The Raveonettes
Live @ Oxford Zodiac
November 23, 2007
Interview & Photography: Steve Bateman

"Hey, do you want to make the album that we've always been missing in our collection?"

It's arguably the one phone call that any aspiring musician dreams of receiving from a potential band mate - and in 2000, this was the exact question that Sune Rose Wagner posed to Sharin Foo, who simply replied, "Yeah, sure. Why not?"

Having both grown up in Denmark, Sune (who was also once a member of Psyched Up Janis and The Tremolo Beer Gut), later travelled around the USA in 1999, writing songs and seeking out possible recruits who shared his musical vision. Which in the late '90s, was a vision that somewhat went against the grain. Basically, Sune had had enough of over-produced music, and inspired by the Dogme Film Movement (famous for imposing strict rules / parameters on production), decided that he was going to react against it. In that every song would be recorded in an extremely simplistic way, using no more than 3 chords, no high-hat or ride cymbals, with boy / girl harmonies and lasting no longer than 3 minutes - all in the key of B-flat minor!

Understandably, many of the musicians who Sune met or auditioned in the States at that time, didn't quite 'get' or grasp this concept, with some even unwilling to plug away with little or no money until the group had found its footing. So ultimately, his search for band mates in America proved fruitless. But unwilling to lose heart, he then telephoned his old friend, Sharin - a statuesque beauty - upon returning to his homeland, who was taken with the idea! Sune played guitar, while Sharin was assigned to bass, and with the duo's crystal-cut voices interweaving perfectly, everything clicked, and their early rehearsals / gigs were deemed to be a resounding success!

The Raveonettes were born, and the rest as they say, is history! And if proof was ever needed that you should always stick to your guns, all of Sune's early ambitions later became a reality on the band's hard-as-nails, self-recorded and self-produced mini-album, Whip It On, which was put out in 2002 through Danish label, Crunchy Frog. History also indicates that respected Rolling Stone writer David Fricke - who attended SPOT Festival (held annually in Denmark) - was one of the first people to discover the group. And along with his glowing live review, which included the unforgettable pull-quote, "Falling head over heels for a new band at first sight." An important debut US show was also played in July of that same year, at the Mecca of the Punk / Underground scene, New York's CBGB - which when united with the aforementioned article, resulted in offers pouring in from labels the world over.

The Raveonettes eventually signed to Columbia Records, and containing the breakthrough single, That Great Love Sound, the band's debut album proper, Chain Gang Of Love - co-produced with the legendary Richard Gottehrer (Blondie and The Go-Go's) - was released in 2003, and further capitalised on the stir that the group had originally created. Only this time, every song was recorded in B-flat major, thus enabling the two-piece to craft slightly more elaborate arrangements / layers in amongst the feedback-laden blasts, as there was "more space." The New York Times wrote, "The Raveonettes tweak American Graffiti-era rock with fuzzed-out surf-guitar riffs." With other music critics picking up on how the band were "Retro-Revisionist Rebels," "fuelled by a fascination with America's vintage cultural landscape," and whose songs were "a whirlwind of ravishing noir and vintage-pop echo." And to emphasise his love for Phil Spector's Wall Of Sound, Sune was often seen sporting a 'Back To Mono' button badge.

Another appealing side to the group, was how their artwork and videos similarly referenced their fondness of B-movies, Film Noir and Hitchcock. Which not only gave the band a strong, glamorous, teen idol, almost pin-up visual identity, but like their music, helped bring the past back into the present, albeit with a modern twist! The story behind the duo's moniker is also noteworthy, as it is derived from the old girl's name, Ravonelle - with the 'elle' changed to 'ettes' in homage to The Ronettes, and an extra 'e' added between 'Ravon' to create Rave On, which by chance, is also a Buddy Holly song!

2005's Pretty In Black LP (which has contributions from Ronnie Spector, former Velvet Underground Drummer Moe Tucker, and Suicide's Martin Rev), showed off a more refined, flawless and Bubblegum Pop sound than its predecessors. And in doing so, the tenderness and sweetness of certain tracks, which continued exploring real and fictitious themes of love, romance, sex, desire and longing. Confirmed that The Raveonettes were forward-thinking, versatile and more than capable of creating classic jukebox songs, that matched the perennial favourites of their heroes and idols!

