The Regrettes’ Doo Wop Punk Album Is About the Realness of Being Female
Every decade has its explosion in popularity of musical genres. Just look at the 70s glam rock movement, 80s pop synth, 90s grunge rock — every few years someone in the music world reinvents a genre that truly takes over.
Some of the most popular genres of now are EDM and hip hop — and though it’s hard to predict what may be the next breakthrough genre, there has been a resurgence of female punk rock, which may be on a huge wave of return.
Leading the pack of the newbies reviving an old fave in a whole new way, are The Regrettes, a group of undoubtedly the coolest and most savvy teens you’ll ever meet. Though they don’t fit into what we may know as “traditional” punk, The Regrettes draw their sound from 50s and 60s greats like Buddy Holly and the early Beatles — but topped with fiercely honest lyrics.
Fronted by 16-year-old Lydia, whose lyrics sound like a page out of any girl’s diary no matter what her age — their tunes are about the stuff we can all relate to, but not in a lame Taylor Swift sort of way.
And while their sound carries a sort of innocence, their stage presence is anything but, and is more akin to getting hit in the face with a bowl of glitter and magic.
Rounding out the rockin’ girl band is Sage Nicole on bass, and resident guitar shredder Genessa Gariando. And though the band has a boy on drums who doesn’t speak very much, Maxx Morando is literally the fastest drummer you will ever see or hear.
Perhaps some of the more applicable lyrics to us females are laid out in “A Living Human Girl,” in which the band sings about feeling fat on some days and the red bumps you get on your legs when you shave. Or the lines of “Seashore,” that we can all relate to: “you’re talking to me like I’m dumb/like a child,” which we all know you’ve thought or maybe even said to someone a few times (or perhaps protested in a certain very large Women’s March that happened in the last month).
Check out the video for “A Living Human Girl,” and then take a listen to The Regrettes new full album, “Feel Your Feelings Fool!”
People are referring to you guys as “doo wop pop punk” — how would you describe your genre on your own terms?
Lydia: “Pop punk” — those words together freak me out just because I think of bands like Blink-182 and Green Day and that kind of music, which isn’t what we are. I think we do have aspects of pop music and we do have aspects of punk, and we are reminiscent of the 50s and 60s.
Sage: 50s and 60s music very much inspires us: Buddy Holly, and The Ronettes and things like that.
Lydia: That music was just always playing in my house constantly. My parents are huge fans of that. It’s just music that I’ve never gotten sick of.
Describe your genre using sounds, movies, pictures, etc.
Lydia: If Wes Anderson and Tim Burton made a movie together — dreamy but mixed with like darker, creepier stuff.
Genessa: I feel like that’s kind of perfect, like if they got married.
What artists do you think you embodied in a past life?
Lydia: Audrey Hepburn, I’ve been told that I look like her sometimes which is nice.
Sage: I mean, my goal is to be a mixture of Prince, Debbie Harry, and Freddie Mercury.
Since people have been using the “punk” description for you guys, and your lyrics often seem to hold nothing back, would you say that the band carries the punk rock mentality of being an individual, with sort of an anti-establishment thing about it?
Lydia: I think that we try our best to not care what other people think. Which I think is a very punk way of thinking. We do what we do and if people like it, they like it, and if they don’t, they don’t. It’s just a happier way of living. It takes so much out of a person, constantly thinking about what other people want you to be like or whatever, it’s just exhausting.
The video for “A Living Human Girl” has an interesting perspective on women’s bodies and how sometimes you’re pretty, and sometimes you feel like the world is pointing out every flaw about you. What inspired you to write the song originally? What inspired the video and its “paper dolls” feel?
Lydia: The video’s just kind of a visual representation of the song. The person in the video is my best friend. I just thought that for our first video, it’d be good to have someone else.
Sage: I think it’s honestly such a big thing of our generation that kids are learning to just say, “fuck it,” [and] do what makes them happy — that “punk mentality,” air quotes because it’s what it is now. I feel like if you don’t think that way, you’re kind of looked at as wrong, that’s just what it is. If you don’t live thinking that people should be who they are and be what makes them happy, then it’s almost like you’re the outsider. It’s not that we do it because of that, we do it because we think that’s what’s right.
