Widely praised as the new face of British punk-rock, Louise Distras heads to The Cluny 2, Newcastle this month so Reece Hanrahan caught up with her to talk about love and fury, being bullied, and running away from home.
Your latest single, ‘Outside of You,’ has been picked by Team Rock as one of the best rock songs of 2017. Why do you think this track, in particular, was chosen for such a prestigious award?
I don’t know, but it’s a big compliment! I try not to think about what other people think and just concentrate on writing songs.
Your music has been described as channelling ‘anger, hopes and fears into anthems of love and fury for yet another let-down generation’. What kind of musical legacy would you like to leave?
I think once you write a song and send it back into the universe it doesn’t belong to you anymore. It starts to mean a thousand different things to a thousand different people and how people connect is not something you have any control over – it’s a beautiful thing! So I never really thought about what kind of musical legacy I’d like to leave; it seems a bit morbid right now.
You’ve stated in the past that you felt your music was a response to being bullied. What advice would you have for anyone who is young and vulnerable and feel they are being bullied?
I have no one size fits all advice for anyone being bullied, but I do have an ear to lend.
You ran away from home at a young age. Did this teach you any important lessons? And did you feel you had to grow up quicker than the average teenager?
There are things that happened to me that made me grow up before I left home, so that’s why I ran away.
Feeling voiceless, isolated and ignored taught me that there is no democracy for young people and that when you have no future the only thing left to do is make your own.
Your influences include punk rock and bands such as Nirvana. What is it about these bands that you felt you could draw on?
I grew up listening to bands like Nirvana, Queen, The Clash, Alice In Chains, Sex Pistols and the Bee Gees! The one thing they all have in common is that their music made me feel like I wasn’t alone and that punk rock means being yourself.
You’ve always had an unshakeable belief that music can change the world. How has music formed and shaped your worldview?
By making me feel less alone, by giving me a reason to stay up all night, and a reason to wake up in the morning. Without music a lot of us wouldn’t even be here – enough said.
Your second album is due to be released sometime in 2018. What can we expect from it when compared to your debut?
I’m working on the new album as we speak. I feel it’s a massive progression and a reflection of how I’ve grown as a human being and artist since the release of ‘Dreams from the Factory Floor’. I’ve been road testing tracks this year and I’m so happy fans are just as excited as I am about the new songs. The new album will be released around May next year then I’m going to be hitting the road hard – I can’t wait.
Louise Distras plays The Cluny 2, Newcastle on Monday 13th November. Tickets, priced at £11.00 in advance, are available at thecluny.com.