Distance is sometimes necessary. After a never-ending rollercoaster cycle of album-tour-album-tour-and repeat reached its climax with 2014’s self-titled record, the duo behind Blood Red Shoes were exhausted.
In need of a break, from each other as much as the music business, Laura-Mary Carter escaped to Los Angeles while drummer/vocalist Steven Ansell remained behind.
Four years elapsed, and it seemed that might be that for the Brighton band. However, last year brought a reunion at The Great Escape as well as two banging surprise singles.
Now, with a fifth record ‘Get Tragic’, boasting a synth-heavy new sound, finally set for release and a sold-out tour, Upset caught up with Laura-Mary before their intimate Brighton warm-up show…
So, you’re back! How does it feel?
Yeah, we’re back… I was talking about it with my friend; it’s really weird. On the one hand, it’s like my normal life, but actually getting back into it is a little daunting in a way.
Did you think you were done with Blood Red Shoes in 2014?
I wasn’t properly done, certainly not done with music but I was questioning Blood Red Shoes personally. Literally, from the age of 18 onwards, I was touring non-stop and never had a break. And when we weren’t touring, we were recording – and having always been a DIY band, there is always so much more stuff you have to do. There’s so much bullshit that goes with it, it kind of dragged me down. Steve and I hadn’t any time apart; we couldn’t ever have private lives. It got to the point where I thought, if this carries on I’m going to combust.
So you moved to LA?
Yeah, I didn’t have anywhere to stay. I went initially for a month; then it turned into three months, then I ended up staying there. In LA, there were so many more ways to collaborate and do interesting things, and for me, I needed to go off and do that with different people. I’ve only ever played with a drummer; you know what I mean?
How was it over there? A bit more glamorous than Brighton?
I found it really easy to just go and make music with people and try stuff! I ended up pitching songs for Rihanna, and doing a Pixies cover for the Game of Thrones soundtrack – it never got used in the end for legal reasons, but it was really cool. It actually gave me a positive feeling about music again at a time when I was down about it all.
Who got in touch with who?
I said to him, “Look, come out here. Maybe we should be in a new place, I’m doing this thing, and it’s giving me ideas.” He came out, and we stayed in a house with a lo-fi studio in a garage. We just started writing, that’s when we wrote ‘Eye To Eye’. Some of the recordings from the album are still from that garage.