INTERVIEW: Blood Red Shoes

Already 5 weeks into their tour, BLOOD RED SHOES talk to MADE STATIC as we all prepare ourselves for the twosome to be unleased on our shores for the very first time when they head up PEATS RIDGE FESTIVAL.

Coming off the success of their third album In Time To Voices, BLOOD RED SHOES’ inclusion was a surprising addition to the Peats Ridge Festival’s line-up if only for how strangely long it had taken for the duo to get here. 2008 the band came out of the gate strongly with their first LP Box Of Secrets, what came next was some seriously intense touring around Europe (roughly 100 shows a year) which continued through to 2010’s sleeper album Fire Like This, and now In Time To Voices, which bares singles ‘Cold’, and the title track ‘In Time To Voices’.

Sharing vocals, this is a drum/guitar heavy band with Steven Ansell manning the drums and Laura-Mary Carter on guitar. And it was the voice of that guitarist who we chatted to.

Hi, how are you going today?
Oh good thanks. Yeah I’m in Germany just on tour.

So you are coming to Australia for PEATS RIDGE Festival, have you ever been to Australia before?
I have not, no. This will be the first time and I’m really excited, we’ve been waiting to get there for 8 years. We never thought it was going to happen, that anyone was going to ask us, but finally it has happened so we are really excited.

Given the fact that you are touring a lot, does that influence your recording process? Do you tend to make some specific decisions when you are in the recording studio because you think it might work better on stage, or it wont work on stage?
Writing-wise we write a little bit on tour every now and then. In sound check we sometimes come up with something but we are never comfortable enough to attempt to write whole songs because there are people around and it can get quite intimidating, so normally it is when we have our break – which is not very long – but we normally do it when we come home. We have our studio in Brighton where Steve lives and we go down there and we spend every day that we have off from touring, writing.

So have you been recording lately?
Um, yeah we have. We recorded in America. We recorded a few songs, and yeah its been really good, and we’ve been working with the same producer (Mike Crossey) for three records, but before we went to America we wrote three songs we just thought, let’s just do it. It’s a bit like the last record, but with classic rock sounding, I’m really into it. We are trying to be as productive as we can.

Will you be playing any of the new songs when you come out?
Yeah we might be actually yeah, we may well do it. I can imagine we probably will. Our album will be coming out early next year.

You offered your first to albums for free on your website, so how do you think the growth in streaming sites like RDIO and Spotify are changing the way bands get recognition and get people to experience their music?
I think it’s a weird situation, I think it’s good thing. I don’t mind people getting our music for free on Spotify and I don’t mind people downloading my music for free because at the end of the day, no band is making money off album sales unless you’re a really, really big band. People would say you’re stealing off the artist but I don’t really believe that because we don’t make money there, we make money off playing live. If people hear your records and then come to the shows, well then that helps the band. I think it’s a way to get out there, but the only problem is that now you go on these sites and there is so much stuff that it can become quite difficult to find anything when you spend all your time trawling through music. It’s really hard for the smaller bands to actually get found. And to get people to come to your shows cause everyone is kind of spoilt. So it’s kinda shit for the bands trying to get started. Like if we were starting out now it would have been a completely different ball game. It would be really hard and we just got in there just at the right time to be making a living out of it.

What kind of music are you listening to now?
Queens Of The Stone Age (a lot!), the new The Hives record (Lex Hives), Metronomy, Tame Impala. I’m quite open actually.

Do you ever look to music for inspiration? Or do you look elsewhere?
I listen to a lot on purpose because I never want to listen to the same thing and then be recreating it. I love Queens Of The Stone Age for a start and it’s hard sometimes when I’m writing something and I’m like oh no its starting to sound like Queens… wait I love them. I still think we’ve really got to have our own sound that doesn’t sound like anything. I mean your always going to sound like something but I would rather listen to a varied music and not just be a carbon copy of a very specific type of sound.

You mentioned that you are both self-trained and have a very D.I.Y to your work, how important is that to your creative process and the band identity?
It is a pain in the ass sometimes but, like the last few days I’ve had to do some merch design, and I haven’t really felt like it. Yet, I think I would really find that hard to give up. I think that is something that we’ve always had. We started out like that; we started out as a punk band. What you do when you’re in a punk band is you do your own artwork and put on all your own shows and you know, that is all in us and it’s kinda who we are. I couldn’t imagine someone else coming in and doing stuff like the artwork and I just find it is the same reason why we still have it just the two of us, we don’t have any backing tracks, we don’t have any tricks, it’s just real.

Can you tell me what Australian audiences can expect from you two?
The thing with us is that we never have anything preempted; we just like to see what happens in the moment. But, the one thing that I can guarantee is that it will be energetic, a lot of energy. And the one thing everyone says is that it is loud. It will just be a rock and roll show

How has your live shows changed over the years?
Well it’s changed quite a bit. For starters we didn’t know our instruments when we first got together, I didn’t know a riff. We learnt together so it’s been a roller coaster but we definitely adapted. We have been a band for 8 years and we have been playing festivals so long, so we are definitely more comfortable in that scenario now.

Has anyone told you what to expect from Australian audiences?
I haven’t had any bands tell me what the audiences were like but all they keep telling me is that I am absolutely going to love it. All I have heard is good stuff about it.

Do you get to spend much time in the country?
Yeah I think we do, I don’t know yet how much but there will be some days where we get to just hang around.

Well thanks Laura for speaking with me today. I hope you have a great time when you come out.
Thanks so much, we can’t wait.

Words by Luke Letourneau