Ludwyg is a 3 piece post-punk/ electronica band consisting of singer/ songwriter, Billy Ludwig (vocals, guitars, programming, keyboards), John Branham (drums) and Eric Pollarine (bass). The bands' music thrives on darker oriented soundscapes, layered beats and noise mixed with melodic textures.
Ludwyg's 1st release, "Limelit" is a 6 track EP that explores the more electronic side of the band. At the time of the release (May 2009), the band was only made up of the 2 original members, Billy Ludwig and John Branham.
In 2010, Billy and John have added band member, Eric Pollarine to help evolve Ludwyg's sound into a more organic/ live direction. Their latest album, "Violent" was released on 02.19.11. You can download it for FREE at www.ludwyg.com/music.
Ludwyg has opened for the bands such as: A Place To Bury Strangers, VNV Nation, Apoptygma Berzerk, Nitzer Ebb, Faith and the Muse, And One, Bile, Hanzel Und Gretyl, 16 Volt and many others.
Billy Ludwig - Vocals, Guitar, Synth, and Programming
Eric Pollarine - Bass
John Branham - Drums
TBA- Fall 2011 (currently in the studio)
Violent LP- 02.2011
Limelit EP- 05.2009
Free downloads at: www.ludwyg.com/music
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review of "limelit" by anthony cirincione the ohio electronic-rock band's EP is one that will sho...review of "limelit" by anthony cirincione
the ohio electronic-rock band's EP is one that will showcase what is to come from them in the future. with great synthesized beats and the gravelly voice of the lead singer billy, this two man group will appeal to people who love this music. make no mistake these two gentlemen will have the arms swaying and the people dancing to the trip-hop music they come out with. the last track on the CD, "silent serenade (tranquil vamp)" is one that trances you in and wants to to take you away to where ever the music takes you. only problem with the release is that it is over before you know it since there are only 6 songs on the entire disc.
Ludwyg - Mystery & Mystique
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Ludwyg are a two piece band with inspiration from many areas of the music industry, creatively gener...Ludwyg are a two piece band with inspiration from many areas of the music industry, creatively generating songs which inspire a sense of mystery and mystique. Having been involved in the music scene for a number of years they are currently in the process of developing their next EP ‘Revolt’. But Billy Ludwyg did find time to chat to the IRM team and provide an insight into the world of Ludwyg.
JS: Why not let everyone into the world of Ludwyg, please introduce the band?
BL: We are a two piece electronica band from Massillon, Ohio that consists of myself, Billy Ludwig (vocals, synth, programming, guitars) & John Branham (livedrums).
JS: How long have you been together and how was the band formed?
BL: There’s actually quite a few chapters to this story but I’ll try & keep it simple. . . we base the genesis of the band off of our 1st live performance as a 2 piece which would be July of 2007 at the Grog shop in Cleveland. Although technically our 1st show was as a 4 piece in November of 2006 at the Phantasy in Lakewood. Once we had parted ways with the other members the sound changed immensely (and for the better) so in a subtle way it became a new band with the same name.
After I had quit the punk band I was in, I began writing without any intentions of where I was heading musically. This went on for several years. Eventually I decided to involve other musicians in my ideas and wanted to see where things went. I had met John through a mutual acquaintance who at the time was a guitarist I was jamming with. Things really clicked between John & I; not only what influenced us musically but we had a lot of the same interests as well. Soon after our meeting, we let the guitarist go (we’ve been through a laundrylist of musicians).
At this point we were just writing songs w/ me on guitar & John on drums- no synth, no layered beats etc.etc. We’d typically get together around 11pm at myrehearsal space & practice till sometimes 6am & we’d do this 4 or 5 times a week. Eventually ‘life’ got in the way of things, girlfriends, finances etc.etc. & over time the project just kind of slipped away. John had moved on to playing with a local thrash metal band & we kind of lost touch.In the meantime, the gauntlet of life had run it’s course on me & I
had fallen into a pretty severe depression. . . after a conglomerate of misfortune & some rather heart wrenching situations; the last nail in the coffin lid was my apartment catching fire. I essentially had no where to go so I moved into my rehearsal space downtown. I wouldn’t eat for days at a time (i lost about 30 pounds), I was very reclusive, wrote poetry manically & focused on my artwork. Then I started digging into a lot of the electronic music I had been experimenting with. I started to shape the ideas that I had had & generated new ones into what later on would become LUDWYG. After months upon months of basically excluding myself from the outside world I had become somewhat delusional and out of touch with who I was, (what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger- right?). Eventually (and it wasn’t easy) I started to crawl out of my cave to focus on getting myself more of a name with my artwork. I set up some
shows with some of the local bands I was friends with; the idea was to in turn do the show posters to promote my design name (impale design). The eclectic line-ups that I had put together at the shows were drawing enough attention that I started my own production co. called SYGYL. Through SYGYL I was typically booking 5 local shows a week at various venues throughout northeast Ohio. I did all the show posters & got both names out there pretty quick with one entity feeding off the other.
