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September 2022

Blood Red Shoes: "The album is our attempt at shoving rock music into some new spaces"

Blood Red Shoes tell us about their new album, ahead of this month's 2000trees.
Published: 9:47 am, July 04, 2018
Blood Red Shoes: "The album is our attempt at shoving rock music into some new spaces"
It's an exciting time for Blood Red Shoes - with new material on the cards, they're also experimenting with a brand new sound.

Hey Steven, how’s it going?
Right now we’re driving through the plains of Wyoming about a third of the way through our US tour, which has been going really well so far.

It’s good to have you guys back - what have you been up to over the past few years?
Well, last year we released two new singles and played a handful of shows, but mostly we’ve been writing a lot and recording album five which we wanted to be a departure from what we’d made before, so it took a lot of time! Getting out of your habits and out of your comfort zone takes work and real inspiration, you can’t just go through the motions, and it’s something we didn’t want to rush. We intend on being a band which is around for a very long time and evolving is crucial to keeping things interesting.

Tell us about your new single, ‘God Complex’.
'God Complex' is one of the fruits of that time. Laura wrote the lyrics when she was travelling around the USA and in some crazy underpopulated town, and when she got back, we started jamming music and seeing what felt right for the theme. The music for this one was some of the fastest we’ve ever written; it came together one weekend, we recorded it, then released it about six weeks later.

Will you be airing more new material during your upcoming shows?
A little. We’re always conscious about how people first hear things - you only get one chance at a first impression, right? So having a shitty YouTube clip of us playing a new song live isn’t always the best way for our fans to hear it! We’re playing some but holding a lot back so people can hear the fully realized studio versions before the live ones. A lot of the new stuff needs us to expand to a four-piece too.

You've said you want your new music to be a departure - what’s different this time around?
Without giving away too much, we spent a lot of time experimenting with other instruments and other styles. There are two songs on the album which have no live drums on whatsoever. Rock music is incredibly stale at the moment and constantly relies on backwards looking, retro ideas, and that’s very, very boring. The album is our attempt at shoving rock music into some new spaces and taking some risks with it. If you took our most popular songs to compare, it’s unrecognisable next to those.

Is the album’s evolution a greater jump than you’ve taken previously?
By a long, long way! It’s the first album where we’ve had to ask ourselves if we even like some of it because we got so far away from our typical style. We rejected more than we’ve ever thrown away, probably about 30 songs. So far I think each record has been a slight evolution of the previous one, but this is much more of a leap of faith. It was essential to do that for ourselves, but it’s gonna be interesting to see what our fans make of it considering there are a lot of dance and electronic influences and zero punk rock stylings. It’s definitely not a minimal rock duo sound any more; it’s much more focused on groove and mood.

How’re you enjoying your time in the US? Touring over there must be great fun.
Yeah, we love it here. I think that’s partly what’s impacted the new album, broadening our horizons, seeing and experiencing new things and new sounds. There’s a cowboy spirit we relate to, a feeling of risk taking, don’t give a fuck, just do it, which is a healthy thing especially coming from such a conservative country as the UK. There’s a kind of purity and almost physicality to the way people respond to music here, it’s very emotional and way less cerebral and determined by social factors than we’re used to in our country. I see new bands in London, and everyone is trying to figure out if it’s cool to like or not....over here people just respond immediately if they FEEL something.

You’re back for 2000trees this July, is it a festival you’re particularly fond of?
Yes! Actually, they tried to book us loads of times in the past, and we were always somewhere far away and couldn’t do it. When we finally made it in 2014 for the first time, we totally loved it, so it’s gonna be great to return. We’re keeping our live stuff very sparse until we have more new music out, so it says a lot that this is one of the offers we chose to take.

Who are you keen to see on the line-up?
At the Drive In of course, then it’s always good to see friends like Turbowolf, The Xcerts, Black Boney. There’s also a cool band we’ve met from tour in Belgium called Brutus who it’ll be good to see (and probably the only drummer lead vocalist apart from me, haha).

What else do you have going on over the summer?
I can’t tell you that, yet.

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