10 April 2011
Emily Strange interview (2006)
Emily pulled out her blueprints and put them on the table in her basement. The collected pile of debris from three weeks of scavenger hunting sat in nine boxes in the corner by the water heater. Miles sniffed around the front boxes but figured out pretty quickly this thing was going to make some noise.
Looking closely over the rolls of blueprints, Emily checks off the list of items.
- LCD screens, 2.5 inch, preferably cracked (2)
- Amplifiers, more the better
- Dice, 9 sided (23)
- Yaya 604e computer processor
- Teleoperated remote control device
- Red vinyl records (13)
- Organic organ soundmixer (hard to find, see Zenith)
- Nine E.V.I.L. reverb synthesizers
Staring off into her imagination, Emily pictures this new invention to replace any conventional lightshow with a new audio/video inhibitor that shapes light from the music it is playing. It will work perfectly with any soundmixer specializing in cracked glass and bottomless feedback. Emily snaps back to reality for a second and remembers to contact long-time gadget cohorts Ladytron about her new gizmo working with their custom-built White Light Re-generator. "I bet Ladytron will really dig having this on their current tour".
After typing in a seventeen minute text message on The Oddisee's rotary cell phone, Emily hits send. "Hey guess what, I'm making a portable Light B(l)ender - it would be great for your current tour! I'll let you use it if you answer these questions that have been itching the back of my brain for a while now though..."
Emily: What's the difference between the midnight hour and the witching hour?
Mira: Witching Hour has a different kind of light. The Moon has a great effect on people. Witching Hour also refers to the period in the Middle Ages when Witches were persecuted.
Helen: Witching Hour is when the witches and gremlins and warlocks and black cats come out to play. It's always a full moon. Unlike the midnight hour.
What does 'ESP minus CMYK' mean to you?
Mira: REM in YMCA.
If you boost all the RGB and in your cover art, what do you get?
Mira: Owls kissing.
Helen: Eagles and lizards.
Do you have any cats?
Mira: I have a very pretty but overweight tabby called Chanel.
Helen: I have one Cat. She's very cute, and likes to kiss, a lot.
Have you invented any instruments? Tell me about them...
Mira: No but I have invented many many strains of bacteria and quite a few new genes and proteins.
Helen: Not as yet.
Do you ever use the C-sides of records?
Mira: On the hexagonal records we use the C side for writing notes and the F sides for doodling when I'm bored.
Helen: For secret tracks.
The reason I ask is because my blueprint calls for a very sharp Needle- like a Kat Klaw 361. What kind of turntable needles do you prefer?
Mira: I know what you mean. It is hard to doodle with a diamond so I prefer to use a uranium enriched needle.
Helen: I wouldn't like to use a Kat Klaw. Just a razor sharp needle will do.
Does long exposure to projection screens make your eyes blurry too?
Mira: It makes me see nice patterns when I close my eyes.
Helen: Oh yes. Makes my head want to explode. A bombardment of colour can make you fall over.
Do white light generators ever burn out?
Mira: Yes and then they become black light generators. Sometimes they are more useful anyway. It's always better to burn out than to fade away.
Helen: It's all about the black light.
If you had a choice, 2 or 3 strings on a bass?
Mira: I would have it with a lot of strings like a harp. A bass harp.
Helen: I prefer even numbers.
2 or 3 turntables at once?
Mira: I don't like excess apart from in Prog Rock music so I'd go for 2 though I also enjoy the 1deck ragga soundsystems.
Helen: Seeing as I have 2 hands, then 2 would be good for me.
Hydro or solar powered amps?
Mira: Dynamo powered so we don't depend on anything but our legs and we get a bit of exercise as we don't get to move much when we are on the tour bus.
Helen: Solar powered.
What is your favorite sci-fi movie?
Mira: Solaris. The original Tarkovski version though and not the George Clooney remake. When you get a glimpse of the sky in space it is white. It is also very dry and serious and suddenly there is a scene where a dwarf runs out of a room with no explanation and no one even pays any attention to him.
What is your favorite time of night?
Mira: When you first hear the birds tweeking just before dawn.
Helen: When the bats start to fly.
What is this?
Mira: It looks like a smile detector.
Helen: Some kind of telescope?
If you were stranded on a mountain top, would you rather have a radio or pen and paper?
Mira: A pen and paper for sure. I love mountaintops and wouldn't want to spoil their silence. The silence on mountaintops has a very special sound.
Helen: I think I'd have a pen and paper. I could write everything down and then fly the words off on the wind.
What is the longest stretch of traveling you have done from one show to the other in less than 24 hours?
Mira: We are about to do LA to Buenos Aires at the end of this tour so I think that would have been the longest.
Helen: That will be the longest.
How often do you write music?
Mira: When the mood strikes me. Can't force it.
Helen: When I feel inspired.
One last question. What password shall I program to activate this Ladytronic lightshow apparatus I built?
Helen: Witching hour soft power.
Tag: Ladytron interviews