Lady Lamb the Beekeeper originated as a nickname for solo guitarist Aly Spaltro to advertise her first songs in her small hometown of Brunswick, Maine. Spaltro will play with a live band Wednesday at The Haunt.
Staff Writer Alyssa Frey spoke with Spaltro about the story behind her band name, her music’s origins and the details of her latest release, “Ripely Pine.”
Alyssa Frey: How did you first become interested in music?
Aly Spaltro: I didn’t play any music until I was 18 — but my dad is a musician, so I grew up with always [having] a music room or corner or whatever in my house, and my dad would make instrumental records on his own in the house. I listened to a lot of oldies radio as a kid and was really, really into it. I didn’t start teaching myself how to play [guitar] until I was an adult and out of the house.
AF: How did you teach yourself how to play guitar?
AS: I had a guitar that my dad bought me when I was in high school. I fiddled around on it in high school, but I was too stubborn to take any lessons. I wanted to teach myself, so I didn’t really play it at all. But then, right after high school, I had a year off before college and I was home in Maine and wanted something to focus on. I already had all this poetry, so I thought it’d be a good challenge to write songs. I didn’t have any background in singing or anything like that, but I just started putting the poems to music and learning chords slowly and figuring it out that way and just practicing a ton.
AF: How did you choose your band name?
AS: The first songs I wrote were really inspiring. So, I had trouble sleeping at night, and I was keeping a notebook by my bed to write down ideas in the dark, and also just writing dreams in it and stuff. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper was written in the notebook when I woke up, and I don’t have any recollection of where it came from. But it was in that time when I had enough songs that I wanted to share with people anonymously because my town was really small, and I worked at a pretty central place in town and I didn’t want them to get traced back to me. I wanted a band name, I wanted a moniker, and it just fit.
AF: When you’re writing your music, what speaks to you more: the melody or the lyrics?
AS: Generally, the lyrics. If I’m not behind them, then the song really isn’t going to get written. So the lyrics definitely, but then of course the melody comes in and the two click, and there it is.
AF: What is the theme behind your first album “Ripely Pine?”
AS: The record is very much about pining for someone and feeling like you know what you want and want someone to give it to you. That’s kind of the overall theme — but I think as the album goes on, the character in it sort of realizes that what they thought they needed from someone they could have given themselves all along, and that’s the theme of the very last song. I think I will open up my next record to being a little more observational and less stuck in that frustration.
AF: What is your favorite part of playing a live show?
AS: My favorite part is this unspoken thing that I think a lot of people can relate to in just being an audience member — you don’t have to be in the band to feel this — that feeling when the whole room is connected, and you’re just sharing this moment. You know, that special thing when you’re at a show that you’re really invested in, and you feel like everyone’s on the same page. That is what’s so addictive to me. It’s just the way that I can express myself and connect with other people. It’s a very sincere and special thing that happens when you’re on that level with everyone.
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper opens for Thao & The Get Down Stay Down at 9 p.m. Wednesday at The Haunt. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at The Haunt or www.dansmallspresents.com.