Interview : Ladytron
Formed in Liverpool, with their name derived from Roxy Music’s 1972 song, Ladytron has come a long way since its inception in 1998. Behind the magic that makes up Ladytron is Mira Aroyo on vocals, Daniel Hunt and Reuben. Just as the group is buzzing from pre-performance anticipation at the UOX Play Electro Dance, JUICE stops Mira and Reuben (who has a Malaysian connection!) short for some yak and prattle.
Mira & Reuben: Hello….
How has Ladytron changed since it began?
M: Our sound has definitely grown much thicker and richer in terms of the layers compared to our first record of Light & Magic.
R: I think we just got a little bit more confident musically and creatively. We’re almost 10 years now. Going on tour and producing records have gone a little bit easier as time goes by. In some ways, we still feel we’re a new band.
Is it difficult to create music without having to be compared?
M: No, what other people does don’t even enter into our own consciousness.
R: Also, with the way we work with each other is constantly changing. From day one, every song has a story to it – how it was written and how it was produced.
Of course. I read somewhere you guys performed with a playback tape way back in the days. What’s that like?
R: Boring. It was boring for us because it sounded just like the record, which is why we decided on the third album to develop our sound with something more energetic and dynamic.
M: It felt a lot more powerful once we started actually performing live. It gave us a lot more confidence.
Do you still get nervous before a show?
M: Every now and then. It’s really weird because you might be doing over 100 shows a year and most of the time you’re completely fine. Every now and again, there’s this one you feel uneasy about. Like you don’t know why.
R: Probably it’s because it’s the first gig of a tour. When you haven’t been touring for a few weeks or something like that. Maybe the first song at the first gig was like ‘Eurk!’ As soon as you go on stage, muscle memories take over….
M: Well, performing in front a lot of friends and relatives that you know can be quite nerve-wrecking.
R: Or even when you’re out supporting big bands because the crowd that is there is not your own. But every time we are out supporting other bands, we always have great receptions.
So when you’re on stage, do you put on a persona?
M: I think we started out by being quite shy and pretty much scared of our own shadows. As time goes on, you find what movements you’re comfortable with, and ways to enjoying yourself on stage without doing anything unnatural. If you try to copy someone else, you will literally fall flat on your face.
Oh no, we don’t want that. Did you guys pretend you were rockstars when you were younger though?
R: I always wanted to be an artist and back then, the thought of being in a band was so far away.
M: I never really thought about it.
R: It’s a great way of life. I think we’re lucky to be in the position that we’re in.
M: Actually, I jumped up and down on the bed loads. Oh, I tried to moonwalk as well. I kinda… can. I really wanted to be a breakdancer when I was a kid.
Wicked! Can you actually do any breakdancing now?
M: No. My cousin could do it and I was really jealous.
Do you guys hang out when you’re not touring, and do things like dinner and stuff?
R: Occasionally, ’cause it’s quite difficult. The girls live in London, Danny lives in Milan and I live in Liverpool. If we happen to be in the same city or a meeting, we’d go have dinner together. We do spend a lot of time together on tour, so when we get home, we like to do our own thing. We’re still friends. We don’t hate each other yet!
Word. So do you guys get recognised on the streets?
R: I don’t because I’m kinda in the background anyways. I can’t speak for the girls, but they probably do.
M: I think it applies to all of us. It depends on where we are actually.
What else are you guys gonna do during your stay in KL besides UOX Play?
M: We’re gonna go to the Batu Caves and Melaka tomorrow.
R: I’m gonna go Kota Kinabalu tomorrow for five days. I’ve got family there. My dad was brought up in Sabah. I’m gonna climb up Mount Kinabalu.
Nice one, man. What’s next for Ladytron?
M: We’re gonna have a break where we’ll be working on our music. Then we’re starting on a North American tour. We’ll have our DJ gigs here and there as well, but we’ll concentrate on the North American tour. After that will be the Europe tour with Depeche Mode as well as our own show. Then we’ll head over to Australia in June.
Woah. Busy busy. Thanks for your time guys!
Mira and Reuben of Ladytron were in town for Celcom UOX Play Electro Dance on 21 February at Zouk. Hit them up at http://www.ladytron.com and don’t forget to check out www.uox.com.my as well.