Lauren Ruth Ward – In Their Own Words

On her recent debut album, Well, Hell, Lauren Ruth Ward came across as an artist unafraid of being hard to define. One minute dabbling in sweet, echo-drenched Americana like Did I Offend You, next turning up the amps and distortion for the riotous blues-punk defiance of Blue Collar Sex Kitten. Leaving the question, just who is Lauren Ruth Ward, the confident, easy going Janis Joplin-like hippy or the awkward Elliot Smith obsessed teenager? The loved up pop star or the unconventional rebel? The truth of course would be a little bit of all of them and a whole lot more besides, all of which pours into an intriguing debut record, which surely has something for everyone to enjoy.

Today Lauren has taken some time out ahead of a hugely busy SXSW schedule to answer our questions, taking in her double life as a hairdresser, why she makes music and the influence of watching between three and seven shows a week.

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Photo and header photo by Mara Stusser –

FTR: Who is Lauren Ruth Ward?

A Scorpio, pansexual, artist, human.

FTR: You recently released your debut album, Well Hell, what can you tell us about recording the album?

It was the first time I had ever recorded an album. Everything went smoothly. I learned sonically and bonded with my amazing band (Liv, India and Eduardo). We have already started to record album # 2.

FTR: You’ve spoke about the music you make having four modes, what do you mean by that?

No. The music I make has limitless amounts of modes. The album we just put out (could) have 4 modes.  Heaven (DidI Offend You?), Hell (Blue Collar Se Kitten, Well Hell), Folk (Travel Man, Those Letters), Americana (Make Love To Myself, Sheet Stains). Means : a track for everyone.

FTR: You started your career as a hairdresser, what made you swap that for a guitar?

I never swapped. I still am a barber. I currently do more music than hair whereas I use to do more hair than music. No need to choose one over the other.

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Photo by Matt Sternberg –

FTR: You grew up in Baltimore, but are now based out of LA. Which city do you think it’s easier to be a musician in?

It’s “easy” to be a musician in any city. Just be.

FTR: Why do you make music?

It’s cathartic. Helps me understand myself and the world around me.

FTR: Who are your major influences? What were you listening to when you recorded Well Hell?

Music from the 60s and 70s. American classic rock as well as motown and disco. I also enjoy music from those eras from different countries. I wasn’t listening to anything in particular wheel making the album. I was going out a lot around LA and seeing local bands. I see about 3-7 shows a week (still).

FTR: What are your aspirations for this record? Do you see music as a viable career?

If my words inspire others, I have won.

FTR: What can people expect from your live show?

We love to give and take energy from the audience. They fuel us, we give it back.

FTR: What’s next for Lauren Ruth Ward?

We are getting a lot of love from SXSW. We have our first official showcases this year. We also have an east coast tour in April, west coast tour in May and plans for a Europe/UK tour in September. Feeling very lucky for this moment.

Well, Hell is out now via Weekday Records. Click HERE for more information on Lauren Ruth Ward.

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