A Conversation With… Louise Distras

At the end of April, I had the chance of chatting to Louise Distras not once but twice. It was a little surprising, to say the least as I forgot that I had requested an interview with her at the festival but having a chance to speak to her is always an opportunity in itself because I could listen to her stories for hours but this time, we did get down to the good stuff, such as juicing.


Louise: Hello, My name’s Louise Distras again, I’m from Wakefield, again but I’m in Selby today and happy to see you again.

Jack: Again, again again but I’m glad to see you here and confession; I didn’t get to see you set the other night but I’ll be able to tonight.

Jack: So since last we spoke, you’ve had a few more tour dates.

Louise: That’s right, we’ve been up to Glasgow, Hull, Birmingham and now, here.

Jack: Is there going to be any surprises for this one?

Louise: Well every shows a surprise, even I don’t know what’s going to happen when I’m on stage so your guess is as good as mine.

Jack: And how have those shows been going down?

Louise: They’ve been absolutely brilliant and more than I could’ve ever hoped for. What we were talking about before was when I was recently recording my new album over in California, this tour has been a warm-up for the album release which comes out after the summer, it’s been a good opportunity to show the true hardcore fans what to expect on the tracks when it comes out so there’s been a lot of true believers but there’s also been a lot of new faces so it’s been great to see a lot of people come out in the name of music.


Jack: And has there been any more juicing going on behind the scenes?

Louise: There has, as a matter of fact.

Jack: And what would you think is the oddest thing to juice?

Louise: I don’t know what would you juice?

Jack: Avocados if you can juice them.

Louise: Juice your onions, give it to your frenemies.

Jack: Just see them cry?  And then be like, wait for it, what’s wrong?

Louise: Put a bit of blackcurrant in there to colour it a bit

Jack: Not a bad idea there.

Louise: Actually that reminds me, one thing that did happen was I got banned from an interview. I got asked to do an interview for a pro lib publication, bearing in mind I tactically voted for labour in the general election last year as well because they’re the lesser of two evils and we talked about youth, art and censorship and I’m pretty sure I said in the interview the other day I believe art universally opposes authority and I guess they didn’t like what I had to say so they banned the interview from their publication. So the interview on censorship got banned from an outspoken liberal publication. What do you think to that?

Jack: Well I’ll have to censor myself later, I think that’s a load of boll***.

Louise: I don’t think any kind of censorship is good and self-censorship is worse because it means we’re politicking ourselves and each other. I’m all for freedom of expression, speech and celebrating art and music and people from all different backgrounds coming together for leaving all their bullshit at the door, all their worries behind of the past week of their lives to have a good time.

Jack: And another reason to come down and have a good time.

Louise: Exactly so that’s the good thing about festivals, they optimise everything,  they bring people together and it’s great that we’re here for the last night of the tour in Selby. And I think ithink as well, I’m not too far away, not everything happens aeound this part and the last time I did anything in sleby which was when I did another interview for channel 4 when kellinley coilery got shut down which isn’t too far away from here and we were discussing everything about how the community had lost generational jobs which is a sad thing when you’re a young person growing up, the tution fees are high, there are no jobs to go to so for the pile up promoters to bring this here is brilliant.

Jack: I was speaking to Adam earlier, he’s from Goole which isn’t oo far away as well and one reason it’s here is that he started promoting gigs here.

Louise: It’s important for these events to happen in places such as this. Just going back to my experience of growing up in a small town where there’s nothing to do, nothing happens it was being able to sneak into those venues, to experience the music in those venues which have led me down the path I’m on now. So having these grassroots venues are really important. Today, we could play to people who’ve never seen live music before and it could change the course of their life as well.

Jack: Growing up with all these things happening, the Kellingley Colliery, with that closing down there’s a few bands around here for the kids to do so they find instruments and start jamming out.

Louise: I’ve always believed it doesn’t matter what’s happening politically or financially, it doesn’t matter how much the government keep the young people down and take away the freedom of expression but it’s that art and community and music will always find a way to overcome.


