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The Raveonettes Are In and Out of Control

You're a member of global hipster community, right? So you've heard of The Raveonettes, right? You could probably write the following: They're a Danish-born duo, a sexy guy (Sune Rose Wagner, pronounced SOON) and a sexy, Nico-type girl (Sharin Foo), but they're not a couple, and their sound is kind of like the classic girl groups meets Jesus and Mary Chain (a popular sound these days!). They have a great new album, In and Out of Control, and tonight, they play New York City's Webster Hall. We caught up with Sune to find out about the band's new album, his foolproof plan to rescue Amy Winehouse from herself, and why Marc Jacobs is his type of man. Out: So, Sune, Out is gay. What is gay about the Raveonettes? Sune Rose Wagner: That's a good question. Maybe that -- well, I don't know, let me think about that. Are either of you gay? No, we're not. But you're not a couple. No. Sharin is married to a guy she lives with in L.A. So how do you work together, so far apart usually, with you here in New York? I'm the main songwriter, so I sit here and do the stuff and I send MP3 files to Sharin and get her opinion on stuff. Do you live with anyone in NYC? I have a girlfriend in NYC but we don't live together. She's a fitting model for various designers. She used to be a [runway/photo shoot] model when she was younger. She does music on the side but I've yet to hear it because she's incredibly shy. What's your New York life like? I don't have a lot of time at home in NYC, but when I stay in, I love to cook. Who wears more eyeliner, you or Sharin, because in photos it looks like you both wear a lot. Well, that's changed. I used to wear a lot of eyeliner, pretty much since I was 16 years old, but I don't do it anymore. I think it's because we did a couple of shoots for magazines and stuff where I didn't think it looked very good all of a sudden. I mean, I always wear mascara. You're 31 now. Why no more eyeliner, really, after 16 years? I don't know, I just saw some pictures and stuff. Maybe you're not so self-confident anymore? The Raveonettes may be the most famous Danish rockers after Lars Ulrich from Metallica. Are you friends with him? I know him, yes. He's a very friendly guy and he came to our show the last time we played in New York. And he invited me to his house in San Francisco. He even offered me a trip on his private plane. I love Metallica. What's the difference between Copenhagen and NYC? When you're outside Denmark, it's okay to be proud and a little cocky about what you do. But [in Denmark], we have this thing where no one is better than anyone else. Bands are extremely modest there. If you ask, "Is your band good?" they'll say, "Yeah, you know, it's OK," instead of "We're the best." So now you feel free to say you're the best band in the world? I said it even when I lived in Denmark. It's silly otherwise. If I don't think we're the best band, then what's the point? What do you like to wear, Sune? I always like my skinny black jeans and I like T-shirts, a lot. A lot of old band T-shirts, and also regular white or black T-shirts I usually cut the neck off, because sometimes they're too tight. What's your favorite T-shirt? A Dolly Parton T-shirt. I saw her when she was last in New York. My shirt is black with a big print of her on the front from the '70s when she's really beautiful. I think you just answered what's gay about you. OK, good. Now I don't have to think about that anymore. OK, how would you describe this new album of yours, In and Out of Control? It's a very varied album. Some songs, like "Love in a Trashcan" [writer's note: my favorite!], have that old-school riff and drive, then there are more modern beats like "Breaking Into Cars," then full-on poppiness like "Last Dance." Why do you think that sixties girl-ground sound is so big right now, in our Amy Winehouse era? Everything is bound to come around at one time or another, and a lot of extremely good music stems from that era. I grew up in the '80s, but I listened to '50s and '60s music. A lot of '80s music is very '60s influenced, like Cyndi Lauper, The Go-Gos, even more electronic bands, like OMD. Listen to "Enola Gaye", it's a total '60s chord progression. Are you an Amy Winehouse fan? I think she's amazing. Do you think she'll be OK? I hope. She's young and wild and spiraling out of control but she's so good at what she does, I'm sure the music will win her in the end. I want to ask you about some of your lyrics. Like from "Last Dance," there's: "Every time you overdose/I rush to intensive care/Another sad-eyed stare/Before you disappear." I've had a few relationships with girls who were drug users or had just come out of it. I even had a relationship where I helped the girlfriend get out of it; she'd OD'd on a heavy dose of meth. Shit! Is she OK now? She's been sober for almost three years. Have you ever had a heavy drug period? I have! No, I was never crazy into drugs. I had a cocaine period when we first started out and toured a lot and everything was exciting, but I quickly realized that I can't do it because I have a crazy addictive nature and if I really got into it, it would take me over and kill me. I drink a little too much though, I think. What do you like to drink? I love to drink Bellinis at the Bowery Hotel, that is my number 1. Other than that, I'm pretty boring with the drinks, usually just vodka cranberry. And I love good wine. Do you think maybe you're drawn to girls in trouble? Yeah, absolutely! I look back and say, "Oh my God, that was another sad case." So it's funny with this new girl now because she's such in control of her life and so healthy and sweet and happy. It freaked me out because it's so new to me. I can't believe it, the girl has no issues, what's going on? And then from the song "Suicide," we have, "Run run run away, little girl/Have your fun in this trashy world/Empty-hearted boys by your side/Lick your lips and suicide." Hello, Sune! Again, that's from my personal experience of seeing people being too caught up in not taking care of themselves, letting people treat them like shit. Why do you think you're so drawn to these tragic girls? I don't know, I think it's probably excitement. I grew up in a fairly normal family in small-town Denmark, and I always dreamed about all the crazy stuff, partying and having sex with a lot of girls. So that's maybe your gayish hedonistic side? I can still throw on my dance shoes and love it. You have any gay idols? Uh, let me -- well, I love Marc Jacobs. Why? I just really like his clothes, his style. He's absolutely great and I would love to do something with him one day, maybe we can create some cool Raveonettes collection. What would that look like? Probably fairly simple. You know, keep some pretty simple colors, maybe black and white or something, and really nice fabric. I can see it flowing. You think you're drawn to him because he's a former bad boy with the drugs and hustlers and all that? I do. I think there's something extremely admirable about that, that people can pull themselves from that hellhole and emerge in a completely different life. It takes guts and self-esteem to do that. Perhaps you should intervene with Amy Winehouse, Sune. I could. Give me a call, Amy. How would you help her? I don't know. Probably just shower her with compliments and see where we could go from there. In and Out Of Control is now available digitally and in stores. For more information on The Raveonettes, including tour dates, head here.Send a letter to the editor about this article.
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