Lydia Night, who is the lead singer of the LA-based punk band The Regrettes, wasn’t sure about releasing another love song. After coming out with her second album How Do You Love? which was essentially an ode to love and all of its trials and tribulations, she wondered if it would be too trite, too repetitive. “The market is already so saturated with love songs so I was like, is this a negative move for me? Should I do it?” There probably isn’t a band out there that hasn’t written at least one love song. Love is the most inspirational topic in the world.
It inspires music, poetry, literature, and art because of the intense and complex feelings it invokes in a human being. I am of the opinion that every song is about love, whether or not that was the intent. And Lydia is right, it is a gamble to release a love song when there have already been millions and millions. But sometimes a band will come out with something that feels new, even if it’s about a topic that is very, very old.
Even after writing an entire album about love, The Regrettes still have more to say on the matter with their single “I love us.” Every song about love, from the single to the tracks on their album imbues the theme with complex emotional resonance. Love is a multifaceted emotion, and it is felt differently by different people. And the way Lydia feels love makes for truly compelling and gorgeous music.
You could say that the entire career of Lydia Night and The Regrettes has been one big gamble. At only 18 years old, Lydia has been touring and making music for most of her teenage life. With such a young band, it’s easier to be underestimated, but if this past year has proven anything, It’s that this is a band who has staying power. Taking a very rare break from her nomadic lifestyle, Lydia spoke to me over the phone about the well-trodden topic of love, regret, and what it’s like to just sit still for once. (Spoiler: She is not good at just sitting still).
What do you want people to feel when they listen to your album How Do You Love? What about your new single “I love us”? I personally find that song really emotional. That song came from a place of having this intense appreciation for a relationship and a person. It sums up that feeling of being grateful for what you’ve built with someone whether it’s family, or friendship, or any kind of relationship. Sometimes I get so emotional over how much I love someone.
The album is about several different relationships, but in the end, there is a lot of overlap between it all. Do you feel like you learned a different lesson from all of them, or do you think it’s kind of impossible to avoid certain feelings? No matter what, you learn different lessons through any relationship. I wondered whether it would be negative to release another love song, but I feel it ties the bow perfectly to that chapter. This single [“I Love Us”] seems more the current climate of how I love vs how I did with the album. Now I can take all those things I learned and appreciate it.
Was it hard to write this album, revisiting certain painful emotions, or do you feel like it was sort of cathartic? It’s more cathartic because I’m proud to be stronger through the bullshit and I’m proud of my ability to love and that’s what I want to convey. I wasn’t thinking of it that way fully at the time, I was thinking of just one relationship, but now I view it in that way of being grateful for these lessons and my ability to love.
Can you talk about your writing process? Is it more collaborative as a group? It’s ever-changing. All the albums are kind of a mix. There will be a collection I write alone or with a producer or with other band members. I wrote this with [songwriter] Joe Kirkland, this was our first song together. All songs even if it’s a co-write, it’s always normally from my stories. I just find it easier and more comfortable as a singer to sing about my journey. There are a few songs on our last album I related to about other people’s stories though and that made it easier.
You guys really blew up in this past year, has that affected the energy of your live shows? It makes it a lot easier to play shows when you feel the crowd’s energy increase. We used to play shows on tour to 20 people or less, but it keeps building and gets exciting to come back somewhere and see that. Genuine excitement of seeing people sing and dance to your music.
You guys were supposed to play at Coachella but now that’s obviously been canceled, what has it been like to take a break from touring and the festival circuit and have all this downtime? How have you been keeping busy? It’s so weird because the past years I’ve been touring on and off and at least a quarter or more of my years are on the road. I’m used to having a ticking clock when I am home so it’s been uncomfortable to accept that I have to be here because I’m never here! I kind of protect myself by keeping busy but I’ve been finding room for myself in my world. It’s been a process but I’ve gotten more in the flow recently. I’ve been doing as much writing as I can but it’s hard to be creative if I’m bored. Above all, I’m trying to do everything I can to improve my mental health. I’ve been cooking and baking and going on walks, working out. I do this dance aerobics class a couple of times a week.
Who are your biggest musical influences? Beyonce is my number one, I think she’s the coolest person of all time. More recently Charli XCX, her most recent album was just amazing and is so inspiring. The 1975, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, HOLE will always be in there for me. Brockhampton is also weirdly a big inspiration. I can’t wait for them to become the biggest boy band ever.
What is your love language? I don’t know, I’ve never taken that quiz, so I’m not familiar with the choices. I feel like the things that are important to me are someone showing vulnerability and honesty. That is always the key to my heart. A lack of honesty or vulnerability scares me and is a red flag for me.
What is your biggest regret? It’s so hard because my brain always goes to petty things like “I wish we’d never dated” but I’m happy with my life and where I am. I am a huge believer in cause and effect, so without some of the things I have gone through, I don’t even know if I would be here right now. I guess I would have to go with having no regrets.
What’s coming up next? I’m excited because we’ve been writing our third album and I’m so excited to finally record it, hopefully, this year.
Check out The Regrette’s latest single “I Love Us”: