Premiere: Coltana – ‘Bitter Sweet’

Having previously blown us away with the visceral energy of ‘Break Her’, Brixton’s Coltana have now announced their debut EP.

Taken from the EP is frenzied new single ‘Bitter Sweet’. Propelled by whirring hooks and front-woman Cat’s impassioned spoken word vocals, it races with a thrashing energy and the band’s trademark refreshing brutal honesty. Building to a raging climax complete with slick riffs, it’s a riotous blast of sound that’ll hit your ears with its defiant ferocious force.

Of the track, Cat explains:

“‘Bitter Sweet’ has all the ingredients that Coltana like to cook with. Light and heavy dynamics, spoken word-esq vocals followed by sing along choruses and a guitar solo thrown in for good measure. This song packs a punch but manages to push and pull the listener in the right direction at every juncture. Go Listen!”

Listen to ‘Bitter Sweet’, for the first time, here:

Produced by Xavier Stevenson (Editors, 30 Seconds To Mars), Coltana’s debut EP Blighty is out 15th June. Catch Coltana live:

3rd June – The Windmill, London
8th June – Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury, London
9th June – Aclam Village, Portobello Market, London (at 4pm)
15th June – Audio, Glasgow
16th June – The Bobbin, Lancaster
17th June – The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Introducing Interview: Sabatta

Having wowed audiences with their electric live show at Dublin Fringe Festival, the Decolinise Punk Fest and Punx of Colour Fest in New York, London duo Sabatta create immense, genre-defying offerings, full of heavy riffs, heavy grooves and heavy beats.

With the new album set for release next month, we caught up with Yinka and Debbie to find out more…

Hi Sabatta, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves and what you do?
Yinka: We’re Sabatta, a duo from South East London. Our music is a mixture of rock, punk, funk, soul, psychedelia and even a little hip-hop – we call it grunge-soul ourselves, but some call it rock, some call it punk – it’s all good to be honest.

How did you all initially get together and start creating music?
Yinka: Well, Debbie and I got together in 2016 along with our previous drummer Adriano, who I’d been playing with since 2015 – who appears on the upcoming album.

You’re set to release your new album Misfit Music next month, can you tell us a bit about it? Are there any themes running throughout it?
YinkaYeah we’re really excited about it. Theme-wise, it’s almost like everyday where you go through different emotions. Some of it’s all out energy, some is pensive, some is political. A lot of it is trying to reflecting from the perspective of a person living in this society; whether a town, city or the country. It’s really just thinking about and observing aspects of life. For example, ‘Feel It’, for instance, is about the aftermath of a relationship, specifically dealing with how that feels with so much being shared and visible on social media. ‘Rock Star Shit’ is about the ‘real’ life of a ‘rock star’ – in all its ‘glamour’. ‘Scream’ is how you feel every morning when you wake up and get on the tube or in the car to work. It’s little vignettes of life I suppose. Musically, it’s all the styles and vibes you hear living in London – mixed into a blender with reckless abandon and the sludge and funk that comes out is what you hear – at least it’s organic!
DebbieThis album has been born through an array of emotions – as well as blood, sweat (buckets and buckets loads), and tears. Mainly me screaming at Yinka whilst his voice still dominates the conversation (I don’t know how he does this still…). It’s special because it was created in a small sweaty home studio in north London (and also one just as small South of the river!) during the hottest summer that I can remember. It consisted of 3 people pushing each others musicial boundaries, evolving with each other, fighting, drinking, sweating, playing and bonding. In the midst of all that, something very special was created. Sure, we had more arguments to make than probably Trump could muster, but what we learnt together in that room was indelible and our musical intuition, magical.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Bad Brains and Dead Kennedys, but who would you say are your main musical influences? 
YinkaWow. Those are nice compliments. We’ve had a few comparisons but influence wise it’s accurate to count those two. Fela Kuti, Tupac, Parliament/Funkadelic, AC/DC, Guns n Roses, Metallica, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Living Colour, Simon and Garfunkel. I could go on and on. I mean it’s Misfit Music!
DebbieThere is some cross-over here – I grew up on mainly soul, old skool RnB and pop classics. And then, towards my teenage years, it was the intelligent punk phase of 3 Colours Red, The Clash, early Manics, but through playing there’s a bit of everything these days – Sabbath, Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Thin Lizzy. There’s no limitation of choice at my musical buffet!

