Blood Red Shoes

By Tom Aylott
Punktastic recently caught up with Brighton two-piece Blood Red Shoes‘ lead singer and guitarist Laura-Mary Carter for a chat about new album ‘Fire Like This’ and what she thinks of Brighton, the ‘scene’ and changes in the industry:

After releasing few of the tracks from ‘Box of Secrets’ as singles prior to release, how did your writing approach change for album number two?
I am not sure it changed a great deal, but we got way more picky and didn’t just go with the first things we wrote like we did previously. We scrapped a lot of songs and parts. We also wanted to push ourselves way more to create something out of our comfort zones and I think we did that – Although they feel comfortable now.
The production and overall sound on the new album has a moodier and (for want of a better word) ‘bigger’ feel than you’ve had previously. Is this a reflection on your influences and the direction you wanted to take on your first album, or is it a case of new experiences creeping in and natural progression for the band?
Yes – I think it is both really. We realised that we didn’t quite sound how we thought listening back to Box of Secrets. Although we still like our first album, I guess it was just slightly off the mark to how we wanted to sound. This album feels more true to what our band was trying to get across. It also is down to experience and understanding how to get a particular sound. I do think we have just got better at being a band. We are way more confident and sure in every aspect of Blood Red Shoes. We know who we are now. And of course we can write better songs now and play our instruments ALOT better.

On the run up to release this time around, you’ve been putting tracks on your website week by week. Did the fact that ‘Box of Secrets’ found it’s way online so early influence that choice? – and after expressing disappointment that you couldn’t get the music to your fans in the way and at the time you intended, how do you feel about the change in the way people are choosing to get their music at the moment?
Yes it totally influenced us to put the songs up to be streamed. Our album leaked so badly last time and although we accept that it will always happen, 5 months before release was pretty heartbreaking. It was due to changing labels though, so it was all a bit of a bummer. This time round we saw that a few bands had been doing this streaming thing and we thought it was a cool idea and sorta fun for our fans.

I am one of those people that does not understand downloading stuff. I am getting better but I guess I just like having the physical copy. I do all the bands artwork so I guess I appreciate the CD/record as not just music but as the whole package. But this doesn’t mean I am against the new ways of getting music. You have to accept that this is how it is now and take it massively into account when releasing your own music. Something that I think major labels still need to learn. They seem to still be stuck in past. Not forward thinking at all. 
What’s your opinion on the scene in Brighton and the UK generally at the moment? Are there any bands you’ve played with or gone to see recently that you’ve been really excited by?
Brighton has always got new bands coming out. To be honest I don’t really know much about them as I am rarely here. I do miss just finding new bands and being able to just walk down the road to see them. But to be honest the only scene of underground music around is a scene of bands that can’t play but look uber cool. They all sound like that wishy washy music. I cant really get into that. Its a bit too happy and contrived for me. 

I am waiting for something with some fucking balls!! haven’t heard anything thats got me excited for a while.

You’ve got a big list of international dates coming up. Outside of the UK, where’s your favourite place to play? Is there anywhere you’re really excited about playing for the first time?
We play the rest of europe way more than the UK these days. Our following is way bigger everywhere else. We play Japan too which we have just come back from. And we love it there so much.

I am really looking forward to our Amsterdam show. Its the biggest headline show we have ever had. And I am also looking forward to brussels as we always have a great time there. 

Portugal is also really exciting every time we have been has been amazing and we have not played our own show in porto before, so cant wait.

Now you’ve got a second album of material to pick your live set from – have you been changing the song selection between shows or do you have a good idea of the songs you’d like to keep in and drop from your set?
We have a pretty good idea, although its nice to know we can mix it up whilst on tour. We are not pro enough to just have one set. We usually write the set list ten minutes before we go on.
The video for ‘Light It Up’ is a bit of a departure from the promos from ‘Box of Secrets’. What’s the inspiration behind the video?
You know what – we are really not keen on most of our earlier videos because we kinda didn’t have a clue back then and we just went with other peoples ideas… which is weird even saying that because we are such control freaks in everything else.

So when this album was in the making we decided that everything completely had to come from us. So we made sure that the first two videos fitted in with our songs and the artwork. We also didn’t have stylists or any of that shit and we just turned up looking like us. GUESS WHAT? we like it so much better and its way more us than anything we have done.

The light it up video is pretty much about destruction which the song is about. We passed ideas around with the director James Lees and he had such similar ideas it was perfect.

 Previously, you’ve spoken strongly with anti-facist groups like Love Music Hate Racism.  Do musicians become role models when they pick up an instrument or step up to a microphone? With an election looming, do you think bands should be encouraging people to get out there and vote?
Ultimately we are a band. And what comes first for us is our music. Along the way if things like Love Music Hate Racism which are good causes come to us and ask us to help, then naturally we will do our best to. I think you can become role models to certain people and so it can make a difference. If bands feel strongly about voting then yeah I think thats cool if they want to encourage people. I mean, Steve and I will vote for sure.  
Can we expect to see Blood Red Shoes make some festival appearances in the UK this summer?
Yes, I should think so – but what festivals they are we don’t know yet. 

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]