Saturday, December 3, 2011


If you are an artist, when the person that inspires you, praises your work, you know you have done something right. When Bryan Ferry formerly of Roxy Music declared Ladytron as "the best of English pop music," each member of Ladytron had to light up like a Christmas tree. Taking their name from the Roxy Music song of the same name, Ladytron formed in Liverpool, England in 1999 and have become one of the world's premiere electronic and pop acts. From the five albums they have released, including this years, Gravity the Seducer and a "Best Of" record that highlighted the bands first decade, Ladytron have been seducing listeners with their catchy hooks, hypnotic sounds and high production with their stage shows. We had the chance to speak with singer Helen Marnie about Ladytron's decade together, the making of Gravity the Seducer, working with Christina Aguilera and favorite moments on the road. Take a look at the interview with Marnie below:

You released your best of compilation – Best of 00-10 this year. Did you ever think this band would go on as successful as you have for over a decade now?

When we first got together in 1999 I just thought it was a bit of fun. I had no idea where this band would take me. I met Danny in a local Liverpool indie club and he wanted me to sing for him. Eventually I found the guts to do it and it turned out ok. A year later I found myself in LA with Danny meeting our new label, Emperor Norton. I think without the start they gave us things might not have turned out as they have. Their support was so important. A year or so after we formed I made the move to London. It was then that I realised that Ladytron would play quite a big part in my life. So much so that we'd have to leave any jobs behind in order to tour. We've worked hard, but there has also been an element of luck. Our success has been gradual, which I am grateful for.

How did you go about picking the songs for Best Of?

It was quite a difficult process actually. Obviously, we picked all the biggest hits and singles, but because there are four of us in the band we all had our own opinions about what should and shouldn't be included. The majority normally wins! That's part of the reason why we've done a second disc with fan favourites and our own personal favourites, which might be lesser known to people but which we feel deserve a place on the disc.

You placed the new single “Ace of Hz” on the Best Of, what prompted the new single?

We just thought there should be something new and fresh included on the Best Of to whet fans appetites. Also, I think it means you get more for your money. The release of Ace of Hz also signals the kind of direction the 5th studio album will take. It's a little insight into what we've been doing.

Your name allegedly comes from a Roxy Music song, how much of that band had an impact on your style and sound when you were starting?

We all like Roxy music, and Danny had the idea for the band name for years. Long before we all got together. However, I'm not sure how much more they influenced us style-wise. Sonically we're influenced by such a wide range of artists, many that don't even use synths!!!! I think perhaps that has something to do with our longevity. We look at traditional songwriting. We aren't a dance band or club act. We actually have songs.

The band formed in 1999 in Liverpool, but each of the members of the band come from different parts of the world. Do you consider yourself a Liverpool band? Do you feel that every person’s background has an influence on the band’s dynamic?

I definitely think that each of us and our backgrounds influences the band. How can it not! An accent alone can change things, and Ladytron has quite a few accents. We each bring something different to the table and this makes us more diverse as an act. We all have our forte's and these combine in the studio.

I do still find it strange when we are described as a Liverpool band, however I guess that is where we formed and where the roots of Ladytron began. I hail from Scotland, Mira from Bulgaria, and the boys from Liverpool.

How were the sessions for Gravity the Seducer?

It feels like a different kind of album for us. It's lush in that 60s kind of way, with lots of organs and bells. I think it has an ethereal feel and I hope people warm to it.

In your 10 years you toured and played with some amazing people, who were some of your favorites?

We really have had some amazing opportunities over the years. And we've done so much touring!! Touring Europe with NIN was quite an experience, as was playing the Sydney Opera House at the request of Brian Eno. I also enjoyed it when CSS supported us in the US. It was fun just having a group of girls to hang out with for a change.

Often gigs are a bit of a whirlwind of an experience. My incredible fear of flying makes everything even more delirious. I remember flying for around 15 hours from the US to Buenos Aires to do a huge festival. We literally flew in, did the gig that night, then flew back the next morning. All I remember is getting drunk backstage with LCD Soundsystem after our gig and then wandering through a huge crowd of the happiest people to get back to the hotel. It was fun.

In a decade in this band, what has been your favorite moment overall?

I can't pinpoint one. There have been different moments that I enjoyed or that were important to me. Playing the Coachella festival for the first time was quite special because it was so surreal to me at the time. Palm trees, grass in the desert, that sort of thing. I'm always very proud to play gigs in Scotland, because I feel like I'm coming home and that I belong and am accepted.

Video-wise I really enjoyed making the Ghosts video in the desert in California. It was hard work though, but so much fun for me. At night it was freezing, by day absolutely boiling, but at least i had puppies, bunnies, and wolves to keep me entertained.

You were requested by Trent Reznor to open for NIN in 2007. What was it like being on the road with him? Do you miss Nine Inch Nails as a touring band?

It was a great opportunity to tour with them but I don't think I really miss any band that we've toured with. Its fun for a few weeks, but each band has got a job to do and that takes up most of your time. It takes a lot of work to be a well oiled machine like NIN.

You worked with Christina Aguilera on her Bionic album, what was it like going from electronic music to mainstream pop? Was it a good experience working with her?

I think it was more Christina moving from mainstream pop to electronic music. The lines are so blurred now these days that sometimes it's difficult to tell between the two. A lot has changed since we came on the scene and were viewed as being a bit alternative for using so many synths in our production.

Do you see the band celebrating 20 years?

Well, no one knows what the future will hold, but I definitely hope so. We've made it this far, so fingers crossed.