There is a new lineup of socially conscious punk rockers on the rise including Sunflower Bean, PUP and Camp Cope. These bands have political wit, progressive musical styles and, they can definitely rock.
Leading the charge for this generation of badass artists is The Regrettes, a four-piece garage pop band who have already made appearances at Governors Ball Music Festival, Bonnaroo Musica & Arts Festival and Firefly Music Festival this summer. With a set at Lollapalooza locked in, the band has solidified themselves as festival darlings. Their songs “Come Through,” “Hey Now” and “Seashore” all encourage the positive festival vibes listeners are looking for.
The Regrettes are composed of frontwoman Lydia Night, guitarist Genessa Gariano, bassist Sage Chavis and the newest member, drummer Drew Thomsen. The band had about a week of rehearsals together before they jumped into performing on stage as a cohesive group. “It was kind of crazy,” Chavis admits. “There wasn’t much time to get in the groove but I think it made it better. We just had to jump right in,” Night adds. The live shows for The Regrettes have always been a vital part of the band’s identity. By creating an inclusive community through music, the band’s fans reciprocate those sentiments even while in the chaos of a mosh pit. “We want to welcome so many different types of people into one space and make sure everyone feels really safe and accepted,” Night says. “We want people to feel like we’re just being weird and being ourselves. Do whatever feels natural to you, that’s safe, obviously.”
There has been a shift in atmospheres at live punk rock shows recently where, the crowds have grown to be much more conscious and aware of each other. Safety in terms of personal space and respect is paramount to both the artists and the audiences. The Regrettes collectively agree that this positive movement is integral if we want live music to prosper.
“I’ve felt uncomfortable at shows before. I’ve fallen down and couldn’t get up, and it was a very scary moment,” Gariano says. “I was okay but if that had happened and then I had been harassed in some way, it would make me not want to go to music shows anymore. It would ruin it, so I don’t ever want to be that show to someone.”
On the band’s newest single, the artists reimagined the song “Helpless” from Hamilton for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamildrop series. Integrating a rock edge into the song, Chavis says they were really able to make it their own sonically. As far as lyrical content was concerned, Gariano says that working on a song from Hamilton felt like a perfect fit for the band’s ethos because, “Hamilton is supposed to be bridging the gap between so many different people.”
While on tour, the band has been able to meet a number of fans, with a range of backgrounds. With such an authentic sound and relatable storylines, it’s not uncommon for fans to get emotional when meeting the band. “A woman had just transitioned and she talked to us about how much she had connected with our song “A Living Human Girl.” It was emotional for all of us,” Gariano tells me. Night adds that the woman had been in her late 40s and seeing how their fan base can spread across all age groups was slightly overwhelming. “It’s crazy to think about. We know we get those reactions from younger people, but seeing older people too, it’s awesome,” she says.
Between the two weekends of Coachella this year, The Regrettes spent a week in Joshua Tree writing and recording new music. Drawing inspiration from each of their personal lives, including heartbreak and relationship tension, listeners can expect honest perspectives and experimental sounds. “Experimenting is a really big thing for me. I was always really scared of sounding too poppy or too whatever,” Night admits. “Now it’s like, we’re just going to write and whatever genre people want to put us in, we can’t control that.”
With confidence in themselves and their listeners, The Regrettes are gritty young rockers with upbeat attitudes. Be sure to check out (and feel safe at) their live show at Lollapalooza, Reading Festival and Bumbershoot.