WILL: Your first single was recorded for 50 pounds and then picked
up by British National Radio and named “single of the week” by NME. Was
that surprising or did you expect it?
DANIEL HUNT: Well, I knew the song was very immediate, but I really
had no idea what kind of impact it [would have]. We had such a little
budget and everything that we just hoped that it would be reviewed at
all. Because that was a risk – that it would just slip through. So then
when we found out it was going to be “single of the week” it was freaky.
But it was good. We just got another one as well.
W: For which song?
DH: In England there’s an E.P. coming out with “Another Breakfast with
You” on it, the lead track, and that just got “single of the week” as
W: You’re quoted in the press kit as saying “it might be time for
a re-appraisal of what is ‘real’ music, especially in England.” What do
you think the common conception of “real” music is and how do you think
it needs to be reconsidered?
DH: There’s kind of this “Official History of Rock:” the top 100 albums
of all time and all this, and I just think a lot of the influences are
really tired now. Even if the records are great, I just can’t understand
it when a band wants to re-create them. And then there’s a lot of stuff
that’s just completely tabboo, that you’re just not allowed to like –
more or less anything from 1978 to 1989. [But] they’re all valid influences
and there’s just this rocker school of journalism that…It’s as if they’re
afraid of that stuff. And if you’re influenced by anything from that period,
then they think it must be a joke, that you don’t actually mean it, you
don’t actually like it. I think that’s what I was getting at.
W: I was reading an essay by a fashion writer who discussing nostalgia
and how it kind of has a ten-year buffer zone. It seems like people can
only be nostalgic for things that happened at least ten or especially
twenty years ago, but there’s a certain distaste for the immediate past.
DH: Yeah, because a lot of stuff from the 90’s now have dated really
badly. That’s what I think: there’s always a clear decade in between.
60’s influences were completely taboo until 1990 or so.
W: I’m unfamiliar with the mechanics of programming. Who plays what,
instrument-wise? How does Ladytron approach recording?
DH: We’ve got our own studio and we just record into ProTools. We try
to keep the programming at a minimum and most of the keyboard parts are
played live. We all play keyboards – Helena [Marnie] is classically trained.
Mira [Aroyo] plays guitar as well. Reuben [Wu] plays some violin on the
album as well: really atonal, scratchy, horrible violin. [Laughs]
But we record it 90 percent ourselves and then finish it in the studio.
That’s how the first single was recorded so cheaply.
W: Who writes most of the songs?
DH: I write most of the songs, but everyone’s got an imput. I started
the band with Reuben, and I had a lot of material to begin with, so that’s
why this album is so long, in a way. There was quite a lot of stuff there
already, we wanted to just get it all out so we could just start afresh
on the next album.
W: So can you tell me anything more about the sound of the full-length
versus the EP?