The Student talks to the LIverpool four piece about the songwriting process, protest music and poetry
“Thanks to the British Government for fuck all!” announces the lead singer Louise Roach of She Drew The Gun at their first show in Edinburgh at Sneaky Pete’s. The debut album ‘Memories From The Future’, from the Liverpool four piece is a call to arms to reject apathy and to create art in the face of inequality and political adversity.
The group was founded by Louise Roach who began performing at various open mic nights and eventually gathered other musicians from the Liverpool music scene to join to the band. The current line up now includes Sian Monaghan on drums, Jack Turner on guitar and Jenni Kickhefer keys. It has been a busy year for the band, they won the Glastonbury’s emerging talent competition this year and released their debut album in April. When asked about their provocative name, Louise explains that “I didn’t want it just to be me, so it was a way of making the band bigger and it also evokes a good visual aspect to the band.” The logo for the band is a guitar and gun morphing into one, Roach explains that “it presents an interesting idea of guns and power and how you can make art to do something powerful”. The visual element of SDTG’s live show very striking with videos of protests, inspirational female artists past and present and scenes of nature projected on a screen behind them.
Roach is the primary songwriter for the band, a lot of the songs on the album explore themes of love, inequality and drug abuse often from an autobiographic point of you. When asked if she finds song writing a cathartic process Louise says, “It varies, at first it was. Things build up and something needs to get out. I’m always thinking of what to write about and always aware of getting inspiration from stuff. It’s that thing of needing to say something or needing to get something out”.
Memories from the future could be seen as a frustrated reaction to the current chaotic political climate. When asked about whether they think that referring to politics within their lyrics is risky due to its divisive nature, they say ‘ Things that are happening are so messed up sometimes, find it weird when artists are writing about the world around them that they don’t want to mention it. ’ The bassists supports this, saying he was inspired by a quote by Ken Loach that ‘if you’re not angry then what kind of person are you?’
Louise furthers this point by saying “I suppose it is risky because people don’t want to go on a night out and hear someone shout about politics. That being said some people complain about sad songs, but I like them because I’m not the only one that has felt like this.”
When recording the album the SDTG sheepishly say they were listening to a lot “cheesy music, a lot of 60s and 80s music. People who were lyrically out there and musically doing something weird”. She drew the gun definitely don’t shy away from being inspired by a variety of music that you wouldn’t expect from a psych-rock band. This is evident in their cover of the Sugar Babes ‘Overload’, which they totally made their own. During the gig they also covered Malvina Reynold’s ‘No Hole In My Head’, who was a protest singer in the 60s. SDTG adds a poetic dynamic to their live show in which Louise performs a spoken word poem between songs. These poems also have a protest feel to them in which Louise expresses the upsetting state of the nation and what should change. This happens so often in the show that Louise jokingly says “I don’t know the line between music and poetry anymore”.
SDTG have been touring all over the UK this year and say their favourite part was “seeing new places, meeting new people and making friends. Mamatung our support band also came along, so it’s been good travelling with friends. ” One of the strangest things that has happened to them on tour was a “border crossing between Belarus and Ukraine which took an entire day.
Also we’re staying at seems a bit ropey so who knows maybe tonight is going to be weirdest night of tour.” Lastly, when asked what their favourite part of making music was Louise says “making music is like going to a buffet it’s amazing. It’s so satisfying finishing a song. Then going out and playing live, being in the zone and connection with the audience is really good”. Now that they have come to the end of their tour and their plans are to “write some more, do some demos, work on new material chill out”.
SDTG are strong live performers and are exactly what you need to listen to in times of such uncertainty to give you hope for the future. Ultimately their aim is to connect to those disaffected and overlooked by the establishment to keep creating and protest for what you believe in.