KXSC DJ Nina Baker-Mason interviews Lauren Ruth Ward, who’s headlining a hometown show at the El Rey on Dec 6th.
You’re playing a show at the El Rey on December 6th. For anyone who might be seeing you for the first time, can you tell us a little bit about your first performance in comparison to how you are on stage now?
Well, I started out solo and now we are usually a four piece but the El Rey is super special so we've added some special artists to this particular show : Emma Cole (singing backup), Annabelle Maginnis (violin), Liv Slingerland (Bass). Along with a choir performance made up of opening act Rett Madison, Kianah Jay of TwoLips, Fox Sniclaire and Emma Cole (Maestro : Shruti Kumar).. And one more special person will join us but thats top secret!
Many, if not all, of your songs (and performances) are very emotionally intense, personal, yet personable as well. When drawing inspiration for your songs, do you think the main story you’re telling changes when performing it live, performing in studio, or when creating a music video?
The story stays the same but it's like one of those stories that you can tell many times, you don't say it the same every time you tell someone. It changes. Sometimes it evolves bc you've evolved and have now healed OR gotten more upset, etc. How I emote usually depends on my mood and where I stand present day with my stories (songs).
You seem very comfortable addressing “the good, the bad, and the ugly” as it relates to yourself and others in your music. How do you find the right balance between being open and vulnerable about the experiences that you write about while still maintaining some level of privacy for yourself (and whoever you might be writing about).
I don't feel comfortable hiding things. I feel uncomfortable being misunderstood and though being an "open book" can somethings cause someone to misunderstand me, it usually has the opposite effect. My art is the only thing I am intentionally giving to others, everything else I wish was private. Finding the balance of real life/art life posting on socials has been tough for me. Songwriting : I don't try to hide who or what I'm talking about, it's just the way I write. Most people make up their own interpretation anyway which is art's intention, but I also don't mind sharing my song's meanings. My friends are the only people who know exactly what I'm singing about because I tell them everything.
When writing your songs, do you typically find that the lyrics, music, or even a vision for a music video come before the others?
Totally. Depends on the song. Sometimes I'll hear how I want it recorded and then my head with spin into the story or melodies based of production ideas.
For your latest release, "White Rabbit," was there a specific story that inspired it?
It's one of my all time favorite songs. I feel empowered when I sing it.
Thinking of past and present artists, who are some of the major influences that have helped inspire you and shape your sound? Do you have any key inspirations that are not known artists (family, friends, etc.)
Elliott Smith, Mirah, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, The Jackson 5, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles..
What are some of the challenges you face, if any, from being in a relationship with another musician? Do you find that it is more inspiring to be with someone in your line of work?
Challenges : she's a fucking super star so she's always on tour and I miss her. In general I think regardless of what your partner does, as long as they're a hard worker and admire your work, inspiration flows. I've never dated anyone as hard working as LP and that really helps me stay focused. I am a little sister of an extremely smart, kind, goal achieving, (beautiful) woman named Sarah Yufest who I looked up to so it's innate for me to want to copy that kind of behavior.
How do you think your personal style physically (Rainbow bangs, dotting your upper and lower eyelids, style, etc.) relates to the music you create?
Hmmm I don't know! I think I look comfortable with my emotions haha and I'd like people to think the same about my art.
Can we expect more new music coming soon?
YES. Releasing "Valhalla" Jan 18th and then another single and then another single and then another single..