The girls and dudes of Ladytron hit North American shores this week for a string of dates taking them from DC to Canada to Coachella. There's a smattering of deejay gigs inbetween...which is a nice little segue to our interview with Mira Aroyo of the 'Tron, contained after the jump. We chatted about the band's dance-ready remixes, and also managed to snag the Virgin Tears' take on Ladytron's "Weekend" for your downloading pleasure (right-click and save-as). Read on!
What was the first Ladytron remix that you remember being commissioned?
I think Interpol was kind of the first one but…no wait, Soulwax was probably the first one, the one that helped us the most. “Conversation Intercom.” It was about five or six years ago. It wasn’t off the last album. Then there was a remix for Felix Da Housecat.
Were you happy with how those turned out?
Yeah. I think gradually, we’ve kind of improved since, but the Felix one was quite Joy Division-y and I guess at the time that wasn’t what was expected from us and that was quite cool. Recently we’ve done Bloc Party and Placebo remixes, I don’t think they’ve all come out yet though.
How do you approact these projects?
Mostly we just keep the vocal, and everything else just gets reworked so it ends up being a completely new song. Sometimes people ask you for something specific. They kind of expect a Ladytron sound, but its kind of fun to completely change it around—like take an electro song and turn it into an acoustic thing, that’s happened a couple of times. But most of the time people want kind of an upbeat thing that will get played in dance clubs, so that’s what we end up doing.
Do the mixes get split up among the band?
Its different people getting involved in different songs, usually no more than two of us working, it just kind of changes. Most of the time it would probably be Ruben and Danny. Sometimes its me, sometimes its me and Danny, but most of the time its Ruben and Danny.
What are your favorite remixes that other people have done for Ladytron?
Out of the recent ones I really like the house remix of “Weekend”. Otherwise, the Soulwax remix of “Seventeen” that they turned into a kind of Sonic Youth song—I really like it because it was just completely changing what there was to begin with. Also Simian did a remix of “Playgirl” which I really like for the same reason. Generally mixes that kind of reinvent the song are the ones that I like.
How does it feel as a songwriter to hear your stuff brought into a different context like that?
Sometimes when its good and its completely different it’s good fun and you really appreciate it, I think we’re going to end up releasing a remix album at the end of the year, Like everything that went on Witching Hour and people remixing every song, Because it was just kind of fun and interesting to see what other people do with your song, especially when it turns into something completely different which you hadn’t thought of. When you’re not completely clean on the remix and the vocal sounds weird, that’s not so nice.
Have there been any that you liked that never came out for one reason or another?
There have been remixes that haven’t been released, but at some point they probably will get out there, ones for “International Dateline” and stuff like that, I’m pretty sure they’ll get released. But I think we’ve fallen into the trap where we’re releasing too many remixes as it is. There have been some remixes released that we haven’t been that clean on.
Is there anyone you haven’t worked with that you would like get remixes from in the future?
Yeah well, it would be quite cool to get Death From Above 1979 or someone like that, or Lightning Bolt, or this band called Electric Wizards. Something like that would be cool because it would just be completely different, otherwise I’d really like Vitalic to remix one, but I think we’ve approached him and he’s never done anything about it.
Sort of relatedly, who’s idea was it to cover Tweet’s “Ooops Oh My”?
We wanted to have a cover when we went on tour in America and that was just really natural. We just played it the simplest way that there was.
Any other covers in mind for this tour?
No no we haven’t actually worked out any other covers into the set, we have been kind of concentrating on preparing the new album, we are actually finding it difficult managing to play all the songs that we want to play within a set, we’ve always got quite a few songs that have accumulated, so we find it difficult dropping the songs off the set as it is. We’ve been too selfish and we’ve just been concentrating on our songs instead of other peoples! But I’m sure that around the summer maybe we’ll come up with something.