Raveonettes guitarist/songwriter Sune Rose Wagner tells Billboard.com that had it not been for a trip to Los Angeles in January 1999, the buzz-worthy Danish duo may never have appeared on the musical
Raveonettes guitarist/songwriter Sune Rose Wagner tells Billboard.com that had it not been for a trip to Los Angeles in January 1999, the buzz-worthy Danish duo may never have appeared on the musical horizon. "I was mainly just there to pick up some inspiration and to see what was moving in the music world [but] I found it absolutely horrifying," says Wagner. "So I had to play music that pleased me and that was the Raveonettes."
"I went out every night for like a month or something just to check out bands, and there was absolutely not one band that I came across that I found even remotely interesting," he continues. "I was so freaked out about it because if it is not even happening here in the States, where the hell can one go? So, it was really a major bummer but also a great source of inspiration because that inspired me to start the Raveonettes. So, I'm actually thankful for it."
Wagner eventually hooked up with fellow Denmark native Sharin Foo (bass/vocals) to record the EP "Whip It On," which drew acclaim in the U.S. and Europe. Six months later, the Raveonettes booked a show at the world's most fabled punk/underground club, New York's CBGB's, confident that record labels would come calling.
"We were well aware and that was intentional," discloses Wagner. "After we finished the 'Whip It On' record, we thought it was a masterpiece. We thought it was really good, and definitely good enough to be accepted on the American market and European market. So, we really just went for that. It was really because we wanted to pay our respects to a lot of the bands who came out of that scene and we thought our music fit it really well."
The Raveonettes inked with Columbia and by late last year were recording their major-label debut, "Chain Gang of Love," which opens this week at No. 2 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. The duo, which enlists the support of a drummer and guitarist while on stage) is touring the States through October, playing roughly 50 minutes and 20 songs per night. The majority of tracks found on both studio releases are featured, plus a few B-sides and a cover of Eddie Cochran's "C'mon Everybody."
Asked if the Raveonettes' motif of three-chord, under-three-minute songwriting style pigeonholes their future, Wagner answers, "No, I really feel with this album there is actually a giant leap from 'Whip It On.' I think with that we proved we are capable of going anywhere we want to go and I think that is really a cool thing. So, we'll just see what happens next."
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