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Interview by Raegan Oates

Blood Red Shoes are Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell, a rock band that know there’s power and intensity in simplicity and this year they’ve released new album ‘Fire Like This’ alongside an intensive tour of the U.K. Be warned this is not your typical rock fare, Blood Red Shoes know you don’t need a whole string section to denote “emotional”, or a whole horn section to do “rousing”. They know rock music doesn’t need to be smothered in effects or laced with devious studio tricks to make an impact. There is another way and it involves boiling songs down to their essence – just raw guitar riffs and drum hits presented crisp and unadorned. At this year’s Summer Sundae FD2D caught up with Blood Red Shoes to talk about the events of 2011 so far and the last date of their UK tour. Hello. How are you today? Steven: I’m good.

Are you looking forward to playing this evening? S: I am because we’re headlining the DIS stage, we’ve never headlined at a UK festival before. It’s a little bit scary and also really exciting and flattering to be asked to do it. It’s also our last UK show, so this is the end, the full stop, before we disappear to make a third record.

Have you been out into the festival yet? S: Yeah I went out to see Factory Floor, and then I went out for a walk just to get a feel for it. It does seem very calm; the only thing I’m worried about is we’re not a calm band. I am a little worried as to whether the crowd is going to be on our side or not.

I wouldn’t worry too much, the crowds for the headline acts have been pretty crazy so far. S: As long as we can bring the rock n rollers out of the woodwork I think we will be o.k.

You’re known for being pretty rock n roll and for having a voice. S: That’s a good thing right? Of course! With that what’s your opinion on what is happening in the UK at the moment? S: How long have you got! Firstly, a lot of people have a tendency to have a misplaced sympathy towards people that are just essentially opportunistically, f**king things up and stealing from people. Holy Shit its Laura-Mary

Laura joins us mid interview... S: You have to understand this stuff in the context of what’s going on in this country. The gap between the richest people and the poorest people is massively widening and what you now have is a class of people who are excluded from mainstream ways of life and who are bombarded with messages that in order to be a real human, you’ve got to buy all this stuff and you’re not cool unless you buy these trainers or this car. Eventually people get pissed off and people get angry. Those people are resentful of the police. This is in no way excusing people smashing up other peoples’ s**t at all, but you also have to understand it in order to try and sort the problem out so that it doesn’t happen again, and I don’t think that throwing a load of pissed off teenagers in jail is gonna fix that. There is a bigger problem going on.

Or evicting them from their homes? S: What the hell! Making people homeless is gonna solve poverty, what the f**k is that!

Laura-Mary: I have a friends flat whose burnt down in the riots and her view on it isn’t “Put them in jail,” she understands that it’s not a one dimensional thing. Her whole life was in that flat, photos of people, it was devastating but she can still see what Steven was just talking about.

Will these events have an impact on the music that you are writing? S: I think that it already has. I think it filters into you. The visual images are really striking, when you see streets on fire and houses burning and people attacking the police that has an intense effect and that will definitely translate musically as well as visually. LM: Before these riots even happened we’ve been saying that it’s obvious that this stuff is happening. We’ve been writing songs about frustration since day one. S: It’s weird for us because we watch a lot of bands come through and we think where are the bands representing protest music? Agitated music or music saying hang on there’s something not right here. There are a lot of bands like The XX in the world who make really chilled out music for you to just hang out and think, “everything’s kinda cool”, but it’s f**king not. We’ve been saying for quite a while where are the bands representing this train of thought, that something might be wrong? LM: We’ve felt for so long that there is something wrong, it’s weird the music coming out. S: It’s in total denial of the reality of what is happening. I don’t see a lot of the pissed off kids making music, most of the people getting instruments are rich kids and they’ve got nothing to complain about, so for them music is pretty happy. It’d be alright if they made good music but a lot of them don’t!

What’s next for Blood Red Shoes? S: We’re gonna go really quiet and you’re going to hear nothing from us because we’re going to be making a record and then we’ll be back next year with the record and a lot of touring.

Thanks for the interview. S: Thanks for asking an interesting question. That was cool.

Tobias Funke M.D., Analrapist David Anthony Wood Pixel art

FD2D Autumn 11 Derby  

Issue 4 of Derby's favourite Arts & Culture magazine

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