Louise Distras

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The SugarBuzz Interview
By Lucky (SugarBuzz Hollywood)

Louise Distras is a source of salvation. An artist that’s honest, real, and genuine. Uplifting encouragement both in words and melodies, her new release entitled “Dreams from the Factory Floor” is a musical milestone. The messages within flow like life’s blood through our beating hearts, radiating hope.  Louise’s self confidence, talent, and her “never give up” attitude is infectious and a shining example. “Dreams from the Factory Floor” is a triumphant punk rock manifesto that I encourage you to seek out and be empowered through the music.

Where were you born, and what were the conditions of your upbringing? Were you happy as a child? Were you popular at school, or perhapsLouise Distras Press an outcast?

I was born in Wakefield, an ex-mining town in the North of England that was destroyed by the British Conservative government in the 1980′s. Brought up in a single parent working class family, everyday was a battle for survival in the struggle to keep the roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food on our dinner table. Growing up I was bullied at home, and bullied at school so I would be lying if I said that I was mostly happy as a child. But then again, if I had been happy as a child then maybe I wouldn’t be here talking to you. Everything has its silver lining for sure.

At what age did you discover you had a penchant for performance?

In one way, shape or form I’ve been performing my entire life. I think that we are all performers in a way, whether it be the mask someone wears when they go to work to say “I am ok”, or at school to deter bullies – appearances can be deceiving. So that’s why I wrote the track ‘Love Me, The Way I Am’, it’s a call for people to stop performing, a call for love and acceptance for who we all truly are regardless of race, gender, class…whatever. We’re all just fine the way we are and nobody deserves to live their life in fear of prejudice.

Please share your first punk memory.

Everyone has their own way of defining punk rock and what it means to them. Me, I have just always viewed something as being either right or wrong. Throughout my whole life, if I have ever viewed something as being wrong I have always spoken out against it and it’s got me into alot of trouble.

I detect a multitude of influential musical styles in your compositions, were you exposed to a large variety of music growing up, and if so, whom or what was the source of such exposure?

For sure, my Mum used to play bands like Electric Light Orchestra, and The Bee Gees when we cleaned the house on a Sunday and their songs definitely rubbed off on me as well as my love of ironing.

WhoLouise Press 1 or what was your first love?

My guitar.

At this stage of your life, what would you consider to be your greatest loss?

Loss is just a part of life, so I guess it’s best to just remain philosophical. However, it’s easy for me to say that because I have nothing to lose.

Name someone who has had the greatest influence on you and why?

My producer Steve Whale, because he is fearless.

Do your lyrics ever convey reoccurring themes?

Yes. “Always flip the coin.”

It has been said “Artistry leads to great suffering” Have you experienced this and if so what is your impulse to continue?

Some might say that my guitar won’t ever wake up one day and tell me that it doesn’t love me anymore, but then some others might say that my guitar won’t ever hold me in its arms and tell me that it loves me when I fall asleep. Either way, I can’t think of a single reason to complain.

Have you been compared to any of your “heroes” and if so what was your reaction to the comparison?

As a result of my upbringing I rejected the idea of having role models or sheroes because all I ever wanted was the space to be myself without prejudice. Discovering Punk rock and teaching myself how to play guitar at the age of thirteen empowered me to express myself on my own terms, and I truly believe that as long as there are kids out there that feel the same way I did growing up, who pick up an instrument and say something about the world we live in, then punk rock will never die. There have been a lot of comparisons to Courtney Love, Brody Dalle, Billy Bragg, and Frank Turner but I just view it as lazy journalism. I’m not interested in being compared to otherLouise Press 6 artists as it’s always been my intention to create rather than imitate.

What makes a man hate another man?

Ignorance, hate is born from ignorance.

We here at SugarBuzz are really excited about your new upcoming release“Dreams of the Factory Floor”. When is the release date and where can Shugsters purchase?

Thank you so much, I’m really excited for the world to hear it. ‘Dreams from the Factory Floor’ is my debut album and will be released worldwide on the 30th September via Street Revolution Records. It’s available in both digital and physical CD format from iTunes, Amazon, and my website www.louisedistras.co.uk

In addition to vocals, what other contributions to the recordings did you make? Who else performs on “Dreams of the Factory Floor” and how did your affiliation with said contributors come about?

With the exception of drums (Jamie Oliver) and keys (Mick Talbot), I played all the other instruments on the record. The opening track ‘Stand Strong Together’, also features a collaboration with my friend Jenny Woo on vocals, who is an amazing solo artist from Canada. The weirdest collaboration came about through what must have been fate. My producer Steve Whale and I were in the studio working on the third track on ‘Dreams from the Factory Floor’ called ‘Love Me the Way I Am’. The song was telling us that it needed the sound of African drums but we didn’t know anyone who could play them, so after the studio we went to a pub called ‘The Northbrook’ in South East London. As we walked in, low and behold there was a guy named Dave playing the African drums who later came down to the studio and played on the track. The stars truly aligned that night.

You seem to have become a spokesperson for the working class. What has been the qualifying factor to make you such? Have you spent time on the front lines of the “Factory Louise Press 7Floor”, or are they mere keen observations?

I just view myself a young working class woman that’s no different to anybody else, passing on the message of the disenfranchised new generation. We all share the same hopes and dreams for a fairer life and a better future, and we all have our own factory floor.

Future tour plans? What can one expect if they go to a Louise Distras show? Do you perform solo, or are you accompanied by a band?

The next stop is my October Canadian tour with The Mahones, followed by my return the mainland Europe in November/December where I feel super lucky to be sharing the stage with U.S. Bombs and Cocksparrer. The beauty of it being just me and my guitar means I can just hop on a plane or a bus, play anywhere and everywhere until my veins turn blue. Although I haven’t ruled out the possibility of playing with a band in the future, I guess you can never truly know what is right around the corner, but one thing I do know is that I never take anything for granted and that I am so lucky to be alive, living each day as it comes and passing on the message the best that I can. In 2014, I hope to be lucky enough to be able to pass on the message in the USA, Japan, Australia and Indonesia.

How about us on the American West Coast, will we ever get to see Louise Distras live?

I sure hope so!

Are there any up and coming artists that excite you?

Shannon and The Clams from San Francisco, Argy Bargy from London, and Pascal Briggs from Berlin. OtherLouise Press 8 than that, I’m sad to say no. I find the majority of the music I hear everyday to be totally insipid or a regurgitation of the past. Although I am really picky to be honest because I’m never a casual fan of any band.  Either I become obsessed with their music or I don’t like it at all, there’s no middle ground.

Just who is Johnny?

Johnny is someone that we all are, we all know, somebody that we used to know, and someone we never want to meet again.

If you could part ways with one recommendation for our readers, what would that be?

“Be yourself, everyone else is taken” – Oscar Wilde

Louise Distras