You’ve played alongside GIHE faves Skinny Girl Diet at Decolonise Fest, but would you say there’s been a particular gig you’ve played that stands out as a highlight for you? 
YinkaThat would be one of them. Especially since it was the first Punx of Colour Festival over here in London so it was special to be included. We just played a show in New York in March as part of a mini tour of New York and Philly – that was memorable. Oh and we did one of those shows in Dublin too last September. I get it in the neck from Debbie when I mention this place (apparently I love it) but we’ve had some crazy shows at the Windmill (yes, we love The Windmill too!) in Brixton. Near stage invasions and a whole lot of WTFs – in a good way. Literally sweat dripping off the ceiling. I like gigs like that. I do remember this one gig we played at the Mau Mau in West London where I think I managed to knock the guitar amp off the stage – it can get hectic! I love it! Oh shit – how can I forget – we also played a big show in Florence in Feb 2017 – that was INCREDIBLE!! We have clips of it up on our Facebook page – that’s probably the one!

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see much live music? 
Yinka: It’s happening. I’ve mentioned a few places we’ve played. I try to get out as much as possible – there are bands you mentioned like SGD, some cool guys called Coltana who are also female led (we love Coltana too!). Elephant 12. We’re friends with the Deadcuts. There’s a few bands out there making it happen. A few venues have shut down or moved in recent years like the 12 Bar, but you still have places like Dublin Castle, Camden Assembly, The Windmill. A cool place for more soul and funk and hip hop music is The Ritzy in Brixton – we’ve actually rocked out there – I think we were a bit loud though. There are still places to go.
DebbieYeah, devastated to see Proud Galleries as a music venue bow out earlier this year, however there are still people fighting the good fight out there. Lewis and Izaak always put on an amazing shindig at the end of every month at The Engine Rooms in Bow – great atmosphere, nice people, those guys are really flying the flag for independent music.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new upcoming bands/artists who you’d recommend we check out? 
Yinka: Looks like I answer too soon – see above for some cool bands!
DebbieLACK, an awesome based Luton band who are amazing to watch live, they are killing it north of the river.

And how do you feel the industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
Yinka: Honestly I’d say yes. I’ve said this before and probably will again. With how things are with social media – it’s like being in the ocean with a lifebelt trying to get noticed from miles away by a plane, at night – it’s gonna be tricky. Meanwhile major labels pass by like super tankers. Who is it going to be easier to see? I think a super tanker is gonna stand out against a sea full of bobbing heads. What we wanna do is maybe find a little island out there and draw people to it. Then maybe after a while we can make a fire and more people will see that.

Finally, what does the rest of 2018 have in store for Sabatta
Yinka: Playing, playing, playing. The new album is out on Monday 4th June. We’d love people to stream, download or even buy that. We’ve got a launch party on Sat 26th May at a venue I believe you guys know (we do indeed) – The Finsbury – and people can get free tickets for that here. They are limited so get them as soon as poss.
Debbie: Other than that check us out at www.sabatta.netwww.facebook.com/sabatta or www.youtube.com/sabatta  Or just Google us!

Huge thanks to Sabatta for answering our questions! 

Misfit Music, the new album from Sabatta, is out 4th June via Blackfriars Entertainment.

WATCH: Show Boy – ‘Heart Is An Apple’

Having built a reputation across the capital for their dazzling, energy-filled live shows, London’s Show Boy are back with a captivating new video.

Whilst a step away from the sparkling glam pop of previous offering ‘Empress‘, what ‘Heart Is An Apple’ lacks in glitter, it no doubt makes up for in sweeping emotion and rich lyrical content. Filled with twinkling, whirring hooks and the distinctive smooth vocals and impassioned falsetto of front-man Jovis, it oozes an instantly infectious, soaring pop-strewn splendour.

