R13 spent some quality time with Brighton based McQueen after their impressive performance supporting Juliette and the Licks in Liverpool. Vocalist Leah (L), guitarist Cat (C), bassist Sophie (S) and drummer Hayley (H) have been making some big waves and with their new single 'Running Out Of Things To Say' out in October things are looking good.

R13: We've met before actually at the Roxy Saint gig in Manchester last year when Leah had laryngitis if I remember rightly?
L: Yeah and I was pissed as a fart! It was the medicine, half brandy, half port, big glass and I was just glugging it back and I drank the whole fucking lot and I was wasted. That night you must have seen me?
C: Wait a minute, wasn't that the night that you didn't even sing?
R13: Yeah Hattie (former bassist) sang and Leah just wandered around the whole place!
H: The whole thing was mad, you can't help but do crazy things when you're around Roxy Saint. She was really cool but you find it kind of rubs off on you and you do go a bit...
L: That was totally alcohol induced though, I was like 'I can't sing! Shall we do it anyway? Yeah fuck it let's do it!'

R13: Even without you singing though it was impressive, I remember you playing but not much afterwards!
L: No neither do I, I don't even know how I got home!
C:I seem to remember one member of the band swapping pants with Roxy Saint?!

R13: So how was it tonight?
L:It was fucking wicked, the crowd were very accommodating, we had a good one.
R13: Yeah, it filled up quite quick, when you first came on there weren't that many people down there and I was thinking it was going to be hard work for you.
C:The people at the front were just beautiful, they were so great from start to finish they were there with us.
H: And it makes you play better, it makes you do a more memorable performance because you want to do it for them.

R13: For anyone who hasn't heard you yet, how would you describe the music?
L: McQueen is punk rock, it's rock, it's heavy, it's...[to R13] well how would you describe it?
C: There's also an element of fun in there.
L: It can be very dark and really fucking twisted or it can be lighter in the more punkier kind of stuff that we do. Stuff like 'Break The Silence' is a nasty demon of a song and that is kind of...
H: Fuck off war! That's it, that's all there is to it.
R13: The thing that struck it for me is that they're just fucking great choruses!
C: Yayyy! Thank you for saying that, that means a lot to us.
R13: But also it's not straight three chord punk riffs where it's verse,chorus,verse,chorus, there's more in it that makes it interesting.
L: Yeah, it's kind of like the set tonight, there's something in there for everybody.
R13: Except you didn't play 'Life Support ICU', I was disappointed!
L: There was no room!
H: We had a tight schedule tonight, half an hour and that was it.
C: Next time you see us, just for Andy, 'Life Support ICU'
L: Yeah next time you come down we'll do it.
R13: The Viking Skull tour then?
C: Alright it's a deal!
H: Well we wanted to air a couple of slight newys.
L: More of the album stuff.
C: Sorry to disappoint you.
R13: That's alright, I've got something to look forward to now!
C: It breaks my heart!

R13: So the new single's out in early October
C: October 3rd.
R13: Are you pleased with the reviews it's been getting so far?
L: It's been getting some fucking great reviews, I've not seen a bad one yet.
H: We work hard, we put our heart and soul into everything we do and if there's a bad review, well so what? It doesn't affect us at all. It actually drives us on further, we like being pushed.
L: But at the end of the day we're writing stuff that we genuinely fucking like, so you can't please all of the people all of the time. There's some people that aren't going to be into our kind of music and aren't going to like it but they can't say that we're not fucking good musicians! If somebody turned round and said 'you're shit musicians' well get him in the fucking room and I'll have one round with him cos that's all he'd last! You can't say that Hayley can't play drums or that Cat can't play guitar, or Sophie can't play bass...well you can probably debate on that one! No, just kidding.
L:That song for me was a real turning point for us and our writing style and what we are doing.
H: It was a real turning point, I think we learnt an incredible amount about each other during that writing. Something changed with the dynamic in the band and it's just carried on.
L: It was a beautiful moment.
H: It was!

R13: Do you read your own press much?
L: Only when it's presented to us.
R13: You don't sit at home doing a Google search for McQueen then?
All: Noooo.
L: I don't have time, I mean sometimes I'll get a great review to read but we're not like 'oh yeah we're the fucking bollocks', because we've worked so hard for it that's really kind of nice and it's really good that people like it.
R13: I've yet to see a bad review
C: I was thinking our manager was just sending us the good ones but maybe he's sending all of them!
H:We did have a bit of a bad review, once! They gave us five out of ten but then they reviewed Green Day's 'American Idiot' and gave that five out of ten as well!
L: So it's not bad at the end of the day. A lot of the time when we get reviews people can't get past the fact that we're girls, so they don't actually write about the music at all.
H: Or they say we're like L7, or Hole, or whatever.
L: But then they don't actually mention what we do, with something like 'go buy it' at the end, which is great but what about the music? 'They're four girls and they look really hot!' well cheers for that mate.
C: It's better than saying we look like dogs!
H: There was one comment 'oh they better have good legs!'
L: Have you seen these legs?! Look at this, this is pure sexy leg, how about that? Give that marks out of ten!
points to boot
L: Look at the heel on it!
R13: It's a very nice boot, I'll give you that!

