What do the xx, Green Day, Sum 41, Fall Out Boy and the Beatles all have in common? Each of these groups started when most—if not all—of the band members were still teenagers. The teen rockers in The Regrettes can add their names to that list. With songs that channel the polish of the Donnas and the attitude of the Runaways, the Los Angeles-based band has been on a rapid ascent since its 2017 debut, Feel Your Feelings Fool!, through their new synth-driven single “I Love Us.” Regrettes’ front woman Lydia Night — a 19-year-old who could be described as an early 1960s-era Karen O — spoke with PRØHBTD about music, body image, insecurities and “dealing with a lot of assholes.”
You have a huge opportunity that most teens your age never experience. To what extent do you see your opportunity as a platform for all teens with a passion for music?
I feel so grateful that we have the platform that we do to speak our minds and hopefully inspire others. We want not only teens to be encouraged to make music and speak their minds, but people of all ages.
Do you find it easier or more difficult to write songs now that you are certain a lot more people will hear them and analyze them?
I try not to let that affect my writing at all. I write music for myself and hope it makes sense to everyone else. (Laughs)
You experienced a transformational change when you went from a small school in Santa Monica to a huge high school downtown. What did this experience teach you about yourself, and what did it teach you about the differences within your generation?
It really opened my eyes to all of the insecurities that young women are constantly drowning in. It honestly scared the shit out of me at first, and then I learned how to use the experiences I was going through and watching my friends go through as a learning process.
“A Living Human Girl” is an important song for the band, and it addresses several teen issues like body image. Was there a particular exchange or experience that ignited the creative spark for this song?
Starting high school for sure. Like I said previously, it opened my eyes to such a scary world of self-hatred that I didn’t know existed.
You’re often described as outspoken. What topics do you most like to speak out about?
Self-love and human rights, baby!
“Hey Now” expressly targets sexism and racism in the introduction. The setting is the 1960s, but can I assume it is meant to be a critique of discrimination that still exists in society?
The video was meant to point out how much that time period is romanticized and also shine a light on how ridiculous it is that all these issues are still very relevant today.
From your conversations with people your age, what large-scale changes do you think teens today hope to see in the next 10 to 15 years?
I think all we really want is for people to be kind to others and not so god damn judgmental. The world would be such a better place if we all strived to love ourselves.
What will be the next single, and can you tell me about it?
We just released our record so no new singles for awhile.
Main photo by Claire Marie Vogeln. David Jenison (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Editor-in-Chief at PRØHBTD.