To experience the song to its full potential, however, you really should watch the video. A glorious, 100% handmade, stop-motion animation – with everything you see completely lovingly crafted, and filmed, by Jovis – it follows the endearing plight of two characters on an arduous arctic adventure, before one of them meets their tragic end in the mouth of Show Boy keyboardist Dan.

Of the track, Jovis explains:

“It’s essentially about a desire to escape the boring, predictable parts of your life and go on an adventure into the unknown. To find new excitement in your relationships, break through that layer of passivity and feel stronger emotions. I was listening a lot to the Joni Mitchell album Night Ride Home while writing this and, although it doesn’t sound similar at all, I definitely had that exciting night journey vibe in my head all the time. Sadly the journey doesn’t end too well for the characters in the video, so I suppose too much adventure can also be a bad thing…”

Watching ‘Heart Is An Apple’ it’s clear that Show Boy have created something truly exquisite; epic in its understated emotive power and inspired artistry.

Catch Show Boy live at their single launch this Friday 18th May at The Shacklewell Arms.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Interview & Playlist: Indietracks Festival

With festival season fast approaching, we’re getting extremely excited about heading to Derbyshire festival Indietracks for the first time this July. And, with our ongoing disappointment at the lack of diversity on the majority of mainstream festival line-ups this year, it’s particularly refreshing to come across one that consistently champions DIY bands and artists of all genders and genres. 

With the line up looking particularly wonderful this year, we caught up with Nat and Beck from Indietracks to find out more! 

Hi Indietracks! 2018 will be the festival’s 12th year – congrats! Can you tell us a bit about how it all started out?
Nat: The festival was originally the idea of Stuart Mackay, who used to work at the Midland Railway restoring the steam trains there. He had the idea of holding an indiepop one-night gig in April 2007, taking place on the platform at Butterley. The event sold out really quickly and was so successful that the railway then supported him to turn it into a weekend festival, with the first one being held in the summer of that year! When we first started, we didn’t even have an outdoor stage, but since then the festival has grown and evolved into something bigger than we could have ever dreamed of, with four stages, kids activities, workshops, discos and a fantastic food and merch area too. Sadly Stuart had to step down in 2010, and the team has changed a bit since 2007, but we’re still all so excited about running the festival!

What strikes me about Indietracks and makes it stand out against other festivals at the moment is the number of DIY bands and the good gender balance of the line up – was there an intentional and specific decision to do this, or does it just naturally pan out that way?
Beck: We’re aware of the need to get a good gender balance, but I think it’s more of a natural process for us. Female/femme fronted bands are just very visible in our DIY world and there are so many awesome bands that we want to book.

And how do you feel about the general lack of female headliners at a lot of big festivals at the moment?
Beck: I don’t really get it! It was great to see Beyonce, Cardi B and St Vincent given headline/prominent billing at Coachella this year, and I hope other festivals will follow suit. I think this whole issue just shows the difference between DIY and more mainstream music festivals.
Nat: I don’t get it either! In the run-up to Indietracks we’re just focused on creating our own line-up, and I’m really happy that we’re managing to showcase such a good balance of bands. Other festivals like Decolonise, First Timers Fest and Wales Goes Pop also showcase a brilliant range of bands too. Hopefully more mainstream festivals will continue to follow suit!

Over the last 11 years, you’ve hosted some amazing bands and artists including The Go! Team, Slow Club, Camera Obscura, Cate Le Bon and Skinny Girl Diet, but has there been a particular set that stands out for you as a personal highlight over the years?
Beck: Personally, it was seeing Helen Love in 2013. She means an awful lot to me – Love, Glitter, Hot Days and Music was the soundtrack to so many of mine and my sister’s nights out when we were sixteen or so, and ‘Debbie Loves Joey’ has been played at pretty much every clubnight I’ve ever DJ-ed! I never thought I’d get to see her because she didn’t really play live, so that Indietracks show was unbelievably exciting – everybody was singing and dancing along and there were confetti cannons!
Nat: I’ve been to Indietracks since the first one-nighter event in 2007, so I’ve got a lot of memories to look back on! My personal favourites are probably La Casa Azul in 2009, when Elefant sponsored our outdoor stage, and The Go! Team in 2015, which was just amazing. We’d wanted to book them for so long, and they were just brilliant!

