The Kaje talks concrete goals to Blood Red Shoes

Brighton’s Blood Red Shoes are firm favourites of The Kaje, having stormed their way into our hearts with their 2008 debut “Box Of Secrets” and our personal favourite, 2010’s “Fire Like This”, the dynamic duet have redefined their sound on the beyond brilliant “In Time To Voices”. With both “Cold” and “Lost Kids” having registered on The Kaje‘s “Single Of The Week” register, we thought we were long overdue a catch up with drummer/vocalist Steven Ansell…

“In Time To Voices” has been described as Blood Red Shoes growth into a fuller sound, was this a conscious decision by the two of you?

We knew we wanted to do things a bit differently with this record. When we were writing the songs it became pretty clear that we could use the studio more than with our other songs. There was more experimenting from us. We were trying out different arrangements. It wasn’t totally conscious, but it wasn’t really like an accident either. It just seemed like the right way to go, so we went with it.

We spent a lot of time while we were writing doing some recording as well. We were trying things out, seeing what things would be like if we made them acoustic or the other way around. So when we got to make the final record in the real studio, we had worked out everything already. Our producer was of course there to help us fine tune it, but we had kind of already figured most of it out.

It sounds like your producer Mike Crossey had less control over the finished product this time…

He has probably had the least input on this record. It is the same producer as we have had on all our records. This record is probably more us than anything else we have done.

“Cold” and “Lost Kids” have been the singles to date, how do you select which tracks are single worthy?

It is usually pretty obvious. There is usually something that sets it apart that makes you think ‘that will work as a stand alone’. I think a single is like giving out a flyer for a gig. It is something you put out to hook people in and listen to the whole album. It has to be able to get someone’s attention pretty quickly.

Are they your favourite songs from “In Time To Voices”?

They are just the most instant aren’t they. They aren’t my favourite tracks those two. I would be pretty happy with any of the songs being the singles, as I love all of the songs but my favourite song is “The Silence And The Drones”. That one could never be a single as it just goes too slowly, it is too quiet for the first minute of the song.

It sounds like your approach to “In Time To Voices” has been very calculated in comparison to your earlier albums..

It is probably the clearest plan we have ever had. The longer you are around, the more idea you have about how things work. We have learnt a hell of a lot in the seven and a half years we have been about. I think that on this record you can really hear how much we have learnt about songwriting and working in a single, but we have also learnt about how to work a single and create the right impression.

Seven and a half years is a long time, how have your goals changed for Blood Red Shoes during that time?

The concrete goals of what you want to do change a bit, but ultimately all you are interest in doing is being a band. You just don’t want to suck. You have to always be honest with yourself so you can make it as good for the audience as possible. But the concrete goals change, the ones about places you’d like to play and things. It would be great if we could sell out bigger places and stuff.

What is your current goal?

We are playing Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London in October. That is the biggest headline venue we have done in the UK ever, so I am crossing my fingers that it will sell out. I don’t know if it will, but that is my current concrete goal.

Interview and Photograph by Jeremy Williams

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