Keeping their music full of integrity and heart seems to be at the forefront of the agenda for psych-pop outfit She Drew The Gun.
She Drew The Gun has gone from strength to strength since winning Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent competition last year. Starting as the brainchild of guitarist and vocalist Louisa Roach, the project has become a home for her collaborative projects with other musicians and generally boasts a sentimental lyrics-driven affair, with soft pop instrumentation as the back-drop.
I’m drawn to artists with a political streak and inventive lyricism on the songwriting front.
Sapphire: Firstly, I’d like to ask how you guys know each other, and how long you have been making music together.
Louisa: It’s been a bit of an evolution really. I started off She Drew The Gun on my own in 2013, going out, doing solo gigs and making home recordings. I knew everyone from various music things or groups of friends and one by one asked them if they wanted to get involved and they did.
Sapphire: I can see that you’re from Wirral, near Liverpool. Are all the band members from there, and how did growing up there affect your early relationships with music?
Louisa: No it’s just Jack and I that are from the Wirral, Jenni is from Liverpool and Sian is from Winchester. She’s one of those people who came to Liverpool for uni and stayed because it’s so boss, but she’s sacked us off for London now like, haha. I think when growing up in Merseyside you’re bound to hear a fair bit of The Beatles, so I think people get some good songwriting down them at a young age.
Sapphire: Who are your biggest musical influences?
Louisa: It’s hard to say. I listened to a lot of country music like Patsy Cline with both my nans when I was a kid so I think there’s some of that in there. John Lennon is my favourite songwriter. I’m drawn to artists with a political streak and inventive lyricism on the songwriting front.
Sapphire: What’s your favourite album from the last 10 years?
Louisa: Tame Impala Lonerism is up there.
Sapphire: I’ve seen your sound classed as ‘psych-pop’. Would you agree with that? What do you describe it as?
Louisa: I’d agree with that to an extent. It has psychedelic elements to the sound and a pop element to the songs but mostly just because they are songs with a verse and chorus structure. It’s not really rock or folk either, but it’s closer to Britpop than modern pop. I think it’s just about having your own understanding of songwriting and what a pop song is and messing with it to come up with something interesting.
Sapphire: I’m really inspired by how lyrically radical some of your tunes are. It’s rare to hear such relevant political content from a modern British band. ‘Poem’ seems to be a direct challenge to current British government. Is the message in this song close to your own hearts, and how did the song come about?
Louisa: Yeah it’s close to my heart – you don’t really write something like that unless you mean it. I read an article about the police moving people off the streets in London to make the place more appealing to tourists and I was just like: ‘how fucked up is that?’ I started writing this poem and just kept coming back and writing more. It turned into a massive poem, so then eventually I thought: why not turn it into a song?
Sapphire: Are any of you actively engaged with politics outside of your music?
Louisa: It’s not really outside of music but personally I’ve been doing a few gigs to support Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign, doing spoken word and music along with poets, musicians and comedians that want to do something to support him.
Sapphire: You certainly have a strong and growing fan base, but you still aren’t affiliated with any big record labels. Is this a political thing?
Louisa: Not really no, but maybe it’s a good fit. I signed to Skeleton Key because I wanted to work with James Skelly as a producer. It’s a small label with a family feel, and no big budgets, but the album has done well for itself.
Sapphire: Do you see your music becoming commercially successful on a wider scale, or do you think it will always appeal to an underground audience?
Louisa: I would hope that it can reach a wider audience but not on a massive scale. When you write songs they are like your babies and you just want them to reach their potential and get heard by as many people as possible.
Sapphire: Finally, where has been your favourite place to play so far, and where are you most looking forward to playing on your October tour?
Louisa: I’m really looking forward to starting the tour in Brighton. It’ll be our first headline show there and it’s on my birthday. London and Liverpool are always boss, and we’re really excited about hitting the festivals in Cardiff and Bristol.