Jack: And what are you doing after, or had anything happen that has made you put plans on hold?

Louise: Nothing like that, erm.. we’ve got a week without playing any shows so I’m going to be making stuff between now and then and then the bank holiday we’ll be playing a festival which will be benefitting the homeless in Liverpool and then on the 10th may we’re at the underworld which is a part of frank turner’s festival at the Underworld which curates a lineup of acts from last year because I played last year as well, headlined the second stage of the roundhouse so we’re playing that with The Kenneths and Aylums.

Jack:  I need to get myself to a Kenneth’s show.

Louise: They’re a great band. They’re probably the poppiest and the scrappiest punk band I’ve ever seen. They’re the Ramones of my generation.

Jack: We did play a few shows with them last year which was under a banner of new punk,  a collaboration of punk and grime shows. We did a big show in London’s Boston Music Room and one at Manchester satans hollow and then we had the grime collective from Ashford in Kent come up and it was a great evening. People from different backgrounds coming together for music and I’m a big believer in that grime is the new Punk and I think that grime is becoming so powerful and mainstream that it’ll change the course of youth culture like punk rock did in the 1970’s. you know, in the Punk world it feels like there’s no room in the world of that for people under 50 but those principles of punk rock are going to crop up in other places, for example, the hardcore scene which is so integrated and inclusive, so many women in the scene and it’s the same with grime. Both those scenes are going to change the face of things in the country and when you put them together it creates the opportunity for something to happen for the young people in this country.

What do you think?

Jack: I’m just trying to take that in.

Louise: Oh I’m just thinking out loud there.

Jack: I’m loving every word that’s coming out of your mouth there. But one thing I have to ask is that your first coffee of the day?

Louise: It really is, it’s becoming a habit, but I’m more energised than I was the other day.

Jack: Is it the juice? Did you not have it the other day?

Louise: Not I did have it today actually, strangely. It had apples, ginger, carrots and cucumber.

Jack: Cucumber?

Louise: Yeah, you can juice a cucumber.

Jack: What are you looking forward to about the set tonight?

Louise: I’m always looking forward to playing music and this tour has been amazing because I’ve had my band and my crew with me. So it’s like a travelling carnival of weirdos so we’re the Addams family. We came up to 2000 Trees and everyone else was all nice and clean looking and fashionable and we turned up and we looked like the Addams family. We read a review saying seeing Louise Distras was the most punk rock thing they’d seen the whole weekend. So that might be the same thing who knows?

Jack: So if you were the Addams family would that make you Morticia?

Louise: No, uncle fester. I’m Uncle Fester. But I’m looking forward to it being the last night of the tour. It’s a bittersweet experience and it’s happy and sad but I get to see my friends. There’s Millie Manders who’s on before us, she’s absolutely brilliant, massive voiced rock woman and then there is The King Blues, we’ve been on tour with them before so it’s going to be a massive night and we’ll be ready to rage, ready to take on Selby.


You can watch Louise Distras’s music video for ‘Outside Of You’ below.

A Conversation With… Louise Distras

Now at the moment, these interviews I keep getting with musicians just keeps getting better and better. That doesn’t stop here with Louise Distras, who has been named in the past as the female Frank Carter. I went up to The Cluny in Newcastle, a really lovely establishment and venue where I had the fortune of speaking to Louise whilst she demolished her first Coffee of the day.


Louise: Hey, I’m Louise Distras from Wakefield which is in Yorkshire.

Jack: And what do you do?

Louise: What do I do?

Jack: What don’t you do?

Louise: That is the question. I mean what I’m doing right now is I’m sitting here in the café of The Cluny, talking to you Jack and I’m drinking my first coffee of the day. I think it’s day ten of The Land of Dope and glory UK tour. It’s brilliant to be in Newcastle.

Jack: I always love a Newcastle gig.  Even if it means running to catch the last train.

