She Drew The Gun is fronted by singer-songwriter Louisa Roach and uses poetic narrative lyrics to create haunting riffs and melodies. We interviewed them to discuss their UK tour, their debut album Memories Of The Future and their influence.
Interview by Jane Howkins.
First things first – you’re embarking on your first ever headline tour around the U.K. in October. How excited are you, and are you nervous at all?
Well it’s our first headline tour part two really, round one was back in April when the album was released. We’ve had a nice summer of festivals but we’re excited to be playing our own shows again. There’s always going to be a bit of nerves but that’s what pushes you to keep making the shows better.
You also released your début album Memories Of The Futureearlier this year, to good reviews. What can you tell us about that?
The album is dark, dreamy, political in places, lyrically-based and was produced by James Skelly from The Coral. It’s done really well, 6Music made it album of the day and people have been liking it. It feels great to finally have something out there in the musical world.
She Drew The Gun has technically existed as an entity since 2013, beginning as a vehicle for singer-songwriter Louisa Roach to play as a solo performer. It’s only relatively recently that you have become a full band, so to have already released a full album and be on a headline tour is impressive. Louisa – how have things changed since you originally started out?
The main way it’s changed is that it’s grown really, the two big things are that the live side of things has gotten bigger, it’s definitely been a progression in that sense. From solo gigs to Sian getting involved playing both Cajon and Bass, to a three piece with Jack on Guitar, and now to a four with full kit and Jenni on keys – its proper shape-shifted. The other big change was meeting James Skelly and getting involved with Skeleton Key Records, I think everything changes when you have someone to work with who you trust your music with and helps you to find confidence and direction as an artist.
Your new single Pit Pony has a rather interesting message to it about modern life. Can you tell us more about what that song means to you?
It’s a song about the collective human condition, it kind of looks at the state of things the way they are now, how we got here, and what possibilities the future holds.
Do you have any plans to release any more new music in the near future, or is it too soon to think about?
It’s too soon for plans, but we’re playing and writing and we’ll see what happens…
Earlier this year, you were crowned the winners of Glastonbury’s ‘Emerging Talent Competition 2016’ – how did that come about and what was that like?
Like everyone else we entered the competition in January without any expectations. We were announced for the long list in March and not long after we found out that we’d made it to the final. Us and seven other acts played at Pilton Working Men’s Club in what was probably one of the most nerve-racking gigs we’ve ever done, and then Michael Eavis announced us as the winner! We were gobsmacked to say the least and a two week high followed which was surpassed only by actually performing on the John Peel Stage a couple of months later.
Winning the competition granted you a performance slot at Glastonbury. How did you find that, and how did it compare to other gigs you have done?
The John Peel slot was Sunday morning and we arrived on the Tuesday. We played a gig at the festival every day building up to the big one and it didn’t let us down. It was unreal seeing the tent fill up as we started, the crew said it was the biggest crowd they’d had at that stage on a Sunday morning. Gigs can be great no matter what the size or what you expect from them but this one was different level.
Do you have any festivals lined up for next year?
Not yet, come and get us.
In the past, your music has been compared with that of PJ Harvey and Portishead. Are those acts that you particularly enjoy yourselves?
Yeah they are both class acts. We’re compared to so many different artists it’s hard to keep track.
Who/What would you say you are most influenced by, and are there any acts that you recommend our readers check out?
Anything really, music, films, books, something that makes you think outside the box or an interesting turn of phrase. It’s hard to pin down. At the moment I’m listening to Kate Tempest and an act I’d recommend to see live would be Mamatung, who are coming on tour with us in October.
Why do you think people should come and see you play this October, and what can people expect from a typical She Drew the Gun show?
If people like the music then they should come and see us live to get the full experience. I think playing live is a two way thing and our audiences so far have been amazing. People should come along if they wanna see what it’s about.
Any last words for the fans?
We forgive you for not buying all of our She Drew The Gun grinders on the last round of the tour. Autumn sale now on…