Artist Interviews

Q&A: Blood Red Shoes

By | Published on Thursday 25 February 2010

Blood Red Shoes

Formed in Brighton in 2005, Blood Red Shoes are drummer Steven Ansell and guitarist Laura-Mary Carter (with the duo sharing vocals). Normally keen to distance themselves from other English guitar bands, the duo consider themselves to be a punk outfit, drawing inspiration from the likes of Babes In Toyland, Nirvana, Queens Of The Stone Age and Pixies. The band’s first releases were a string of 7″ records in 2005 on a number of different independent labels, while their debut album ‘Box Of Secrets’ was released in 2008 via Universal imprint V2. Their latest single, ‘Light It Up’, is out now, with album number two ‘Fire Like This’ released on 1 Mar. We spoke to Steven to ask the Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Both of us started playing piano when we were younger, when we didn’t know each other. I think we both felt the same, though. We both gravitated towards rock music, which piano isn’t always so useful for, eh? We didn’t meet each other until way after this point, when we were both already in punk bands. When those two bands broke up we decided to try writing stuff together, and that was the birth of Blood Red Shoes.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Dreams, confusion, frustration, boredom, anger, sadness, death, psychosis, alienation, loss, how we connect or don’t connect with the world and the people around us, and trying to work out who you are constantly.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
We just start out by jamming together. We fuck around until something clicks. I guess the first rule would be, let there be a riff. Then I start to improvise the drums along to the riff and we gradually evolve the song from there, later trying out vocals by singing whatever comes out. With this album we were more fussy about it, and we did a lot more demo recording and going back over details, tweaking structures and melodies. We didn’t do that so much on the first album.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

Lots. On this album I can definitely hear hints of Queens Of The Stone Age, Hot Snakes, PJ Harvey, Nirvana, Trail Of Dead, My Bloody Valentine maybe The Yeah Yeah Yeahs a bit. Or even The Smashing Pumpkins, in fact. At least, I can trace our references to them; maybe no one else can hear that!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Listen to it loud and open your heart to it. There is no irony or posturing or fakery in our music, it’s straight and direct. Our background is in punk rock music, which is about immediacy of expression and hitting people with intensity. Regardless of the style of the music, that’s the approach. So, we are just two people expressing whatever it is we feel like and playing music the way we like it. That’s how you should experience it. If you connect, you connect, if you don’t, you don’t.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?

With this album we just want to be a bigger better band than with the first record. We’re not scared of setting our sights on becoming a big band, and I think this record will help us on that journey, because I think it’s a strong record with good songs on it; songs which mean something, and which are played with intensity and feeling. At the moment there aren’t many records I hear that aren’t just stylised shit. I don’t hear any really good rock records, either. So, either we’ll fucking disappear because we’re so out of touch with what’s in right now, or we’ll actually cut through because we’re offering something very different to what’s out there. My hope is that it’s the latter, obviously.