Louise: Exactly. I think the last time I was here was actually supporting Itch from The King Blues and I was playing an acoustic show but now I’m back with a vengeance with my full band, headlining and this is like a new experience for me. My very own headlining band, it’s pretty posh, especially at Newcastle, The Cluny.

Jack: Posh? That’s a word I never thought would come out of your mouth.

Louise: Well, the first time I played around these parts, I played at the Black Bull in Gateshead so if anyone’s ever been there, this is really posh in comparison. I feel like Tina Turner.

Jack: Always a good analogy. Also, because you’re playing Pop Punk Pile Up, with Itch there it’ll be like a little reunion with you both playing on the same day.

Louise: Well actually, I was just on tour with Itch a few days ago. He just released a book called 101 Haikus. So  I had the pleasure of supporting him on the tour, so he was doing Punk and Poetry, storytelling etc. It goes back to that classic idea that you just can’t beat a good story. Just sitting around a campfire at three AM having a singalong and crying and laughing.

Jack: That does actually sound amazing! I want to do that now.

Louse: It’s what it’s all about, being young, dumb and full of…

Jack: Rum?

Louise: Yeah, and full of rum and living for the moment you know? Youth and art and creativity and the freedom of doing that opposes the powers that be you know? I’m all for it.


Jack: And you just released The Land of Dope and Glory, the single recently.

Louise: That’s right.

Jack: How was the production compared to your older material?

Louise: Well The Land of Dope and Glory is the first song of the new album I just recorded in San Fransisco in America. It was recorded with Ross Peterson who’s made records with Bruce Springsteen, The Vamps. They’re proper legitimate legends which was weird because I didn’t know that when I first went there and met him.

Jack: Did he have any of those records on the walls?

Louise: No, no. he was a very humble guy. He’s not one of those flashy music producers, that’s why I like him so much.

Jack: I was going to say, it would be pretty intimidating.

Lousie: So we went over there and we recorded twenty tracks for the new album. I mean I guess the first album was acoustic base and it goes back to what I just said, there’s nothing that beats that good old fashioned one person acoustic guitar telling stories and singing songs. That album was Dreams From a Factory Floor. It’s full of stories about being a young working-class woman growing up in a small town like Wakefield in Yorkshire but I how can I compare the first and second in that the second is a natural progression of me as an artist and a songwriter. It’s difficult to analyse yourself from the outside.

Jack: Absolutely, it’s like a couple of my friends who are young filmmakers and they look at their films they’ve made when going into a new project and they think, right. What can I do better?

Louise: I guess on the new album it just cuts so much deeper than the first. It tackles harder hitting subjects. It’s a full band record so sonically it’s different. There is more instrumentation going on and textures so there are different kinds of energy. In a nutshell, though it’s like crass meets The Beatles really and that’s all I’m going to say really.

Jack: Is that all you’re allowed to say though?

Louise: Sadly yes, that’s all I can say on the album right now.


Jack: And when you’re writing what inspires you?

Louise: I just follow a feeling. That’s all there is to it. There’s no formula, just feeling.

Jack: What’s one of the oddest feelings you’ve had for writing a song.

Louise: I wouldn’t consider anything being odd. When one’s being creative having a gift to be creative is just a natural privilege. To be able to go to outer space and write a song and bring it back to earth and to share that message with people and for them to hear it and not boo you off stage it’s a pretty good feeling.

Jack: Thankfully I’ve never seen someone be booed off stage before.

Louise: I’ve been booed and heckled but I’m pretty sick and twisted so I kind of like it so it’s all good. Any reaction is a good reaction.

Jack: Even if it’s a bad one, I think it’d be okay,

Louise: Even nowadays to get any reaction is a great thing full stop.

Jack: Have you ever heard of this film called The Room that came out in the early 2000’s? it’s a famously bad film that just has this reputation for being so bad it’s good. The reaction was just incredible.

