INTERVIEW: The Regrettes Prove Gold Isn’t Always Old

Photo by Alan McCarthy

Fresh off the California coast, The Regrettes have arrived in Boston to perform songs from one hell of a debut album, emphatically named Feel Your Feelings Fool!. Lead vocalist Lydia Night will kick off a bill at the Paradise tonight, December 7th, with a little help from guitarist Genessa Gariano, bassist Sage Chavis and drummer Maxx Morando, before The Interrupters and SWMRS take over.

In support of their first ever full-length release, this oldies-inspired/punk rock in practice four-piece will not only bring their defiant doo-wop tunes to Boston, but also some woke af sensibility. Their songs exhibit vulnerability alongside a fuck-you attitude, and their performance style is all energy and all-ages. Looks like they’ll get along in student-infested places like Boston just fine.

To find out a little more about the eclectic energy of The Regrettes, AP chatted with Gariano ahead of tonight’s show. Listen to their music, and read our interview below.

Allston Pudding: Your new album is titled Feel Your Feelings Fool! What’s so important about feeling your feelings?

Genessa Gariano: Feelings are something everyone has, and I think a lot of people suppress feelings just because it’s easier. They don’t want to seem vulnerable. They don’t know how to feel them, or they don’t want to feel them. So, I think it’s really important to let them out because [keeping them in] causes a lot of resentment towards other people including yourself. If you feel them, you’ll feel better. That’s a feeling you’re gonna feel– you’ll feel better.

AP: Hell yeah. Are you a fan of the golden oldies?

GG: Definitely. I think Lydia our singer is definitely the big oldies/girl group fan. But, I really do enjoy that. It’s something that I love listening to as well.

AP: What draws you to that specific sound? How did you first get into older music?

GG: I’ve always been drawn to older music because the sound is more authentic and it’s raw. There’s a nice energy around it. I think with the 60’s music, it’s really fun and it’s hard to feel sad when you’re listening to that.

AP: What do you mean when you say it sounds more authentic?

GG: I like a lot of the new music nowadays but I think sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s really going on with it. I like to be able to hear instruments and hear the voices without a ton of autotune.

AP: How did you decide to sign with Warner Bros. as opposed to remaining unsigned?

GG: A lot of people think Warner Bros. is big and scary and manipulative. But there’s none of that at all. I think they’ve always made us feel extremely comfortable. In meetings, we get to say exactly what we what. We get to say how we feel about things and if there’s something that is weird or seems not true to us, there’s no push. It’s really awesome how the team we have has really helped us do what we want rather than what they want.

AP: Was signing with a big label a goal from the beginning, or did it just happen?

GG: I think it’s always a goal to have support from a label. We did not send the music to people. It wasn’t an active thing. It really happened very quickly. It wasn’t a forced thing at all.

AP: What’s the all-ages scene in L.A. like? Can you talk about your experience with all-ages venues around the country?

GG: The all-ages scene in L.A. is my favorite– not of everywhere, just of L.A. scenes. It’s awesome because kids really get into the music. They dance, they get up onto the ceiling if there’s a pole they can swing from. It’s really cool. They like to move and have fun. I think a lot of times as people get older, they want to be a little more “cool” or something. I’m not sure exactly what’s happening.

AP: Honestly I’m not sure either.

GG: But it’s really cool to have the younger kids because when it’s all ages, it’s true energy. It’s all this energy in the audience that we get to play off of. That’s the main thing. It’s the energy and the audience that keeps us going as well. We’re watching them as much as they’re watching us.

AP: Can you pick two (2) west coast bands that east coasters should definitely be listening to?

GG: Ooo ok. SWMRS. Another band we toured with, Taco Cat. They’re from the northern west coast.

Photo by Kenneth Cappello

AP: How do you personally support other young people & marginalized musicians? How can music fans?

GG: I think the main way is by sharing other younger musician’s music, and letting other people know to support them. Telling your friends about bands, and not putting anyone down for being young, I think that’s the main thing. Just being kind, and only showing love and not any kind of jealousy. I think that’s where a lot of people go wrong. That and also just showing up to the shows is the biggest support that you can have. There’s nothing more special than having people around and listening to the music.

AP: What is your best advice for young people who want to make music or play shows?

GG: The main thing is to just to put yourself out there. If you want to play shows, email the venue you want to play. Sit down one night and email five different venues that you want to play. Maybe none of them will say yes, but most likely one of them will have an option for you. Maybe it’s not the most optimal thing for the first show, but you can book something: cafes, open mics. Do something. If you want to write a song, sit down and write something.

“You have a million bad songs in you and you’ve got to let them out before you can write a good song.”

You have to start somewhere. Let all of the things you don’t like out of your head, and then things you do like will start coming out too.

Good advice. What’s been the best moment of touring in 2017?

GG: Going to Europe. I think the best moment specifically was the first time we went out with the other band SWMRS, and hung out with them, and realizing that we had another band on our side that felt the same way about a lot of things, and just being in another country. It being so surreal to be in another country and then find a band who’s awesome and respectful. And being in a tour bus. Just the whole experience of being in Europe for the first time. For me, I’d never been there. But touring was so surreal and special.

AP: What are you looking forward to in 2018? What can fans look forward to?

GG: Well, we are releasing a few songs soon in 2018, so people can look forward to that. That, and hopefully some more tours, shows. We’re not really sure exactly what’s going on next year yet. It’s all up in the air. But whatever’s happening, I’m very excited to do it. Building this is exciting. Keep your eyes out for our new music coming out. There’s new things coming.

The Regrettes play with The Interrupters and SWMRS at Paradise Rock Club tonight Dec. 7 @ 6:30pm. All ages, $16 advance/$18 day of show, tickets here.