Photo Credit: Anna Azarov Photography
Life on the road has been Lauren Ruth Ward’s reality for some time now. Even more so this week as she’ll make the quick transition from opener to headliner within 24 hours time. Come April 24th she’ll be up and down the west coast showcasing her powerful, soulful driven rock and roll. You can get tickets right here, and then go on to learn more about Lauren Ruth Ward. From her other hair raising talents to her love of yesteryear to what’s next.
Kendra: Last year the world received your debut, “Well, Hell” and I think that pretty much summarized how so many, especially in the states, felt about the current state of the world. For you personally, where did that sentiment arise from?
Lauren Ruth Ward: “Well Hell” is a song I wrote a year before Trump became president, although I do agree it was fitting based off how most of us felt after the election. I want people to believe their own interpretation but my statement is implying that Hell isn’t real. Like ooh yeah “scary hell” better watch out! Wink wink.
Kendra: Since then, you’ve played with everyone from country icon Keith Urban to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. How do you feel you’ve been able to capture these varying audiences so well?
Lauren Ruth Ward: I don’t try to think about how the audience differs. I go into every show the exact same; mentally prepare (sometimes I meditate), physically prepare by warming up my voice and body. And then we do a hands-on and just do our best.
Kendra: We have to talk about your other talent as a hairstylist. For nearly a decade you’ve been doing hair. Are there any similarities in how you approach someone’s hair to how you approach crafting new material?
Lauren Ruth Ward: I love this question. My brain goes into creative mode when working on a client and writing a song but they are different creative modes. I feel my two passions are most similar because both of them allow me to connect with people on a personal level. Sharing stories and feelings brings me closer to my clients and fans. which is very cathartic for me.
Kendra: Speaking of which, have you been working on any new material recently that may see the light of day before the end of the year?
Lauren Ruth Ward: Absolutely. We’ve been releasing a track every five weeks. The third one, hungry barber, was just released a couple of weeks ago. On deck, we have three music videos and five more tracks so far. Eduardo and I have a couple more ideas cooking that will materialize in between tours when we are home to record.
Kendra: More tributes perhaps? Your sound is a distinct throwback to the natural talents of the ‘70s and you’ve even done a couple of homages to artists from that time. What is it about that era that speaks so beautifully to the creation of sound for you?
Lauren Ruth Ward: I’m definitely a huge fan of the ‘60s and ‘70s classic rock. First time I sang in fifth grade, My voice came out very R&B and continued to. I was listening to a lot of pop at that time as well as classic rock but was having fun emulating the vocal runs I was hearing on the radio. I still feel like that’s my voice. Since discovering my vibrato, I can hear why I am compared to vocalists from the classic rock era. I think Eddie‘s guitar tones really seal the deal. Before I met him it was just me and my acoustic guitar so it was naturally “folk.” I still write and sing from the same place I just know more of what my voice can do. I’ve never tried to be a genre. I like to think we are our own version of rock.
Kendra: You’re about to hit the west coast at the end of April. Do you feel any extra pressure when your name is the top spot on the marquees?
Lauren Ruth Ward: I feel honored and get very excited to give everyone what I have to give. Sounds extremely cheesy but it’s the truth.
Kendra: Also, will those heading out to any of these west coast dates hear anything off Happy Birthday Jim?
Lauren Ruth Ward: We, unfortunately, I have not practiced any of the Happy Birthday Jim album. Just been focusing on teaching the band the new tunes. Like I said before, we have so many new songs and we just want to play them. I’ll usually only do a cover if we have a crazy long set like an hour plus or if something we know just really fits the bill. We did eight covers at our residency at the Echo/Echoplex a year ago. That’s because I felt like nobody wanted to hear the same set for weeks in a row hah. That was so much fun. We could’ve been hired to play a wedding by the end of that residency. Sidenote: people have been asking us to play something off the Jim album. What’s your favorite song on there?
Kendra: Personally? Gotta go with “Soul Kitchen!” What’s next for you once that tour wraps up?
Lauren Ruth Ward: Recording s couple new songs, shooting another music video, cutting hair, visit my fiancé for our anniversary, you know..back to the same beautiful life I had before tour.