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INTERVIEW: She Makes War on her Battles; Little and Big.

We've been big fans of Laura Kidd, aka She Makes War ever since we heard her individual brand of 'gloom-pop'. Her album Little Battles is firmly on our ipods at Run-Riot HQ- which actually features in one of her self-made music videos, Slow Puncture, though you're more likely to have heard her brilliant single Delete, championed by the likes of Lauren Laverne and Amanda Palmer. Like Amanda Palmer and Kim Boekbinder ( who guest edited for us when she performed in London this summer- She Makes War was her support act) Kidd is a pioneer of the DIY music scene, creating her own visual art to accompany her music, as well as wonderfully unique merchandise. We chatted to Laura ahead of her next London gig about creativity and collaboration.

RR: Why are you called 'She Makes War' ?

SMW: Because love is a battlefield.

RR:Tell us about your genre, gloom-pop.

SMW: I invented it because I wanted a descriptive phrase that summed up my music to others.

RR: What's the hardest part of being a DIY musician?

SMW: Juggling all the things that I need to do and being restricted by budgets and time.

RR: You've recently opened for some brilliant acts like Suede and The Impossible Girl, and collaborated with the fantastic Shlomo- who else would you most like to open for or collaborate with?

SMW: I have a wishlist of people I'd love to write/record with which includes Suede, Tanya Donelly, Ian Brown, UNKLE, James Mercer and Crispin Hunt (I think we'd do a fabulous duet!) and as for supporting other bands, I'm open to all sorts of things. My live show seems to fit well with all genres and my audience involvement warms them up pretty nicely for the headliner.



RR: You film your music videos yourself- is this a question of budget or are you a bit of a control freak?

SMW: I'm a visual artist creating a body of work that complements and runs parallel to the music I make. (See the behind the scenes video for Delete here.)

RR: You're based in Bristol these days- is the music scene very different from London?

SMW: It's more focused and generally better quality, and there are lots of small venues doing great things. The musicians are a lot friendlier and have been very welcoming to me, and the audiences are a lot more willing to show you when they like something. London audiences can be very hard work, though my Breakfast With Apollo gig series has proven that the context and atmosphere can completely change that. I make great efforts to make those shows very friendly and inclusive so even people coming along who have never seen me before get what the whole thing is about.

RR: Where would you most like to hold one of the Breakfast with Apollo gigs?

SMW: I love unusual spaces - Union Chapel in London and the Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol would work really well I think. Having said that, I'm excited to be working with The Islington in Angel for this show (and hopefully shows in the future) - it's a beautiful space and the people running things there are really supportive of musicians hosting their own gigs.

RR: Finally- Christmas; love it or hate it?

SMW: I used to hate it then grew indifferent, but I became an Auntie this year which changes things a little bit.

See She Makes War at her Breakfast with Apollo gig on 23rd November, tickets here.

Keep up to date with SMW's news on her brilliant blog.