I had run into John at one of the SYGYL shows at Annabell’s in Akron. We caught up a little bit & I had mentioned the new music I had been working on. . . needless to say we kept in touch & a couple months later we started practicing again & slowly I turned my focus to the band & let the SYGYL shows die off.
In the beginning, we never felt as though we could pull it off with just the 2 of us. we auditioned numerous musicians & finally settled on a couple & then replaced them… & then replaced those guys as well. We worked on the songs diligently & developing our sound for a good 6 months before booking our 1st show. it wasn’t long though before we started down sizing the band & within the 1st year of the band’s existence going back to being a 2 piece. . . we re-worked all the songs & things really fell into place.
and here we are.
JS: You list a multitude of influences to your musical inspiration, how do you incorporate such a variety into your music?
BL: Being an artist there’s really nothing that doesn’t influence you. Whether it be positive or negative, or something to model yourself from or run the other direction (like the majority of what’s on Billboard’s top 10). I never intend to write a song or an album that sounds like this band or that band, I just do what feels natural.
Although at times it’s pretty subconscious to write something that may have some frayed edges of what influences you musically. I do make it a point to not sound like what I’m currently listening to in my ipod. I see no sense in sounding like bands that already exist. if there’s ever an aspect of a song that blatantly mimics something else out there (which is a rare occasion), it gets changed immediately. . . now I’ve opened myself up for dissection.
JS: Your music oozes a feeling of mystique and the mysterious is this
how you want to be perceived by your fans?
BL: The adjectives you use in your question I find as very complimentary-
so ‘thank you’!. . . and the answer to that question is ‘yes’ .
Although I want our listeners to take what they want from our music. I suppose it’s like when you listen to a song & the music makes you feel one way but the words are literally the opposite of the emotion that you’re feeling or vice versa (if that makes sense?).
JS: Are there areas or facets of the Internet you have not explored yet that you would like to?
BL: There’s some of areas that we haven’t touched yet but are in the process of making our way there. As sad as it is to say, we haven’t done much along the lines of Youtube. There’s virtually no video of us performing, aside from some soundcheck that we had over 2 years ago. This is something that will change in the near future when we
introduce our first video for the song ‘”Phyction”. I do my best to keep up with all the social networking sites as well but the main focus will be to make our own web site more interactive. A lot of what we will be doing with the web site will be included in
our iphone app that is under development & should be available early on in 2010.
JS: You are very active in the ‘live gig’ department. Is this something you strive to do? What would be your ultimate venue for a live gig?
BL: We want to do as many shows as we can but at the same time we’re
pretty selective as to what shows we do play. It’s a lot easier these
days to exhaust yourself in one particular market. If we’re not
opening for a bigger act, we try to make our shows more of an event by adding an art show or something a little more than just the music.I believe that the ‘ultimate venue’ isn’t necessarily about the actual location as much as it is the crowd. If the crowd is receptive & into what you’re doing than it really doesn’t matter where you are.
JS: Revolt is currently your new EP in development. What is the main influence to this particular musical creation?
BL: The new EP is definitely more abrasive than the last. . .although this really is part II of our 1st EP “Limelit”. They mean something when put together. . . ‘LUDWYG’
is derived from combining the words ‘fame’ & ‘war’. . . ‘Limelit’ being a synonym for ‘fame’ & ‘Revolt’ being a synonym for ‘war’
JS: What do you want to accomplish as an artist? As an independent artist what do you find the most useful aspect of the Internet?
BL: There’s really not much that I don’t want to accomplish as an artist, my list of goals is infinite. I’m proud of our accomplishments thus far (for example opening for VNV Nation by our 10th show) & this past year has proven to be our best year to date. We have built up a pretty strong backbone for us to move even further ahead in 2010.
It’s without question that the internet & the social networks that are out there are very powerful tools for independent artists to utilize and connect with fans. At the same time it’s so overwhelmed with bands/ artists begging for your attention that it becomes difficult to filter through the good & the bad. To some extent independent artists are killing music just as much as Disney’s pre-programmed mega stars.
I think finding ways to create your own community that revolves around your band without spamming the hell out of Myspace, Facebook etc.etc. is the way to go. You need to set yourself apart from just being another band taking up server space on one of these social networking plantations. Google for example is working on a platform that may destroy all these sites.
