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LADYTRON - An Interview With Reuben Wu

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Scott Newman
Scott Newman
Reuben Wu at Ottawa Blues fest (2008)

I would like to invite everyone to the wonderful world of Ladytron Music. I am very lucky and honoured to have been able to get an interview with Reuben Wu from the electro pop/new wave band Ladytron.

Ladytron are a band from the United Kingdom which came together in 1999. They are Mira Aroyo, Daniel Hunt, Helen Marnie & Reuben Wu. Mira, Daniel & Reuben are DJ’s who play sets all over the world.

In my opinion Ladytron are a band that has changed the electro pop scene of today with their blissfully unique sound. They have a very strong internet presence (Official Facebook MySpace Twitter which has helped give them a huge international appeal. They have a cult following (This is why I want to share) the true success of this band is in hearing them for the first time!
They have toured with the likes of Nine Inch Nails and remixed songs for bands such as Blondie, Gang of Four & Placebo. I have seen them play twice in concert (whilst living in London) as once was not enough for me. They are the future of electro pop music as they have massive appeal to be relistened to without being boring. I am glad that I found them while browsing on MySpace back in 2006. The first single that I heard of them was Seventeen off the album Light & Magic.
The band has released four studio albums: 604 (2001) Light & Magic (2002) Witching Hour (2005) & Velocifero (2008) they have also released their first live album Live at the London Astoria 16.07.08 (2009)
I would like to Thank Agatha from Redbird Management for making this interview with Reuben Wu from Ladytron possible!  Please check out the interview below:
Hi Reuben! Thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to be featured on the Voxy website in New Zealand! It means a lot to me! I am going to ask some questions for you to answer on behalf of Ladytron.

What do you think of the current state of modern music? I like the way that Ladytron music pushes forth for new and exciting sounds! What do you think about where you are heading to in the new scene?

I'm really enjoying a few bands at the moment, for example Yeasayer and their album Odd Blood and Phoenix and their album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Also really liking USA Boys by Health at the moment and have been listening to the Neon Indian album for a good few months now. The scene is generally the same, most of the music people listen to is generally mediocre with a few interesting bands and artists creating cool stuff on the sidelines and getting attention over the internet and independent media.

When Ladytron constructs a song I often wonder what comes first the layers of the music or are the lyrics thrown out there first for a majority of the songs? How do you guys typically create the music? Is it a lot of sampling each other’s ideas in the creation process?
Every song is written differently. There's never one method but we do work individually first and then work as a group on the tracks together in the studio.
Sometimes it's a keyboard riff which develops into a song, other times it's a vocal melody or a lyrically idea. Anything goes.

Are you guys recording a new compilation of songs? Do you have an album title in the works? I heard through the grapevine that there will be some new material coming out soon :)
We've just finished two brand new songs which will be included on the compilation which will be coming out soon. It's basically a collection of our own songs spanning from when we started in 1999 until 2010. We're also working on our fifth studio album which should be released next year.

With all of the touring that Ladytron is doing is there a favourite place that the band likes to play? Also what would we expect to hear in one of your own DJ sets these days? I know that each band member likes to DJ & play gigs at various venues around the globe.
We love playing cities like New York and Los Angeles because it's so familiar and full of our friends, but I really love playing places we've never been before. Last year we got to play a show at the Sydney Opera House which was pretty special. I'd really like to play more countries in South East Asia and South America. Visiting NZ again would be great too, I'd love to explore the North Island.

Who are some of the best bands that you have been on tour with that you have all felt that you have shared an experience with? Ladytron has toured with so many amazing bands which one did you have a connection to that was the most memorable?
The one that sticks out in my memories is probably supporting Nine Inch Nails in UK and Europe. Every show was playing to thousands of people most of whom had never heard of us, and I think we gained a lot from it. They are all really cool people and we've made some good friendships from that time. The other one was probably our first ever tour, supporting Soulwax in 2000. It was our first experience of being on the road and although we are not the same band as we were then, it was definitely one of my best memories of touring.

Are there any bands that you would like to collaborate, remix or work with in the near future? I love a lot of the remixes that you have done with popular indie bands as you like to bring out many textures and sounds to a song which makes it highly attractive to listen too again. It is no easy feat!
We really enjoy remixing other artists but right now we're concentrating on working on our own album. In terms of real collaboration I think we will do more of this once the record is finished.

When I was first introduced to your music I had discovered your band online. (On MySpace) Have you found that a lot of your listeners have been exposed to your sound online, and then come to your shows on the strength of your internet presence?
Yes completely, we are very lucky to have quite a global following due to early internet presence amongst other things and this is especially important in countries where our music is not distributed widely. Finding that our very first shows in some countries have yielded huge audiences is a really nice surprise, for example in countries like Brazil, Colombia and even USA and Australia.

Thank you so much for taking the time in your busy schedule to answer these questions! Where do you like to play live the most? Do you prefer playing in music festivals, amphitheatres or indoor venues? I know it may be a different experience for the Ladytron sound in each setup.
We like them all, just so long as we can get a decent sound check!

Wishing you all the very best on your up-coming tours and with the compilation album that is in progress. I am looking forward to the fifth Ladytron album. Thank you very much for answering my questions Reuben!
Thanks :)
Check out the music videos for the singles off the album Velocifero (Ghosts, Runaway & Tomorrow)












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