How do you feel about being a role model for other women?
Lydia: I love it, I mean I think that if we can just be kind of a friend for people, even if we don’t know them. [It’s] crazy to think about being someone’s role model and it’s amazing that someone would look up to me like that.
How do you feel about being open with any of your personal troubles?
Lydia: I’m very super opinionated about like the press, like that’s none of their business. If someone’s smoking weed, like when Miley got caught smoking weed and everyone was flipping out, it’s like calm the fuck down. Are you really that surprised? What about that is so shocking to you?
Gennessa: I think with issues like eating disorders and things like that, it’s really important to see that someone that you admire is able to be strong enough to come out — if they decide to do that. Even us, we’ve all had things that we’ve gone through and I think it’s crucial, if you’re going to be someone’s role model you have to be honest and raw about things. I mean, unless it’s something that you’re uncomfortable with, it’s all about comfort, but I really think being honest about that. Because it’s easy to say like, “Oh, love your body.” It’s crazy to not love it. We preach even harder sometimes to practice, even when you are preaching.
Since you guys are almost an all-girl band, do you think your songs and videos have an interesting perspective being from the female POV?
Lydia: I’ll say because of the fact that we’re female fronted, all the songs that are out except for one, I’ve written so they’re all from a female perspective. I think that they kind of cross the border, they don’t only speak to women, they just speak to humans which is what makes them different and cool — they kind of tie the two together and can hit everyone.
The video for “Hey Now” has a storyline similar to the John Waters film “Hairspray” — but ultimately, it has the story of “Good Girls Revolting.” What inspired you to go that route with the video?
Lydia: I’ve always wanted to make a video that was reminiscent of the 60’s and 50’s, and I love “American Bandstand” and “Hairspray” is one of my favorite movies. We wanted to do that, but we felt like it would be almost disrespectful in a way. If we didn’t point out the issues that were going on in that time period and act like it was light and fluffy and amazing — because it wasn’t. There was a ton of racism and sexism, and so much going on. We wanted to touch on that, just so that we weren’t skipping over that.
What are you most excited about with this album release?
Sage: I’m excited to hear what people think. Especially tonight (at the album release show) , I’m excited to just like say hi to everyone and talk to them and get to know them and see the type of people that are listening to our music — that is our favorite part is talking to people that listen to us.
What is the special significance of releasing the album on Friday the 13th?
Lydia: It’s my lucky day, Friday the 13th! I was born on Friday the 13th, the first one of the millennium. It was a full moon in October, so it was a very spooky night.That’s just always been my lucky day, for some reason are the best day for me. Exactly a year ago, on January 13th, I met Mike Elizondo for the first time who is our A&R guy and our producer, and second father from Warner Brothers. He’s just the best human I’ve met in my life. So now a year later, to be able to release our debut album on Friday the 13th, January 13th — it’s the best.
What inspired the name of the album “Feel Your Feelings Fool”?
Sage: It’s like saying something to your friend, you’re like, “Feel your feelings, fool.”
Lydia: It just sums up what we want to say. It’s our message, because we’ve noticed that so many people and so many problems come from people trying to suppress their feelings and pretend they’re not human. Being vulnerable is the scariest thing in the world, I think especially for like males. Especially since like just think about. Like if a dude starts crying, they’re going to either get called gay or weak, or something. I think also for girls, it’s like there’s so many standards that you’re constantly trying to fit. We just want people to know, we go through these things too and it’s okay. We’re okay and you’re okay.
Sage: Yeah, we can do it together, that’s the theme.
Is there a particular song that you are excited about sharing with your fans?
Lydia: I’ve been listening to the album [and] I just want to cry happy tears.
I’m excited for people to hear “Lacy Loo.”
Genessa: I’m excited about “Lacy Loo” as well, I think that one’s a really fun little song.
Sage: Yeah, I don’t think I’m nervous about any of them. I’m excited. Happy that it’ll finally be out there.
For More on The Regrettes:
Get “Feel Your Feelings Fool!”:
Album Release Performance at The Echo (Los Angeles) Photos by Collect1vemind