Having now parted ways with Sony, 2007's Lust Lust Lust, was first road-tested across the East & West Coast of America this past spring and summer (minus the usual extra live musicians), with back-to-basics 'Electric Duo' performances. The record has since been issued in the UK and US by Fierce Panda and Vice respectively - to widespread acclaim - and initial limited edition copies, even come with special 3D Glasses and a foldout lyric sheet! Although a much darker, reflective and powerful album, everything that you love about The Raveonettes, from the magical dynamics, to the dreamy Doo-Wop melodies. To the feast for the ears signature waves of guitar (Sune and Sharin are both faithful Fender players), to the lashings of luscious vocal harmonies, are present in all their glory!

As one of the most respected and cherished bands by music fans and musicians alike, not to mention one of my favourite bands EVER! I spoke to Sharin and Sune, who are an absolute lady and gentleman (and also their own tour managers / roadies), on the final date of their current UK Tour. About their career, their lives, their loves and their heart-stopping and timeless music, before tonight's sweeping set, like their records, went by in a flash, leaving everyone aching for more…


Lucy: Your band have been quite quiet for the last few months. Are you looking forward to playing gigs again?
Katie Jane Garside: I think I give very obtuse ans

1. What are your memories of the moment that you first met each other?
Sharin: "Um (thinking), it's too long ago (laughing)!"
Sune: "Yeah, I don't remember that actually."
Sharin: "There wasn't like a defining first moment, I guess we just sort of met through…"
Sune: "We had mutual friends (pausing), but I don't remember the first moment that we met (laughing)!"
Sharin: "It was more like going out with people and drinking in town, and I was dating one of Sune's friends. So…"

2. And growing up in Denmark, what are your earliest recollections of hearing the music that you became so attracted to, i.e. Rock 'n' Roll, '50s Surf Songs, Rockabilly, Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers, Phil Spector's Wall Of Sound, '60s Girl Groups, The Velvet Underground, Suicide, The Cramps, Sonic Youth etc?
Sune: "I remember going to the library a lot, and borrowing records in my hometown. I would come home with compilation albums and stuff - that was a nice feeling (smiling) - just discovering new music everyday! It was great, and there was always a new song or new artist, that was really, really good! Yeah!"
Sharin: "I don't really have a memory of when it started, because I was exposed to a lot of music when I grew up with my parents…"
Sune: "I mean there weren't any record shops where I grew up, and as I mentioned, I had to borrow from the library and there wasn't a lot of stuff there. So, it wasn't until much, much later - when I moved to Copenhagen - that I started to get my hands on Alternative stuff you know?"
Sharin: "It's actually funny to think about how difficult it was to discover things back then…"
Sune: "Yeah, it was impossible - impossible!"
Sharin: "But now, there's MySpace…"
Sune: "There were no magazines or anything (pausing), or say like where I grew up, because it was close to Germany, there was Hit Parada and Bravo - all of these magazines with '80s Pop Music you know?"
Sharin: "Yeah, Duran Duran (smiling)!"
Sune: "Yeah (laughing), there was nothing like (pausing), I didn't even know that there was a thing called Alternative Music - I'd never heard of anything like that!"
Sharin: "But it created a mystery."
Sune: "Definitely!"
Sharin: "It really created a mystery about music back then, which is sort of a little bit lost today."

3. You've talked of how your songs are, "A tribute to a lot of the great music that has come before you." But for you personally, which artist / band could you not imagine music without?
Sune: "Um (long pause + thinking), Suicide! Yeah, I would say Suicide, and probably Surf Music, because that's a big influence on the sound and guitar playing and stuff. We'd be very different if that wasn't there. I'm sure Suicide inspired The Velvet Underground and Sonic Youth too (pausing + thinking). Yeah, for me, I would say more Suicide than Surf Music really."
Sharin: "I think Suicide for me as well (smiling)!"

4. Is there anything that you can tell us about yourselves, which may surprise your fans?
Sharin: "Um (giggling)…"

Sune: "I'm sure there is (laughing)!"
Sharin: "I'm sure there's a lot of stuff, yeah, but…"
Sune: "I've had sex with Phil Spector's daughter!"
Sune and Sharin: (both laugh hysterically)
Sharin: "Well, it's not that much of a surprise…"
Sune: "Yeah, but for people it is. Maybe not for you (looking at Sharin + laughing)…"
Sharin: "I suppose (laughing). I don't know if I have anything to tell you (thinking)?"
Sune: "There's a lot of things, but we'll leave it at that!"

