Ladytron are one of the most interesting bands of the modern electronic scene. The band was founded in 1999 from the melting coalition of Reuben Wu and Daniel Hunt with the vocal duo Helen Marnie and Mira Aroyo. Their sound is in constant evolution, danceable and catchy without being dull or commonly mainstream. After reviewing their excellent album Velocifero we seized the opportunity for an interview. The skilled and lovely Mira answered our questions.
Your songs were featured in Picture Claire, O.C., Ugly Betty (just to cite a few). Can you tell us how did you get involve with the movie industry?
Well it seems our music fits really well on those movies, TV series and videogames. Actually we just got requested to put three songs on the new movie of Lukas Moodysson called Mammoth. The premiere will be in Berlin and we are really looking forward to see the movie because it seems great.
The opposing vocals of Helen and Mira counterbalance the songs atmosphere creating a unique sound and feeling. How the writing and music layering process works?
Ladytron's songs are created around layer to layer and the voice are the last part of the song we put together. Choosing Helen's voice or mine depends on the song and on how we feel it.
I heard you guys own some pretty vintage synths. What's the story behind it, did you inherited them or just bought them because their cool sound?
We have lots of old keyboards that's true, most of them are really old, sometimes old sinths and keyboards have a unique sound that we judge perfect for the song... basically we buy what we like as far as sound and not because it has to be a cool instrument to see.
For a couple of years you guys performed extensively without any real label support, yet grew fans all over the world with great success. I bet that was very empowering. Can you tell us how were you able to do it?
This is true... Witching Hour was not produced by a label but only by us with a long series of tour in every part of the world and our success was made because we learn the power of some Internet social network like Myspace or Facebook. It's very important to us to stay in touch with our fans all over the world. Now we have a good label but we are still very active on Myspace to stay in touch with the people who like us.
In the past few years your sound evolved in what I find the most interesting mix, yet you guys were able to retain your own personal signature and individuality. How important do you think is that?
What we do with the music is what we like; I think the secret is only to do what you really feel.
It seems you are moving toward darker sound, still danceable and pop but with a greater depth. I can hear Sister of Mercy and some danceable Killing Joke's hint, and of course some degree of resemblance with your fellows citizen Echo & the Bunnymen and Julian Cope. Do you think these were good source of inspiration or perhaps touring with NIN draw you to be more gothish?
I don't really think that touring with NIN had any influence over our material. We already had some of the album written when we were asked to tour with them. When we were offered to tour with them we had just completed a 2 years stint around the world with Witching Hour so we were all a bit tired and weary. However, it was too good an opportunity to miss so it was a unanimous 'yes'. I'm glad we did it. Not only we did get to meet some cool people and watch the NIN live show, but it also opened up our music to a much wider audience.
Another thing I have noticed is that, if compared to the previous albums, a couple of your songs have a more rock-like structure. Did you fell like changing directions a bit so to not repeat yourself or was just causality?
Ladytron's music or sound is evolving day by day, is not something we look for but just something that naturally happen.
Your sound is in continuing evolution. What have inspired your musical and lyrical choices in the past and what continue to inspire you today?
What you see outside the window or you read on the news or in a book or you see on TV... everything is an inspiration.
Where are you guys going from here: tour, project, dreams?
Now? Two of us are working in L.A. on a record for another artist, by the tie we are planning to tour again till the end of the summer, we just announced 4 shows with Depeche Mode in East Europe in May.