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.
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.
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.
One thought on “Lauren Ruth Ward – In Their Own Words”