5. What's your biggest vice?
Sune: "Oh (thinking), probably drinking I would say."
Sharin: "Could it be something like a personal trait, more so than a guilty vice (looking at me)?"
*I say yes*
Sharin: "Oh OK."
Sune: "Like you could say (looking at Sharin), "I swear a lot" or "I have sex with too many men (jokingly)!"
Sune and Sharin: (both laugh hysterically)
Sharin: "He is joking by the way (pausing + thinking) - I'm lazy! Yeah! Not when we're actually running around on tour, but I am lazy I think."
Sune: "She's a real trooper when we're on tour!"
Sune and Sharin: (both laughing)
Sharin: "Yeah, I save my energy for touring (laughing), and then when I get home, I'm done (laughing)!"

6. Sune, does your environment and personal life affect your songs, and has the way you work changed over the years?
Sune: "That's a good question! Um (thinking), it's hard to say you know, because I've lived in different Cities when we've done all of the albums, and with the last one that we did, I lived in New York, and it came out quite different from the other ones that we had done. So, I'm sure there's a connection, but obviously I don't see it, do you know what I mean? Um (thinking), I don't know? There must be something…"
Sharin: "I think Pretty In Black, was pretty affected by the fact that we were in the USA when we recorded it."
Sune: "Yeah, yeah, but Steve's talking about when we write the songs and stuff…"
Sharin: "Oh right."
Sune: "I guess Pretty In Black (pausing), maybe that was more of a calm period - after all of the touring? I don't know? We had some time off which was nice…"
Sharin: "Maybe it was a need for calm?"
Sune: "Yeah, maybe it was a need for calm! Because we toured so extensively and so much, that we were both like, "I want to do something nice and mellow and soothing," kind of thing. So we weren't that busy, but when the new album was written, then maybe there was some need for feeling like, "OK, now we've got to get things moving again - we've got to go out there and play, and rock people with some noise!" That could totally be (pausing), I don't know if it affects me that much living in New York? And I don't know if it's that different from when I lived in Copenhagen, in that sense? Or Brighton, where Blood Red Shoes are from."
*When I first met Sune and Sharin, Laura-Mary from Blood Red Shoes had asked me to say hello to them, as had Juanita from Howling Bells*
Sune: "So I don't know? I just don't know (laughing)? I hate that answer though, because a journalist told me yesterday, that she thought I was "The best interviewee that she'd had for a long time, because I never said I don't know? Because that's what everyone says." But, I've just repeated it 10 times here…"
Sharin: (laughing)
Sune: "But I must seriously say that (pausing), I don't know?"
Sune and Sharin: (both laughing)

7. Interestingly, some songwriters believe that they can communicate better through songs, than they can in real life. Do you also feel like this, and how often do you write?

Sune: "No! I think I'm much better at communicating on a personal level, than I am in my songs - absolutely! I'm really good at saying what I want to say! Yeah, I think I'm better in real life actually."
Sharin: "I'm sure there's some kind of outlet in songs. I mean why else would people write songs, unless they didn't have a need to express themselves?"
*Sharin also writes songs, but to date, these have all remained private*
Sune: "Yeah, it might be things that you don't necessarily talk about all of the time you know, but it's feelings and emotions that you have. But I guess it's just a deeper way of expressing yourself."

8. Of all The Arts, which do you think is the most honest?

Sharin: "I don't think there's one of The Arts that is more honest than the others."
Sune: "No."
Sharin: "I think any Art can come through in a strong way when it's honest, and I mean that's when it becomes meaningful. But I don't think there's one or the other that's more honest."
Sune: "Architecture comes close to honesty!"
Sune and Sharin: (both laughing)
*Sune is also an admirer of Beat Poetry / Poets, and even has Jack Kerouac tattooed on his arm*

