Blood Red Shoes (Interview)
Blood Red Shoes know the value of hard work, the kind of effort that goes beyond blood, sweat, and tears. Their DIY ethos and work ethic has won them fans and golden opportunities across the world – and this year will see them take on even more challenges. I got talking to vocalist/guitarist Laura-Mary Carter about a certain upcoming UK festival, formative musical experiences, and topless rioters…
You’re set to play the main stage at 2000 Trees 2018, which kicks off in one week. How’re you feeling right now?
Feeling great! Excited to be playing again. We took a long break from it after not having any breaks for about ten years, so we are recharged and ready to go.
When you were growing up, which gigs had a real impact on you?
For me personally, I remember seeing Babes in Toyland at the LA2 (RIP) in London. I was a kid, and I remember my friend and I went together. I don’t think we were old enough, but either way we got into the show and it blew my mind.
I remember thinking “YES – you can wear a dress, scream like a banshee, AND rock the hell out!”
What was your first ever festival experience? How did it go?
I went to quite a few with my family as a child, but my first experience on my own with friends was Reading. It was a great year: PJ Harvey, Green Day, Marilyn Manson, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, and At The Drive-In – which is pretty fitting as they’re playing 2000 Trees this year.
I remember having the time of my life, but being utterly scared of the crazy shit going on in the camping area: stuff on fire, toilets being pushed over. It was wild, but a time I will never forget. I came back and immediately got ill and was on antibiotics!
Any festival survival tips?
Hmm…don’t peak too early. Spread your drinking out, and wear sunscreen.
If an elderly Daily Mail reader were to ask what you sound like, what would be your response?
Teresa May snoring.
What happened at the first gig you ever played?
We played three songs we wrote that week – and we had no words yet, so we just made some gibberish up and screamed a bit.
I still meet people who were at that show; it was weirdly a good response, so I guess they’re to blame for why we’re still here and why we stayed a two-piece.
What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened during one of your live shows?
Early on, we played Ladyfest in Brighton. We closed the festival and covered Walk Like An Egyptian by The Bangles, which made the crowd go insane – and next thing you know, a group of women start pulling their tops off and dancing topless, which caused the owner to try and stop them, which resulted in a full-blown riot.
The police were called, and we weren’t let out of the building until we were questioned.
Do you ever get nervous before going onstage? If so, what helps you deal with that?
I am always nervous; I feel it’s just part of it for me. I just take deep breaths and have a little swig of whisky or something. Once we go on I’m fine – it’s the waiting by the side of the stage that brings it on for me.
I like having nerves in a way though – it feels exciting, and also reminds me what a privilege it is to be playing to people. It never feels like going through the motions.
If money, space, and good taste weren’t issues, what would your ideal festival stage show look like?
Well, wouldn’t it be sick to just have Nine Inch Nails play for the entire day and night?
Beyond 2000 Trees, what do you have planned for the rest of the year?
Expect us to be back in people’s faces soon! First off though, we have a tour in the States followed by more stuff over there, which is always fun. But next year…world domination.
Blood Red Shoes play the Main Stage at 2000 Trees 2018 on Friday July 13.
Follow me on Twitter for updates!
Need more to read? Click below to start reading Why Do Good Bands Break Up? for free!