Photo Credit: Marv Watson
Year after year new bands from all genres come onto the scene in hopes of spreading their music to the masses. From those artists we pinpoint an artist or group that displays auspicious potential to select as our Best New Artist. Previous selections included Cross My Heart Hope To Die, SISU and TEEN. The decision all comes down to who has the most promise for the future and who’s already out there kicking butt. With this criteria in mind, no band fits the bill quite like The Regrettes. The Los Angeles punk band is composed of singer/guitarist Lydia Night, guitarist Genessa Gariano, bassist Sage Chavis and drummer Maxx Moranda. They met while attending the School of Rock in Burbank, CA,
The Los Angeles based punk rock band, composed of frontwoman Lydia Night, guitarist Genessa Gariano, bassist Sage Chavis and drummer Maxx Moranda, met while all attending the School of Rock music school in Burbank. While this was their meet cute, it was not quite the formation of the group we know today. After Night’s band Pretty Little Demons dissolved, she asked her schoolmates to join her to form what would become The Regrettes.
Their debut album, Feel Your Feelings Fool! was released in January on Warner Bros. Records. The 15-track record urges listeners to feel something — anything — whatever that may be. Not only did the record showcase their insane musical talent, it foreshadows massive success for the group in the coming future. We spoke with Night about the response to The Regrettes’ debut album, the story behind the group’s name and making listeners feel more comfortable in their emotions.
mxdwn: How was The Regrettes born? What’s your origin story?
Lydia Night: Well we all met at music school four years back or so. Then after that we kind of lost touch and then reconnected at a show we were all playing in separate bands. We ended up coming together and making the band.
mxdwn: And I read the music school you went to was School of Rock is that right?
mxdwn: Who do you pull your inspiration from?
LN: I’m inspired right now by a lot of power pop like Exploding Hearts and 20/20 and stuff. Also Karen O has always been one of my biggest inspirations and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. So that’s currently what’s inspiring me.
mxdwn: Why name the band “The Regrettes?”
LN: Honestly, just because I thought it sounded cool. I thought it was a cool twist because the word is so negative but spelling it with “ettes” makes it a lighter, cutesier side of it, which I feel like represents me and the music that I write.
mxdwn: You released your debut album a little less than a year ago, how has the response been?
LN: Great, I mean we’ve gotten so much out of it and we’ve seen so much of America and we’ve just gotten to do a lot. And everyone, I mean not everyone, but the majority of people who come to our shows have benefited from and loved the album. So it’s been awesome.
mxdwn: Your song “Seahorse” includes the lyric “You’re talking to me like a child / Hey I’ve got news I’m not a little girl”. Was this written from a past experience? Since you’re all pretty young do you think you get treated differently in the industry because of your age? Or do you see it as an advantage?
LN: Well I mean it’s both. The only time really… Well okay, sometimes we get douchebag sound guys who treat us differently because of how young we are or because it’s a girl-fronted band, but most of the time when I have to deal with the age thing is in interviews and in media. It just becomes the only thing people care about talking about, or it’s the easiest thing to talk about. That’s the only annoying thing. Besides that I love being young; I don’t care. I’m going to write about things that pertain to me and my life. My young life.
mxdwn: Another song from the album, “Head in the Clouds,” has the lyric “Feel Your Feelings Fool.” Why this lyric for the album title? And did the lyric come first, or did you weave it into the song after naming the album?
LN: We actually picked the album title first and then put it into the song. We needed something to sum up what we stand for and kind of our meaning and what we believe in. Especially with an album where there are so many different emotions being covered and different experiences, we thought that was the perfect way to tie it all together.
mxdwn: “Pale Skin” has a slower, more melancholic sound than the other songs on the album, what’s the story behind the track?
LN: I wrote it just about a relationship with a family member and kind of forgiving that person in a way. Also noticing how patterns in yourself may come from people around you or your parents. It was kind of me realizing how much of someone else I saw in myself.
mxdwn: What do you hope fans take away from the music, particularly this album?
LN: I just hope that it makes them feel something. I don’t know what that feeling is and I don’t really care as long as they listen to it and it evokes some kind of emotion. I think that’s the most important thing that music does for me and if we can do that for other people or help them be more confident in their emotions and themselves that’s fucking awesome.
mxdwn: How have things for the band changed since the independent release of the 2015 EP of your band Pretty Little Demons?
LN: Oh well that was when I was in a two-piece band and that was released by me and this other girl. We released that and then we broke up pretty much right after that happened. But those tracks had already been found by a manager. So when The Regrettes were forming — when the four of us were forming — that’s when the manager was involved and all of this stuff happened right around the same time. So a lot has changed [laughs]. Extreme changes.
mxdwn: What’s your writing process like? Do you all contribute or is it mostly you?
LN: It changes. It’s really a case by case thing. Most of the songs on our album were written by me previously and now we’re starting to write more as a band, which is really fun. A lot of times I’ll think of an initial verse, chord progression, melody and a couple lyrics and that’ll be my starting point. And then I’ll bring it into them or we’ll start from scratch or I’ll just write on my own. It really is a song by song thing. Because I can kind of tell when I start writing if I wanna get some help on it, or if it’s something I want to complete in the moment.
mxdwn: Where do you see the band in 5 years? 10 years?
LN: I mean I hope pretty big. I have no idea where this is taking us but my goal is just to have as many people hear our music as possible and to play for as many people as possible, to travel to as many places as possible. Yeah I want to do it all.
mxdwn: So then going off of that a little, what would be your dream venue to play or a dream city to play?
LN: Madison Square Garden [laughs]. I’d really love to play in Tokyo. Yeah Tokyo and anywhere in New Zealand or Australia.
mxdwn: Is there a song (or two) on the album you are more proud of than the others?
LN: There’s a secret track after “You Won’t Do,” the last song on the album, called “Cold.” That one’s really special to me. Also I think my favorite song right now on the album is probably “Lacy Loo.”
mxdwn: How’s the tour going?
LN: Touring is fun, it’s always fun. I think I was… oh wait I’m not going to say that that sounds so cheesy. I was going to say I think I was made to do this [laughs]. But I honestly do feel like it’s what I’m supposed to be doing because it just feels so comfortable for me. I love the chaos and I love constantly being in a different place and experiencing new people and new food. Just all of it. It’s so fun. I mean it’s hard work. It is exhausting. We put so much effort in, but you get repaid through shows and meeting people. So yeah, it’s amazing.
mxdwn: What can we expect in 2018?
LN: Some new music, new videos and hopefully a lot of touring, but we’ll see.
All photos shot for mxdwn by Marv Watson