9. Sune, in the past, you've spoken of how The Raveonettes was "a natural progression from your previous groups," and how at that time, "the revitalisation of rock 'n' roll gave you momentum." However, since then, the Internet and Social-Networking Sites have drastically changed the relationship between musicians and music fans - although it does seem that The Raveonettes have still managed to retain an air of mystery. Does this please you both?
Sune: "Yeah, and I think we both agree, that we would love to keep it that way. But unfortunately - or fortunately for some people - like you said, it doesn't work like that anymore, with the Internet and MySpace and Facebook and all of that stuff. People demand updates all of the time, they like to know what's going on and all that stuff, and you have to cater to them. Sometimes it can be a strain I think, it can be a little (releasing a deep sigh), you know?"
Sharin: "I think it's something that we're still exploring with our MySpace - it's finding a balance between inviting people into the creative part of writing songs for instance. And on the other hand, you want to also keep…"
Sune: "As you said, keep an air of mystery."
Sharin: "Yeah, and I think it's still something that we're trying to figure out."

10. Sune and Sharin, you now live in New York and LA respectively - why did you decide to relocate to the USA, and what are some of your favourite things about each City?

Sune: "Well, I live in New York because I used to live there before and I liked it, and I really thought it was a great place! It's one of the Cities in the States that I always thought would be great to move back to! Yeah, I just really like it there - it's very inspiring! It's a big City and everything is available to you, at all times, and I like that (smiling)!"
Sharin: (laughing)
Sune: "I like to walk around a lot, and I think that's why I like New York City - it's one of the only Cities in America where you can actually walk you know, and I like that fact! I suppose it depends on what sort of mood I'm in - there's a lot of good bars and stuff like that which you can go to. And I like to go to The Symphony sometimes, or just walk around The Village - anywhere really, there are just so many places that you can go to. I really like it a lot!"
Sharin: "I like LA because it's a very picturesque, cinematic City, and it's got a lot of myth about it. But what I really enjoy personally, is the space and privacy. I like to have a home where I'm not living on top of other people, who are then next door to somebody else you know? So I enjoy the space and the peace (smiling)!"

11. From personal experience, what is the one thing that everybody should try at least once in their lifetime?
Sune: "Sex!"
Sune and Sharin: (both laughing)
Sharin: "What is the one thing that everybody should try at least once in their lifetime (thinking)? I think it's good for people to travel (pausing), it's important if you have the opportunity to, because it will give you a different perspective on life. Of course it's a privilege, but I think it would be a good thing for people to see different parts of the world!"

12. If you could be anybody for a day, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Sune: "Ooh (thinking)…"
Sharin: "Oh My God (thinking)!"
Sune: "There's so many…"
Sharin: "Yeah (laughing)! Savinsky."
Sune: "Savinsky, that would be great, yeah (long pause + thinking)!"
Sharin: "Oh God, there's so many (thinking)…"
Sune: "Here's a good answer - I would be Hitler and then I would just shoot myself!"
Sune and Sharin: (both laugh hysterically)
Sune: "It would save the world a lot of trouble (laughing)!"
Sharin: "Yeah (laughing)! Oh God (long pause + thinking), I would like to be Bergman - just to try how it feels to be brilliant like that. A Genius (smiling)!"

13. The Raveonettes have a classic style, but if you could be photographed for any magazine and be on the front cover, which one would it be?

Sune: "Well I'm sure as a band, it's probably really good to be on the cover of Rolling Stone. Yeah, that would be a good one! But I mean I'm sure personally, I'd like to be on the cover of Guitar Player actually…"
Sharin: (laughing)
Sune: "Yeah, that would be great (smiling)! Because I grew up with those magazines and I always adored them, and I was like, "One day…" So that would definitely be a great thing!"
Sharin: "Maybe on the cover of Time?"
Sune: "Yeah - 'Most Important People Of The Year!' (laughing)…"
Sharin: "Yeah (laughing), #1 in The Top 100 'Most Important People Of The Year!'…"
Sune: "Or on the cover of Forbes, for 'The Richest People In The World!'…"
Sune and Sharin: (both laugh hysterically)

