Sometimes things just work out, and work out very fast. For The Regrettes, 1 month of existence was all it took for Warner Brothers to hand them a deal. How quickly they got picked up only goes to show the obvious and immense amount of talent that the band possess. When you find something great, you need to snatch it up real quick. Singer/guitarist Lydia Night may only be 15 years old, but her songwriting is mature and seasoned. Their first single “A Living Human Girl” offered up a giant dose of ‘cupcake punk’, and I don’t think there is one female in the entire universe who won’t be able to connect with her clever, cheeky and honest lyrics. Wise beyond her years, Lydia gave me the lowdown on her “typical” teenage life. Make sure you check out their 2nd single “Hey Now” below!
THE REGRETTES INTERVIEW
SONIC HIGHLARK: I just listened to “A Living Human Girl”, it’s awesome!
LYDIA NIGHT (THE REGRETTES): Oh cool! Thank you.
SONIC: There are a lot of really cool female led bands lately, is this something you notice, or not so much?
LYDIA: Definitely. There are many female fronted bands that are great.
SONIC: I feel like there is a high concentration in LA, would you say there is a scene there?
LYDIA: Yeah, I’d say there is a huge… I don’t know if movement is the right word? But there is sort of a scene especially in LA with all the underground rock bands that are led by women like you were saying before. They’re all kind of friends which is really cool. It’s very different than in the past, because now the bands are not as competitive, they’re more friends and very supportive.
SONIC: It’s interesting, I just had another interview with a band from New Jersey and they were attributing a major part of their success to the supportive nature of the “scene”.
LYDIA: That’s really awesome.
SONIC: We also cover a lot of style stuff, where does the band get the cool clothes from?
LYDIA: Clothes? Well I know we all go to thrift stores and we like vintage stuff. I really love UNIF and Lazy Oaf. We all like Topshop and Asos, ummmm let me think…. We are all super into clothes so there are so many. We enjoy mixing the old with the new, I’ll go to a thrift store and get a really crazy looking jacket but then put it with something simple from American Apparel and it’s perfect!
SONIC: That’s awesome, and we just got a nice fashion tip from you.
LYDIA: Yeah! Exactly!
SONIC: We’re always looking for cool brands but it’s hard to find ‘rock’ type stuff because I feel like there is no real word for that style. It’s easy to find urban or street fashion but there is no real world for the “rock look” you know? Even search wise you can only type ‘vintage’ or something like that.
LYDIA: Or ‘authentic’ but yeah, I know exactly what you’re talking about.
SONIC: I saw some of the behind the scenes video of the band in the studio, so how is that coming along?
LYDIA: Yup, we do, we do, we do!
SONIC: Is it finished already?
LYDIA: Yeah, well right now we’re approving the final masters and stuff but we have a record and it’ll be out sometime soon? But we’ll be releasing couple of songs first.
SONIC: You were at SXSW this year?
LYDIA: Yes we were. It was so fun, it’s the first time I ever played 3 shows in one day and that was super fun.
SONIC: It can get a little crazy over there.
LYDIA: You kind of have to be in this mindset and be in go-mode. Our tour manager was just like “Ok, we’re going this place and this place.” And I just said “Ok, just take me that way, whatever, let’s go.” It was amazing though.
SONIC: Yeah, I remember walking a lot.
LYDIA: Yes, a whole lot of walking. One thing that sucked was that there were so many shows we couldn’t get into because of our age.
SONIC: Oh, right. Didn’t think of that. Was there a moment when you thought to yourself “Something is happening” with the band?
LYDIA: Let’s see, so the 4 of us came together around December of last year. Then in January I met my manager and signed with them. Right after that happened on January 13th I met Mike Elizondo who is the best producer ever and he also is an A&R guy at Warner Brothers. After meeting him, 2 days later he offered us a record deal with Warner, so that happened really quick. I think when that happened after we’ve only been playing for literally a month we just said “Ok, this obviously is going to be something cool and we’re doing something right.”
SONIC: Wow! Labels can be very careful about signing bands because they’re all corporate and are worried about spending money and shit, but lately I notice that when people find something good they just jump on it.
LYDIA: Yeah, they only heard a couple of demos and that’s what they based the decision off of, but Warner Brothers is really good about finding acts that aren’t too established.
SONIC: That’s awesome. Your management is a keeper obviously.
LYDIA: (laughing) Yup, clearly. They know what they’re doing.
Photo By Jen Rosenstein
SONIC: What are some pet peeves you have?
LYDIA: Hmm, I really, really dislike fake people and I hate going to a show and watching a band perform and fake the entire set. There’s such a difference between watching someone sing lyrics and actually mean them, and have passion behind them and they want to convey something – and people that are just thinking the entire time about “How is the crowd seeing me as?” you know?
SONIC: Yeah, like they’re thinking if they look cool enough.
LYDIA: Or “Oh, I should turn right now.” or “Oh, I should dance now.” A lot of people fall for it but I’ve seen it so much and when I watch that shit it’s so annoying. It’s over half the bands and I don’t want to see that. That’s one of my biggest pet peeves. Another one of my big pet peeves is…. Oh, I hate when people eat loudly. It’s horrible, like they chomp their food like a horse.
