12 January 2014

Scotcampus interview (2011)

When it comes to serious synth few acts can compare with Ladytron. Formed in Liverpool back in 1999 the foursomes brand of consistently slick and sexy electropop has seen their music coveted by everyone from top nightclub DJs to the most sound savvy film producers. Now set for their fifth studio album Gravity the Seducer, lead singer Helen Marnie talks with Scotcampus about the band and what to expect from their latest release.

It has been a while since your last studio album. Why the long wait?

Well, we released Velocifero in 2008 but we've done quite a lot since then. We toured that album for about a year and a half then took some well earned time off before going into the studio again to make Gravity the Seducer. We released our Best Of earlier this year so there needed to be some time between that and our new studio album, hence the perceived delay.

I couldn't believe it when you released your Best of earlier this year; it doesn't seem to me like that long ago since your first album. Does it feel strange to you guys to think you've been on the go for over a decade?

Time flies when you're having fun. 1999 does seem like a long time ago now though. I was still at uni when I met Danny. It feels weird when I think of it in those terms. However, I'm proud that we've managed to stay together this long and make music we're really happy with.

Not many acts make it this long. Has it been easy to keep Ladytron going?

Oooh, you're making me feel old now. Like any relationship if you want it to continue and flourish you need to be dedicated and put a lot of graft in to make it work. We've all done that. Its never easy, but it's worth it in the end. There have been highs and lows. Thankfully, the highs outweigh the lows.

What have been the best things about being involved in the band?

You get backstage passes at festivals and no longer have to trail through mud to get to a bar! Seriously, we get to visit some amazing countries and cities and get paid for it. That's pretty nice.

And the worst?

I always wanted to be in one of those really mysterious bands that doesn't do interviews. That would be delightful. I am an interview-phobe. They scare me.

Tell us about Gravity the Seducer, how similar or different, does it sound compared to your previous albums?

I'd say its very different to our previous efforts. It still has the Ladytron-esque instrumentation - synths galore with added Harpsichord, bells, and floaty vocals - but is more ethereal and lush. The tracks seem to flow into each other and fit together like glue. Its a softer record. The softer side of Ladytron.

What are your personal highlights from the album?

I love the emotion of "Ambulances". It often makes me cry when I listen to it. "White Elephant" is just a slice of dreaminess heaven.

Has the way you make music changed much since your first release?

Not much really. We write at home, sometimes pass around for additional ideas, vocals or lyrics, then take the songs into the studio for development and see where they go from there.

What next for Ladytron? Will fans have to wait long to hear new material from you?

Gravity the Seducer will be on sale in September, so not too long to wait now. Next up for us is a tour of North America starting mid September. Looking forward to it.