With Moonblock Party's Desert Daze festival rapidly approaching we coordinated with the founders, resident artist Steven Fiche, and this year's lineup to bring you a weekly interview series. Each week we're presenting exclusive interviews with bands like The Raveonettes, Liars, DIIV, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and many more. Accompanying each interview will be artwork curated by Fiche in the style of this year's official flyer.
The series begins with The Raveonettes' Sune Rose Wagner, who updated us on the past few years of his life with events including, a move to Los Angeles to be closer to bandmate Sharin Foo, and a slightly esoteric glimpse into the group's upcoming record, which is still in the recording process. Originally from Copenhagen, The Raveonettes have released six albums since 2003, the last of which being 2012's Observator. Since it was too early to discuss the developments with the new record, we kept the focus on Observator and West Coast living.
It's been a year and half (give or take) since the release of Observator, have you begun working on your next record? If so, what can you share about the process so far?
We sure are. Been working on it all year. It’s a riot… It’s like a Jackson Pollock painting with all the fury, spontaneity and speed.
Did you record the new record in LA?
Yeah, well, it’s still in the making but everything is done here in LA.
This description of “fury, spontaneity and speed” in recording is intriguing… is it because of a new approach to recording or does the speed come from the experience of writing six full length records as Raveonettes?
I’ve always written were fast and spontaneously, you know the stream of consciousness kinda approach and it usually works. Obviously I make sure to add different layers and textures but the general idea just comes…Like Gregory Corso put it “…from a dark river within…”
In the past you've collaborated with influential artists like Ronnie Spector, Maureen Tucker, and Martin Rev, artists that to a degree inform your sound. Are there other musicians you'd like to collaborate with and are any of those wishful collaborations possibly in the works?
Yeah, well not really they’re all dead.
You're about to play a festival in the desert of California, but what's the weirdest place you've performed? What made it significant?
Spring Break, Daytona Beach, Florida, while the war in Iraq was raging. We made them shut down all the military recruitment stations before we played. Needless to say people hated us! We had the police guard our backstage room for our safety.
Do you both live in separate cities still (NYC and LA)? How has that complicated the writing/recording process?
Nope we both live in LA, problem solved.
What brought the move to LA and how has that benefited the band?
I was in NYC for 10 years and thought I should change things up a bit. I wanted to live in Nashville and went house hunting but then I thought I’d probably shoot myself out of boredom and decided upon LA instead. Not sure it was the right move… I can spend more time with Sharin and we get things done quicker so that’s a positive thing.
You described New York as inspiring in '08, given the passage of time and possibly fodder like David Byrne's editorial on New York City, do you still feel inspired by the city?
I haven’t been there for a few years but I miss it and will always love it.
You went into Observator looking to channel the spirit of The Doors and Venice Beach from a bygone era. What was your impression of it now and did any of that translate into the record? Can you share each of your impressions of Los Angeles and what it's current state means to you?
Absolutely, I’m still inspired by The Doors, in fact I think they’re the greatest band of all time. I love the beaches here, a tremendous amount of inspiration, if I have the time I go out there 3-4 times a week just soaking up the tranquility of the mighty Pacific and taking pictures of surfers.
Do you plan to camp while you're at the festival and if so, what's one of your camping essentials you'll be bringing?
No camping for me. I have to fly to Copenhagen the next day so we’re staying closer to LAX. No rest for the wicked. Thanks.
Get your tickets and make camping arrangements here, before it's too late.