McQueen are a four piece Brighton based, all female rock group
and signed a worldwide deal with Demolition Records to release their
debut album, ‘Break The Silence’. This album was recorded in sections in
between a healthy touring schedule that has spanned the last two and a
half years. The album features a number of tracks mixed by Queen Of The
Stone Age/Tool producer Joe Barressi, who took time out to mix MCQueen
tracks in between other duties. They have opened for bands such as
Juliette and the Licks, The Foo Fighters, The Towers of London and the
number one selling band The Kaiser Chiefs and they have just been
announced as one of the support bands at Aerosmith’s Hyde Park Calling
gig on Saturday 24th June 2007.
Recently I had the chance to ask Vocalist Leah Duors some questions,
this is what she had to say!!!
that familiar with your band, so can you tell us something about
McQueen, how did you get this band together and have you played in other
(vocals) – Actually I met Cat (de Casanove – guitars) when I was singing
in my old band. I’d been doing the London scene for a while and Cat came
to a couple of shows. I was ready to move on and do something different,
my old band weren’t heavy enough for me and they kept writing chilled
out tunes when I wanted to do more full on rock music. Anyway, Cat and I
got talking over a few Jack Daniels and we decided to hook up and write
some songs together… The rest, they say is history!!! Cat knew of Hayley
(Cramer – drums) from the Brighton scene and when we all got in a
rehearsal room something very fucking special happened.
together in 2003, so it took you almost 4 years to come up with this
album, why did we have to wait so long?
Leah – In
the first year of McQueen we weren’t even thinking about an album. We
just wanted to be out there playing our music. So we wrote a set worth
of songs and spent the next couple of years writing new songs and
ditching older songs we’d outgrown. We were developing our sound and to
do that you can’t sit on your fucking arses in the studio, you need to
get out there and road test the songs in front of audiences and learn
how to write bigger and better songs. We’re constantly pushing ourselves
as writers, performers and musicians. When it came down to recording the
album we needed to be ready. Plus you have to remember that we (along
with our fucking shit hot management) decided to record the album off
our own backs. We’d go in the studio and record three songs in a weekend
and then go out on tour and then get back off tour and go in the
rehearsal room and write more songs. We didn’t sign a record deal until
all but three songs had been recorded. So considering all that, time has
time influence your style or did you actually need this time to create
Leah – I
think we needed to be out on the road getting our fucking hands dirty
ha, ha!!! It’s the only way you can gain any experience. Being on the
road influenced us a lot and we learned a fuckload.
you launch into writing the material for ‘Break The Silence’, did ideas
come easily so that you just had to write them down or was it more of a
careful composing thing?
Leah – We
never sat down and strategically planned what we were going to be,
write, wear, say or do. We write as a collective and we are all equal in
the process. So any one of us could come into the rehearsal room with an
idea on any instrument, we’d then jam it out as a band and when there is
some sort of structure being worked I write lyrics and the vocal melody
over the top. We’ve learned a lot about each other by doing this and we
all know what we like and don’t like and what we think works and what we
think doesn’t work. Some songs are easier to write than others. Some
fucking fly out really easy. Others need more time spent on them. We’re
still learning and still growing.
have a certain idea of what you wanted to do on ‘Break The Silence’ any
elements you definitely wanted to have on the album?
Leah – We
always wanted McQueen to be about the live show, we’re a touring band
and we always wanted to capture as much of the live energy, passion and
aggression on our album as we possibly could. I think one element that
has been integral on the album is the influence of Joe Barresi (producer
of Queens of The Stone Age and Tool). Joe wanted to be involved and he
was there from the moment we started recording. He’s a fucking legend
ha, ha!!! We love what he has done and we’re just hoping he’s free for
the next album!!! We’re very satisfied with the result that came out of
tell me something about the lyrics, how important is it to you that
people pay attention to the lyrics apart from listening to the music?
Leah – Well
as the lyricist and vocalist it would be nice to think that people
actually listen to what I’m saying ha, ha, ha!!! Seriously though, with
the lyrics… I’ve lived them all!!! I tell you what though… it’s fucking
amazing when our fans sing along at our shows. It really means a lot to
us, we’re not up our own fucking arses, we just want to fucking connect
to people. The world is too fucking sterile and detached.
signed a deal with Demolition Records. How did you come to hook up with
them and was it just for the one album? And what was the reason why you
Demolition independently came to us after seeing us live and they wanted
to be involved and help us finance the final recordings for the album.
Of course we wanted to sign with them as they are the bollocks when it
comes to rock music with the likes of David Lee Roth, Twisted Sister,
W.A.S.P and Hanoi Rocks being signed up to them. They know their market
and I trust their fucking judgement.
