Coming off a quick stint in Mexico, Ladytron is geared up and ready to sonically awe patrons at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood tomorrow night, Feb 28, and March 1. With so much time passed since the release of their last record, their latest album arrives with a flurry of anticipation and angst. Our very own Brenton Woodrow was able to correspond with frontwoman and vocalist Helen Marnie and dig into her brain relating to all things Ladytron.
Brenton Woodrow: How has your time apart influenced your most recent album?
Helen Marnie: A lot can happen in 7 years, and a lot has happened for us all. Some of us have moved continents, started families, began new work endeavors, and generally just dealt with the hand that has been dealt to us. All that can creep in and play a part in what you create.
BW: As your style has changed over the years what do you see as the defining elements of a Ladytron song?
HM: I think we’re constantly trying to challenge ourselves musically, but we also know what is quintessentially Ladytron, and what makes us stand out from the crowd. That comes from the very recognizable vocals of myself and Mira, submerged in the warmth of synths.
BW: You’ve toured all over the world, what have been the most memorable tour moments or shows?
HM: I’m currently in Mexico City and we play our first show here in 8 years, so I’m really hoping it’s going be amazing as the crowds have been so wild previously, but asides from what I’m looking forward to right now my favorite gigs from the past are probably Bogota, Columbia, and also having the opportunity to play the Sydney Opera House as part of Brian Eno’s curated festival.
BW: Having done a few collaborations over the years with artists like Christina Aguilera and RM Hubbert, do you have a dream collaboration with any artist living or dead?
HM: There are loads of artists I’d love to collaborate with because I think that’s when you produce your most interesting work. I recently hung out with Jake Shears and I reckon it’d be cool to make something with him. I’d also love to make a dance track with my friend Reggie Watts. He’s an all-around super talent.
BW: The Harmonium Sessions were an interesting foray into an acoustic sound, has the band ever considered a fully acoustic album?
HM: I doubt that will happen because we’re too concentrated on exploring our sound and developing what we can do with technology. It’s nice to create things like the Harmonium Sessions, but that would be more of a sister record to the real deal.
BW: Why is this album your self titled album?
HM: For us, there really was no other option than to come back. It suggests a fresh, new start. It embodies everything that Ladytron is, wrapped up in an eponymous title.
BW: What emotions or experience do you hope the listener takes away from “Ladytron”? How is that different from previous albums?
HM: I think all we can ever hope for is that people come away after listening to the album and feel some sort of connection. For me that is key. I don’t want to alienate people, I want them to read into my lyrics what they will, and really make them relevant to their own lives. So whether that is sadness, joy, anger, fear, or hope, it doesn’t matter.
BW: What’s the tour environment like off stage? Do you all hang out together and experience the cities you visit?
HM: We do try to fit in some downtime and experience the culture of the places we visit, but it’s not always possible due to tight schedules. Also, jet lag can be a killer and sometimes scuppers plans. But, we do all hang out together, go for food, have some drinks, and generally just try to enjoy the time we have in a city.
BW: What was more fun, having music featured in the Sims or being in Yo Gabba Gabba?
HM: Both were pretty fun experiences. I remember writing the lyrics for The Sims, then having them sent back to me in Simlish and having to record the vocals. I loved not singing in my own tongue and having this secret language. Yo Gabba Gabba was a different kettle of fish because we were actually there in studio filming and being silly. Because it was a kids tv programme we felt like we could let loose a little, and I think you can see that in Reuben’s spectacular synth antics.
BW: Do you listen to your own music? If so what format and venue do you prefer? MP3 + headphones? Car stereo and cd? Record player?
HM: I do actually. In fact, I’ve been listening to the Ladytron record for about a year normally in the car. It says a lot that I’m still not sick of it.
Thank you to Helen Marnie for this insightful Q&A.
Tickets to their show on March 1st at the Fonda have sold out. A very limited of tickets remain for their show tomorrow night, February 28 at the Fonda. To purchase tickets, click HERE!