14. Continuing with this theme, the majority of your artwork and promo videos are an homage to B-movies, Film Noir and Hitchcock aesthetics. But do you have a favourite film poster, and if a film was ever made about The Raveonettes, what would you like it to be called?
Sune: "A favourite film poster? Yeah, I do (excitedly)! I really like the poster for Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo - it's so beautiful! That is really, really mind-blowing I think, and they don't make them like that anymore…"
Sharin: "No, the colours…"
Sune: "Yeah, I really think that that's almost like an iconic poster you know? It's really beautiful!"
Sharin: "I love the poster for Blow-Up too, that's really great!"
Sune "Yeah! And "If a film was ever made about The Raveonettes, what would you like it to be called?" did you ask? That's a good question (long pause + thinking)…"
Sharin: "I don't think I have a good answer for that (laughing)…"
Sune: "Yeah, my mind is a little fried from all the cider yesterday (laughing)."
Sharin: (laughing)
Sune: "I don't know? - I've said it again!"
Sune and Sharin: (both laughing)
Sune: "It could be called (long pause)… 'Unstoppable!' How about that one?"
Sune and Sharin: (both laugh hysterically)

15. One of the most important keys to success for any artist or band, is radio airplay - but over the years, do you feel that your songs have had the exposure that they rightfully deserve?
Sune: "No, not at all! And I think it's because we were never a part of any…"

Sharin: "Genre or Scene."
Sune: "Yeah, or anything! We weren't Britpop, we weren't Grunge (pausing), they tried to label us as a garage band when we started, but people quickly found out that we were not that either. And so it's very hard you know?"
Sharin: "We don't really have that Indie lo-fi sound either."
Sune: "Yeah, we're too Indie to be Pop, and we're too Pop to be Indie, and there are all of these other elements to it. So radio just doesn't know where to place us - that's the problem! I think they've done a horrible job with us over the years actually…"
*I mention that I remember That Great Love Sound being played on UK radio, but that's about all*
Sune and Sharin: "Yeah."
Sune: "With certain songs, certain radio stations would pick up on them, but definitely not enough I don't think - no! But I never actually listen to the radio, so I've never experienced that anyway. It would be more like your Mum calling and saying, "I've just heard your song on the radio!" And you'd say, "Oh great!" you know? So it's been more like that really."

16. Speaking of underplayed songs, which relatively unknown song by an artist / band that you like, do you think more people should hear?
Sune: "There's a bunch of those too, but I really think that they should listen to The Rattler by Santo & Johnny. It's a really beautiful instrumental - a very tough and very, very cool track and it always blows my mind whenever I hear it! Yeah, that's a really good track, I like that one!"
Sharin: "You know, sometimes I wish there was a radio station that played everything from a Ramones song to Édith Piaf. I think modern radio is too genre based and is too much one thing. So I don't have a specific song, but I would like a radio station that playlisted a wide range of music."

17. Of all the records you own, which have you played the most?

Sune: "I mean obviously there's quite a few of those too, and I'm not exactly sure which one would be #1, but I would probably say the records that I've listened to incessantly, have been, the first Velvet Underground record - I really, really wore that down! And also Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation, I just listened to that so much! But I'm just thinking of everything that I have on vinyl, because now, with the computer and stuff, I never listen to a full album anymore - I just listen to songs you know? I have the album The Very Best Of The Ronettes, and I've listened to that so many times - and the Phil Spector Christmas Album too, that's one of those which I've played over and over and over…"
Sharin: (laughing)
Sune: "Stuff like that."
Sharin: "Yeah. Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home."
Sune: "Yeah, all of the Dylan records too - like crazy!"
Sharin: "The Stones - Let It Bleed."
Sune: "Yeah, you're right - you're absolutely right!"
Sharin: (laughing)
Sune: "I actually have 2 copies of The Doors - Morrison Hotel, on vinyl, because I listen to it so much (smiling)! Vinyls are so much more romantic, they really are - they really are!"
Sharin: "We're so bummed out, because our new album has already sold out on vinyl…"
Sune: "I know!"
Sharin: "If you want the Long Player, it's gone!"
Sune: "I can't believe that. I mean it's great that it's sold out, but it sucks for us - we want more!"
Sune and Sharin: (both laughing)
Sharin: "People get so disappointed, because I sell the merchandise, and if anybody wants a copy, I have to tell them, "It's sold out!"
Sune: "We should print them ourselves and sell them, and make all the fucking profit!"
Sune and Sharin: (both laugh hysterically)
Sune: "Damn greedy vultures (laughing)!"

