SUPERSWEETIE Liane Eltan chats to Sharin Foo, one half of Danish retro-chic band The Raveonettes and one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most stylish women about… just about everything! Bring on the girls!
PART ONE: SEX, DRUGS & ROCKS 'N' ROLL
We’re meeting in a bar after a short promo-gig for the release of the band’s new album ‘Pretty In Black’. And if there’s one word to describe The Raveonettes, it’s gotta be ‘cool’. When Sharin and her partner-in-crime Sune Rose Wagner walk into the bar all eyes are on them. They are effortlessly stylish! Sune is all dressed in black, wearing 50s style shades that make him look like the rock ‘n’ roll star he is. As for Sharin, in Jackie O sunglasses, looks absolutely stunning and très très chic!
SS: So Sharin, you live in London while Sune lives in NYC. How does that work for you?
Sharin: So we’re kinda spread out. We tend to be together all the time anyway because we’re on the road, in the studio, doing promotions. So, we’re always together. (laughs)
SS: I saw you play at Islington Academy earlier this year. When you played ‘My Boyfriend’s Back’ people in the audience looking at each other, kind of thinking ‘where do I know this from?’, it’s a great song!
Sharin: Yeah, yeah, people really recognise it. They don’t know from where but it sounds so familiar.
SS: What’s going to happen to the song? I read that Sune was hoping to have a hit with the single 42 years after it was first released.
Sharin: We don’t know. I mean, I don’t think we’re gonna release that single. I think mostly because it’s not our song, you know. In the end, it’s a cover version of that song. It actually came about a bit backwards that we did a cover of it because we were asked to do it for a computer game initially. A game called ‘Stubbs The Zombie’ which is set in the 60s. So all the songs are 60s songs re-interpreted by different bands, like Flaming Lips doing a song, and Dandy Warhols and us. And we just thought it was kinda like a charming little version of it. And it was fun to do because Richard Gottehrer, our producer, actually wrote that song. I don’t know what’s gonna happen with it. It just came about and it ended up on the album.
SS: There are a lot of new bands around at the moment and quite a few of those are from the UK. Which new bands do you personally listen to?
Sharin: I listen, to be honest with you, to older music. I like The Warlocks very much. I’m gonna go out and see them play tonight. They’re in town and they’re very good friends of ours. I like the Brian Jonestown Massacre; they’ve been around for a while. Primal Scream is one of my favourite bands but they’ve also been around for a long time. But I still consider them one of the most innovative bands. I like a band like the Duke Spirit; I think they have a great sound. And I like Arcade Fire; I think they’re very good. And I like a band from LA called Autolux they’re pretty cool and they’re really good. And The Morning After Girls it’s also a great band from Australia. I mean there are some good new bands. I don’t know that many of the British bands. I think Bloc Party is pretty good.
SS: Would you like to do future collaborations with those bands after working on ‘Pretty In Black’ with artists such as Moe Tucker and Ronnie Spector?
Sharin: I think what we would actually like to do would be to work with someone that’s more into like the electronic music field. Someone like Miss Kittin, you know something that’s like a little bit different, some good DJs. Not that I know so much about it but that’s the music that to me sounds really kind of interesting. I don’t think we wanna repeat ourselves and go back and with our key chords the way we’ve done it on previous records. We’ll have to do something different next time.
SS: What inspires you?
Sharin: Well, it’s the typical thing which is, I mean, all the great literature, great movies, cultural life, you know, painting, art, but also going out, meeting people. Travelling is inspiring, too, seeing new things. It can be a total drag as well, touring and stuff.
SS: How is touring with the boys then?
Sharin: (Laughs) Well, it’s good and bad…
SS: Any annoying habits they’ve got you would like to talk about?
Sharin: I’m not gonna be too mean towards them, but obviously there can be an overload of testosterone in the air sometimes. I mean I can feel that I’m getting used to very kind of a male world and the way that they act and communicate. And also the values, it’s a different kind of, you know, set of rules and a different way of communicating and I can feel that I’m kind of getting used to that and I’m adjusting to that, and sometimes I’m a little worried that I’m gonna get like way too kinda rock ‘n’ roll. (Laughs) So I’m trying to kind of embrace all my feminine sides. Go down to a spa now and then and do something active, more kind of feminine thing. Talk to my girlfriends on the phone and stuff like that.
SS: So, what is like being in a band? Is it all 'sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll'?
Sharin: It is a lot of that but it’s also…I mean, in the end it’ll make you a bit empty and lonely. I mean, there is a lot of that and it is a lot of fun and there is a lot of meeting a lot of characters. But I think me and Sune, we can’t go on doing this forever and then we eventually take care of ourselves and do good things, you know, for mind and body and kind of try and stimulate ourselves in a different way. We need to have a balance but, yeah, it is a lot of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Unfortunately. I have to apologise. I’m sure that there are bands that do it differently but not any of the bands that we hang out with. It’s all the same.
SS: Did you ever think 'ok, if the music thing doesn’t work out, I’ll just do something else'? Is there anything else you would have done?
Sharin: I think about it in a sense that I worry about it, you know, like ‘what do I do?’ because I don’t know that I can keep on touring and living this life for another 30 years. I don’t know how I’ll survive that. With music I would really like to see myself doing for many years. But I really don’t know what I would do. I would love to study some more. I’m sure I’ll figure something out.
Words: Liane Eltan
Photography: Kriangkrai Srithongthai