Louise: Yeah, treading the fine line between punk rock greatness and garbage.

Jack: That would probably me if I ever go into music. I mean I can’t really play at two in the morning when I can’t sleep. I mean I could but not too many people would be happy about it.


Jack: On festival lineups. 45% of festivals have pledged to achieve a 50-50 balance by 2022. What do you say to that being a female musician?

Louise: I feel like as long as people are asking me what it’s like to be a woman in rock then they’re not asking about what it actually feels like to be an artist and what the creative process is like. It’s basically like as a woman in music, people ask me constantly what it’s like to be a woman in music so I say what’s it like to work in radio and have a dick? It’s just a bit of ridiculous question. The way I see it is just you know? Being female isn’t a genre and I feel like musicians are just musicans and sorry I’m just thinking  for a second… I’m just sick of being asked what’s it like to be a woman you know what I mean?

Jack: Sometimes if I word it the wrong way, I don’t mean to cause offense.

Louise: Oh no, I know you don’t. it’s just something I just get asked about in every single interview and when I first found music being a woman or a young girl was never something that crossed my mind. I idn’t think of it being a disadvantage in any way, shape or form. But the more that I played music, the more that I was around musicians and in the gig environment and doing press, the more the people started to enjoy my music, the more I was I was starting to be told by other people that it was a problem that I was a woman in the male arena playing rock n roll music. So I just thought to myself, if you think it’s a problem, then that’s fine, go away and think it’s a problem but I’m never going to think of myself having a disadvantage because I’m a woman. And for any other young women out there that listen to my music or are fans of music that want to get involved in music. The last thing I would say is that it’s a terrible thing to be a woman in music, that’s it’s a disadvantage and that we’re all victims and playing to that narrative but actually but being a woman and being in music is brilliant. It’s the best thing in the world. I could think of a lot of more difficult things to do than being a woman playing rock music. For example being a single mum or being unemployed or working in a factory, or being a nurse or a police officer. There’s just so many harder things in life than music. That’s all I have to say, it’s brilliant.


Jack: And for the tour, you have The Pearl Harts on tour with you. How did that come about?

Louise: Well, I’m a massive fan of The Pearl Harts. They’re brilliant. It’s the same thing that they’re absolutely talented. Sarah is an absolutey incredible drummer, she’s like the female John Bonham. And then Kirsty, I’ve never seen anyone shred like her. They just get on with it. They just get up there, shred the hell out of their instruments, put on great shows, rock the hell out of their instruments, write great songs and they let the music speak for itself. And I’m a big fan of it. They’ve just killed it on every single night of this tour. They’re just brilliant and a great laugh to hang out with. In the dressing room and after the shows, we’ve just had so much fun. So we’re all about the rock and roll sisterhood but it’s definitely a case of what Courtney Love says; “Don’t date the football captain, be the football captain”. That’s the sort of vibe we have going on.

Jack: And that’s exactly what you do.

Louise: I stole it off Courtney love.

Jack: I might just have to steal it myself sometime.


Jack: I did actually get to one of The Pearl Harts headlining shows in Middlesbrough a few weeks ago and they just came on stage and it’s like you said, they shredded it. They were bloody fantastic.

Louise: I’m a big believer in just writing great songs and playing rock and roll and keeping it real. If you making a noise about stupid issues, you’ll be over compensating because your songs aren’t very good. And it’s that whole thing about needing sex to sell your product then it’s not going to go down well, it’s not going ot be very good. So that’s sort of my thoughts on that really.


Jack: And when you’re not turing what do you like to be doing apart from drinking coffee?

Louise: When im not on the road, I’m usually writing songs, recording songs, demoing songs, chatting to very polite young men from student radio, doing other interviews, having meetings. It full on all the time but it doesn’t feel like work or a chore and it’s aprivlidge to live a musical life. It really is. I just don’t take it for granted and I have zero complaints.


Jack: What’s next for you after the tour and festivals?

