Cathy Simpson talks with Sharin Foo of The Raveonettes ...
The Ravonettes are playing at the Cockpit on Monday 9th February, I spoke to bassist and vocalist Sharin Foo on the phone in London.
On stage and in photos you always look amazing. How important is image to you and who are your style icons?
Music is the most important thing, but image is the icing on the cake. Visuals can really add to the music, there should be a connection between them. As far as style icons, it's not really something we discuss, our style is pretty much just how we are anyway. We're inspired by b-movies and Hitchcock, and film-noir.
"Chain Gang of Love" uses lots of cinema references, would you ever do a film?
I'd have to think very hard about that. Sune would probably love it, he's a really good actor, but I am more reluctant. I was terrified when we filmed the video for That Great Love Sound.
What first attracted you to the bass? Can you play anything else?
It was just a coincidence. I like to think of myself as more of a singer than a bass player because I've always been singing. I hooked up with some girlfriends who were jamming and they asked me to join them to play the bass. It seemed very natural to me, it seemed easy, but I'm not a very technical bass player.
I can also play the guitar and the piano. I studied music for five years in Denmark and I learnt to play a lot of instruments there. It was mostly jazz based.
Is your life a whirl of sex and drugs and Rock&Roll?
Well, it both is and is not. Being on the road is all about indulging yourself, there's a lot of adreniline around and that's your everyday life. But it becomes monotonous and you have to find a balance. When we started we were an inexperienced band, we're still learning. We had a month off over Christmas and New Year because we had been touring for a year and a half, it wears you down.
I love hanging out with other bands, like the Kills, the Warlocks and Interpol, you can connect with them because you have things in common, they become like your family on the road. I love the Warlocks, I always wear little Warlocks pin. We toured the states with them, they're such drama queens!
Do you get compared to the Kills?
Hmmm, only very rarely. We get compared to the White Stripes more which is odd because we don't sound anything like them- I guess it's just the boy/girl duo thing. Although someone did once say we are a 'smack rock band like the Kills'!
VV and Hotel base a lot of their show on sexual tension, as do Jack and Meg White, is there any tension between you and Sune?
People always ask us that, and we say we're friends and we work together. We keep saying no and people look at you like 'yeah, right!'
Lots of boys in bands have crushes on you. Who did you have a crush on when you were younger and who do you like now?
When I was younger I had a crush on Nick Cave, but I didn't really get crushes. There were people I'd love to meet and have a little chat with, like Bob Dylan, but that was never a crush, more of a fascination.
Do you get chatted up a lot? You must be predominantly around men.
No, not really. The whole groupie experience is more of a girl thing, guys don't really hang around like that. I think I must be a little intimidating. Also I'm always surrounded by guys. The boys in the Ravonettes are always round me saying (adopts an aggressive tone) 'DON'T touch my sister!' I always have my bodyguards!
You travel a lot, but where is your favourite place to be?
I love New York and I love LA, they're so different from each other. LA is so decadent, they always have the wildest parties in LA. And New York is immediately amazingly charming, it has so much life to offer. Some people say it's lost a lot of its life recently, but my experience of New York has only been in recent years and I love it. I also really like long drives across the states, you can drive for days across the desert and stuff. It just seems so endless and so big which I love because Denmark, where we come from, is so small.
What do you do to chill out?
To chill out on the road I like to just walk away, walk away from the guys and stuff. Do something like go for a massage- I need to feel a feminine vibe away from the guys.
At home it's nice to catch up with friends and family. I also love skiing, I find it really relaxing. I've recently been skiing in Italy, it was amazing.
This article is going to promote your gig in Leeds on Monday, what's the best and worst things about playing live?
Playing live it is great to feel a connection with your band and with your audience. Sometimes things all add up, it doesn't happen every time and there's nothing you can do to force it, but when it happens it's special. We've been touring for one and a half years so sometimes it's a challenge to get that energy.
I actually prefer the studio, I think that's more of a creative process.