Interview::Lavender Diamond

There is an exclusive interview with Lavender Diamond up on Urge. Check it out: Lavender Diamond interview

Here are some excerpts from the interview if you don’t want to get involved with all that.
URGE: Was the ideological aspect one of the starting points of the band? Was that there from the beginning?

Ron Regé Jr.: When I met Becky, she was performing as Lavender Diamond, just singing solo and guitar, slower and a little drawn out. But she had played with a few different guitar players, one was Jeff [Rosenberg], and another was Elvis Perkins. The two of us had a band called the Mystical Unionists, where we wore these crazy costumes, and it was just drums and vocals, and I had this weird machine, an echo box. Ideologically, all those songs were pretty much the same, probably more so than Lavender Diamond because the music was weird, and we were wearing these robes.

Stark: We weren’t wearing robes, we were wearing sexy outfits.

URGE: Where did those ideas come from? Was it upbringing and musical taste, or was it art-school ideas?

Regé Jr.: It was things going on, and probably the times we live in. I’m feeling really strongly about [our surroundings] these days. I look around at popular culture and youth culture, and I’m [wondering] “What the hell is going on?” I can’t believe how many artists are just singing about nothing. It completely baffles me. When I was in my twenties in the ’80s, we were all yelling punk-rock kind of stuff, mostly shouting about Reagan. But nowadays, even the folk movement and people with the hippie trappings, they don’t seem to be having any kind of protests. I know people might not want to be specific, or get pigeonholed, but … in my art and in my paintings, I came to [a] realization that I can’t make art that doesn’t mean anything, and I can’t make art that isn’t specifically about finding peace in this world. So, then Becky met Steve [Gregoropolous], who plays piano, who’s been doing music forever. Steve was also on board with making really subversive pop music. That’s how Becky got Steve to be in; with writing.

Stark: I said, we’ll do it really consciously, like Abba.

Regé Jr.: Yeah, like Abba or Human League or Blondie. Human League is the one that got him. Steve made industrial music in the early ’80s, and is also a pop and classical guy. So he definitely understands the idea, because he saw bands like the Human League go from being like Throbbing Gristle to being a Top 40 band.

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