Interview – Blood Red Shoes

Blood Red Shoes recently released a surprise EP titled Ø, which I reviewed very recently. I was excited to hear more from the band as they’ve built up quite a following over the years, so I decided to have a chat with Steven Ansell (drums/vocals) to see how things are going. Find out more below!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a surprise EP titled Ø. How has the reception been so far? Why did you decide to release the EP as a surprise?

So far so good! I mean, it’s pretty hard for us to gauge the reaction because we are very much a live band and that’s always been the place we can really feel how people are connecting to the songs. We liked doing a surprise release because we are selfish and it’s more enjoyable for us that way, rather than dragging it out for ages with load of teasers. I dunno about you, but in the internet age, when I want something, I want it RIGHT NOW. So that’s how we did it. 

What can you tell our readers about the EP, for those who haven’t checked it out yet? Why did you choose the title Ø?

The EP is darker, harder, and more experimental than the typical Blood Red Shoes releases. If you’re obsessed with true crime and documentaries about serial killers as much as we are, then you’ll probably be into it. We used a symbol to name it because it allows more interpretation than using words – it has more mystery to it and is more suggestive and not definitive. We have a long list of suggestions from our fans for what the symbol means or how they interpret it. That kind of participation from our audience is a big part of what our band is, it was a very welcome surprise for us. 

Do you have any plans to release a full length album at some point?

Of course. There are many more albums coming. We’ve been a band for 17 years at this point. We’re not stopping any time soon. Making music is the fabric of our existence. 

The main single is Misery Loves Company. What can you tell us about the song, and why did you pick that song as the lead single from the EP?

This is the most straight up song on the EP, it’s very short and to the point and very very sarcastic. Rappers do diss tracks all the time, not many alternative rock bands do it. Well, we did. 

Do you have any plans to release any more singles anytime soon? If so, what are they and when can we expect them?

We’re gonna wait a little while for people to really dig into the EP before we release anything new. We might make some videos for the songs though, to add some more depth and a visual dimension to the songs. 

You’ve got some tour dates coming up soon! Are you excited? Would you ever consider socially distanced gigs?

We’ve avoided all of the socially distanced shows we’ve been asked to play. I think it would work for some artists but for us? No chance. Our shows are chaotic, loud, sweaty, messy, everyone crowd surfing… we’re not gonna play with people sat at tables like some kinda fucking cabaret act. No chance. Our approach has been to wait it out until we can play the way we like, and that’s gonna happen at the start of 2022.

Where are you most looking forward to playing? Do you have any plans to tour in Yorkshire at any point soon?

Yes on January 21st we’re coming to the Brudenell in Leeds WHICH IS ONE OF THE COOLEST MUSIC VENUES IN THE WORLD. 

What can people expect from a Blood Red Shoes gig and why do you think people should come and see you perform live?

We have been consistently told for our entire career that we are a hugely underrated live band. Since we started out, we’ve played well over 1000 shows. We are very, very good at it. Better than anything on our recordings. In fact, people who come to our gigs find that afterwards they are smarter, more attractive, spiritually richer, and absolutely fucking crush it at computer games. 

You’ve been performing together for 17 years now. What do you think is the secret to your longevity? Did you ever think you would last this long when you first started out?

We had no idea we would even be a band, let alone do this for our entire adult lives. We just got together to have a jam in 2004. Then it got a bit out of hand. Neither of us really know how we’ve managed to outlive 99% of our peers but it probably has something to do with the fact we are a pair of weirdos and have never conformed to any sort of scene or trend. We’ve always been in our own world. And we still are. 

Any last words for the fans?

Yes. We can’t wait to see you again on the tour. It’s gonna be like someone freed all the caged animals from the zoo.