The first time I saw Lauren Ruth Ward perform I couldn’t take my eyes off her, she commands the attention of the entire audience. She has this insane energy and the way she sings and moves on stage it’s like the music is just flowing through her and it washes over the audience captivating them. Her soulful vocals, unapologetic lyrics, and the way she performs like she’s exorcising demons from her own mind makes her the rockstar we’ve needed.
Lauren started playing guitar when she was in her early teens and started writing songs around the same time, when she moved to California that’s when she got really serious about her music career, but she was also known for her incredible hair styling skills and still maintains the business despite her booming music career. When I ask her if she still cuts hair she gives me a resounding “Hells yeah.” She says, “I have a salon set up in my backyard. I have a clientele of about 30 right now (all her schedule allows). I love it. As long as I have hands, I’ll cut hair.”
Her lyrics are so in-your-face at times, in “Blue Collar Sex Kitten” she sings, “Oh be my friend or hate my guts, it doesn't matter, we're all fucked. My brain has a mind of its own, I don't know which way it goes. I was California dreaming, American dream's deceiving, East coast leaving, weekend heathen. Contemplation, admiration, salivation, masturbation : four - step Friday night. I'm a dyke, dated guys, ain't a crime, won't apologize for my tribe.”
It’s just her mind seems like it’s on fire, she writes these lines that I can’t stop thinking about. “Buddy I don’t need you I can make love to myself” is such a bold way to start a song, it’s unforgettable, but she doesn’t rely solely on shock value, at her core she’s a romantic.
Her biggest challenge lately has been her long-distance relationship. You can hear the longing in her song “Sheet Stains,” she sings, “My favorite line you sing. Got me salivatin' like Pavlov's dog. Every time I hear your belle ring! I want you to come home to take me out. To take me back home.”
Those emotions come through full-force in her live performance. The lines course through her veins when she performs. She says, “About a year and a 1/2 ago. My partner gave me her back up wireless mic. Around the same time, I also stopped playing guitar as much. It was then I started to realize I was free to go into the crowd, dance and lose myself in the moment.”
She yells, she throws her hands in the air and she shakes violently as she dances through the audience. She says, “Performing is very cathartic for me. I went four weeks without playing and I was a little on edge. It’s a release I need to feel sane.”
If her songs and performances aren’t enough, Lauren Ruth Ward has this iconic style that is so perfect. One of her favorite things to do on tour is find the perfect new addition to her wardrobe at a local vintage shop.. She tells me, “I love Vintage on Hollywood (Hollywood) and Squaresville (Los Feliz). Also love checking out vintage shops in the cities we tour. We plan our schedules to check one or two out before or after load in/soundcheck. Then I can be like ‘These are my Portland pants, these are my SF pants…’ Love me a groovy keepsake."
As for her best advice for young musicians? She says, “You can do it. You can get it done while making friends and staying positive. Say sorry, learn, say thank you, say you’re welcome. Remember who gave you chances when you were “no one” ( I have a list). Say yes, say no, Be present, be you.”