If, when in Berlin, you see a blonde rockstar driving away on a red Vespa, chances are high you have just encountered Lore Vain. Chances are also high, the plastic shield on the scooter’s handlebar is still there, because rockstars have no time to take it off, no matter how much they hate it.
When I meet her at Tamper meets jigger one warm afternoon at the end of June, the first thing Lore Vain shows me is how ugly the plastic shield on her red Vespa is. I take a close look, it’s not that bad. What’s worse, argues Lore Vain, is what you would need to do to have it gone: find a screwdriver, dig in there, get the angle right, undo one screw, then change position and undo the second one – not worth the hustle. Plus, it’s a great conversation starter.
Rockstars Are Born (In The Outskirts Of Marburg)
Born in the German countryside surrounded by horses and butterflies, Faye Hintke, alias Lore Vain, grew up in a household of music lovers, singing along to anything her parents would play for her: “Pop, rock… whatever was on the radio, really”, she laughs. She soon started to play instruments and write her own lyrics, and although she was only a kid (“Nothing you would want to hear now, although they would certainly be funny”), it was pretty clear that she’d be meant to perform on a stage.
Following her older sister to Berlin, Lore Vain knew she’d found her place right away: enraptured by the city’s love for arts and music, she quickly made music her daily bread and started a band, as well as a record label. “Berlin is the perfect place to figure out what music you want to do and to find the people you want to do it with”
In Creative Control
Just like everyone else, Covid-19 impacted Lore Vain’s life and music, offering a change of perspective. Sitting at home with folded hands, she started wondering what would happen if she simply went back to the very beginning.
“I wanted to produce my own stuff. I didn’t like the fact that I was depending on someone else to produce my music. If you’re just writing songs, you have to find a producer that can help you with the sound. And that sound is always different from what you thought it would be. Your ideas will always be mixed with the ideas of someone else. So I had that rough feeling of, ‘I want to do this on my own’”
Encouraged by some friends who live and breathe music production, Lore Vain got her mind to it, sat down and started to produce. “It was crazy” she recalls, “It felt like going to the very roots of my music”. Initially scared by what felt like a leap backwards, Lore Vain found the motivation to keep going in the stillness of the pandemic: “The lockdown was the perfect time for it, there was nothing waiting. So I just did it. And I found my own style in it”. Looking back on it now, she argues with a smile that learning to produce was, for her, like cooking her own meals.
“You don’t want anyone interfering when you’re cooking, cause this is your meal now. You might use someone coming in and tasting it, giving advice on the recipe. But you still want to be chef”
Once she was satisfied with the results, she started looking for partners to keep the Lore Vain project going. “I’m not that lonesome wolf, I don’t want to be completely solo”. The first person Lore Vain trusted inside her kitchen was indeed her good friend Chet Franco. With a common background in the field of arts, the two musicians clicked immediately: “When I started this project, I wanted to give it more girl power. Chet was the first one I started making music with – randomly asking her for synth ideas”, Faye explains. From there, live gigs came around and, over time, Lore Vain’s vision came to life.
One thing that makes Lore Vain’s first album EKDYSIS (2022) stand out, is the mixing game she plays with languages. From French to Italian, circling back to German and English, she embarks on a journey through different cultures, delivering her messages loud and clear.
“I like to play around without thinking too much. It’s also how I do music, actually. I’m not sitting down with the intent to write a rock song. It’s just the feeling I have that day: when I feel like rocking a guitar, I end up writing a rock song. And it’s the same with language. Sometimes you feel like the song simply needs it.”
Her Italian-sung song Corpo, for instance, was born from Faye’s fascination for Italian disco songs from the 1980s, and the idea to juxtapose rough sounds with a melodic language like Italian. “I found it really hard, because if you’re not a native speaker, you’re constantly scared you might sound stupid” she confesses, “But I have some Italian friends, so I asked them if they thought the result was at least cute, and they were like, ‘It’s cute, you can do it’”. Choosing randomness over detailed storytelling, she started writing short sentences that could stand on their own even if put out of context and later translated them into Italian.
“If the song is not so big lyrically, but rather made up of simple phrases one after the other, it is easier to write in another language. For French it was a bit easier, because I speak a little bit more French than I ever spoke Italian. I like to play around with it, maybe Spanish next time!”
Planning on including some dreamy French on her upcoming album Agony The Muse as well, Lore Vain reflects on how her musical multilingualism mirrors the city of Berlin. “That’s also the way we live, a big part of Berlin. We are always meeting people from different countries, mixing cultures. I hear a lot of languages all the time, and I love that”
The Challenge Of Finding Your Own Sound
Although drawing inspiration from the artists one looks up to is inevitable, trying to recreate their sound is pointless. “If I listened to a song and decided I wanted to write one that sounded exactly like that, the result would be super boring” explains Lore Vain when I ask her about her references for her upcoming album, “When you do that, you’re just trying to be as good as the original. And you will never be, there is no chance”.
Righteously claiming that nowadays it is a challenge for new artists to stay true to their musical originality, Lore Vain actively avoids emulating the musicians she is a fan of in her art. However, sometimes inspiration comes in indirect ways.
“Some artists are simply wow, hands down. For example, I love Tame Impala. I also listen to a lot of indie rock from the 90s and early 2000s, that garage music that never gets old – just drums, guitar, bass, vocals, and a lot of synthesizing”
Having recently rediscovered Alice Phoebe Lou because of some Portuguese friends that have been listening to her music on loop, Faye mentions her as an inspiration when it comes to making music sound dreamy: “It was great to get back into the music for my friends because sometimes you listen to something for some time and then you lose it. But when I heard them play Alice Phoebe Lou, I was in love all over again”.
Agony The Muse
After years of experimentation, Lore Vain finally feels like she handcrafted her signature scent in her upcoming album, Agony The Muse. Christening her definite artistic vision with friend and producer Máni Orrason, she released lead single magnetic wave earlier this year, followed by control, look at me, blue gene and strip down your costume.
Accompanied by meticulously embroidered music videos, the singles’ uniqueness is a clear sign of all the hard work that over the years Faye put into experimenting with new combinations and making herself instantly recognisable. With the album’s sexy, raw sounds, Lore Vain is ready to hand out the beauty of Agony The Muse as her business card, and have us all gape in awe and anticipation in the meantime.
Catch Lore Vain and her band live in Germany in August. Agony The Muse is out on August 25th.
Every Monday, the NBHAP staff brings an exciting new artist to your attention alongside a 30-track-strong Introducing Playlist on Spotify. Feel invited to follow the playlist and give these talents a spin. Sign up for our Newsletter to receive monthly updates about new music.