18. Does the creative process still give you the same buzz from beginning to end, i.e. that you essentially begin with a blank canvas, and by the end of it, you're left with something that didn't previously exist?
Sune: "Yeah, and it's funny that you say that, because I think about it and you're absolutely right! Right after you finish an album and you reflect on it, I always think, "Well one day, I'm going to have to make a new album." And it's so strange that you have no idea what it's going to be like - you have no ideas for that matter, you have nothing! But I'm not intimidated by it - I think it's great, and I must say that, especially now that we're doing a lot of good live shows and stuff, I'm very inspired, do you know what I mean? Like I really feel that I want to go home and write a lot of songs - I'm writing down a lot of ideas at the moment. And we've been listening to a lot of music on the road (pausing), we never used to, we were more into watching movies and stuff like that. But I'm totally getting into listening to a lot of music again - it's sort of exciting and fun all of a sudden (smiling)!"

19. Sune, how closely do your songs match what's in your head?

Sune: "They match perfectly (without any hesitation)!"
Sharin: (laughing)
Sune: "It's true (laughing)! Because the songs are pretty much recorded as they're written. We don't really do demos of our songs - and the demos that we posted on MySpace for instance, were basically the finished versions! Some of them were without Sharin's vocals, because she wasn't there, but then we put her vocals on and then we mixed it probably, and that was it you know? So they never really changed too much, from what we put out as demos. The guitar stayed the same, the beats were the same and everything. They were just different mixes, most of the time with Sharin's vocals on it of course (pausing), because sometimes what the problem is with demos, is that you go in and make a demo, and you fall in love with the demo, and you try to recreate it. But it's very hard to recreate a certain feel that you have, when you do that. That's why for us, I think it has never been a natural thing to go into a conventional recording studio to record. Because for Sharin and I, I think it's more about capturing the essence of an idea that you have or something - and it's very hard to recreate! I doubt that if we went into any studio today, and tried to recreate one of our albums, that it would be half as good as the original you know? Because they're just done so spontaneously on the spot!"

20. What's the best and the worst gig that you've ever played?

Sune: "The best gig? That's a tough one (pausing + thinking), I don't know? There are so many worst ones…"
Sune and Sharin: (both laugh hysterically)
Sune: "But there's only a handful of best ones…"
Sune and Sharin: (both laugh hysterically again)
Sharin: "On this tour, I think our Glasgow show was probably one of the best ones!"
Sune: "So far yeah, the Glasgow one!"
*I say that almost every band always says Scotland*
Sune: "It's just a good crowd up there and a good vibe!"
Sharin: "Exactly!"
Sune: "King Tut's has been voted as one of the best venues in the UK! The Bowery Ballroom in New York…"
Sharin: "We had a great show in Brazil once!"
Sune: "Yeah! Maybe the worst show that we ever played, was probably when we showcased for labels - remember when all of the equipment broke down (looking at Sharin)?"
Sharin: "Oh yeah (laughing)."
Sune: "And we didn't have a backline tech, and we couldn't fix it, and we had to wait for half-an-hour with cables everywhere, and labels had flown in from all over the world, and we were like, "Oh Fuck!" That was a bad one!"
Sharin: "We thought that was The End!"

21. And if you could support one band and have one band support you, who would they be?
Sharin: "I mean I wouldn't mind supporting The Rolling Stones…"
Sune: "Yeah, that's right - and vice versa! They could open up for us too!"
Sune and Sharin: (both laugh hysterically)
Sune: "That would put us in the mood, do you know what I mean (laughing)? If they played 2 hours support for The Raveonettes, I'd love that! What about new bands (thinking)?"
Sharin: "Death Metal are a great band!"
Sune: "Death Metal are good! The Black Angels would be great to tour with - I love their music! A band from Canada called The Sadies - they're lovely, they're so great! But I mean I would actually love to play with like you said earlier, Blood Red Shoes and Howling Bells too, because I think they're really good bands, both of them - that would be lovely!"
Sharin: "We've had a great band out on tour with us called Autolux - they're really great!"
Sune: "They're great - the guitar player's amazing, and he's good looking too!"
Sune and Sharin: (both laughing)

