Baby In Vain Take On The Echo


BABY IN VAIN play The Echo Aug. 11 photo: James Christopher

It’s been a rather exciting year for the members of Baby in Vain, the Danish band comprised of Benedicte Pierleoni (drums), Lola Hammerich (guitar / vocals) and Andrea Thuesen (guitar / vocals). First, their heavy as lead, gain saturated guitar and melodic melancholy harmonies had them in the studio recording their debut full-length album. Then their blues-rooted, sludgy sound earned the trio a second invite to play a series of cross-country shows with critically adored band, The Kills. The two-week tour will culminate with Baby in Vain headlining their own crowd-worthy gig at The Echo in Los Angeles on Aug. 11.

En route to their next stop in Cincinnati, Ohio, just a short three-day drive from LA in a crammed SUV, Hammerich explains how the second tour with The Kills came about; “We played four shows with them last October. The first time we somehow came into the pile of bands that they could choose from, and they chose us .So they just invited us to come again because I think they liked us, ha-ha!”

With the young median age of 20 years old, the ladies of Baby In Vain are making a name for themselves, and picking up momentum with their reinvigorated take on 90’s stoner rock and grunge, a genre normally dominated by the middle-aged men of yore. They may be a welcomed addition to the reemergence of noise rock that’s found its home in the LA music scene, but in Copenhagen the group remains a musical outlier.

“There’s a lot of different stuff, we’re not really a part of anything,” Hammerich said. “We have some friends who play, but it’s not like a scene. There’s a lot of hip-hop and a lot of R&B, Danish R&B kind of thing. And then there’s a lot of electronic. There’s a lot of rock, but not the kind of rock that we play, it’s more like punk.”

Inspired by albums from artists like Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age, Baby in Vain found their sound after their formation in 2010, and evolved to become the enigma of the Danish music scene that they are today. Tunes like 2012’s “Sweetheart Dreams” drip with dangerously ominous guitar riffs. Slow and steady vocals float atop like witches singing while stirring a black cauldron’s thick brew. The effect is hypnotic, to say the least.

Though heavy sounds permeate the group’s performances, their music tastes outside of the band remain eclectic, even lighthearted.

“We just listened to Neil Young and I wanted to find this song ‘Traveling Soldier’ by the Dixie Chicks, but I don’t have it,” Hammerich said when asked about their music choices on the road. “I want to listen to it. If I had it, it would have been the first song we put on because it seems perfect for this desert drive.”

Like their taste in road trip playlists, the band’s character is not defined by their heavy recordings either. Though in music videos and performances they can present a mean mug and sinister glare, it is only one dimension of their image. In reality, though serious about their music, they are three friends enjoying the opportunity of touring and playing together with goofy moments and bizarre anecdotes following their every move.

“We kind of just try to have fun, but I mean we’re also aggressive on stage,” Hammerich said. “It’s not like we put on some character for the stage. I just think it’s more interesting to make music that’s not, you know, just all happy. That’s at least the music I listen to myself, but that’s only one part of who we are as people. So we can have a laugh even though our music is serious, but also our music can be humorous. It’s not all dark.”

With new songs to be released on their upcoming album, Baby in Vain continues to see their sound evolve and mature. “Old recordings, I can’t stand,” Hammerich said. “Like the old releases of ours I never listen to because I don’t think it’s good enough. But the new stuff we’re doing is a lot better.

“It’ll be our first full-length. It was the first time we’ve had more than five days in the studio! So we’ve taken our time with making it right and also for the first time we are working with a producer who we feel is taking songs where they are supposed to go.”

As with most artists, Baby in Vain can be their own harshest critic, but if past singles are any indication of what is to come with their 2015 album, listeners are in for a treat…and hopefully another (longer) U.S. tour.