Interview with Riotgrrrl Louise Distras !

Louise Distras

Photo: Louise Distras/ Kerrang

Louise Distras is the amazing girl behind the band Louise Distras. 
Her raspy but still clean voice is pure awsomeness. She has the most mindblowing lyrics, and her musicvideos are gold.

When she starts to play her guitar, all eyes are on her. 
I was lucky both to see her live and meet her at Rebellion this year, and let me tell you people: This is a star, and we 
need to spread her message to everyone! 
Her musical message is an important one, and her speach about 
punk is what you make it, its just so important for people to hear. 
With her black smokey eyes, and bloody red lips, shes 
a killer riotgrrrl. 

So heres the interview!

Can you remember when your interest for music started?

It was very early on in my childhood. 
Aside from writing my own music, I've always been a massive fan of listening to 
other peoples music. So music has always been there, I can't really remember a 
time in my life where music hasn't been the centre of my universe.

What made you decide to start playing music?

Because it's fun and expressive and liberating!

What made you choose the instruments you play and what made you want to sing in the style that you do?

up until I was around thirteen, I played a few different instruments but it was
hearing Nirvana's first album 'Bleach' that was my biggest inspiration for picking up 
a guitar and starting to write my own songs. 

How did you learn to play guitar and sing like you do?

My friends showed me how to play some chords and my voice just 
came out this way, the rest I taught myself. I don't really class myself as a 
good singer or guitar player, I just kind of do what I do and hope for the best, haha!

Do you remember the first song you learned to play? Which one was it?

I think it was 'About A Girl' by Nirvana. Probably because it's the easiest one to learn!

Which musicians have had the most impact on you? Why?

Kurt Cobain.
His music and words made me feel like I wasn't alone, and helped me to realise that 
there was a world out there that I could create for myself on my own terms.

Do you have any musicians you have learned from?

Yes, Steve Whale from The Business is my producer and mentor. He is someone 
who I admire and respect very much. He has taught me alot about music and life in general.

What does playing music means to you?

To me, music means freedom.

Can you remember and describe your very first instrument and what it meant to you?

Yes, it was a Yamaha recorder. If I hadn't picked it up, I wouldn't be 
here talking to you today. 

Photo: Louise Distras

Are you ever influenced by old records and tapes? 

Yes, I love old music and old school recording techniques. I enjoy listening to music from the past 
much more than the music that's on the radio right now. It's just got alot more soul.

Who are your favorite musicians? 

Nirvana, The Beatles, Queen, REM, Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, 
Pearl Jam, Tom Petty, Linda Perry, Roky Erickson, The Who, Iggy Pop, Pink, Nick Cave, Sting and The Police,
Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, ELO, Sex Pistols, Abba, The Clash, Courtney Love and Bee Gees.
Some unsigned musicians I really like at the moment are Colter Wall, Shabsi Mann and Brandy Row 
- check them out! 

When did you know that music was one of your missions in life?

Well I come from a very poor single parent family and when I was a child, bullies made my life a misery. 
I used to goto school everyday feeling like there must be more to life than this, 
but music was the only thing in my life that made sense to me, so that's where it all began.

How and when did you get your band together?

I released my first solo album 'Dreams from the Factory Floor' in late 2013 and have 
been touring solo around the world with my acoustic guitar ever since. 
Around a year ago, it felt like it was the right time to start playing these 
songs with a band, so I started working with some great musicians.
Recently me and my band played on the mainstage at the Rebellion Festival here in the UK,
and after the summer we will be touring the UK and mainland Europe to promote my new single 'Aileen' 
which comes out on the 30 September.

How would you describe your music style to other people?

Punk rock guitar pop!  

Photo: Louise Distras

I know you have played alot of gigs, does it ever happen that you get nervous before a show?

Yes I get nervous before every show. 
Earlier this summer I toured the USA, and the day after I flew back from Los Angeles
I was playing a festival in London called 'Camden Rocks'. I was so jetlagged and nervous 
I was puking in the bathroom five minutes before the show. It happens alot, haha!

What advice would you give to beginners who wants to start a music career?

I would say don't start playing music with the intention of having a 'career'.
If you want a 'career' it's probably best to go work in a bank!  
If your music is good then people will come to you. First and foremost it should 
always be about having fun and expressing yourself, anything else is just a bonus or a by product.

What kind of concerts do you like to go to yourself?

Unfortunately I don't have much time to go to concerts, 
but when I am not on the road I enjoy going to see my friends play shows.
Allusondrugs, Narcs, Fizzy Blood and Forever Cult are all bands I enjoy going to see, and 
I highly recommend checking them out. Their music is really good.

Have you ever gotten rejected by venues because of the kind of music you play?

...Not because of the music I play, but I have been banned from venues for other reasons. Haha! 

As a girl, have you experienced being underestimated musically?

Yes definitely, people underestimate me all the time.
I experience sexism within the music industry every single day. When I first started touring it used to 
upset me, but now I have developed my own ways of dealing with it in order to take care 
of myself. This is one of the reasons I wrote my first single 'The Hand You Hold'.
It's about not taking shit from people and living your own truth. 

Photo: Sponge Pix

Is it difficult for you to balance your music-career with your personal-life?

The answer is, I have no personal life! But I love what I do, so there's no sacrifices to be made
in order for me to continue on this path. I'm very lucky and very grateful for 
the opportunity to play music.

What is your best music related memory?

There's so many I don't know where to start!

Listening to your recordings (Dreams from the Factory Floor), I can hear you have your own sound.
Is this something you have worked hard on to achieve? 

Well every musician naturally has their own sound and I think that making a great record is 
all about capturing a vibe. 'Dreams...' definitely has a certain vibe because it was written about personal 
struggles from my working class perspective. At the moment I'm writing my second album, and because 
I've grown as a person and an artist, it has a completely different vibe altogether. I'm really 
excited about it and can't wait to go into the studio to record it!

What is the best part about playing music?

I love everything about playing music, but I think the best feeling is when other people 
connect with it and tell you that your music makes their day a little bit better. 
Knowing that you can make a positive difference is the best feeling in the world.

Photo Louise Distras

And how do you see the future for your music?

On the 30th September I will be releasing my new single 'Aileen' and a film 
I made called 'Real Outlaw - A Commentary on Rape Culture and the Riot Grrrl Movement'.
The film is free to watch and available via scanning the QR code that's printed on the back 
of the 'Aileen' CD and tour posters across the UK and EU. 
After the release of my single and the film I'll be touring the UK and EU with my band, so come see us at the shows! 
Then afterwards I'm hoping to go into the studio to record my second album, which I hope to 
release sometime next year. I will be posting more news on that soon on my Facebook page 
and website, so stay tuned! 


Thank to Louise  for the interview!

You can check out her music here: https://www.louisedistras.co.uk/

Twitter @LouiseDistras
Instagram @LouiseDistras 

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Trendkilling Music

Trendkilling Music

2, Oslo

Trend Killing Music! The title says it all, this is a blog focusing on trend-killing music, both domestic and abroad! Interviews, music review's and alternative fashion are some of the things that will be regular topics . Stay tuned !