“If I could rule the world, I’d take the profits out of the hands of the few people that hold all the resources, and find a way to give that back to the people so that we can live comfortably. I know people say ‘oh, you’re just dreaming, that couldn’t happen’, but… If we all wanted it a different way it could be possible. We have the resources to feed, clothe, educate every human being in this world, but 10 billion eyes and we still can’t see the whole picture and we’re just blindly destroying this beautiful gift of a world instead.”
Following the huge critical success of their debut LP Memories Of The Future, She Drew The Gun’s Louisa Roach is gearing up to hit the road for the band’s first UK headline tour. Spearheaded by provocatively politicised singles Pit Pony and Poem, it’s an album that’s been touted as an easy contender for record of the year with its effortless weaving of increasingly relevant lyrics with lo-fi guitar riffs and a pared back percussive tempo – all created under the watchful eye of The Coral’s James Skelly.
She Drew The Gun originally started as a vehicle for Roach as a solo performer, evolving over time into a full band since its foundations began in 2013 (Sian Monaghan, Jack Turner and Jenni Kickhefer join her on drums, guitar and keys respectively). As the sole songwriter, Roach draws on her own experiences of our society, self-scrutiny and drunken reflection; listen to the album, and you’ll discover it’s something she carries off with equally thoughtful and sympathetic aplomb. “Our songs definitely have a political side to them,” she tells me. “I write what I see, and what I see is things getting harder for people when they should be getting easier.”
Citing John Lennon as the biggest songwriter to influence her, Roach reflects, “he wrote about everything – from love to war to anything that was happening in the world – expressing every kind of human emotion. For songwriters to do that in a clever way or in a simple way is kind of what I look up to.” With their similar political musings, shared Liverpudlian heritage and a clear dissatisfaction for those in authority, it’s easy to draw comparisons between the two. Luckily, Roach isn’t one to pander to those sorts of pressures. “I like that people get different vibes from our music, but I don’t feel any pressure to be as big as, say, PJ Harvey or Portishead [who Radio 1’s Edith Bowman compared them to earlier this year], I’m just going to keep on writing and see what happens really. But it is nice – it’s a compliment.“
With songs covering a wealth of the issues Roach sees every day, including homelessness, unemployment and the nine-to-five daily grind, Memories Of The Future arrives at a time where Roach fears Britain is becoming increasingly consumerist and politically delicate – something that her songs demonstrate needs to change. “The status quo wants to keep things the way they are but there’s a mass movement of people that are going against that and want change. I write about it in my songs but I write what I see. I don’t have any great political statements but I just kind of think that what’s happening on a bigger scale is that we’re becoming kind of corporate. Everything’s becoming taken over by corporations and I think that while we’re progressing as humans with all this technology, we should be using it to make our lives better.”
She Drew The Gun play Brighton’s Prince Albert on Tues 18 Oct (which is coincidentally Louisa Roach’s birthday)