'I am a product of forces built from centuries of oppression, so you can’t control me, and I will not behave myself'
Bethan Harper
14:23 1st October 2021

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“On Behave Myself, I wanted to go further than we’ve ever gone before”, says She Drew The Gun frontwoman, Louisa Roach. “The first album was very emotionally expressive, and the second was more punchy. So, with this one, we wanted to carry on and make it radical and bold.” And that they did. 

‘Behave Myself’ is the socially-charged new record from She Drew The Gun, which scales up the band’s already demanding sound tenfold. Sonically, the album rips through the speakers, offering listeners commanding basslines and stomping guitar riffs. But, the record occupies no single genre, “I wanted to create a melting pot, so there wasn’t only one type of song the whole way through. The record has everything from heavy guitar sounds to synth music. I always like it when an album has a pick n mix of themes,” Roach says. In doing exactly that, the band have captured a special kind of spirit, “I think through matching the lyrics with the sound, this record embodies the spirit of punk”, she reflects. 

Since forming in 2013, the band have compiled three full-length projects, each a stepping stone to the next. However, with the release of Behave Myself, there’s no doubt that this is She Drew The Gun at their most confident and least compromising. “I look at each album as capturing a specific moment in time. They're almost like time capsules now. I’m still very fond of what we did, but it’s nice to have something fresh. This is the most excited I’ve ever felt about an album release”, admits Roach. Elaborating on the journey She Drew The Gun have taken from Memories of Another Future to Behave Myself, the musician explains that the band have now found their alignment, “I think that the sentiment behind the lyrics has become clearer and, in turn, the music seems to have moved closer to that sentiment.” As a result, She Drew The Gun are steadfast, unabashed and ready for the world to hear the new record. “It has been great fun putting out little bits and seeing how everyone responds to it, but I can’t wait for people to react to the album as a whole. It feels like putting the puzzle together.” 

From feminism to political dissent, She Drew the Gun’s third album is an in your face demand for people to wake up and take notice of the inequalities surrounding them. “I really wanted to focus on how the societal mainstream pushes out other groups to make them look bad in order to make the middle look normal. In the 80s, it was very much pushed that single parents were the downfall of society, and now they’re trying to make trans people out to be the downfall of society. There always seems to be people being shoved out, so it made me ask ‘who’s next?’ ”, Roach explains. With that thought in mind, Roach penned the sonically dystopian track ‘Next On The List’, and as she sings “who do you think’s next on the list?” over celestial synths and a formidable bassline, her frustration is palpable. “There’s always going to be someone else that they push out.” 

The feminist agenda also takes a thematic front seat on the new release, “There is a very strong feminist vibe to the album, and I think Behave Myself sums that up. I almost called the project ‘Now I See the Bars of This Cage’ because that’s how I see feminism; there’s a lot of oppression and everyday sexism that you sometimes don’t even notice and people consider it normal”, the intellectual lyricist reveals. The expectation to behave oneself is a poignant concept for many women and will surely be a resonant takeaway from She Drew The Gun’s latest offering.

Expanding on her thinking behind the title, Roach continues, “For me, the phrase ‘Behave Myself’ is a way of saying, “I am a product of forces built from centuries of oppression, so you can’t control me, and I will not behave myself. The album is a demand for more freedom.” 

“I also noticed there is a big theme of literal lockdown in the album. There are a lot of mentions of cages, cells or prisons in the songs,” Roach contemplates. No doubt, these subconscious references can be attributed to the government’s handling of the pandemic and the light it shone on the institution's shortcomings, “Those little bits kind of snuck in there. I think that’s because the lockdowns showed a lot of the corruption that has been going on around us because people had the time to slow down and take a look. Hopefully, it has woken people up a little bit and will have a lasting impact on how people view what’s going on.” 

Taking such an openly opinionated musical stance is something many artists actively avoid, but it’s a conscious objective for She Drew the Gun, “I’ve always been drawn to music or art that has an extra layer to it myself. The stuff that really makes me go, ‘Oh, that’s really good’, is the stuff that makes me think about society. So, that’s probably why I’m drawn to creating that type of music myself.” So, it’s no surprise that disenfranchisement, failing government structures and social unrest are key concepts on Behave Myself. However, Roach also explains that she didn’t set out with the intent to cover any specific topics, “There was never a grand plan to write about anything in particular at the start of this album. I’m just very interested in the different worlds we could have had if things had been different, and this is what came of it.” But, despite the themes of frustration and oppression that run throughout Roach’s writing, hopefulness still shines through. “I just always try to come at my writing from a class-conscious perspective and highlight the issues around the 1% and the elite. I just wanted to focus on the fact that we don’t have to put up with it if enough of us decide not to”, Roach concludes with unfaltering optimism.

Behave Myself is out 8 October on Submarine Cat Records.

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