22. What are your Tour Bus Essentials?

Sharin: "We don't have a Tour Bus!"
Sune: "No, we're in a Splitter Van! But we can't be on the road without all of us…"
Sharin: (laughing)
Sune: "It doesn't work if we're not all together - we're tighter than a (pausing), I'm not going to say that…"
Sharin: "I'm curious now (laughing)."
Sune: "It's from the film, Sideways, remember?"
Sharin: "No, I don't (laughing). Wine's good to have on the road - good wine!"
Sune: "But I don't think we can go without (pausing), we have to bring a good sense of humour, because touring is basically a great strain, and can be quite boring at times. And so if you don't maintain a level of being a little joyous or jolly, and even a little bit silly I would say…"
Sharin: (laughing)
Sune: "Then it can get really tough I think. So it's very important that you bring a good sense of humour. It'll be a lot easier that way for sure. Yeah!"

23. You've now recorded several cover versions, but are there any covers by other artists that you think better the originals?
Sharin: "(looking at Sune) You like The Byrds' Mr. Tambourine Man."
Sune: "Yeah, I think it's a lot better! I mean I love Dylan you know - I grew up with him and have all of his albums and stuff. But, I just think that his songs translate so well when they're electrified - that it just blows my mind! I would rather listen to The Byrds' version than to Dylan's, to be honest with you. I know that's a tough statement, because I love the Dylan version too, but if you put a gun to my head right now and said, "Would you rather hear Dylan or The Byrds doing Mr. Tambourine Man?" I would choose The Byrds - I would, yeah!"
Sharin: "And then there are times when some songs become really popular by someone, and they're really written by somebody else. Like I Will Always Love You, by Dolly Parton - it's pretty good with Whitney Houston - but it's so great with Dolly!"
Sune: "But Whitney's got a good voice on it though, it gives me goose-bumps when I hear it…"
Sharin: (laughing)
Sune: "I mean Dolly's does too, but I do like the way Whitney sings it."

24. Did you enjoy working with Ronnie Spector on Ode To LA
Sune: "To be honest with you, I don't know if I enjoyed it, because I was very afraid of meeting her - and very nervous! She was quite an eccentric person (pausing), I mean she was nice - she was very nice - and she did the job really well and was very professional, and she was very happy about doing it, and very enthusiastic in the studio! It was amazing to see her standing there, singing one of your songs and stuff - it was a good moment. But I was very, very nervous!"
Sharin: "It was a bit more like me and Sune sort of being like the kids in the background…"
Sune: "Yeah (smiling)!"
Sharin: "Richard Gottehrer, who was sort of co-producing, was from that same era, so he was doing the whole…"
Sune: "He was guiding her through the song, because I didn't have the nerves to do it - I was to nervous you know? So we just said to him, "You take care of it." And Sharin and I just stood in the background and drank a lot of beer!"
Sune and Sharin: (both laughing)
Sharin: "I remember that I was trying to film her…"
Sune: "Yeah, I know!"
Sharin: "But then her manager came in and said, "You can't film her, because she's going to get self-conscious and won't be able to sing."
Sune: "Yeah, it was a tough one."
*The Raveonettes' Sound Engineer, who's also sitting with us in the dressing room along with the band's drummer, briefly interrupts to ask if we'd like to hear part of a live review for one of the band's recent shows, which somehow, has managed to mix up Sune and Sharin's names… "If Sune Rose Wagner weren't a rock genius, she would be a model! She could stand there being completely miserable and uninterested, and still have the whole crowd staring at her."*
Sune and Sharin: (both laugh uproariously)
Sune: "It's the Rose, I'm telling you (smiling) - I'm the Rose - I love it (laughing)! It's brilliant, absolutely brilliant!"
Sharin: (laughing)

25. Sune, is there anybody else that you would like to write a song for in the future?
Sune: "Oh yeah! Let me think? I actually think that I could write a really good song for Bruce Springsteen - yeah!"
Sharin: "We just went to see him as well (laughing)!"
Sune: "Yeah, we just saw him in Toronto - it was great! But he's good, and it would be great to write a song for him I think. Who else could I write a good song for (long pause + thinking)? I don't think there's that many that spring to mind, when I think about it. I don't know? Because I guess our way of writing or whatever, is a little different from what people do, so I'm just trying to think who would be good for that sort of stuff. But, I think Springsteen has a lot of songs that have a good vibe to them (pausing), they're kind of similar sometimes to what we have, but yet very different. It would be interesting I think."

