Interview – Blood Red Shoes

In the midst of recording their second album, guitarist Laura-Mary Carter sheds light on the band’s history, the U.K. music scene and how some fans faint during their deafening shows

Blood Red Shoes


In what way is Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire related to your band’s name?

Our name came from a story about them. They were in a film together and Fred Astaire was making Ginger Rogers go over and over some dance routine. So everyone left her to get on with it on the set and when the director returned, he thought she had changed her white shoes into red ones. But actually it was blood on her shoes. She had danced so hard, her feet had bled all over them. So we thought it was the perfect name for us because we hope you dance so hard watching us, that your feet bleed.


How would you describe your sound?

Loud, heavy, dancy and rock n’ roll.


One thing about your music is it breathes incredible chemistry. How did you and Steven meet?

We met a long time ago. We were in other bands before that and kind of played in the same scene. I lived in London and Steve lived in Brighton, which wasn’t very far away. So we would go to each others shows, and then we would email each other about music and stuff. One day we decided to have a jam and I got on the train to Brighton. We then wrote a song and never looked back. That’s how we are a two-piece, we never intended to be but because we worked so well together, we just stayed that way.


Was it tough trying to come up with a sound both of you want to emit?

No not at all. We like similar stuff, but we just jam and we seem to both know when it clicks. Our writing is really organic because we have never sat down and said we want to sound like this or that. We just see what comes out and because of that, I think we have a distinctive sound now.


Will you guys ever consider adding a few members to the band or is this it?

We probably at some point will have people play like a cello or a violin, or something like that. You know, come on stage and guest with us, but definitely not any new members. I can’t see that ever happening. It wouldn’t be Blood Red Shoes with anyone else. It would be a totally and completely different band.


When and why did you start to learn how to play guitar?

I played piano for a bit but soon found out that I couldn’t play music by guitar grungy bands on there. I then started a band with my friend at school. I was the singer and she was the guitarist. She was having lessons at the time. Then after a while we decided we should get another guitarist, but no one we knew could play so I just borrowed my friends guitar and tried to learn. I got a book to learn a few basic chords and then it just went from there. I just played along with my CDs and ending up never taking a lesson.


Who influences you as a musician?

PJ Harvey, Josh Homme, Courtney Love, Kat Bjelland and Brody Dalle to name a few.


What were you listening to back in high school?

Definitely Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine, Hole and Babes In Toyland.


Is there one record out there that you would marry if you could?

Awwwh that’s so hard. Maybe Q and Not U’s No Kill No Beep Beep or My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless.


Has the music scene in England changed since you guys formed back in 2005?

Yeah it has, a lot. There is always a new trend. At the moment its bands that dress in black and sing about death. They are all pretty bad in my opinion. The thing about England is that there are so many bands, and people get bored fast. So things come in as quick as they go out. We try to ignore most of it, and just play whatever. When we first started in the music scene, it was mostly indie boy bands from up north. They are still around, but the female solo singer has now taken the lead. The underground scene is sort of the same, although all the new bands sound like new age. Which is not a bad thing I guess.


Are you and Steven pleased with your debut, Box Of Secrets?

Yeah we still love it. We think it does all the things a debut album should do: be relentless and in your face. We are currently in the studio recording our next one now though, and we are really excited about it. Hopefully it gets released early next year. It’s going to be a step up from the first as its more dynamic and varied.


What do you guys hope to accomplish with the sophomore release?

We hope that it’s a step up from the last one and that people can finally see we are a unique-sounding band. That way they don’t ever have to mention other two-piece bands when they’re talking about our sound.


What has influenced you two the most while writing in the past while?

Just stuff to do with our lives. Day to day feelings we have about something or someone. Its always a reference to something because we always write our songs with meaning.


You two are known for your love of playing live gigs, do you think you’ll ever record a live album?

Yeah maybe. We like the idea of doing a live video for a single. So who knows!!


How have fans and the like reacted to you shredding their eardrums during live performances?

They seem to like it because we get stage invasions at nearly every show. Its become some kind of tradition at our shows now. Someone has asked for their money back at a show though, because his girlfriend fainted because we were too loud!


What are your thoughts on the music swirling around the U.K. these days?

In general I don’t like much new music from the U.K. I think everyone has this thing at the moment with electro music that sounds 80s. I just love things with guitars too much to ever truly get into that stuff.


One thing that seems to be on the rise in the U.K. are female musicians who sing, but also play different instruments (i.e. you and Charlotte Cooper of The Subways). Do you think this is becoming a trend?

I am not sure its just a trend. Maybe record labels picking up solo female singers with a guitar is at the moment. But I guess more girls are in bands now as its become more accepted. Even though there is still a lot of sexism, it is getting better. There are more girls in mainstream bands now which means other girls are starting to realize they can do that too.That’s kinda why all the artists I mostly like are bands from the riot girl scene or grunge eras because they were the only bands I knew of with girls that played punk music. To this day, they still inspire me.


So ultimately, are girls just trying to take over rock n’ roll?

Girls invented it.

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