Clash first encountered The Regrettes in 2016, around the time the outrageously precocious Los Angeles group were working on their debut album ‘Feel Your Feelings Fool!’. “The Regrettes kick serious ass,” we said, and thankfully we’ve been able to stick around and see that, almost literally, happen.
In town for a quickfire show at the Old Blue Last, singer Lydia Night – still in her teens, but worldy-wise and eloquent in such a succinct manner – hits us up via the phone in her West London hotel room.
“I love the UK and I love London,” she tells Clash. “I try to wake up as early as possible and I walk and explore as much as I can. There are so many different little parts that are amazing. I love the food. The parks are my favourite.”
Still incredibly young, Lydia wants to experience as much as she can, grabbing each moment and wrestling it down to the ground. It all merges with her songwriting, that vulnerable life-force which fuses punk energy to a clear taste for pop melody.
“I mean, a lot of times my songs are written from a super-personal, vulnerable space,” she admits. “Sometimes it is fun to experiment and write from an outside perspective, or even write from the viewpoint of a character. It becomes a fun fiction thing. So I like doing both.”
Recently heading out in the desert of the Joshua Tree area in California, The Regrettes have begun to sketch out their new album. Yet drummer Maxx Morando won’t be participating, having left the band – amicably, we must point out - on the eve of their European tour.
“Our new drummer is incredible,” she gushes. “As a human and as a drummer. This is our first tour with him. And the energy has totally shifted so it’s a new beginning. At first that’s really scary, because change is always really scary in the beginning, but it’s been for the better.”
Playing live is absolutely key to the band, who will kick off another coast-to-coast American route once their European itinerary comes to an end. It’s here they burst into full bloom, the jagged edges of their songwriting allowed to cut down all before them. “I think that all the songs take on a new life when we play them live,” she insists. “We don’t really get bored of them. It just feels different. It’s weird, it’s crazy how that happens. You play the songs so many times and we haven’t gotten sick of ‘em. Which is crazy.”
There’s also a pop edge, a word Lydia isn’t afraid of using. “I think it’s what you make of it,” she argues. “I think a lot of people assume now that pop is like Top 40 which I don’t agree with. When I think of pop I think of hooky melody, and really catchy riffs. I think of rock bands that have pop elements. I don’t think it’s a bad word at all.”
“I write so much,” Lydia continues. “I would feel weird writing so much and not releasing music as often as possible and getting it out into the world. It would feel like I was holding things back from our fans. It’s like, there’s this song, and people should hear it.”
With The Regrettes set to return to the UK for a short headline burst ahead of their much-anticipated Reading and Leeds slots, Clash can’t help but ask if the band will be dropping in anything new for fans during those performances.
“Hmmm,” she purrs; “Maybe… Wouldn’t be a surprise if I told you!”
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