And this year you’ve got some GIHE faves playing – Dream Wife, Sacred Paws, Ghum, Dream Nails, Sink Ya Teeth… Curating such awesome line ups must be a lot of work – how do you normally go about it? Is it all based on bands/artists that have got in touch with you over the year?
Beck: We start off with a list of bands we are personally keen to book and we also look at Facebook and the Anorak Forum where people post up their wish-lists. We also get contacted by bands, agents, record labels who know the festival and, finally, we have an applications process where bands submit their music for us to consider. I think we’ve listened to somewhere in the region of 450-500 bands to get to the final line-up this year.

And for any upcoming bands/artists looking to apply for festivals next year, do you have any tips?
Beck: I can only really speak from the perspective of our applications process and aside from the obvious (make sure your contact email address and the link to your music work!), I find it really useful to know about the live shows bands have been playing (who they’ve been playing with, who is putting them on etc) and whether they’ve got any press that we can look at.

How do you feel the music industry is for new bands and artists at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
Beck: I think it’s hard for us to say because we’re focused on a very specific DIY community. We’ve got a few bands on the bill this year who don’t have a big profile in our world, but we just really liked, and we always keep an eye on who is playing events like First Timers Fest, Loud Women, Decolonise and Wales Goes Pop to find interesting new artists. I think festivals like these give new, up-and-coming bands an opportunity to get noticed and play shows in front of good crowds and that’s really positive.

Finally, as we’re a new music focused site, are there any particular new bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Beck: Beyond the bands we’ve booked for the festival, I’m really loving Karen Meat’s debut album (You’re An Ugly Person) which has just come out on Emotional Response Records. The lyrics are hilarious, and it’s sort of lo-fi with a liberal sprinkling of jazzy keyboard demos and bass riffs. Honestly, they’re amazing – check them out! Halo Maud is a really interesting new Heavenly Recordings signing.
Nat: I’ve been listening to the Indietracks compilation at the moment – Sink Ya Teeth, Happy Accidents and Melenas are definitely all worth checking out!

Huge thanks to Nat and Beck for answering our questions, we can’t wait for Indietracks festival on 27th – 29th July! Find all ticket and line-up info at their website.

And, in the meantime, have a listen to our playlist of some of our Indietracks faves here:

Preview & Playlist: Visions Festival Announces Further Acts

With The Great Escape kicking off this weekend, we’re all getting well and truly in the mood for festival season!

Our favourite East London festival, Visions, is back for its sixth year on Saturday 4th August, and has now announced even more fantastic acts to add to their line up, in addition to the first wave.

Taking place across different warehouse venues, arts spaces and churches in London Fields, Visions promotes an eclectic array of new music, as well as a host of craft beers, street food stalls, record fairs, and even a dog show!

Now, to add to the likes of Chastity Belt, Duds, Girlhood and Sampa The Great, Visions have added a host of new artists to the bill, including Marika Hackman, Yak, Sorry, Lone and No Age, as well as announcing Milk – a club night curated by Foals’ Yannis Phillipakis.

In addition, Visions is thrilled to announce that FUCKED UP will return to the UK on Friday 3rd August to play a special Visions Presents Friday event with special guests to be announced. This will be the band’s first London show in 3 years, ahead of them releasing their eagerly anticipated new album.

It’s clearly going to be another stellar year. See the full line up so far and ticket info at the Visions Festival website.

And, if you can’t wait until August, have a listen to our handy (newly updated!) playlist of our favourites from the line up:

Introducing Interview: Meduse MagiQ

Meduse MagiQ is an innovative arts collective and music label based in Amsterdam. It serves as a community focused on sound that supports locals bands and artists to explore music through collaboration, art, performance and exhibition.

