Headline picture: www.facebook.com/ldistras
Young and quirky singer, who does not mince words regarding anyone or anything. This is Louise Distras – folk punk girl, who released her debut album Dreams from the factory floor last year. Moreover, on the 12th of May, her brand new double side single “Love Me the Way I Am/ Bullets” will be released . Read our interview about what it’s like to be a punk girl, the life of young people but also about her planned gigs in the Czech Republic!
„Bold, brainy and ballsy, Louise Distras represents nothing less than the rebirth of British punk; reinvented for a new generation. She’s taking the UK, Europe, Canada – and soon America“ – Storm
Louise is “putting punk and protest back into the mainstream!” – The Guardian, BBC
My first question is fairly predictable, how did you get to the punk?
Punk rock spoke to me because I’m an outsider and punk rock showed me that there was a better world out there that I could create for myself on my own terms.
Punk is almost male discipline. I mean, there is much more male punk bands than female punk bands. Is it challenge?
Yes, punk rock is very dominated, however I don’t consider myself to be at any kind of disadvantage because I am a woman. That would be a defeatist attitude to have.
Have you ever met with some negative responses in this sense?
Yes, many many times. However if someone else has a problem with the fact I am a woman in the male dominated arena – that is their problem and not mine.
You often play only with guitar on gigs but on your new album “Dreams from the factory floor” there is more instruments than just guitar. For example Jamie Oliver from UK Subs played drums on it and Mick Talbot from Style Council played keyboards. Why did you decide to put more instruments to it. And why did you decide for Jamie and Mick?
It was a case of that the songs were telling me to add something else in order to feel complete. As far as I’m concerned, Jamie Oliver is easily one of the greatest drummers on the whole of the planet right now, and Mick Talbot is one of the greatest songwriters and keyboard players I have ever had the honour of meeting and working with. I don’t really know how they played on the record, I guess the stars just aligned at that time, maybe it was fate.
With such artists would you like to cooperate in the future?
Jeff Lynne from ELO and Tim Armstrong from Rancid. There is a new band called To The Bones, who are one of my favourite bands in the whole world. They kind of sound like Motorhead mixed with The Pixies, and soon they will release a new single produced by Dave Eringa called ‚Icy Belly‘. I would definitely like to collaborate with them in the future but I haven’t mentioned it to them because I would be too nervous – everyone should check them out for sure.
You have very interesting and almost always very angry lyrics:
A restless detention
No faith, no love
Dying for correction
Never let the hand you hold, hold you down
Who are you to say, that we should look this way?
They don’t understand that we won’t follow their command”
So are you against the rules which tell us how to look, what is good what is wrong, what is beautiful and what is ugly, what is popular and what is not? Do you create your own rules?
Yes, I just don’t believe in asking anyone else for permission to be myself or express myself and I don’t believe in living my life by someone elses rules that do not apply to me.
What is your biggest inspiration in composing music and writing lyrics?
Kurt Cobain – if I had never heard Nirvana I would have never picked up my guitar.
In one interview you said: “I’m just passing on the message of a very pissed off and disenfranchised group of young people.” What do you think is the hardest thing on being young in these days?
War, famine, apathy, poverty, fear, unemployment, peer pressure and pressure to fit in, fear of ridicule, alienation, the prospect of unemployment, homelessness etc; all the divides, oppressions and fears we face as adults also affect the younger generation. Except nobody listens to young people. Why is it a fifteen year old couple can raise a child yet be denied the right to vote? And why is it a sixteen year old boy can join the army, learn to fire a gun and goto war yet still be denied the right to vote? There is no democracy for young people. I guess I can only speak from my own experiences and try my best to pass on the experiences of those around me.
You told me that you have already been to Czech Republic, especially at the festival Pod Parou in Moravská Třebová. How Czech audience acted on you? What is for example different when you compare Czech and English audience?
Yes and I also played at the Mighty Bar in Prague. I love playing in Czech Republic, the Czech audiences are amazing and totally crazy.
Do you plan any other gigs in the Czech Republic?
Yes, I’ll be playing at Cross Club in Prague on 27th April with Kevin Seconds.
Uk and European dates:
19 April Endless Pain Tattoo Festival @ Markthalle, Hamburg (Germany)
20 April Endless Pain Tattoo Festival Afterparty @ King, Hamburg (Germany)
22 April Kulturbrucken Jungbusch, Mannheim (Germany)
24 April ISC Club, Bern (Switzerland)
25 April Prokontra, Hohenems (Austria)
26 April Bar Irreal, Aulendorf (Germany)
27 April Cross Club, Prague (Czech Republic)
28 April Club Pamela, Torun (Poland)
30 April Subway To Peter, Chemnitz (Germany)
1 May Myfest, Berlin (Germany)
2 May Gladhouse, Cottbus (Germany)
8 May Mello Mello, Liverpool (UK)
9 May Wharf Chambers, Leeds (UK)
23 May Strummercamp Festival, Manchester (UK)
24 May Bearded Theory Festival, Derby (UK)
25 May Nice & Sleazy Festival, Morecambe (UK)
30 May Ruhrpott Rodeo Festival, Hunxe (Germany)
20 July Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival, Tolpuddle (UK)
24 July Le Bonk, Helsinki (Finland)
25 July Työväen Musiikkitapahtuma. Valkeakoski, (Finland)
26 July Karma Rock Festival- Harjavalta, (Finland)