiety thing. I don't know why, but it feels like magic sometimes when you're in a new room, a new space, or a new city walking around; it's just inspiring. When I hear other artists talk about being inspired by a city that they're in; they're travelling, they go to New York and make an album, in the past I would assume and still assume maybe they're referring to going on a walk and being inspired by a view they saw and this thing they saw and this event, but for me, it's never that; it's always just something that's in the air. It's not a specific thing, maybe it is one day, but as of now it's always just this weird thing. I can't explain it.
BROOKE: I'd agree too! I feel like in any form, it's just new stimuli that just affects your brain differently and makes you form different connections, different emotional responses to things, makes you feel and see things differently than you would have if you're just in the same place over and over again, and see the same shit over and over again and get numb to it. It just doesn't have an effect on you anymore. I totally agree, just any change of pace, you're automatically going to think and feel differently. 

CDM: Can you tell us the backstory behind the video for 'Monday' and the character Joy?
LYDIA: Yes! Long story short, back to that trip, that fateful Joshua Tree trip, the video came about from us all dancing to early 2000s music that we would have heard at our school dances, and bonding over that, and picturing ourselves as middle schoolers at a dance together and being like, "Oh my God, I wish we could see that," and then we were like, "Well, what if we made a video!" Dillon [Dowdell], the director of the video, really helped tie in this other theme that we had going on in the album, that was Joy, who is my alter ego; the physical manifestation of my anxiety. It became this dark, but funny, twisted birth story of Joy, and that's how we introduced her in this album. So I think you'll be seeing more of her and it's exciting!

COUP DE MAIN: You've recently dropped your latest single 'You're So Fucking Pretty' and have discussed how writing this was important in validating your own sexuality. What do you hope for other young people to take away from listening to a song like 'You're So Fucking Pretty'?
LYDIA: I think it can mean that the song is left open to interpretation and we've talked a lot about what this song meant for us while writing it as a band. But I feel like if people do connect to our own expression of sexuality, and for me, the song was really huge in terms of discovering myself and sharing that part of myself with the rest of the band, and I hope that if people hear the lyrics and connect in that way, they feel like they can talk about their sexuality with the people around them, if they feel open to it and empowered by it. It can mean so many different things and I think the most beautiful part about the song is that it really is just about the vulnerability in telling someone: "You're so fucking pretty and I know I probably don't have a chance anymore." It's really beautiful to me. I think that's what's special because that can exist in friendships and any kind of relationship. I just think it's a cool thing we did. 
BROOKE: I agree. When we were in Joshua Tree talking about writing the songs, a lot of this song in particular came out of us talking about our experiences and feelings. Even down to, "In the bathroom, you fix your face," we were like, "What should it be?" And then we were like, "Well, if you're queer, you're often using the same bathroom," because bathrooms are still binary in a lot of places, like, "Oh, hey, what's up?", while you're washing your hands. I feel like it came out of honest experience.
LYDIA: Self-discovery for all of us!

CDM: What do you think being a band brings to your music, rather than being individual artists? 
LYDIA: That's a really good question, I don't think we've ever been asked that before. 
DREW: I feel like we get, as far as writing goes, a special way of working together where we bring out things-- when we were in Joshua Tree writing stuff together, bouncing ideas off of each other. Also, just in terms of our interactions and our relationships that we have with each other make for a more interesting group for a fan to watch that and watch us on tour.
LYDIA: Totally!
DREW: We're like a family so it's almost like watching a reality TV show, like a friendly reality TV show.
LYDIA: We're like characters on a cartoon; we're the Powerpuff Girls. 
BROOKE: With the new record too, now that all four of us are writing on a full record together. I think it's really cool because you can totally hear all of our tastes and interests coming together to make this cool sound. We all really like it and we all like such different things. 
LYDIA: I totally agree. I feel like there's just this special little pot that you get to throw all this shit into when you're in a band, whether that's creating music video ideas, or merch designs, or songwriting, or whatever. It's always better if you're able to sit with people whose taste you trust, and respect is really important. You wouldn't get to a lot of those final ideas alone, or I wouldn't, because you start off with one idea you think is brilliant, and then you talk to someone else, and they're like, "Well, or we tweak it and do this," and then you're like, "Oh my god, that's so much better." It's really amazing. We're lucky we have that.

CDM: How does your songwriting process work?
LYDIA: It's been so different with this album. It's the first time I've really done writing sessions with strangers before, just other songwriters and other producers, so there was a mix of that. I ended up loving that. I'm a huge fan of writing with strangers, there's something weird... Again, it's being in a sterile environment where there's no vibe to it or anything. But for some reason, it snaps you into this other mode. I think it's the same thing with a person you've never met and you have to open up and unbox all your feelings. What has also been nice is the opposite of that - writing with each other. You already know each other so well so it's easy to dig deeper in certain places. When we went to Joshua Tree, we listened to all the songs that I had been writing with other people and loved, and it was really nice for us to be able to be like: "Okay, what's missing? What should we dive deeper into as a group? How do we form what we're really looking for?"
BROOKE: I feel like we got to know each other so much better through that process too. It happened naturally as we were getting closer as friends, and just creating and getting closer as musicians, and creating stuff out of what we were building together. 

