Discovering nightlife underaged and armed with a fake ID in the early 2000s, the NYC-born, Paris-based Louisa Pillot—better known as Louisahhh—outgrew her self-acclaimed ‘weirdo loser status’ to become the leading female pioneer of post-industrial techno with a swirl of pop. Producing techno music for punk rockers on her “punk rock label for techno-heads,” Louisahhh is at it again.
What was young Louisa like when growing up?
I was a total nerd, entirely obsessed with horses and the band Garbage, neither of which was embraced by my peers. I remember it feeling really frustrating that I had a clear idea of the things that I loved and was passionate about, and that it felt deeply unfair that these were the things that singled me out as a weirdo loser. Weirdo losers of the world, fear not! This struggle will make you a rad adult.
Are you trouble?
I have been. Now I like to be trouble with a purpose. Disruption can be a spiritual cause.
What’s the worst you have done in your career as a musician?
I’ve made some ‘interesting’ choices, for sure. A lot of this had to do with the inability to say no, to lack discernment entirely. Flattery is a bitch; just because someone wanted to work with me, I thought I had to work with them, so intense was my desire to be liked. No regrets, only lessons and blessings, but there is some wisdom in the words ‘let me get back to you’ or ‘can i think about it?’, and in pausing before saying ‘yes’ to something that one is not sure about.
You released your first EP on Bromance Records. Can you tell us about your relationship with Louis Rogé (Brodinski) and how it came about?
I met Louis through mutual friends at Winter Music Conference 2010 in Miami, where he was doing a b2b set with Mehdi at Annie Mac’s party. He had heard some work I’d done with Danny Daze, and was a fan, and the stuff he was making at the time was really exciting. We tried to make one track (which we never released) before ‘Let the Beat Control Your Body’, which ended up being Bromance 001. Louis and Bromance gave me opportunity that I would never have had otherwise—a standard of quality, a context to exist within, a family. Louis remains a dear friend and admired peer, even with Bromance dissolved.
What drove you from techno to industrial pop?
Over time, the techno I was listening to (and DJing) was becoming harder, more industrial, noisier, more EBM, more guitars, more song-structures. As this was happening, the seeds of RAAR (my label with Maelstrom) were being planted, and our mission statement is ‘techno music for punks’. I started writing these songs for ‘A Trap…’, while simultaneously starting to work on this forthcoming album and the reference for all of it was Garbage and Nine Inch Nails and Smashing Pumpkins (Adore/Machina era). It wasn’t necessarily a move forward, but maybe a regression into my adolescent self, which feels fresh now, and very genuine.
Tell us about your club kid years.
I started going out underaged in NYC around 2003, 2004. It was a really exciting time musically because ‘dance rock’ was starting to catch on in America, and a lot of stuff was coming out of New York – Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Strokes, Le Tigre, LCD Soundsystem, Ratatat—and the parties were really special and wild. I learned how to DJ mixing everything from Soulwax to Gang of Four to Missy Elliot to Colder. There was something to do every night of the week, people really cared and dressed up and danced with each other. It was extraordinary. I got a little caught up, but don’t regret a single minute.
What’s the best rave you ever visited?
Honestly? At least twice a month I go to the best rave I’ve ever visited. Occupation hazard.
Favourite make-up item? (if any)
Sephora colorful waterproof eyeliner in black lace matte. Every time I try to do a good winged eye it gets progressively larger and more uneven until I have eye makeup like Siouxie Sioux and I’m totally cool with that. Up the punks.
You are not afraid to speak out once it comes to the current political climate that’s currently poisoning the world. Any words for the president?
I don’t think the president can hear sanity or reason or anything but that which bolsters his psychotic ego and narcissism. I hope he gets impeached (and his toxic party somehow overthrown) before he does more irreparable damage to human rights and the planet earth, but it’s not looking good. Until then, I pray that we can be brave and loving with each other and take better care of the environment and fellow humans than our leaders can be expected to.
Are you a feminist?
What’s your stance on men dominating the music industry?
I suggest you turn this question on to some of the promoters, booking agents, management teams and labels that are running male-dominated operations. There is no dearth of bad-ass genius women in electronic music. Book us.
You have openly expressed your drug abuse in the past, do you have any words for the younger generation coping with similar problems?
If you’re having an awesome time, keep having an awesome time. If you’re suffering, you feel like you can’t stop, you have little control over how much you drink or use once you start, there is help available. Twelve step programs saved my life, and continue to. I thought being clean and sober would totally suck but it’s better than I could have possibly imagined. If you want to talk about it, I’m here for you.
Which track will you be spending your winter with this year?
My winter will be spent with my album presently being mixed. Stay tuned.
Biggest victory in life until date?
Turning my will and my life over to the care of a loving higher power, humbly watching what unfolds as a result.
What’s the one thing you always wanted to do but never did?
Perform original material live with a band. Triathlon. Grand prix show jumping. All of these are doable (some more than others, might take time). I am excited to be alive.