The Regrettes have in youth achieved what most musicians spend their entire lives trying to achieve.
The band, which has more than 250,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, earlier this year completed a European stadium tour. Debut album Feel Your Feelings Fool! achieved critical acclaim in 2017, and follow-up How Do You Love? is scheduled for an Aug. 9 release.
The four young adults in the Los Angeles-based punk/alternative-rock band are creating the soundtrack for the lives of teenagers everywhere—and the band will be kicking off its latest U.S. tour on Friday, July 19, at all-ages Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace.
Frontwoman Lydia Night talked about opening for Twenty One Pilots during a European tour earlier this year.
“That was an insane experience, something that I never would predict to happen so soon, or just at all,” Night said. “Playing in front of that many people is something that you can’t really prepare for. (Opening for) a band that size, you just don’t know what’s coming at all. You just have to hop in with both feet and hope for the best, just go for it, and learn from experience with each show. … To see all of that was so exciting and inspiring.”
The Regrettes did not have a lot of time to prepare.
“The craziest thing about that tour was that we found out we were going on it six days before it started, so that was pretty fucking nuts,” Night said.
The band is starting off its tour in Pioneertown, in part because Night has a lot of personal experience at Pappy and Harriet’s.
“Pappy’s is somewhere I actually started doing open mics at, when I was 9 or 10, really young,” she said. “My dad owns a hotel out there, and Joshua Tree has been a big part of my life as a musician. I remember walking around with a tip jar at Pappy’s after doing open mics and shows on the indoor stage. Playing on the outdoor stage has always been a goal and dream of mine, so the fact that we’re playing there is so special to me and really exciting.”
Night is 18 years old; I’m a 17-year-old musician (I also got my start at Pappy and Harriet’s, coincidentally), so I was curious to hear her thoughts on the treatment of younger bands at 21-and-older shows.
“Yeah, it’s so frustrating,” she said. “It hasn’t happened in so long, since we’ve gotten bigger, but in my old band, which was a two-piece, there were a lot of shows we’d play that weren’t all-ages, and they’d be weird about us even being in the venue before playing, which just made no sense to me. We’d have to wait outside or go kill time before the show and be escorted to the stage, always with X’s on our hand.”
One of The Regrettes’ standout tracks, “Seashore,” mentions getting looked down upon because of a young age: “You’re talkin’ to me like I’m dumb / Well I’ve got news; I’ve got a lot to say / There’s nothing you can do to take that away.” Night said she’s learned how to deal with people treating her differently due to her age.
“It used to be something that was just talked about in press or media. People sometimes do, but not nearly as much now,” she said. “It’s more of other bands approaching us or people at venues approaching us. It hasn’t been in-your-face disrespectful, but there’s an underlying tone, because there are three women who are all pretty young. Sometimes people approach us like they’re more knowledgeable about our gear, or about the way a show is run, and we’re like, ‘Actually, we’ve been touring for a very long time. Thank you very much, but we know how to work our amps.’ But honestly, it doesn’t happen too often, and we’re pretty good at avoiding it and standing up for ourselves.”
Many Regrettes songs cover the emotions and insecurities teenagers face; Night said she hopes the songs serve as consolation.
“I just speak on things I know about and am experiencing,” she said. “… I’m just a very honest songwriter, and stuff that’s being talked about in our music is from a truthful place. I think it’s important as an artist to take a stand like that when writing music. … I like doing that, because it lets others know that it’s OK to be confident in those feelings and emotions, whatever they’re going through.”
The band’s three newest singles—“I Dare You,” “Pumpkin” and “Dress Up”—offer more of an alternative-rock feel, in contrast to the punk-heavy songs on Feel Your Feelings Fool! Night said to expect more of this on How Do You Love?
“It’s more of a mix of Blondie/’80s pop meets early Strokes meets Regrettes,” she said.
The Regrettes will perform with Hot Flash Heat Wave at 9 p.m., Friday July 19, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Tickets are $15. For tickets or more information, call 760-365-5956, or visit pappyandharriets.com.