We spoke to its founders to find out more…

Welcome to Get In Her Ears!  Can you tell us a bit about Meduse MagiQ and how it all started?
Meduse MagiQ is a sound and art collective driven by our love for music. We are a record label, a radio station and a recording studio that are located in the centre of Amsterdam in a building with a theatre, a venue and a vegetarian restaurant called ‘Plantage Dok’. We share our headquarters with 50 creatives consisting of artists, ngo’s, food waste collectives, tattoo artists and experimental composers. We started the Meduse MagiQ collective a couple of years ago when we decided it was time for a community that was about sound and only sound. We wanted to support our local bands, artists and our creative network and bring back the focus to art and music. I can see at Meduse MagiQ you are focused on giving musicians their own voice and space to explore music through collaboration, art, performance and exhibition.

What have you been most proud of so far at Meduse MagiQ?
We are dreamers. The most proud we are of daring to dream and the materialization of those dreams. All projects, collaboration and tours came from an open and curious mind. Blue Crime driving 9500km trough Canada, Spill Gold going trough Switzerland and filming in the snowy mountains, making new records in China, the Moon Festival, our research in the Sahara desert and our summer festival in a small french Village in the south are all examples and started with a simple conversation in our studio. We never say no to the possibility of a sonic adventure.

So you’re both in bands – Blue Crime and Spill Gold – can you tell me about about them?
Our bands and musical collectives are a creative group of people where everyone is equally important, whatever it is that they do in the band. We go for unity. Spill Gold is a psychedelic three-piece that unwinds vivid, spiralling stories with their eerie yet persistent songs and brings listeners into a trance-like state. They saw the sirens– and just like that, as they were sitting in the rain, daydreaming on a foggy mountain trip with Japhy Ryder, witnessed the rising of an unusual new moon. A revelation that would not be contained, an unrelenting vision that demanded to be shared. Blue Crime’s stars have a gloomy shine, inspired by myths and dreams and parallel universes. Earth felt too low; space is the place. They started out as a glowworm in a dark atom shelter, and emerged as eerie moonpop, growing grittier in time. Call it moonpsych, noisefolk, call it earthquakes with guitars and vocal eclipses. Or just feel it, and call it nothing at all. Be it love or hate, dark or light… Blue Crime shows no mercy for the sober and cold-hearted.

What are your thoughts about female representation in the music industry? 
We love females in the music industry. We love guys in the music industry too. We love genderless. It is true that at the moment the balance between men and women is rather disturbed, like in many parts of society and the world. This is why we like to support women creators and we choose to program them. We don’t think it is important to explicitly focus on gender. A musician is a musician,  whether they are man, woman, both or none. We do think it is important to bring back balance. We should all support each other and create equal chances and conditions. It’s everyone’s job to protect diversity in the music industry. The more diversity there is the more interesting it gets. Music is about free expression and that means that every musician is free to be whatever they are. We think it’s important to focus on the artists’ music instead of their appearance or gender.

If someone wanted to get involved with Meduse MagiQ, would they be able to? If so, how?
Yes they would. Come visit our headquarters. Everyone is welcome to write us if they want to get involved in any way. Mail or letter, sonically or images, feel free to connect. You can find all information on www.medusemagiq.com

Finally, as we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
Ada Gadass is our newest project. It consists of a continuous sound wave inspired by the Desert. Spill Gold just has an EP out on our label, called Mercury that they will tour in Canada and Blue Crime is off to China to record ‘Xinshi’, their new art project with a Chinese poet and tour. Soon we’ll start our new program called ‘Melting Universe’ which consists of 5 dialogues between female experimental composers such as Jessica Moss and Baby Alien Collective.

Huge thanks to Meduse MagiQ for answering our questions! 

