Louise Distras is a singer songwriter who has rapidly gained a reputation for stunning live shows that are a social commentary on life today. While not strictly a protest singer her music often offers much more than a pin prick to the conscience of those that run our lives, or at least like to think they do. With a major tour coming up alongside art rockers The Red Paintings, more dates throughout the year and a US tour pending, Get Your Rock Out had a chat to Louise about the success of her last album and her plans for hitting the road in 2016.
Your last album ‘Dreams From The Factory Floor’ won critical acclaim. Did you find it acted as a springboard for you to reach a wider audience?
“When I self released ‘Dreams…’ in late 2013, there was no PR company, no agent, no management, and no real strategy. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. One minute I was playing local shows in Leeds and the next minute I was in Berlin, then Toronto, then Helsinki, then NYC, then LA, then on the BBC and Channel 4 and back to Wakefield again. I think when somebody connects with something so strongly, they become very excited about it and tell their friends, who also become excited and then tell all their other friends about it too. When something is good and honest and true, people will naturally gravitate towards it, and I think that was definitely the case with ‘Dreams’, and why people all over the world are still discovering and connecting with it today.”
You’re now an international artist, and have been for some time. Do you have any favourite memories or places that hold a special place in your heart?
“Ha! ‘International artist’ sounds so posh! Growing up my family was poor, we never had any holidays and I’d never really travelled up until I started touring because never in a million years could I afford to. So I consider myself very lucky and extremely grateful for the opportunity, especially whilst doing something I love so much. There’s a lot of things I love about a lot of different places, but at the moment I’m enjoying spending time in the US. The response there has been mindblowing, so I’m really looking forward to going back there soon and again and again as much as possible in the future.”
Playing regularly is very important to any musician. You’re on tour later this month with The Red Paintings. That’s an unusual combination but very exciting too.
“Well the way I see it, is that if it’s not unusual then it’s probably not very good.”
The tour will be taking you around most of the UK. Will you be playing in any towns or cities for the first time?
“I can’t wait to get back on the road, and yes! I’ve never been to Swansea, so I am looking forward to seeing Dylan Thomas’ hometown.”
You perform both as a solo artist and with a band. Which will it be for this tour?
“My next two tours will be solo, but the band will be back in action for this year’s festival season and beyond where I’ll be saving the acoustic shows for special occasions.”
Have you got any other dates or festivals lined up for 2016?
“Yes there’s loads of shows that have just been announced plus festival dates at Rebellion Festival, Camden Rocks, Loud Women Festival and more. All information and tickets can be found at www.louisedistras.co.uk/shows.”
Will we be hearing any new songs on the tour? Are you planning any new releases soon?
“Yes, I’ve added a few new songs to my set and I’m really excited to play them on the tour. It’s an amazing feeling to know that people are also excited about hearing them, and I can’t wait to release some new music. However at this stage I can’t say for sure exactly when that will be.
I don’t want to be one of those crap singers that keeps churning out cheap, meaningless, throwaway ‘content’ for social media engagement. It’s disrespectful to the people who connect with my music and it’s also disrespectful to the creative process. I want to release the best music I am capable of writing, it might take a little bit longer but it’s always going to be a million times more worthwhile.”
You can catch Louise Distras on tour on the following dates:
Apr 16 The Packhorse Leeds, UK
Apr 24 Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen w/ The Red Paintings London, UK
Apr 25 Fac 251 w/ The Red Paintings Manchester, UK
Apr 26 The Garage Glasgow, UK
Apr 27 The Live Rooms w/ The Red Paintings Chester, UK
Apr 28 The Rainbow w/ The Red Paintings Birmingham, UK
Apr 30 The Scene w/ The Red Paintings Swansea, UK
May 02 The Fleece w/ The Red Paintings Bristol, UK
May 07 Liverpool Tattoo Convention Liverpool, UK
May 15 Roadmender Northampton, UK
May 21 Los Angeles, CA – Redwood Bar (all US tour dates are with Ryan Davidson)
May 23 – Long Beach, CA – Pike Restaurant and Bar
May 24 – Reno, NV – Studio On 4th
May 25 – Santa Cruz, CA – Blue Lagoon
May 26 – Ventura , CA – Garage
May 27 – Bakersfield, CA – Sandrinis Bar
May28 – Lake Elsinore, CA – PK’s
May 29 – Lake Elsinore , CA – Lucky’s Tavern
May 30 – Las Vegas, NV – Punk Rock Bowling
Jun 04 Camden Rocks Festival w/ Billy Bragg, Camden UK
Jun 11 Bedfest Knaresborough, UK
Jun 11 LONG DIVISION FESTIVAL Wakefield, UK
Jun 18 Live In Barnsley Festival Barnsley, UK
Aug 05 Rebellion Festival Blackpool, UK
Aug 06 Rebellion Festival Blackpool, UK
Aug 12 Underworld w/ The Dickies London, UK
Sep 03 Loud Women Festival London, UK
Sep 04 Common Ground Festival Coleford, UK
Interview: Gary Trueman