In a green room that’s red, Lady Lamb (Aly Spaltro) sits eating a cookie topped with vanilla ice cream out of a small cast iron pan. Her pleasant state radiates the manifesto she wrote to accompany her new EP, Tender Warriors Club. —
STRIVE TO/find the courage to be sensitive/be emotionally vulnerable/connect/create/grow/be comfortable & embrace solitude/never compromise their integrity/explore/be true/be kind/practice self-acceptance & self-love/give an honest effort/forgive/be present/be patient/be transparent
Before her show at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn Feb. 11, we had a chance to sit down with Spaltro and discuss her new record.
GK: Where does the emotion and passion heard on “Tender Warriors Club” stem from in your personal life?
LL: I definitely derive all my inspiration from experience and from things I witness and observe in the world. Two of them are older songs I’ve been sitting on for a few years that I knew I wanted to be more acoustic and come out on a more simplified release. The other five I wrote really quickly this summer and recorded them this summer as well. As far as things go usually, it was a pretty quick transition from writing the songs to recording them and putting them a record out.
GK: Some of work in the past features a full band and electric guitar. Why did you decide to an acoustic album?
LL: It happened really by accident. I was sitting down in New York, you know, I live here. It’s weird to be back here. I’ve been on tour for a month and I just got here and it’s very surreal to be home. Anyway, I was sitting down to write songs for my next full length full band record. I start with guitar and was going to end up writing more instrumentation, and it just so happens that the songs I was writing at home were very intimate songs that I found didn’t have space for any other compositions, so I decided to just put out a solo EP before the next full length. I was trying to make the full length and this is what happened instead.
GK: You first recordings were very DIY. Were you trying to capture that feeling and sound again with “Tender Warriors Club”?
LL: It wasn’t intentional, but it definitely harkoned back to that time and it felt really comfortable and familiar. A friend of mine whom I toured with, he lives in Sweden, and he was gonna be on tour this past summer. He gave me his home studio in Sweden, so I went there while he was out of town for like 10 days and I made it alone, like, just in his house. I brought my own interface and my own laptop, but I used all his gear and all his mics and all his guitars. It felt like the way that I used to work alone late at night. I’d work for ten hours at time. It was familiar and awesome.
GK: Did you have any specific inspirations for this EP?
LL: I guess just love and anxiety, HAHA. The songs tend to move back to the feelings of bliss and joy coupled with the anxiety and fear of losing that happiness, which is pretty common I think. Fear when you fall in love.
GK: How’s your living room tour going?
LL: That’s been amazing. I’ve been doing it and out on the road for a month and the majority of the shows have been in living rooms or art galleries and that kind of space. I’ve been playing through my own little PA to like 60 people a night. It’s been really unique. I’ve never done anything like this and it’s been very memorable. Every night is so different, but they’re all so special. I couldn’t even pick a favorite. They’re all just so different from the next.
GK: Where’d the idea for living room tour come from?
LL: I really just wanted to fully embrace this whole intimate acoustic album, which I’ve never done before. I’ve never toured with an acoustic guitar. I’d only play my electric, and lately I’ve been playing with a band. Knowing that these songs were pretty raw and solo, I wanted to go all the way and just play them in very small rooms in people’s homes, especially I thought it’d be really cozy in the winter time and be really intimate. Just right now with how strange the world is and how disconnected people are. All the terrible things happening, I thought it just be a nice reprieve, even just for myself to go into small spaces and see everyone’s face. I had played a couple of living room shows in New York, and that’s how I got the idea. I’ve played two or three over the years in people’s homes, and I remembered the nights so well. It’s sad to say I love to tour, but sometimes when you’re a month into a normal venue tour, they all start to blur together. All the nights and all the green rooms become a little samey. This was my way of just making it more special. It really has exceeded my expectations. The living rooms are all fan submissions too. There’s a company that books living room tours. You basically just submitted photos of your living room through a company out of Illinois. It’s really small and home grown. It’s like three guys. That’s what they do. They manage some bands too, but they’ve booked tours for Alec from Clap Your Hand Say Yeah. They’re doing Pete Silverman right now from The Antlers. They’ve done Craig from The Hold Steady. They do lots of frontmen and women of bands branching out and doing solo tours. They’re really good at it, and I was able to see photos of people’s homes before choosing. It was all over the country.
GK: Why was “See You” chosen as the single for the EP?
LL: It’s pretty much the theme song for what I’ve talked about. It’s the theme of anxiety of losing something precious. It’s like the feelings of elation when you love deeply and that fear of “what would I do if this disappears?”
GK: Besides music, are there any other passion projects you hold close to your heart?
LL: I really love film. I worked at a video store for many years, and I was gonna go to school for film editing. I can only think of movies I saw last year that I loved. I saw this documentary “The Other Side” that was really amazing. A film called “The Fits” was really good. It focused on a little girl, like nine or ten, and she’s into boxing. It’s awesome. Those are the ones that come to mind.
GK: Are there any other artist or musicians that would be part of the Tender Warriors Club?
LL: Oh absolutely. A lot of musicians that I listen to. Really sensitive types like Sufjan Stevens. He’s a tender warrior. Joanna Newsom. The Tallest Man On Earth, and also one of his good friends, Amanda Bergman. Very sensitive singers.
GK: Why’d you drop “The Beekeeper”?
LL: I came up with that when I was 18, and I’m gonna be 28 soon. I actually felt, maybe about a year after having it, “Oh I don’t really feel super connected to this.” I felt like I was kind of stuck with it. For me, it’s alway just been kind of clunky, and the connotations are maybe not in line with how I see myself. I felt a little pigeon holed by the name, but I always felt more connected to Lady Lamb. I hate to say it, but it felt like a weight lifted. It was dead weight when I cut it. I will always cherish it. It came from a very important time, but where I’m at now, I feel better about abbreviating it.
GK: You seem to do the “suck it” pose a lot on your instagram. What’s up with that?
LL: This just came from memories of 8-year-old boys in the late ’90s doing it on the playground when they were wrestling fans.
GK: What’s your favorite cereal?
LL: Life. I love Life cereal
If you want to know more about Lady Lamb’s music, merch and tour dates, check out her website.