Spill Gold play MOTH Club on May 27th – tix here

INTERVIEW: Queen Zee

“I could do a Morrissey…” threatens Queen Zee, as we sit outside of Hackney’s Sebright Arms chatting before the band’s headline gig at the venue that evening (April 26th). She’s referring to his recent controversial interview in which he makes more weird and divisive statements for (seemingly) no reason. I know it’s an idle threat, but her dry wit puts me at ease. I begin by asking her about what she’s expecting from the show that evening…

“The great thing with Queen Zee gigs is that you never really know what’s going to happen. Sometimes we turn up and it’s absolute mayhem, and sometimes we turn up and people are ballroom dancing. You can’t predict it, and that’s what I love about it”

It’s this unpredictability that drew me to the band in the first place. I saw them support Marmozets on the 2017 UK tour at The Garage, and I was blown away by their ability to get the crowd stirred up in to a mosh pit with their songs ‘Boy’ and ‘Fly The Pink Flag’. Their combination of pop-punk anthems and activist attitude has laid the foundations for a community of fans to unite and celebrate in style and safety when they attend Queen Zee gigs. I ask her whether fans approach her after shows…

“We do have some fans who prefer to message us after the gig on Twitter which is always nice, but I make a point when I’m on stage of saying “come and say hello”, because I love sharing and I see Queen Zee as a collective, not just as an extension of my ego or as my project. I like people getting involved. People have been customising their clothes and getting tattoos…”

I tell her that I saw a fan had posted a picture of a “sass or die” tattoo they’d had inked in honour of the band on the Queen Zee social media accounts. I then asked her about the flipside of this, the trolling she experienced on the band’s posts on International Transgender Day Of Visibility (31st March). I ask if shouting back (which she always does) takes its toll at some points? Or do posts like the one about the tattoo make things easier to deal with?

“Cis people will see these things online and be really shocked by that, but one of the main things for trans people is that you go through things like that every day anyway, it’s just not always online. I actually love people trolling, it’s my favourite thing. I know that I have offended them, and that my existence offends them – and I think that’s brilliant. I don’t want those people to like me, I don’t want them to come to our shows if they’re that bigoted.

Going back to the tattoo though, I absolutely love that. I think it’s bizarre that people would do that. It blows my mind. We played this huge punk show in Liverpool last year, where all the DIY punks get together as a collective and play to about 300 people. We played that and my guitar broke, so we just had to play cover songs, and after that the fan came up to me and showed me the “sass or die” tattoo – and that was the way we ended 2017: it was absolutely amazing. I loved it”.

I broach the subject of mental health too, as this is also an issue she speaks openly about online. I ask if she has any advice for other bands who find themselves feeling mentally drained whilst on tour…

“The big thing for me was that I was originally really anti-meds. But actually, just starting on meds has totally changed my life and I feel so much better for it. I don’t want to be ‘pro-meds’ – whatever your stance is, it’s your stance and that’s totally fine – but I would advise people to come to their own decisions, and don’t close your mind off to it. Especially if it’s something that could potentially help you.

General advice and stuff for bands is to eat well, sleep well, and look after each other. It’s dead simple. When we first started touring it was like “Yeah! We’re on tour, let’s go out every night!” and you end up being destroyed by day ten. You get physically ill too.

The thing that made me really ill whilst touring though was that the band consumes your life, so it takes away your social life and even though you’re with your best friends in a band, you don’t see your family, or your other friends, or your partner. And on top of that you’re constantly tired, so it all adds up. I would advise keeping in contact with friends as much as you can. Get your friends to come to shows in the different cities that you’re touring, which is what I’ve done on this tour. A bit of life outside of the band whilst you’re all on tour is great, and it will stop you killing each other.

Our band is formed of five of the most annoying individuals ever. Our bassist is obsessed with meme songs, so on the way here we were listening to Toto – just Toto. It’s funny to start with, you’re like “you’ve played ‘Africa’ a few times, okay” and then he played another Toto song, and another one, and another. He played them for the entire journey – which was an hour. He’s lucky to still be alive. So yeah, no Toto songs on tour…

After establishing a strong “No Toto” rule, I ask if she can remember the first time she crowd-surfed or got involved in a mosh pit at a gig, as I know both of these things occur at Queen Zee shows…

“The first time I crowd-surfed was as Queen Zee. I never had the guts as a little queer kid to get down to the front and do it. I can’t remember the first time I moshed really, but I was always in to punk and thrash bands so I definitely moshed at those gigs. It was very macho though, so I didn’t feel very welcome in to any of that and there was never really any girls in the pit. So it’s great now when we play shows that I see a mix of girls and guys in the mosh.

