In the summer of 2016, Copenhagen-based trio Baby in Vain released their five-song debut EP ‘For the Kids’ on Partisan Records. The band garnered the praises of Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and the Kills’ Allison Mosshart, who took the young band on tour.
Now, after that impressive beginning, Lola Hammerich (vocals, guitar), Andrea Thuesen (vocals, guitar) and Benedicte Pierleoni (drums), are back with their debut full length ‘More Nothing,’ again on Partisan Records.
‘More Nothing’ is a brooding collection of 11 fuzzed-out garage-rock inspired songs with a hint of grunge, shoegaze, and punk. The soaring harmonies compliment the rough and tumble rock as the lyrics play out like a film noir with eerie true life events full of sarcastic wit.
We interviewed Baby in Vain in 2016 for their EP and they were pretty restrained, but we thought we’d give them another shot because all good music deserves some press.
Innocent Words: You and Lola began playing together at the ages of 12 and 14 respectively. So, you’ve been together for nearly a decade. When you started playing with each other what was the ultimate goal?
Benedicte Pierleoni: I think the ultimate goal back then was playing at Roskilde Festival and overseas. Roskilde Festival is every Danish bands big dream, so it was huuuuge when we got told that we were going to be playing there in 2013.
In 2014 we got the news that we were going to SXSW, and I remember when we were sitting on the plane on our way to America, we looked at each other and were like “wow, we did it, we’re on our way across the Atlantic to play!”
Innocent Words: When did you name the band Baby In Vain and does it have any special meaning behind it?
Benedicte Pierleoni: Andrea came up with the band name even before we formed the band. We were sitting outside a venue at our friend’s gigs the night we decided to make a band called Baby In Vain. Andrea was like “ask me to join your band, I have the perfect band name,” and it was Baby In Vain. We met two days later and started jamming.
Innocent Words: What did you learn from touring on the EP in 2016, that you brought to the new record?
Benedicte Pierleoni: When we toured the EP in late 2016 we had written most of the new songs so touring helped us get better at playing them in general, and the songs evolved as well while we played them live.
Innocent Words: Do you have any weird tour stories to share?
Benedicte Pierleoni: In the summer of 2015 we toured in the US, opening for the Kills. We had to drive from LA to Detroit, and back to the east coast in what was not even a van. Eleven shows, 19 days, and 6,360 miles. That was something! One night we were supposed to sleep in a motel on our way to Denver, but it was so crappy and scary (felt like we were in a horror movie) that we arrived to Denver at 6am after driving all the way from Minneapolis.
Innocent Words: Kyuss, Soulsavers, Sonic Youth, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Jesus and Mary Chain, were some of your early influences for writing music. Did you bring any new influences into the mix with this new record?
Benedicte Pierleoni: I’m not sure we have specific influences. I guess Andrea was listening a lot to Pink Floyd at that time, but she always does. I might have had an ‘In Utero’ Nirvana period at that time if I remember correctly. Dave Grohl has always had a big drumming influence on me, he’s sick.
Lola Hammerich: Maybe half the songs on the record, we recorded pretty much the way we would play them live. But a recording is different to a live show no matter how you do it. But we did get into the live room and get rowdy, like we would at a show. The other half of the songs has elements to them that we don’t have live, like piano, organ and synth overdubs.
Innocent Words: For the record, you worked with longtime PJ Harvey collaborator Rob Ellis. You’ve had nothing but praise for Rob and his recording and encouragement, did he spoil you from working with any other producer in the future?
Lola Hammerich: We’d love to work with Rob again, but I think we want to try other people out as well. But he just turned out to be perfect for us at that moment in time. He had exactly the right approach for us with this record. He really made us play the best we can. We don’t know yet what we want to do with the next record.
Innocent Words: There are songs written about your friends, namely “Low Life” about a bad relationship. Do these friends know they are the subject of your songs? Are they honored to be in your songs?
Lola Hammerich: Andrea didn’t write “Low Life” about a friend, but more of an acquaintance. We write about our surroundings and the people around us, but it’s usually not very direct, so it’s maybe inspired by someone, but not exactly about that person. I don’t know if any of our friends are aware that they’ve been inspirational for a song.
Innocent Words: What are you hoping fans will take away from ‘More Nothing?’
Benedicte Pierleoni: I hope that fans will use ‘More Nothing’ as their ultimate party jam, as their lazy Sunday hangover jam, as their going to work/school jam, as their work out jam, as their… You know where I’m going… And I hope that people will see us as not just an energetic live band, but also as mature musicians and songwriters.
10/01/17 Think Tank Underground Newcastle Upon Tyne, England
10/02/17 Broadcast Glasgow, Scotland
10/03/17 The Tunnels Aberdeen
10/04/17 Sneaky Pete’s Edinburgh, Scotland
10/05/17 Headrow House Leeds, England
10/08/17 The Cookie Leicester
10/09/17 The Camden Assembly London