The Raveonettes may have released their six full-length—the alternately dark and hopeful Observator—earlier this week, but frontman Sune Rose Wagner isn’t one for resting on his laurels. The prolific songwriter has already set to work on a still-untitled follow-up.
Observator was initially inspired by the sounds and climate of Los Angeles, Wagner says the next Raveonettes record will take a bite out of the Big Apple.
“I want to go back to our roots a little more—especially my roots,” he said. “Growing up with old-school hip-hop and Warhol. ...We can take all these great influences from the CBGB’s era and mix them with all the great stuff from the Bronx, which is great hip-hop, but also great doo-wop and vocal groups, and make it super noisy and loud—make sure you don’t have one single song they want to play on the radio.”
What might come as a surprise for fans of this fuzzed out, early-‘60s-girl-group and Velvet Underground-influenced Danish rock duo is that Wagner’s first love in music was actually hip-hop. “Growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s,” he says, the burgeoning genre was “new and exciting.” In fact, the first time Wagner really took notice of the old-time rock ’n’ roll that would later influence The Raveonettes so profoundly was in 1983 hip-hop documentary Style Wars.
“When they introduced a graffiti painter called Seen, they played Dion & the Belmonts’ ‘The Wanderer.’ ... I was completely drawn to it because I found it was so raw, so primal,” said Wagner. “And the songs were so good, and the lyrics were great, and the kids could really sing. It was groovy as hell. So I started listening to a lot of ‘50s and ‘60s music at that time—I just totally fell in love with it. ... It’s raw music, that’s what rock ’n’ roll really is.”