Gathered around a small wooden table sat on low bar stools discussing Coachella and Jimmy Kimmel of all things, with lead vocalist Lydia Night. The Regrettes have just finished sound checking in the venue residing above the bar, ahead of their first headline show in the UK.
The LA-based rock n roll band are a long way from home, so how does Lydia compare playing in the sunny States to performing in the UK? “A lot of people assumed that it makes you kind of spoiled growing up in LA and I think in certain ways it kind of does”. To which she adds. “There are so many bands in a great music scene but at the same time, it’s the complete opposite because you have to work harder to stand out. Also, people that go to shows in LA aren’t always the best because they think they’re too cool. So, when we come to play here it’s so great because fans aren’t just standing there with their arms crossed and nodding their heads in a weird way. It makes you have to command a crowd early on” Explains Night.
” It’s about time that there’s an all guy band that talks about that too and is not pinned as an all-girl thing.”
There’s a riot girl revival taking place in such an elegant and subtle manner that it may have passed you by. Some names spring to mind of artists who are at the forefront of this. Speaking against gender stereotypes, sexism and misogyny; Yet, I don’t need to name names as Lydia enlightens us who these progressive people are. “The tuts are awesome! There’s this band called taco cat that are from near California I think Portland. They’re writing really funny songs about catcalling n stuff like that. Honestly, SWMRS which is an all-dude band speak out against a lot of sexual violence at shows and they’re super big feminists. It’s about time that there’s an all guy band that talks about that too and is not pinned as an all-girl thing.”
It is traditionally considered you become an adult when you turn 18, forget that noise because speaking with Lydia (who is 17) exudes maturity; demonstrating an overwhelming depth of knowledge to be expected by someone in the later stages of life. With that in mind, what advice does she give to other women, across the board in the music industry? “It was always so hard for me to not let people talk to me in a certain way. Especially older dudes, like at a venue a sound guy would talk to me like I was a small child that didn’t know what an amp was. Its super easy to let people walk over you in this business as a young female or any female at all. It only helps to stand up for yourself, it doesn’t hurt and you need to be able to say “hey! don’t talk to me like that”. If you don’t they’re just going to keep doing it; they might keep doing it anyways but at least they know they shouldn’t fuck with you. That’s really important.”
“It only helps to stand up for yourself…they might keep doing it anyways but at least they know they shouldn’t fuck with you. That’s really important.”
The Regrettes get branded as a ‘Punk band’ in interviews and other outlets but what is punk in 2018? Your typical serotypes are your young edgy kids spitting, walking around in leathers with wild haircuts; listening to music with power chords embedded into every track… but this isn’t the 70’s anymore. “I think the word punk has gotten so skewed in the past.” Lydia adds “I feel like in the past people associated it with Hot Topic and Fall Out Boy, shit like that is something we don’t consider ourselves anything like. I call us a rock and roll band because that’s the vaguest way to incorporates all genres. Yeah, we have songs that are punk but then we also have songs that are super poppy or super classic rock; calling us a punk band is… I don’t know I don’t agree with it. I think as an attitude overall, like throughout all of our songs we do have a very punk attitude towards a lot of things. Which is what I would nowadays consider is the definition of punk. What your lyrics are standing for and what you are saying instead of the hard power chords.” Explains Night.
It becomes transparent when talking with Lydia that she loves what she does. I asked her to narrow it down, and tell us what she love the most. “One of the main things sharing my stories with people and have them relate to it. Helping people through stuff by sharing my experience through music.”
This is the sound of the new riot girl revolution.
WORDS: CHARLIE CONIBEAR