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Ume's Lauren Larson on Knowing How to Unleash the Vampire Within

by Evan Serpick on Feb 14, 2011

. Photo by Sandy Carson.

What's the best show you've ever played?
Lauren [Larson, vocals and guitar]: We played with Arcade Fire before they broke. We played a show with the band Warpaint on New Year's Eve. We played once in New York and Joan Jett came out to see us, so that was an honor.

What's the best show you've ever attended?
Lauren: I just saw Roger Waters do The Wall – how fantastic. That was the biggest stadium show. I saw Fugazi back in the early 2000s, and it was a different type of show – $6 ticket. It was equally amazing.

What are bands people say you sound like?
Lauren: We get everything from a harder, more metal-ish type Blonde Redhead sound to prog-rock bands. I've been told that I must know what it's like to unleash the vampire within. I don't know what that means, but that was pretty funny. I'd say we stretch the boundaries between Black Sabbath and Blonde Redhead.

What's the worst disaster you've ever suffered onstage?
Lauren: It was a New Year's Eve show, and I fell down on my knees like I do often, and I stood up and there was blood pouring out of my kneecaps, because the band before us had crushed Christmas lights all over the stage, and I didn't know it.

Did you keep playing?
Lauren: Oh yeah, always.

Do you have a favorite piece of gear?
Lauren: Oh yeah, I'm kind of a gear-head. I have my '65 Fender Duo-Sonic guitar, a Seventies Tele Deluxe that I really like, and a Seventies Mustang.

How would you describe the scene in Austin?
Lauren: There are a lot of really good people who want to make things happen. The press gets behind you and people want to see you succeed. I do a lot of work with a group called Girls Rock Camp, and I get to meet so many different woman musicians through that, trying to help out other girls, from soul and funk-type music to punk rock to indie rock to metal.

Do you have guilty pleasure music?
Lauren: I don't really feel guilty about it – I like diverse things. I like Barbra Streisand, "Woman in Love"; Herb Alpert, "This Guy's In Love With You" – those are some really happy love songs. But I don't feel guilty. I can listen to that and Ozzy in the same hour. I don't mind.

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