The front woman of She Drew The Gun talks feminism, queer love and being yourself
BY CAIT FINDLAY, IMAGE BY ROB BLACKHAM
What does music mean to you? For Louisa Roach, front woman of the alternative band She Drew The Gun, music has been an integral part of her life and connection to other people. From learning the guitar as a teenager to becoming a songwriter in her mid-20s, she describes music as her “function”.
“It can be about escapism, and it can be about celebrating the best bits in life, and it can also be about reaching out to people and speaking,” Louisa says. She talks with a soft Scouse accent, quietly and thoughtfully. “You also have big movements like the punk movement, where the whole thing about it was political.” Louisa’s music has often been called political, which is an easy catch-all to describe music with a message. For example, Something For The Pain, from the 2018 album Revolution Of The Mind, calls for everyone to have “walls for the wind, shelter from the rain, something for the hunger, and something for the pain”. The message of the song is that everyone should have their basic needs met, as well as having something to bring them joy from the day-to-day challenges of life.
She Drew The Gun is due to release a new album in October, called Behave Myself, which the band is taking on tour to 12 UK cities in the autumn of this year. A single from the record, also called Behave Myself, came out in August.
Louisa says: “I was looking at all different aspects of feminism. It’s an ongoing thing that you’re always redefining.” In the music video, the band plays with the aesthetics of an Instagram feed, switching between brightly-coloured shots which reference and question social media activism with the speed of a thumb scrolling through the app. “There’s this Instagram rabbit hole that feels like a whole society can get sucked in. I wanted to make things that looked like a twisted advert, asking the question of what are these industries around us and who do they serve?”
The song itself started as a “list poem”, which references unfair wages, overconsumption, climate change, structural violence, and intersectional oppressions, all woven together with the chorus “I will not behave myself”. For Louisa, an essential part of feminism comes from rejecting the norms that come with the territory of womanhood: “We’re supposed to act a certain way and behave and not swear and follow gender roles. But you can’t stop me, and you can’t make me behave myself.”
Since the album and the single have the same name, will the rest of the songs on the record continue in the same spirit? “It touches on a bit of climate change, it touches on how different groups are bothered by the media and the mainstream, it touches on mental health and neoliberalism,” Louisa tells me. She cracks a grin. “There is a love song or two in there. But even the love songs are about how you can’t police desire and you can’t stop people from liking each other if the spark’s there and that. So they’re queer love songs.”
Speaking of queer love, Louisa and her partner just got married at the beginning of September: “We had a 12 piece samba band walking us from the town hall to the venue along the Mersey.” As well as having that “big wow thing”, she says that it was “dead nice” to have all their friends and family in one place after the last year.
It’s been a big year for Louisa, personally and professionally as part of She Drew The Gun. So what’s next, after the album has dropped and the tour is complete? Louisa laughs. “I don’t know what the future holds at the moment. I’ve just got to do this tour and then the music could take any direction. I’ve got a new blank slate.” She pauses. “But I’m really looking forward to going on a honeymoon!”
She Drew The Gun’s new album Behave Myself will be released on 8 October 2021
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