Lydia Night is a tough cookie; she's just gone a bit softer in the middle now. On The Regrettes' second album ‘How Do You Love?' they're sweet and salty, telling the story of our character falling in and out of love, delivering banger after banger along the way.
There's not just love on the brain though. In the two years since the release of their debut album ‘Feel Your Feelings Fool!', The Regrettes have opened the main stage at Reading & Leeds, toured with Twenty One Pilots, had all of their gear nicked in the process, lost a bassist and got two new ones, and released an EP AND numerous singles and covers. Not bad for Lydia, who's barely out of high school.
So we call up our California friends (lol) for a little catch-up, and to find out some more about their new record.
Hey Lydia! What can you tell us about the new album?
The new album is a love story, and it's more of a cautionary tale or leads on that side of it, and we want people to listen in order for sure.
It's a bit of a different vibe from the last one, the last one was like "fuck u!!" and now it's like "luv u".
Totally, but it also turns into that, I think it shows that it's not all love songs that's for sure, it's developmental, there are a lot of changes in feelings and it kind of walks you through that.
It's more of a mature record, did that happen naturally?
Yeah, I think it happened naturally, but we also did wanna make sure our second record wasn't too similar to the first. The music we were writing wasn't that similar to the first anyway, so that was easy to do, but there was a conscious decision just to let ourselves make the music that we wanted to make.
On the first album, you'd mentioned you'd written a lot of the songs yourself before it was even going to be a record. Was it the same for this one?
For this one, it was more of a collaboration. Some of the songs I wrote with our producer Mike, some of the songs we all wrote together as a band, just a big mix. A lot of them I still wrote alone, but it's definitely more of a collaboration.
What sort of inspiration did you have for it?
Just life experience, it's all based on life experience. Some of it's more exaggerated than others, but it's all come from different relationships that I've been in.
Do you have a favourite track on the record?
I think right now my favourite would be ‘Colouring Book', but it's changing, it's a constant changing thing, but that's what's been stuck in my head.
I wanted to talk about the opening part because it's so sweet. Was that a poem you wrote?
Aw, thank you! Yeah, I didn't know what it was gonna turn into at first, and then I just thought it'd be the perfect pre-album thing to have, to set up the story and have the listener like ready, prepared for this journey.
And I like that it comes back to it at the end but from a different perspective. Was that intentional?
Thank you! Yeah, oh yeah the whole thing was intentional.
How long have you been working on the record?
I mean, working on it and writing and everything, kind of since our first album came out, a little after I wanna say, so a few years. We only started recording it though a year ago.
Who were you working with on it this time?
Mike Elizondo, who actually produced our first album and produced our second, but did a great job of having it like sound sonically totally new. It still feels true to who we are, but it takes on a new and fresh outlook and approach to it.
You're on your second album at 18, which not many people manage. Is it all work and no play for you guys?
True. It's a combo, we, on tour, have so much fun that it feels like play a lot of the time anyways because we all get along so well and are super close, so it doesn't feel too much like work. I mean there's definitely a lot of hard work involved, and like mostly that, but we have fun.
How do you guys feel about people bringing up your ages, do you ever feel like you're underestimated?
I mean the only time it's annoying, or the main time, is when they call us all teenagers because I'm literally the only one underage. Like, I'm the only teenager, and I'm also an adult now, so if we get called a teen band, it's the most annoying shit ever. But that's like less now everyone's getting older, and we're more established now, people tend not to do that now which is great.
Were those kind of comments part of the reason you wanted to write feminist songs in the beginning?
I never directly thought about it in that way, I mean I'm sure yes, because that's the shit that I was going through and I would just talk about what I was going through in an honest way, and I feel like that's where it came from. So I'm sure it was a reflection of that.
How did you feel at the beginning of the last album cycle, being called the new face of riot grrl?
I mean, honoured to be associated with that. That's so inspiring to me as a writer, the riot grrl movement and all of the bands involved in that, so to be a new face to it for people is insane and so cool.
Did you ever feel like you had any expectations to live up to?
I mean, you just have to be very aware of what you say and how you act, because if there are young women and humans looking at you and looking up to you and dissecting what you do, you can't be naïve and ignorant to that and pretend like nobody's watching, when they are. There's a responsibility that follows that.
Let's talk a bit about the tour because you've had a bit of a turbulent time in the UK. Has that ever deterred you from touring?
It's an up and down thing for me. There are moments where I love it, and there are moments when, you can't not feel homesick at some point. It wears on you no matter what. I'm a person who can tour and enjoy touring, and not everyone is, but it wears on you at a point.
And you guys toured with twenty one pilots as well, how was that?
So much fun, it was incredible. It's insane being part of this crazy operation. I've never seen such production like that, so seeing it behind the scenes and seeing it all was super inspiring and cool.
They do some amazing stuff live. When are you guys touring this record?
We're doing a lot of touring for this album. We actually have about three months of touring. For the rest of the year, we're doing a July run across the States, and we're going to Japan, coming back, having two weeks off, then setting off on the beginning of our album cycle tour here (US), and across the UK and Europe in November quite a bit.
Is that festival season too?
We're not doing many festivals, not this year. We're doing Summer Sonic in Japan, which is a really cool festival there.
Let's end on something silly. If the album was a dessert, what would it be?
I'd say it'd be a cake, because there are many layers to it and many different parts. It'd be like one of those cakes that's filled with sprinkles – you know like those viral cake videos where they cut it open, and there's this rainbow of craziness in the middle? I think it'd be like dark chocolate on the outside and then like vanilla rainbow sprinkles on the inside because it gets to the point of being like ‘I'm gonna feel all these things and learn from them'.
Taken from the August issue of Dork. The Regrettes' album 'How Do You Love?' is out 9th August.
Featuring Sam Fender, Marika Hackman, Kim Petras, IDER, Love Fame Tragedy and more.