Louise: That’s a good question. Crinkey. Well, it’s going to be a case of writing and recording more music inbetween festivals over the summer and then releasing the album after the summer and then touring, touring and more touring and writing and recording and more touring and hoping to be able to keep it up for as long as possible really. It’s been all about writing these songs, going out there. Even if you do get booed off stage you’re still living the dream and you can still go home and put food in the fridge.

Jack: What would be in that fridge?

Louise: Erm.. well I’m sorry to disappoint, but we don’t have any cocaine or rum actually. We have no kittens, blue M&M’s, it’s boring stuff like tea and coffee, brown bread.

Jack: What sort of tea would that be?

Louise: Earl gray. Matt, the bass player really like that. We sometimes get PG Tips, Tetley.

Jack: As long as it’s a decent brand.

Louise: Yeah, we’re all about good tea.

Jack: We also like Humus, salad and actually, I don’t know if any band does this, we’re all closet juicers. We’re really into juicing. We watched this documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Check it out if you haven’t watched it. Its all about the fat, chemicals and all that which they put into food that make us sick and it relates to the healthcare crisis and all that. We wathed that and we said we’re never eating fast food ever again. Especially on tour. So we ask for fruit, fruit and veg and we get the juicing machine out and make something every night and morning vefore we get in the van.

Louise: Sounds like a grat way to start the day.

Jack: Absolutely. We’re two weeks in and we’re full of beans. Juicing is the way to go. Rock n roll juciing at The Cluny.

Louise: You should try and get that trending on Twitter.

Jack: Rock and roll juicing?

Louise: Diefinately. Maybe that could be my vlog. Backstage rock and roll juicing with Louise Distras. I’ll start my own series.

Jack: I’d watch the hell out of that.

Louise: Would you?

Jack: Oh you’d be surprised what an audience would watch. Me, I think this is odd but it’s awesome.

Louise: I think Joe Rogan’s got a punk rock fishing show. He can do punk rock fishing, I can do punk rock juicing and that’s it.

Jack: Then do a crossover and do eachothers thing one day.

Louise: I’d drink to that.

Jack: I would as well but it’d just be water.


Louise Distras still has a few tour dates left before the carnage of the summer festivals.

Here are the dates.

April 2018

25th – Glasgow Audio

26th – Hull The Polar Bear

28th – Birmingham The Castle and Falcon

29th – Pop Punk Pile Up Festival, Selby

May 2018

7th – Liverpool Smithdown Road Festival

10th – London The Underworld


You can watch Louise Distras’s latest video for Land of Dope and Glory below.


Louise Distras Announces UK Tour for April 2018!

Another great tour is coming this year.

British Punk singer/songwriter Louise Distras just announced she’s embarking on a headlining tour of the UK throughout April, which will coincide with her upcoming record.

Support will come from the duo known as The Pearl Harts who’ve also got their record set for a February Release.

Here are the dates.


11th – St Albans, The Horn

12th – Newport, Le Pub

13th – Stowmarket, John Peel Centre

14th – Tunbridge Wells, Forum Basement

15th – Southampton, Joiners

17th – Nottingham, Bodega

23rd – Stoke On Trent, The Underground

24th – Newcastle, Cluny 2

26th – Hull, The Polar Bear

28th – Birmingham, Castle And Falcon

Tickets for the dates are on sale now and can be purchased via her official website.


Slam Dunk Festival Announce Lineup For Another Stage

Slam Dunk Festival is incoming soon!

But that hasn’t stopped the festival announcing another full stage for the festival.

Slam Dunk has announced The Uprawr Stage with Acoustic Performances coming from:

I Am The Avalanche

Nightmare Of You

Grumble Bee

Louise Distras

The Lion And The Wolf

Lizzy Farrall.


They join the likes of Enter Shikari,Don Broco ,Against Me, Tonight Alive and more for the festival at the end of May.

Here’s the full breakdown.