I highlight what a great achievement that is, to have created the safe space that she felt was initially lacking at gigs…

“That’s what it’s all about. People know at our gigs that we won’t tolerate any nonsense either. We stopped a show in Nottingham on this tour because our bassist Frankie’s Mum got punched in the face. It was the last song of the set, so I was like “if you want to move about, this is your chance to do it!” and this guy thought it was a great idea to just to swing round in to me, hitting Frankie’s Mum in the face in the process.”

I point out that of all the people that could’ve happened to, what are the chances it would be the Bassist’s Mum?!

“I know! I was like “you need to leave, now”. Luckily she was okay, she actually loved it! Mosh pits are weird though. We had a gig in Birmingham the other day, and the crowd for the support bands were quite young, maybe seventeen year olds? So they were really kicking off, and I thought I’d jump in because you know, it’s only kids – but I just got beaten up! I’m too old. I’m twenty-four this year, and I came out of that mosh bruised and feeling like a fifty year old”.

I reconcile by adding I’m approaching twenty-eight and I bruise like a peach just thinking about mosh pits, but I still dive in. I ask her what new music she’s been listening too, as GIHEs are always interested in new music recommendations from our favourite bands.

“There’s so many on this tour that we’ve played with. A band from Cardiff called CHROMA are amazing. We shared a stage with them at Reading & Leeds last year and then we’ve played with them on this tour, and they always blow me away. Their songs have a really cool Death From Above type vibes to them.

There’s a band from Nottingham called Babe Punch who play Riot Grrrl-esque punk stuff, and they do a really good cover of ABBA’s ‘SOS’. Salt Bath are another Cardiff band who play really cool queer punk stuff. They’re my big three”.

Now it’s time to talk about plans for the summer. I ask what festivals Queen Zee will be playing at, and if there are any festivals she’d like to attend just as a fan.

“I hate music…”

It takes me a moment to work out whether she’s joking or not…

“No seriously, when we play a gig or we’re watching support bands I’m like “Ah music is great, I love it!” but when I’m at home I never listen to music. I’m chilling the fuck out and watching Netflix, I’m not going to any Festivals as a fan! After seeing the inner-workings of Festivals as well, it changes your perspective on things. It’s always so stressful trying to get from Point A to Point B in a field – which you think would be simple – but it’s the most difficult thing.

But, having said that, we’re playing quite a few festivals in May. We’re playing The Great Escape, Sound City, Live At Leeds, Neighbourhood, and there’s more on the horizon too. We’ve got some time off on June & July to do some more recording though.

To make the idea of Festivals more bearable, I ask her what her dream Festival line-up would be…

“Dream headliner would be Me, with a support of Me, and just before that it would be Me. Doing slightly different stuff though, maybe even a Toto covers set? I dunno, I’d probably give the headline slot to someone who really deserves it.

I have really bad music taste, I love classic rock like Twisted Sister. I’m obsessed with them, and I know I shouldn’t be, and I know it’s bad. Everyone else in the band has really cool music taste like Pixies and Neutral Milk Hotel, and I’m like “okay, does anyone like Scorpions?”

I’d like to see The B52s, I don’t even know if they’re still going?

I mention that Cindy Wilson of the B52s is doing her own solo stuff now, so that might have to wait…

I’d resurrect ABBA! To be honest, it’d probably just be loads of little bands in a sweat-box venue. Oh wait – I’ve got my dream headliner – Judas Priest…I’m obsessed with them.

Little did we know at this point that the next day ABBA would announce they’re releasing new music. It’s as if Queen Zee has a sixth sense. As my final question, I ask that aside from “sass or die” – if she had to use three words to describe Queen Zee, what would they be?

“Tortured Scissor Sisters…”

Fingers crossed that’s what she calls the band’s debut album…

Thanks so much to Queen Zee for answering my questions. Catch the band at The Great Escape at The Hope & Ruin (10:45pm -Thursday 17th May)

Photo Credit: Jon Mo

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut