music journalist since 1992 | educator since 2004 | podcaster since 2020 | Iranian American since birth
The Raveonettes’ Sharin Foo interviewed for the duo’s album, Lust Lust Lust, for Venus Zine:
The Raveonettes: Lusty Third Album
photo by Soren Solkaer Starbird
The Raveonettes Frontwoman Sharin Foo invites us to her L.A. home to talk about the duo’s lusty third album
By Lily Moayeri
Published: February 25th, 2008 | 12:00pm
Walking along the perfectly manicured, curving paths leading to Sharin Foo’s fairy-tale cottage, you get the impression of having stepped into Los Angeles’ secret fantasy neighborhood. Entering the Raveonettes frontwoman’s dimly lit home, it feels even more like a fantasy with wall lanterns that look like they have to be lit with matches and windows that are better fitted to Snow White’s cottage.
Sparse yet cozy, books are piled along shelves, long given up on maintaining their order and displaying their personalities ever so much better in their disorder. There are small mirrors at every turn, but the statuesque Foo never glances in the direction of her own reflection.
Emerging from the shadows of the back rooms, Foo is luminous. Her platinum hair and translucent complexion are light enough to illuminate her surroundings. The black-and-white checked cowboy shirt she is shivering in loses all its masculinity in her softness. Dragging a shawl around her shoulders, she adjusts and readjusts a space heater, trying to aim it so it warms her up without burning her. The space heater is a contrast to the whimsical setting. But it’s a perfect symbol of a slash of modernity in a classic space — much like the Raveonettes’ music.
On the Raveonettes’ third full-length Lust Lust Lust, the Danish duo — whose other half, Sune Rose Wagner, resides in New York City — retains the essence of what brought attention to them in the first place. That is, retro sounds ensconced in the ’50s more so than any other era. Scratchy and lo-fidelity, their mono-esque tone has a pleasing hiss and crackle that brings back the warmth of vinyl while remaining rigidly cold in the strictness of its beats. More so than any of their previous albums, Lust Lust Lust has a darkness that relates to its personal nature.
“It’s not just a dark album,” says Foo as she puts the kettle on for tea. “There’s a lot of romance on the album. I hear longing and nostalgia. I hear struggle between desire and lust and the intellect trying to figure that out. When something is very personal it’s also very universal. [Lust Lust Lust] has more facets to it than any of our other albums. We’re trying to convey more than a fictional vibe.”
Reaching this theme of longing on Lust Lust Lust was not an easy one for Foo and Wagner. They started the album several times and even packed up and drove across the country to the deep countryside of Washington State to put themselves in different surroundings. The decision to start over was not about quality of songs but rather the direction of the album. “At one point it becomes your own anxiety about it,” admits Foo, warming her hands around her tea mug. “This is not working out so when are we ever going to be able to make an album? Then obviously you can’t make an album because you’re psyching yourself out. And then at another point, you just have to make a decision.”
Foo says that the older she and Wagner get, the more honest and demanding they become. “We used to be very feisty,” she says. “We’re stronger now, but we are also better at showing where we are fragile. Part of the age we are now is doubting yourself sometimes and having to revise everything and wondering if you’re getting everything in. You don’t doubt yourself too much when you’re younger.”
There is a note of relief underlying Foo’s words and her demeanor. Remembering the time when Lust Lust Lust wasn’t coming together at all is accompanied by unconscious shakes of her head and a barely noticeable tensing of her body. But looking to the next few months, which are packed with touring and promotion, she has a determined, positive, and purposeful attitude. “It’s good to have an album out,” she smiles.