Nina Wagner and Ben Raine are The Unkindness of Ravens, a super sexy electro rock duo based in London/Berlin!
When we first clapped eyes and ear on Nina and Ben we were kind of hooked, their sinister and intoxicating sounds mixed with their raw sex appeal has us very excited indeed. This delightfully haunting double act seem to have everything they need to take over the music world, we just simply had to grab onto them to ask some questions.
We even have some tasty video for you!
The Unkindness of Ravens is a great band name, but where did it come from?
Ben – It’s the collective noun for Ravens, like a murder of crows. Some people think it’s some kind of literary reference, but it’s not. I just heard it and loved the sound of it.
Understandably, you’ve previously dismissed many comparisons to The Kills – but who would you say inspires you musically?
Ben – Sonic Youth, QOTSA, Nirvana, Radiohead, The Doors, Led Zeppelin are the first that come to mind.
Nina – Most of my inspiration comes from films and photographs, even sometimes fashion. My latest fashion obsession is Pam Hogg. I am addicted to her fetish punk style.
You moved to Berlin, ‘the capital of cool’ while making your first album ‘Virus’, would you say that the record was influenced by the hip location it was created in?
Ben - Yeah, absolutely. We came here to record but ended up writing a lot of new material as well. You’re exposed to a lot of great music here and you can’t help but be influenced by it. We wrote the title track ‘Virus’ very early on in our trip, that’s our ‘Berlin song’, and it ended up defining the rest of the album.
The single VIRUS was used on a promo video for French Connection video, how did it feel when you were asked to be a part of the fashion campaign?
Nina – It was incredibly rewarding to see our sound scoring a fashion video promo. It opened our eyes to other directions we could take our music to.
Ben - For whatever reason our music seems to work well in a fashion context, and it’s something we’re working on exploring more. A few nights back during Berlin Fashion week we met this designer, and he’s gonna let me wear one of his jackets in our next video. I can’t wait, his clothes are amazing, and it’s not often you meet someone who focuses on designing for men.
Your music clearly works well alongside the fashion industry, do you think the relationship between music and fashion is as strong as it has been previously, today?
Nina – If anything, the relationship between fashion and music is stronger than ever. That’s because bands/artists are realising that being a musician is just as much about having an image as it is about their sound. This is a great thing, because I believe in collaboration and creating art with all kinds of people.
Ben – I remember when The Strokes came out, they changed everything. Aside from their musical influence, they’re pretty much responsible for the way people have been dressing in London for the past ten years. Before that in London we were stuck in this New Metal/ Britpop hangover phase that was just horrible. The Strokes kind of gave everyone a new much needed set of guidelines on what was cool.
You both have a clear and distinguished style, do you follow fashion?
Nina – I’m not a natural follower of trends, but I do like to know what’s going on out there. I also find it important to find your own ‘style’, what best fits you and your body type. I personally find women look a thousand times better showing less, but still alluding to what’s underneath. At the moment I’m a total sucker for leather skirts, leopard print boots and any old t-shirt, topped off with my cigi-soaked leather jacket.
Ben - I keep an eye on things, but I’ve hit a point where I know what I like and I don’t see my style changing much from here. Cool boots, tight jeans and a killer leather jacket is where it’s at for me.
The Space In Between