World Music At SXSW
11:08 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Lisa LeBlanc And Her French-Canadian "Folk Trash"

Full interview with Lisa and Deirdre Saravia

Lisa LeBlanc's musical idols are from the world of classic rock and metal. They're big rock stars with charisma, many of them men. Her approach to folk music is bold and confrontational, a style that she has deemed "folk trash."

"I'm really from that classic Rock background, and had some crazy phases where I really liked metal; those big rock figures that had huge charisma, and they were rocking it. I really liked that whole kind of vibe, so my main influences were those big charismatic dudes - especially guys.  I always wanted to play music and not necessarily play music as a girl, but always wrote kind of like if I was a guy... I always kind of wanted to rock it."

LeBlanc, 22, hails from the small town of Rosaireville, New Brunswick, which has a population of about 49 people and is located about 100 miles east of the Maine border on the East Coast. Her musical influences are as local as you can get - her own family.

"My parents were musicians. My mother was in a band, and my father's side were also musicians. They had a huge family with 16 kids. Most of them were in bands, so I kind of grew up with that music all around me. So that's pretty much how I started to get into it."

LeBlanc started playing guitar when she was 14 and said that she decided to play on stage after only two weeks of playing.

"When I was 16 and 17 I started doing bars, really playing some cover sets and whatever for four or five hours. I had to have my mom with me to supervise because I was underage. I felt really badass going to school and being like, 'Oh, yeah, my job is going to play music in bars' but I had my mom there, so it wasn't that badass."

LeBlanc sings in a dialect of French native to New Brunswick known as Chiac - a kind of mixture of English and French, though she didn't always do so:

"Like a lot of people, my main influences were in English so obviously [I] wanted to be. So I tried it out and figured out that I wasn't really good at it when I was like 14, so I figured I was going to try it in French and realized it was my stronger point coming from the French language."

LeBlanc said that her newest song was actually written in English - the first time in six years that she's written a song in English - and her self-titled record is being released in France this week.

"I love touring. I really love playing music. I love being on stage. I'm not much of a studio nut, I'm really a stage nut I guess, it's basically a second home for me... I love that energy and I love getting that vibe out of the crowd and love interacting with people. It's always this kind of donnent, donne that we would say; they give, I give."

Hear more from Lisa and other world music artists present at this years' SXSW on World Music with Deirdre Saravia this Saturday at 8 p.m. on KSTX.