And now, the band has released its sixth album — the often morose, but still catchy Observator – after a short but intense few weeks in the studio. Described by Wagner as "very bleak, very dark, not very optimistic, and quite sad," the album still bleeds Raveonettes and piles on the hooks underneath the grime. Talking to Wagner about the last ten years, you get the sense that he's both happy about his accomplishments, but still longs for something more. We caught up with him to talk about the Raveonettes past, present, and future – and he gave us an honest look at the highs and lows of playing music as his life's vocation.
Tell us about the new record. How was writing and recording it different from your experience with your last record, In And Out Of Control?
"Well the one was done super fast – in just a few weeks, basically. [Our last record] was written over a much longer time."
Is there a specific mood that permeates the new album?
"I approach the songs one by one, but because the songs were written so close together and so fast they all became part of the same mood. If you stretch the songwriting process out over six months your mood will change a lot, and so will the songs."
What mood would that be?
"I thought the album before – Raven in the Grave – was dark in a manic kind of way. This album is more dark in personal kind of way."
You recently produced some music for the Dum Dum Girls. How does producing another band compare to working on your own music?
"I enjoy working on my own music the best, but it's kind of inspiring to work with other people as well. Especially Dum Dum Girls, because I respect Dee Dee a lot as a songwriter. We had known each other for many years. Then Richard [Gottehrer] started working with them and sort of gotten involved in it. She has respect for me as a songwriter, and I respect her as a songwriter."
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