26. What have been some of your personal highlights / defining moments, during your career so far?

Sharin: "This is going to sound a little cheesy, but obviously a very, very memorable moment, was when we signed with Columbia Records!"
Sune: "Yeah (excitedly), I was just thinking of that - I was just thinking of that!"
Sharin: "I remember standing on the 35th Floor…"
Sune: "At Columbia Records, in New York, and we'd just made a big deal!"
Sharin: "I mean that's where it just felt really thrilling!"
Sune: "It felt crazy, yeah!"
Sharin: "Especially given the life-span of the band at that point - we were pretty young, or we were just a little baby band (smiling)."
Sune: "But then there's a lot of those things that were just amazing, also, because you have to remember that we come from Denmark, and we didn't grow up with that whole Popular Culture, like you Brits did, or the US did. And we didn't have legends like The Rolling Stones here, and all of that stuff. So for us to come outside of Denmark, and to start touring the world - we were the first Danish band ever, to play the Late Show with David Letterman. And we were the first Danish band ever, to play Late Night with Conan O'Brien, you know what I mean? We were the first band ever, to do this, this and this! So everytime we did something, we made history! So they were all like very defining moments, like, "Wow - this is insane!" There are a lot of those I think, and we're very proud of all of them!"
Sharin: "Yeah!"

27. And of all your songs to date, which are you most proud of and why?

Sune: "Ooh (long pause + thinking), that's a good question - that is a very tough question! Because I think we really like all of our music, and we have a good feeling about it! There's so much different stuff you know, and they're all good in their own way, so to pick out one song is very, very hard I think - it's really, really tough! I don't know (long pause + thinking)? I think perhaps (pausing), I don't know (laughing)? That's a really tough one!"
Sharin: (laughing)
Sune: "I mean you could just pick one, for the sake of picking one of course, but…"
Sharin: "I remember when we were mixing Pretty In Black, and we were listening to The Heavens, and I was like, "That is fucking classic - that's a really cool song!"
Sune: "Yeah."
Sharin: "I think the songwriting, and Sune's performance when he was singing it, I thought that was really (pausing), but there are moments like that, when I suddenly have this feeling of excitement when I listen to a song you know? Especially when you're mixing different songs, because you don't know where that's going to take them either (laughing). But then you rediscover songs, like old B-sides, and you're like, "Fuck, that's fucking brilliant!"
Sune: "Yeah!"
Sharin: "It's like, "Wow - listen to this song, it's so cool!" But I think Love Can Destroy Everything, in the classic sense, is such great songwriting…"
Sune: "Yeah, that's a good one!"
Sharin: "Then some songs are really great live, and some songs are really, really good when you listen to the recordings."
Sune: "But it changes a lot you know, it really does! Because even with a new album, obviously when you just release a new record, you go through phases of saying, "This is my favourite song!" And then a month after that, you're like, "I like this song better!" But I would say a song like Lust - on the new album - that's a really, really cool song! It has great words, great harmonies and great performances there… It's so simple, and yet it's so powerful, do you know what I mean? I'm very proud of that one! I think that's a really good song - I think it came out just perfect, and it couldn't have been better I don't think!"
Sune and Sharin: (both laughing)

28. Lastly, chips or cream buns?

Sune: "Chips (without any hesitation)!"
Sharin: "Yeah, chips (also without any hesitation)! I like them with salt and vinegar!"
Sune: "Yes! Chips with salt and vinegar, and a pint of Guinness (laughing)!"
Sharin: "But I suppose it depends on which day. I think 40% of the time I would go for cream buns, and 60% of the time I would go for chips (smiling)!"

A very special thanks to Sune and Sharin, and to Simon @ James Grant Music, for all of their time and help.

Oxford Set List

Dead Sound
Great Love Sound
Rave On
Eyes Closed
Red Tan
Trash Can
Black Satin
Noisy Summer
French Disko (Stereolab Cover)

"Come on, let's go to where it's fun, I want a slice of LA sun"

wers to questions...It's never about looking for