The Regrettes Are Here to Tell You It’s Okay To Feel Things

The Regrettes Are Here to Tell You It’s Okay To Feel Things

Lead vocalist Lydia Night relates her band's debut album to the current state of American politics: at 16, she can't vote, but she'll be damned if her voice isn't heard.

Lead vocalist Lydia Night relates her band's debut album to the current state of American politics: at 16, she can't vote, but she'll be damned if her voice isn't heard.

Text: Ilana Kaplan

There’s nothing cooler than being able to see the world through the eyes of a 16-year-old girl. And, Lydia Night, of The Regrettes lets us do just that. With gritty, perfectly imperfect melodies, The Regrettes mix infectious rhythms with a spunky attitude akin to The Donnas and Courtney Barnett. The L.A.-based band just released its debut record Feel Your Feelings Fool!—an ode to not being afraid to just express how you feel when you feel it.

Fronted by Night and accompanied by Genessa Gariano, Sage Chavis and Maxx Morando, the teenage band has already opened for artists like Sleigh Bells, KatE Nash, Bleached, and Pins. Their punk-driven pop aesthetic is electric and the band’s lyrics are relatable. If you’ve missed your high school diary, The Regrettes Feel Your Feelings Fool!, will make you feel like a born-again teen.

We caught up with frontwoman Night on The Regrettes’ debut LP, taking a stand against the Trump presidency and allowing yourself to be vulnerable.

How does it feel to have your debut album out there?

Lydia Night: Amazing. It’s just so different and special. It’s crazy, and it’s so cool to see all these people responding to it.

Is there a theme that resonates throughout the record? What message were you trying to put out there with the records?

LA: I think that each song was definitely an anecdote. It definitely has its own thing, for sure. Well, the title Feel Your Feelings Fool!, I think, is the overriding message. I think we just noticed that so many people we’re surrounded by are constantly trying to suppress their feelings and are scared of being or appearing human. Being vulnerable in general is really scary for a lot of people. It leads to insecurities and not being nice to people. It’s just this whole big cycle of emotions that keeps repeating. We just want people to know that we’re going through the same things they are and that it’s okay to feel these feelings. They’re not alone.

How do you think the album title holds up in today’s political climate?

LA: I think more than anything on the record, another theme is not caring what other people think, feeling okay speaking out about stuff and using your voice. I think now more than ever that’s such an important tool for people. Given the fact that our “President” now is "carrot man," I think people need to have a voice. He’s going to do anything he can to shut people up and have his supporters shut people up and make people feel small. Now, for everyone who didn’t vote for him, it’s our time to band together and speak out.

Are there any specific songs on the record that speak to our current political state?

LA: “Seashore” is not on the nose political, but I dedicated it to Trump on Twitter. It’s from the perspective of someone being belittled and that’s what Trump does: he belittles people and makes them feel small. This song is about how all of those people should go fuck themselves.

How did you first get into making music?

LA: When I was five, my dad took me to The Donnas’ concert. Now I know [lead singer Brett Anderson] and they’re family friends of ours. I saw them and was like, “holy shit. That’s what I need to be doing.” Since I was five, that’s what I’ve had to do and wanted to do.

Which musicians did you grow up idolizing?

LA: Elvis. I’ve always been obsessed with Elvis since I was little. My first favorite band was The Ramones. That’s how I first started singing. The lyrics and the melodies were so simple, that I just started singing them. I got into music by listening to them. I had always idolized Audrey Hepburn. I love all of her movies. Prince was huge for me, and Buddy Holly.

What were you listening to when you made this record?

LA: I was listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar, which a lot of people don’t expect. Lots of Amy Winehouse and a lot of L7. A crazy mix of stuff.

What’s a piece of advice you would give someone else just starting out in the music industry?

LA: I think it’s really important to practice a lot—as much as you can. Find something that you like to practice because I remember I didn’t like practicing for a super long time. I wasn’t getting any better, and I didn’t realize it. The second I actually started practicing every day—even picking up the guitar for 30 minutes every day—the change that happened was so crazy. Writing is so important, even if you don’t think you’re a good writer, you’re going to be able to get better by getting rid of the bad ideas first. The only way you’re going to make good music is if you start somewhere.

Who do you dream of collaborating with in the future?

LA: Kimya Dawson would be amazing—I love her. Kate Nash would be super fun. I would be open to collaborating with other artists that aren’t in our genre. Collaborating with anyone would be cool.

What made you want to write a record about knowing it’s okay to share your feelings?

LA: I never intended that to be the outcome —it just is, in a way. My writing is very centered around my emotions: I’m pretty blunt about them for most songs. Every song is its own diary entry, and the record is one big diary that covers a spectrum of emotions. I didn’t think of it that way until after listening to the record.

Are you attending the Women’s March (January 21)?

LA: Yeah. I’m covering it for Noisey in LA.

i got the opportunity to cover the women's march for @noisey the link is in our bio- lydia

A photo posted by The Regrettes (@theregrettesband) on

What do you hope to accomplish by being there?

LA: Well, two different things: one being just meeting people. I think it’s going to be a place of a lot of connections being made and meeting people who are just as angry as I am. That’s how we’re going to make a change is when we’re angry, and there’s not just one of us. I’m happy about getting to cover it and write about it is because it’s coming from the perspective of a teenage girl. I’ve never voted—I can’t vote. I think it’s a totally different perspective people don’t hear. People automatically assume because you didn’t vote, why do you care? It very much matters to me and my friends’ circle. I’m excited to offer that perspective.

What are you most fearful of with this presidency coming?

LA: I want to say abortion rights. I’ve never had an abortion or wanted that, but as a young woman, that’s something that would directly affect me if I was in a bad position and wanted that to happen. It’s not just me. It scared the shit out of me about victims of sexual assault who might not have the right to their bodies. That freaks me out a lot. I also think the culture of people with [Trump] being president is going to change with racists, homophobes, and misogynists [more open than ever], people are going to think it’s okay to say things like that because the President of the United States says things like that.

Listen to Feel Your Feelings Fool! now on Spotify.

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