Can you tell me about the recording process of ‘Break The Silence’, how
did the recording process proceed and how much time did you spend in the
Leah – In
total I think we probably spent about two weeks in the studio recording
‘Break The Silence’ though we recorded in batches of two or three over
the course of a weekend. Sometimes I would go back in during the week
here or there to finish vocals because vocals are always the last thing
to record and sometimes we’d run out of time. The running order is
usually record ghost track, then drums, then bass, then guitars (rhythm
and lead) and then finally vocals and backing vocals. Sometimes Cat
would go in and record extra bits of guitars here and there. It’s funny
but when you record and it’s all down you can always hear fucking great
ideas to put down over the top, especially with guitars.
received any feedback on the new album yet? How do you feel about this
album; are you satisfied with the outcome or would you have liked to
have changed anything in retrospective?
Leah – We’ve
been touring constantly since last November and ‘Break The Silence’ came
out in January in the UK when we were on our headline tour. I mean I
sometimes get reviews emailed over to me and I sometimes read them. So
far so good though, we’ve had a lot of positive responses which is
great. I’m sure that there are some people who either don’t like and/or
don’t get it – but who gives a fuck? It’s not going to change a fucking
thing. We’re all very fucking proud of what we have achieved with ‘Break
The Silence’ and I don’t think we would change anything about it. It’s
raw… that’s what we wanted.
please describe the implications of the title ‘Break The Silence’, what
does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind it?
Leah – Well,
‘Break The Silence’ the title track was written at a time where I felt
fucked off with the world. Everything seemed fucked. All I saw on the
news was fucking destruction, bombs, death, blood, guts, gore and war…
Everyone I spoke to had an opinion on what was going on and yet no one
fucking did anything about it. Everyone seemed to have either lost their
voice or forgotten they even had one. In the 60’s and 70’s people were
passionate and they believed they had a voice and they were gonna
fucking use it!!! I guess I felt that as a singer and lyricist I could
fucking use my voice and not be a fucking hypocrite so I wrote ‘Break
The Silence’ as a way of provoking a reaction.
have any favourites on ‘Break The Silence’, songs that you think are
somehow above the others?
Leah – No.
We like all of them or they wouldn’t be on the album. I think we like
different songs for different reasons but I certainly couldn’t pick a
favourite. Though to play live I like “Dirt” because it’s a fight
already launched into writing a new album? If so, can you tell us
something about it?
Leah – We
are constantly writing new songs all the time between touring. It’s just
what we do. We are fucking fired up for the next album though!!!
about the future of McQueen, what can we expect in the near future?
Leah – Fuck
knows? Anything could happen at any time!! Though we’re really
looking forward to coming back to Holland and playing Rosrock on 30th
June and Keifestival, Lichtenvoorde festival on October 27th. We are
really busy this summer with loads of Euro-festivals and also we’re
playing Hyde Park Calling with Aerosmith next month!!!!
some questions to enable our readers to get to know you a little better:
you get involved in the music business?
Leah – Well…
I had to kill a few people first ha, ha!!! I just fucking opened my
mouth and sang (or screamed) till people took notice!!! Hayley was born
clutching drum sticks (a pain free birth no doubt – ha, ha!!!) Cat made
a guitar out of an old tissue box and elastic bands, her parents felt
sorry for her and bought her a guitar and Gina (Collins – bass) picked
it up at school when she was obsessed with Pantera and the Chili
songs and bands do you listen to these days?
Fucking everything… how long have you got????? I still love listening to
the old classics like Guns N Roses, Pantera, Skid Row, but I’m listening
to System of A Down, Deftones, Billy Talent, Avenged Sevenfold,
Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Therapy?, Skindred, Lamb Of God, Hatebreed,
Drowning Pool… to name a few. But we all like the same music, which is
why we get on so well!!!
anything you like to do besides your job in the band?
Leah – I
don’t get time to do fuck all else to be honest. Besides parapsychology
you think about the metal scene in the UK, are there any good new bands
that we should know about? Is there anything missing?
Leah – The
live scene in the UK is certainly picking up but it depends on what
floats your boat. I would recommend Brigade and The Zico Chain… They are
among the best.
album has been your biggest musical influence, one that made you think
‘this is what I want to do!’?
Leah – Guns
N Roses brainwashed me with subliminal messages in “Appetite For
Destruction” – I’ve never been the same since. It’s all their fault and
I’m incurable. Ha, ha, ha, ha!!!! Basically I was obsessed with Guns N
Roses when I was a little kid and I wanted to do it too.
you could choose three bands to get on stage with, who would they be?
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… Need I say Guns N Roses (with Axl, Slash, Duff and Matt
– Gilby Clarke or Izzy), Deftones as I’ve never seen them live and also
Avenged Sevenfold for some new blood!!!
anything you¹d still like to share with us?
Leah – Yeah,
www.mcqueenmusic.com and MySpace
www.myspace.com/mcqueen and I just like to invite everyone in
Holland to our two shows (see above). We want to fucking see you!!! So
come on, don’t be a fucking stranger ha, ha, ha!!!
Thanks for your time!
Leah Duors -
Cramer - Drums
Casanove - Guitars
Break The Silence