CDM: What’s one thing that is on each of your bucket-lists?
DREW: Oh man, oh shit!
BROOKE: So many things!
LYDIA: I know it's not a cool thing because I feel like so many artists are just like, "I don't even care," but I want to win a Grammy. That's on my bucket-list. 
DREW: I love that.
BROOKE: Basic obvious answer, but I want to skydive.
DREW: I've got it! Have you guys seen those little one-person submarines. They're called 'The Dolphin' or something. 
LYDIA: No!
DREW: Okay, get this bro. It's sci-fi, a little seat in it, the whole thing is glass, and it goes something insane like 45 or 50 miles per hour and you can jump out of the water like a dolphin.
LYDIA: What? Is this a real thing? 
DREW: If you look it up, it's a real thing. It's called a Seabreacher. One of my roommate's brothers, Liam, just told me. I want to ride a Seabreacher somewhere, there is a bunch of cool stuff to look at <shows image of Seabreacher>.
LYDIA: Oh my god it looks like a shark.
DREW: It looks so cool, right? You can see videos of people jumping up out of the water.
LYDIA: Wow! 
BROOKE: Can we do this?
DREW: How incredible would that be! I just love the idea of being able to explore the ocean and you're up on the top like a boat and you'd get to some cool place with a reef.
LYDIA: It only costs like $80,000-100,000. <sarcastically>
DREW: Oh, that's nothing; in that case, my bucket-list is to buy one!

CDM: If you could steal one thing without consequence what would it be?
DREW: A Seabreacher. Like five of them actually. 
LYDIA: This is again a really lame answer, but a massive bag of money would be cool.
DREW: That seems like cheating, it has to be a thing! 
LYDIA: Okay, fine! I mean, again, this shows where my brain is at, but the Mona Lisa.
DREW: How are you gonna fence the Mona Lisa? That's the most famous painting in the world, who is going to buy that?
LYDIA: It's stealing without consequence, there's no consequence ever! 
DREW: If it's stealing without consequence, then you just have a painting. 
BROOKE: Can you imagine that on your mantle or something, the fucking Mona Lisa!
LYDIA: Okay, one of Elvis' guitars!
DREW: Yeah, that's sick! That's cool. 
BROOKE: I want to steal an Arctic Tiger.
LYDIA: Where are you going to put that?
DREW: Are you stealing it from someone who already has an Arctic tiger? Or from it's mother? What's the vibe? 
BROOKE: No! Because they're endangered so they're mostly in sanctuaries. There's a few wild ones, but I don't know if I'd steal a wild one, or from a sanctuary, but this is assuming I have a suitable living environment at home to give it a nice life. 
LYDIA: Or I would steal 100 Persian kittens.
DREW: Again, from whom? From whom are you stealing? 
BROOKE: Wow, you're gonna be like an old lady with just all your Persian kittens.
DREW: Y'all are stealing responsibilities and I'm stealing fantastic times in Cancun in a fucking Seabreacher.
LYDIA: Fine, a yacht or a vintage Porsche!
BROOKE: I'm going to have a fantastic time with my tiger.
DREW: You've got to feed it, you have got to do so much! A yacht, now we're talking, we're all out on the ocean.

CDM: You’re one of our 'must-know’ artist picks for 2022… who are yours?
LYDIA: I've gotta be that girlfriend and say Wallows 100%.
DREW: Mmhmm, yeah, one of my favourite bands.
BROOKE: I mean yeah, agreed.
DREW: Dijon
LYDIA: Turnstile, The Marías... I'm trying to think of others but those are my favourites right now. 
BROOKE: I just got into this band, Baths, who is really cool. Think they're on the rise.
DREW: Brooke, what's that band you and Genessa were talking about when we went to Olive Garden?
BROOKE: Wet Leg
DREW: I just love that name, I've never heard them but love their name. 

CDM: What's next for you and what can you tell us about your upcoming album?
DREW: Oohhh, it's really good.
LYDIA: It's really good. 
BROOKE: No skips!
LYDIA: All killer, no filler. It's just awesome, and it's gonna be something a lot of people connect to more than ever, in our music. It's the most fun we've ever had making an album and I think you can hear that, but also the darkest themes we've ever explored in an album, and then a lot of touring. Doing what we do; finally!
DREW: Our faces in your city!
BROOKE: Excited to see everyone. It's been too long.

Watch The Regrettes' video for 'You're So Fucking Pretty' below...

Check out more 2022 Must-Know artists here.

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