During the recording process for the fourth album by the Danish rock band the Raveonettes, “In and out of Control,” the higher-ups at their label, Vice, weren’t the only ones giving them feedback. To reach out to fans, guitarist/vocalist Sune Rose Wagner and bassist/vocalist Sharin Foo released their demos on Twitter and held live Q&A sessions through a partnership with Ustream.
“There’s a certain expectation from music consumers to be privy to a certain amount of content before an actual record comes out,” label manager Jamie Farkas says. “But it’s not incredibly common to have an artist who’s willing to take that a step further and have their fans actually be a part of what goes into making a record.”
The band was criticized for “needing help” with its music, but Wagner says fans’ comments didn’t influence the final cuts. The purpose of sharing the demos was to let them in on the recording process and get them excited about the new album.
“When I was a kid I would’ve loved it if I could write Kurt Cobain a message and he would actually respond to it, or if he would post a little demo he was working on,” Wagner says.
“Control,” due October 6, marks the duo’s second set for Vice after releases on Columbia. Wagner says the Raveonettes split from Columbia in part because they felt they were being promoted as the “next big thing” and marketed to the wrong audiences. “Vice definitely understands the demographics of this band,” he says. “They understand the potential of this band too, meaning they know we’re not going to sell out Madison Square Garden next year.”
Manager Scott Cohen says there was a lot of pressure on the group when it first got started. “The media tends to put pressure on new signings, and I think over the years the Raveonettes have focused more on their own audience, rather than trying to please the media over time, and that’s been really successful,” he says.
For 2007’s “Lust Lust Lust,” Vice was handed a finished product, but “Control” was done with the label from the get-go. “We were in a position to give feedback and work with the artist,” Farkas says. Wagner and Foo also used a producer this time around, which they skipped on “Lust.”
“There was a lot more work put into this album from the record label because we’re full-time, so to speak,” Wagner says.
(Additional reporting by Charles Ferro in Copenhagen and Paul Pomfret in London.)