Catching up with Lady Lamb

Artist discusses tour, name, current favorite music and more


Lady Lamb, the performing alias of indie-rocker Aly Spaltro, will be kicking off the latest leg of her fall tour in Charlottesville. An incredible lyricist with a knack for writing complex yet catchy melodies, Lady Lamb will play the Southern Cafe and Music Hall Oct. 27. Arts & Entertainment chatted with her in anticipation of the upcoming show.

Arts & Entertainment: Generally, how’s the tour been going so far?

Aly Spaltro: Good! I just got back from two months that ended in Spain, and I’ve been home for like three days. I’ve got a little bit of time off before the next jaunt. The first show’s in Virginia.

A&E: While you’ve been touring lately, what kind of music have you been listening to?

AS: On tour lately, I’ve been listening to the most recent Sufjan Stevens album … Ty Segall, the most recent Kurt Vile. I’ve been listening to the two Joanna Newsom singles that have come out this year in anticipation of her newest album. And I’ve been listening to the Pretenders a lot, for some reason! That’s a good little handful of what’s been going on in my headphones.

A&E: What kind of sets have you been playing lately? Mostly showcasing stuff from the new album, or going back to your older material as well?

AS: Well, this one’s going to be a trio, bass-drums-guitar, and we do pretty half-and-half last record/new record. And I play some solo songs, also.

A&E: This can sometimes be a dangerous question, but do you have a favorite song to play live?

AS: It changes, but I’ve always really loved playing a song from my last album called “You Are The Apple,” and on this album I love playing “Billions of Eyes.” But it fluctuates a lot because I love them all, I love playing them all.

A&E: Can you talk a little bit about the vibe at your shows, characterize them for someone who’s maybe never seen you live before?

AS: I mean … that’s a tough question, it’s easier just to be there. But I guess it’s a pretty energetic rock show that’s coming from a sincere place, based on the fact that the lyrics are so important. So it’s kind of wordy and kind of heady, but also something you can bob your head to.

A&E: Along those lines, can you give a little description of how you go about crafting these songs?

AS: Well, I write the lyrics first … the way I work generally is kind of like collaging different words. I write a lot in phrases, not really in poetry but in phrases, and then when I feel I’ve got enough phrases that all kind of could potentially work together I start piecing certain things or editing them into one piece, and then the music comes later.

A&E: So you don’t necessarily start out with a concrete idea for what you’re trying to say in one song?

AS: No, I think … because a lot of phrases I write down, and a lot of little tidbits I write down, end up being from a similar time frame, there’s a lot of thematic similarities that I can find within different days that are kind of of a time, and I can piece them together to make a concise thought.

A&E: You may get this a lot, but why did you drop “The Beekeeper” from your stage name?

AS: Yeah, I’d been performing under that long moniker for 8 years. And I came up with it when I was 18, and it wasn’t very long after that time that I just didn’t feel very connected to the name but I felt like I couldn’t change it. So I finally just realized that I really felt like “Lady Lamb” just described me better and was more to the point, which is what I wanted, and so I just made the decision to commit to dropping the second half.

Check out Lady Lamb’s indie-rock tunes at The Southern next week.

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