SONIC: Haha. Yes I know what you’re talking about.
LYDIA: My biggest pet peeve, I’ve given so many dirty looks in school. If someone’s eating really loud during lunch or something I would look at them until they notice I’m looking and they stop (laughs). It’s kind of a bitch move but I wasn’t about to sit through that. Horrible.
SONIC: I can agree with you there. One of mine is simple grammatical errors on social media.
SONIC: When people spell stuff wrong for example.
LYDIA: That’s really annoying. I mean I’m kind of being a hypocrite because I do that sometimes but yeah I notice that.
SONIC: And it could have 100 comments but..
LYDIA: Nobody is pointing it out.
SONIC: Yeah, I’m thinking to myself, “I would like it if you spelled that word correctly”.
LYDIA: Totally, I feel that.
SONIC: Besides the album what’s coming up for The Regrettes?
LYDIA: What else? Well next month we’re going on a short tour with Tacocat. I’m not going to say the exact dates because I’ll probably say it wrong but I’m so excited!
SONIC: What does a day off look like for you?
LYDIA: You mean like what does my normal High School self do? Hmmm let’s see. This is what I’ll usually do. In the morning I get dropped off at my friend Alithea’s house, then we’ll go to a makeup store and look at the makeup. We both really love makeup. Then we’ll go to Goodwill and get a bunch of random pieces of clothing, then we’ll go eat at Swingers. We’ll probably then meet up with some of our other friends in either The Valley or Silver Lake or in that area. I don’t know we just do a lot of fun things. My friends are pretty fun, one day we’ll go to the park and have a picnic or go to the beach one night or something like that. We’ve been going to the beach a lot because it’s summer. If I’m not working or going to school I try to spend a lot of time with my friends, especially because I know things are going to be pretty busy around Fall.
SONIC: That sounds awesome. You kind of have it down.
LYDIA: Yeah, I kind of had to get it down because I’ve been in a band since I was 6 years old so I’ve always been good at finding the right balance.
SONIC: Do you write all the lyrics?
LYDIA: I wrote most of them for this record. We might start all writing together though.
SONIC: Do you have a writing process?
LYDIA: Lately it’s been changing a little bit, but usually I’ll be really inspired by a movie or a concert I just went to. I start by messing around on the guitar with chords and stuff, I’m really quick in making up melodies for anything. Lately I’ll be in a car or something then randomly have a melody in my head then I’ll just start writing lyrics on my phone. I’m impatient so if I don’t finish a song within 30 minutes, or the next day I won’t go back to them.
SONIC: Right, like whatever you wrote wasn’t memorable enough.
LYDIA: Yeah, it didn’t stick and make me want to finish it. Usually I’ll write a song in 30 minutes. If you give me a topic I can write you a song about it. It’s come pretty easy to me since when I started taking guitar lessons my teacher was big on writing. She felt the most important thing was being able to write on your instrument.
SONIC: That’s an awesome teacher right there.
LYDIA: Yeah, she is great.
SONIC: So you get to ask me a question now.
LYDIA: What’s your favorite movie?
SONIC: Hmmmm. I have a bunch, but off the top of my head…. True Romance, American History X, Fight Club. I’m blanking out, who is the director? Oh, have you seen Memento?
LYDIA: I have not.
SONIC: Christopher Nolan, that’s the director. Anyway parts of the movie are in color moving forward in time and there’s also a black and white part that go backwards in time. The final scene is where it all meets. It’s about this guy that has notes tattooed all over his body because he has no short term memory.
LYDIA: That concept sounds whacky.
SONIC: Yeah, but he puts it all together really well. What about you?
LYDIA: I love Pulp Fiction, Grease 1 and Grease 2, also American Beauty. Oh and I just watched this movie… hmmm.. where the sisters all live in this house, Oh The Virgin Suicides.
SONIC: Yeah those are some good ones! What are you doing for the rest of the day?
LYDIA: I’m going to pack all day because I’m going to Pennsylvania for 5-6 days and I haven’t started.
SONIC: Nice! I don’t mind packing but I hate unpacking.
LYDIA: Me too! I’m such a big procrastinator when it comes to unpacking my stuff. A lot of it is dirty and crumpled up. I have OCD when it comes to packing, so I make sure everything is perfectly folded and is neat as possible. But obviously that gets all fucked up within the span of the trip, and when I get home it’s so stressful to look at.
SONIC: Yeah, when I get back from a trip my suitcase is a disaster and I leave it in the corner for days.
LYDIA: After SXSW my suitcase was such a mess. Everyone makes fun of me because I bring everything. It’s like a body bag, like this giant black duffle bag. That’s what I brought to SXSW so that’s probably bring for this trip since it fits a shit ton of stuff. I always over pack, I pack my whole closet because I think what if it’s snowing then I’ll be freezing and that can’t happen. I always end up packing things that I’ll never ever need when I’m home but for some reason I think when I go away I need it.
SONIC: I hear ya. Well, thank you so much and I’m looking forward to the record!
LYDIA: Thank you! Good talking to you!
[+] THE REGRETTES