Baby in Vain - Photo by Tue Blichfeldt

Photo by Tue Blichfeldt

BABY IN VAIN is Benedicte, Lola and Andrea, three teenagers would couldn’t buy beer in the US but are not letting that stop them from finding their roots in mid-90s grunge like MUDHONEY, and stoner rock in the style of hallowed masters BLACK SABBATH. Lola and Andrea’s vocals are slow and accusatory, drawling about seeing you in the darkest night, all over fuzzed out classic rock n roll guitar. Benedicte plays drums that go from sludgy to rapid fire in a heartbeat.   They recently released their Sweetheart Dreams EP on Volcano Records.  Young and full of volatile teenage ardor, BABY IN VAIN bring energy to live shows worthy of arena rock bands like DEF LEPPARD and AC/DC, with a sound that is as frenetic as it is flammable. NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION sat down with them at this year’s SPOT festival to talk about secret drinks, road trip anthems and what to do when you don’t have a smoke machine. They earned our respect for having a ready answer to the BLACK SABBATH related question.


So how old are all of you, really?
A: I’m nineteen.
L: I’m sixteen or maybe seventeen by the time this publishes.
B: I’m nineteen.


Favorite BLACK SABBATH album?
B: The first.
A: I’m a fan of Vol. 4 because I bought it in a really cool shop in Barcelona.
L: Paranoid.

What are some influences, bands that you listen to every day?
L: It was very sad on the way here because we thought we could plug our iPod to the stereo in the car but we couldn’t and we had made the prefect road trip playlist.
A: The first song is, of course, JOURNEY, with Don’t Stop Believing. More Than a Feeling by BOSTON, and STEPPENWOLF Born to be Wild
L: Tiny Dancer [ELTON JOHN]
A: AC/DC Highway to Hell.
L: And we have Sweet Home Alabama. And GUNS N’ ROSES Yesterday. The perfect road trip playlist!
A: It was really sad.
B: I listen to BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB.  But also a lot of pop music. I into R&B soul kinds of stuff, JT [JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE].
A: I love the eighties.
L: I love the seventies and the nineties.
A: Yeah, and the nineties. And the oughties.
L: That would be the zeros. I love the zeros: that could be a good mantra.


You’re young and you’re all women, both of these features count against you in music.  How are you going to deal with it?
L: Oh well, just being cool you know! [laughs]
B: Step by step, stone by stone.
A: We’re not putting a lot of thought into it, we just try to be there, and not being square-
B: Being triangle! [all laugh]
A: -and play our instruments well and sing our songs well enough.
L: To take over the world.
A: Yes, trying to take over the world with some good old-fashioned rock power.
B: And pyrotechnics!
L: But not today, because Andrea broke her leg.


Really, what happened? [She had crutches nearby]
A: I didn’t break my leg. I just was sliding too hard on stage and twisted my ankle and twisted my knee.
B: We figured the pyro thing would be too dangerous for today.


What do you usually do?
L: We have our own light man, for the first time ever.
A: Usually we don’t have a smoke machine on stage so we just smoke a lot of cigarettes onstage and blow out the smoke, between every song it’s like “More smoke!” so at the end of every show we play we’re like [Mimics gasping for air]


So who plays what?
L: We play the guitars and vocals [motions to Andrea], and she is the drummer [motions to Benedicte].
A: And she makes noises with her mouth. She’s beat boxing at the same time.
B: I play the saxophone too. On the song Catcher, it’s kind of hard to hear but it’s there.


BABY IN VAIN: “We are not stoned, we are perky and quirky and funny”

Tell me about your live shows. What are some warnings you would give someone coming to see you?

L: Maybe some earplugs.
A: Usually it’s loud and rowdy.
L: And just… some energy to the people!
A: We’re saving lives. It’s like you can bring your sick mama in a wheelchair and we will start playing and all the good vibes will reach out to her.


She’ll come back to life?
L: Yeah.

So you recommend your shows for people who are feeling a little bit down or depressed?

L: But you can come if you’re happy too!


How do you all know each other?
A: We met at a concert, played by our favorite Danish rock band the WAVE OF STONE.  We met at bar at one of these concerts, and we were the only three people at the bar. We ordered the exact same drink.


What was it?
B: It’s a secret.


Why is it a secret?
A: I don’t know, but last time we got interviewed we didn’t say it.  It’s our thing now. We ordered it, and we sat at the bar, headbanging, and we said “Cheers man!” and started talking and just-
B: Connected.
A: We made a deal to meet up the next week and just try to jam and we did and it sounded terrible. So we just kept doing it, again and again, again and again-
L: And again and again. It was so terrible.


So now it’s less terrible?
A: Yes! [laughs] We are still having fun, so it’s a win-win situation


So you label yourselves stoner rock. Stoners don’t’ do much, how are you going to get people to take you seriously?
A: Actually we’re not …we are never stoned.
L: Never!
A: Sometimes we drink a beer or two, or three-
B: Ten, twenty. [laughs]
L: We’re born stoned! [laughs]
A: We are not stoned, we are perky and quirky and funny and alive, but actually our music is not that stoned. We made three songs that are stoner rock inspired but the rest are more grunge and garage-like.


What do hope and passion mean to you?
L: Two reasons to live.
A: I thought that was pretty good. Bene, do you have anything?
B: I don’t know, I really hate these questions.
L: But she’s the philosopher. The Philospher’s Stone!
A: I don’t know… I think without hope you’re just being a person. You need hope to have anything to live for. So actually, the same as what Lola said just longer. And passion-
L: Is all the fun.
A: Passion is the rest of it. Hope is what keeps you going, passion just follows on the side.