Is vinyl still important to you?
I have a lot of vinyl, but it’s mostly classical music. And I have my coveted Cramps collection — the bootlegs, everything. I’ll sometimes take it out.
There’s something cool about vinyl because I grew up with it. It’s nice sometimes to put a record on, get up, and turn it over. And the covers look great, obviously.
I like hearing Raveonettes records on vinyl because the warmth and feel of what you’ve done comes through on record.
Yeah, cool. We run our songs through some great equipment to get that warmth into it. The guitars are usually run through an API preamp or a Thermionic Culture Rooster preamp, which has a nice tube sound to it. Sometimes we run the whole mix through a limiter and the drums through some Distressors. We try to have a little bit of the old with the new. We use a lot of plug-ins when we mix. Sometimes the final mix runs through an API equalizer in the end to give it a little bit of a sheen on top of it. I just like the idea of mixing old with new, basically.
We love making albums, creating soundscapes, and coming up with different sounds. That’s a big part of it. We’re really excited every time we record, because we have no idea how it’s going to end up. I’m already dying to start work on the next album you know! [laughs] Actually, most of the next album has been written. It’s just a matter of finding the time to get back into the studio to see where it ends up, really.
Mono vs. stereo, any preference?
Hmmm, no. I mean, I like stereo a lot; big stereo reverbs. For vocals, we like to keep it mono-ish. But when we mix, we have those old tube setups where we can listen to it in mono to see how it translates and make sure we get all the levels right. I like a big spread-out feel.
I saw the opening night of your recent tour in Philadelphia back in April. Do you work on new material while you’re on the road?
I’ll be honest with you: I try to sleep as much as I can! But on the bus, I have my plug-ins and my Logic, so I might work on some beats, or learn new plug-ins or other new tricks so I have a better overview when I get back to the studio and work. I like doing that — work with a beat, then play with some equalizers and compressors on my laptop.
I do have to mention that I have your solo album [Sune Rose Wagner, from 2008.] Even though it was all sung in your native tongue of Danish, the vibe and intent came through perfectly.
Oh, nice. It was made pretty fast, in Copenhagen. It took 2 weeks. A friend of mine had a studio there and said I could use it for free. I said “No problem.” So we went in and did it, just the two of us. And it was a lot of fun, yeah.
Finally, have you and Sharin thought about releasing live Raveonettes material?
No, not really. I’ve never been a big fan of that. So we never thought of doing it. It’s rare that I’ll listen to stuff we’ve recorded live that I think sounds good, so we’re not interested.
Check out the Raveonettes track "Forget That You're Young" to see how Wagner gets maximum effect from a minimalist recording style:
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