Having your own web site will never die, use all the other stuff to promote that. I also think that one of the best ways to promote what you do on the internet is to promote outside of the internet (flyers, radio, postcards etc.etc). be creative.
JS: Where do you see your self in 5 years? What is your ultimate goal?
BL: Although I always have a plan of attack that does get tweaked & re-vamped as new obstacles or ideas make their presence; it’s hard to see where I’ll be tomorrow let alone in 5 years. . . regardless, I want what I do as an artist to be relevant.
JS: Have you any messages you want to send out to your fans?
BL: Thank you for the ongoing support & let us know where you are. . . it helps when planning tours (hint, hint)
Website – http://www.myspace.com/ludwyg
An Interview With Ludwyg
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Whether I like it or not, the band is my number one priority.” With those words, Billy and I settle...Whether I like it or not, the band is my number one priority.”
With those words, Billy and I settled into our seats behind the 13th Floor Gallery’s front counter and started an interview that rambled, went off-point and eventually summed up enough about the new Ludwyg album, “Violent,” that I’m officially excited about the CD release party on February 19th.
While we chatted, local artist and gallery regular Scott Phillips continued working on the first of three large pieces that will be chopped up and distributed in each of the 666 physical CDs. The atmosphere stayed relaxed and Billy started playing the new album – sans vocals due to sickness – to let me get a feel for what was coming.
Ludwyg has an EP available at the moment, but “Violent” will be their first LP. That’s not for trying. A year ago, an album was nearly complete when the hard drive the songs were stored on “crashed, so we lost everything.”
That means the new album will have a decidedly different feel than the EP they’re currently known for. “I think a band… each album kind of progresses. Gets a little bit better. I kinda feel we skipped that whole step.” Fans may be a little surprised by what they hear, but the foundations of the band’s sound are still there. They’ve just moved their focus a bit.
“The first album was more electronic. The guitars and a lot of the live stuff was underneath and the electronics were up front. This album is way more organic.” The electronics are still there, but they exist more to back up the band’s performance – enhance it – rather than overshadow it.
“Friends that are in other bands, and Adam, the guy who actually mixed and mastered it, are kind of shocked that this is where we went.” The guitar and percussion line that came in after those words left me agape, as they felt decidedly Keane-esque. That could be because both Ludwyg and Keane count Joy Division as an influence, if not directly then in the fact that they would both be comfortable in a Manchester venue.
As the album progressed it was still full of the industrial, darker presence people are expecting, but it is definitely more alive with experimentation. “Even saying experimental is a cop-out,” Billy argues. “Any band, I mean, I hate new country music but you could even classify that as experimental. Everybody’s experimental. If you’re not experimenting you’re a cover band.”
At the CD release show, the band plans to get even rawer. “We’re not going to do any backing tracks or anything. It’s just going to be completely raw. These are the songs and this is the four of us. For this show in particular we don’t want to have any of the extra stuff.” The band plans on playing the complete album, but a couple of the song s may be a little different to accommodate the party feel. “We just want it to be a good time. For everyone to have fun.”
The CD will be available from all of the usual internet sources, including iTunes, Amazon and the band’s own website, but buying one of the limited edition CDs comes with some bonuses. Billy brought in Scott Phillips to work as a visual artist for the band, which will translate into CD sleeve inserts that are only available with the limited edition. Billy’s gallery also hosted a Scott Phillips art show that, in turn, inspired a song on the new CD and lent the song its title.
After the CD comes out, the band plans on doing some shows if the opportunity presents itself, but Billy won’t commit himself to anything inside the box at the moment. It’s apparent that the band may be his first priority, but he doesn’t want that to get in the way of creativity. He shows me an old video camera that he managed to acquire along with a few rolls of film. He mentions projecting images of the band on the sides of some buildings and then filming the images. He talks about performing at art galleries and craft fairs. “I want to make it more about the event. Nobody wants to just go out and see a band anymore. Especially with all of the cover bands floating around. People would rather sit inside and be on Facebook. You have to give them a real reason to get out.”
All in all, Ludwyg fans will be pleased with the new offerings and people just tuning in to the band for the first time will find them more accessible than they were on their EP. Their sound has built into more of a band sound than a produced sound, but that could stem from the fact that they’re now four when before they were two. It could just be the direction it’s going for the moment. Regardless of why the songs sound the way they do, we know it’s an experiment that takes priority in one artist’s life. And he genuinely hopes you enjoy it.
Six Six Sex
You Can't Catch Me
Kill Kill Kill Kill
The Black Hills
Black and Blue
There are no upcoming dates at this time.