It’s been three years, three long years since home and a touring schedule that would put Spinal Tap to shame. On the back of a triumphant Best Of… and ignoring any thoughts of calling it a day, one of Merseyside’s greatest contemporary musical legacies are back.
Their homecoming is fittingly set for St George’s Hall, a building which has been home to previous famous Scouse homecomings such as Liverpool FC’s post-Istanbul celebrations. On a day as equally momentous for music-lovers, the city will welcome the return of electro giants and tour-junkies, LADYTRON. David Lynch spoke to one quarter of the band, founder member Daniel Hunt, ahead of the gig.
How much are you looking forward to returning home and why did you choose St. George’s Hall as a venue?
It has actually been a long time since we did a real show in Liverpool, and the last few were just little warmups prior to US tours. I’ve always wanted to play St. George’s, so that was the first suggestion. We didn’t want to come back and play a normal venue. It’s actually still unclear as to which room we will play in.
People may be worried by you releasing a ‘Best Of’ (a sure sign of a band’s demise, in clichéd terms) but you’ve already scheduled your next album release. What can you tell us about both records?
Well, I don’t think a best of compilation ever signals the end of a band, to be honest. They’re usually posthumous. The purpose behind releasing both of these this year was, firstly, after ten years, it is a one off opportunity to re-contextualise our work, which is now a large amount of material, for the benefit of those who might have only recently discovered us in the last few years, but also from our perspective it’s a line in the sand creatively too before the next album.
You’ve become known for being as eclectic as possible throughout your career whilst still maintaining that ‘Ladytron vibe’. Will album number five have a particular ethos?
The new record is rather different, it still sounds like us, but a jump from the last. It’s certainly the most coherent on some levels, but a little more abstract overall perhaps. There are recurring themes and signature sounds, it’s slightly baroque actually.
As a band that gigs pretty intensively, what do you have to say about all that time on the road? Do you prefer it to being sat in studios endlessly?
To be honest, artists are under far too much pressure to tour constantly. I dislike the situation, in my opinion a charade, when albums are made purely as a platform for touring, as it really ought to be vice versa. Having said that, I still enjoy playing shows, especially in unfamiliar settings. We toured for four years without a substantial break, so I think we’re justified to cherry-pick these days.
It’s a well known fact that yourself and Reuben [Wu, DJ in Ladytron] founded (promotions company) Evol along with Revo. Do you still have a passion for putting on live nights in Liverpool?
Evol didn’t begin until Ladytron had a year off the road after our second album, again because there was nothing like it; Liverpool just needed a new party. It was also a sneaky way to invite the friends we had met all over to come to Liverpool and personally, to encourage artists who would normally skip it to play here, to put the city back on the circuit, getting the first shows in the north for many of the acts. We then developed Evol into the Korova concept. The energies of that party went into the programming there, we wanted to make ‘Evol’ more permanent, not just something that lasted a few hours a week.
Are there any Merseyside bands you have high hopes for at the moment?
Your music has been recently used in quite a few video games; Fifa, Little Big Planet etc, is this a medium you and the band are fond of or a fortunate sideline?
I don’t play games so I never see this, I guess I think of it the same way as I do about TV use.
Catch Ladytron’s return at St George’s Hall, Friday 10th June, where they will be supported by their recommended local band, Outfit.