A couple of months ago, I saw a teenaged rock duo called Regrettes open up for Kate Nash at the Echo and was surprised at how competent and legitimate they were – even more-so after learning they were just fourteen years old. A gimmick guitarist Lydia Night and drummer Marlhy Murphy definitely are not.
A few days later, I attended a pool party that was sort-of the unofficial wrap party for that weekend’s Burger A-Go-Go. I was excited to find Regrettes opening that show as well. I later heard that we were in the home of Lydia and I got to interview the two while a group of their friends hungout and listened in. Though they’re in their mid-teens, I found out that the two have been playing music for more than half their lives.
“When I was six, I started taking guitar lessons and my guitar teacher actually taught me how to sing and write songs,” Night explained, as a Buffy the Vampire Slayer poster hung above her on the wall. “So when I was seven I started my first band. I would tell everyone what to do and I wrote all the songs, they were about a minute and we played some shows. Then I met this lady over here.”
“I’ve kind of been immersed into music all my life, everything I tried to do,” said Murphy, who was sitting adjacent to her bandmate during this conversation,
“When I started acting 10 years ago, it was musical theater. But when I was five, my parents got a Wi and we would play Rock Band. That actually got me into drumming because I would always go to the drums and I normally got a pretty good score. Then I got a postcard from School of Rock, which I started going to when I was six. I started my first band, it was called We’re Not Dudes when I was eleven. Then Lydia and I met out here.”
It’s hard to put into perspective what it would have been like being new to high school and yet also simultaneously in a band that is opening for Kate Nash and Peaches at major venues (and premiering music videos on awesome blogs like Grimy Goods). These two girls opened for Kate Nash on a Thursday and went to school on a Friday, and to them, it’s not so weird.
“It actually feels really normal. It kind of seems like it would be super crazy and cool – I mean it’s really cool but…” Murphy says before Night jumps in.
“We have had so many opportunities but I feel like it’s been going on for a while, so we’ve gotten used to it. I mean, my close friends obviously know what I do and I play shows and stuff. But when they bring it up it makes me really uncomfortable because I don’t sound like that person that brags about that stuff.”
These girls aren’t just opening for Nash – the British singer-songwriter co-produced a record for them and has been heavily involved with the two.
“I met her at her show a year and a half ago at the Fonda,” says Night of their meeting. “I already knew her beforehand and then we started recording a record with this producer Tom Biller who made her record Girl Talk. He contacted her and didn’t even know that I knew her and asked her to co-produce it.”
“I am in this thing that she does called Girl Gang. It’s awesome. There’s just weekly meetings and we talk about current events and issues and there’s like 10 to 15 girls that go and it’s amazing and so much fun and such a supportive community.”
In a world where there aren’t a lot of great influences in the mainstream, I’ve seen first-hand the good that Kate Nash has done, particularly for young girls who might have the same self-esteem issues that Nash has dealt with while in the public eye.
“That’s the thing is Kate is one of those people who is so inspiring,” says Night. “Even if we didn’t know her at all, I feel like we would both be so inspired by her. How could you not? Everything she has to say, she’s such an amazing person. I was at Burger A-Go-Go and I was watching her set and I just started bawling and it was so embarrassing. After the show I went and was talking to her and I started crying again because I can’t get over how amazing she is as a person and she is incredible.”
As someone in their mid-twenties, I can attest that many people my age still don’t know what they want to do with their lives – sometimes having to settle into a career they aren’t passionate about. Night and Murphy both know how lucky they are to have found it so early on in their lives – and better yet, be really good at it.
“I feel really lucky,” agrees Murphy. “A lot of people don’t know what they want to do. Especially, it’s hard to make a living as a musician. So I feel it’s good that we actually started now so we can sort of build up.”
With almost a decade of experience already under their belt and no drivers licenses between the two of them, Lydia Night and Marlhy Murphy are well on their ways. With influences like The Strokes, the Beach Boys, Modest Mouse and The Crystals, they have the musical maturity decades beyond their years. Make sure to check them out opening for the Summer Twins at their Echoplex residency on Nov. 23!
Words: Mark E. Ortega