R13: Why was there such a long gap between the last single and this one?
L: Because we were doing a lot of gigs, towards the end of last year we were gigging our asses off and then the beginning of this year we did a whole bunch of Uni gigs. We were writing continuously and then it was recording the album and we don't really get a say in when it's released. There's a plan behind it.
H: It was like a little taster, it was right at the beginning of the band.
L: Yeah it was 'here we are, this is what we do'.
H: It wasn't meant to be anything like selling a million records and get to number one, it was just to let people know that we're starting up and we're doing something.
L: And it's worked because I was talking to Juliette Lewis earlier on and she was like 'oh I've heard of you guys'.
R13: Well that's not bad is it?
H: That's not bad at all!

R13: Was it not a bit frustrating though, because that came out not long after the Roxy Saint tour and you made a good impression with it?
L: It's not frustrating for us because it was only a 'hello this is what we do' and we were so busy with everything else. When we release something we want it to be right and we want it to be good.
H: We had a lot of growing to do still, gigging and writing.
L: We had to go out there and earn our credits out there on the road.
H: And meet people that you're trying to connect with, I had some great chats with people tonight and they're going to stay in touch and that helps. At the next rehearsal we'll talk about those people.
L: Yeah and we'll want to make it even more interesting, even more flavours added to it. We're working on some stuff at the moment which is going to be fucking ace when it's out, it really is, it's kind of almost QOTSA kind of RATM stuff and we're thinking a lot more about the stuff that we're doing
H: We've been given time to think about things whereas at the beginning...
L: We had to get out there and we had to rehearse our asses off. It's only when you get out on the road that you find out what kind of band you are. Up on stage is a whole different ball game to who you are in the rehearsal room or what you're doing in the rehearsal room so it's about testing the different songs with different crowds and finding out which ones work and which ones maybe aren't as good. You can only do that on the road so that's why the big gap! Now how about my boot?
R13: Haha It's very nice, I already said!

R13: How does it feel to be named the most played unsigned British act in America?
C: Pretty damn amazing! Speechless.
R13: Considering so many people have such trouble breaking America.
H: We've got some really good guys pushing for us out there.
L: We have got some proper gems out in LA that are supporting us and really pushing us.
H: Thankfully RockSound liked us with 'Life Support' and they put it on a CD and it just so happened to fall into the hands of somebody in America, this guy Mike Savage and he's just helped us so much.
L: He's been fucking incredible.
H: Going out to LA was just so heartwarming, people just wanted us to be there and it felt really warm.
L: It's a real achievement for us as well because we've worked so hard, we're so touched because this is what we enjoy doing and we're not egotistical at all.
R13: So it makes it all worth while?
L: Yeah it does, indeedy.

R13: It must be getting a US release then?
L: Hopefully, I don't know, nothing confirmed though. I'd love to go over to America and do a lot of gigs, the scene over there is amazing and the thing is when you go over there you have to up your game even more because there are so many fucking good musicians out there. I'm not talking about pub bands, these people know their shit and when you go to America it's a whole different league of playing.
R13: It's interesting that you say that as most American bands that come over here really like coming here because they say the British public know their music more than the American public.
H: American crowds are much more likely to just get in there.
C: Sometimes in England they'll just stand there.
L: Tonight they were great though.
C: Yeah tonight they were but sometimes you'll think 'oh they didn't like us' but then you talk to them afterwards and they loved it!
H: They don't show it, whereas in America they really show it.
L: Plus they really support live music in America.
H: It is coming over here, the live scene in England in the last five years has really gone up but there's room for more.

R13: You've just signed an Australian and New Zealand deal, you must be pretty excited about the prospect of getting out there?
L: How about that?! Ok, this will blow your mind, we did a gig at the Garage a couple of weeks ago and there was a guy from Australia who knew who we were and had come down especially to see us! There was a guy from America and we were sitting in the van thinking we're just four birds from England and somebody over the other side of the world has heard our stuff and likes it and that's weird but it's really cool and I can't wait to go out there and see what the scene is like out in Australia. Plus catch some rays!
H: And some barbies.
C: Not barbie dolls though, barbecues.
L: Maybe a couple of barbie dolls on the barbecue?
C: Yes, good thinking!
L: To do this deal we've been really lucky, the guys out in Australia have really supported us. It's not a million pound deal but it is the right thing for us.
H: It's people who genuinely love the band and want to support us
L: And that's what we're about, we're not about making money because we've got no money! If it comes it comes but we love doing this, we love getting on stage and playing stuff that we like. These guys are fucking talented musicians and talented songwriters, to get up on stage and sing our stuff is fucking amazing! Oh I love you guys!

R13: Is there a release date for the album?
H: Nooo.
L: Probably early next year but then it changes, it goes through management and then the whole team decide when it's a good time to release.
R13: Having heard snippets of it off the website it sounds pretty good, are you pleased with it? Is it the record you wanted to make?
L: Yeah, there's a few tracks that aren't on the sampler or on the website and I couldn't have wished for a better bunch of songs to go on an album but we're still writing so hopefully we'll get a couple more. The stuff we've done already has been mixed by Joe Marasi who does QOTSA and also a guy called Eric Kappa, Eric 'asparagus' Kappa! He's like the don.
H: Yeah he's done Michael Jackson and Madonna.
L: Also Richie Caven (?) who's produced us, those guys have done us proud and they're fucking good at what they do!
H: As far as capturing our energy, it's quite hard getting that on record but Richie really got the energy down.

R13: Since I last saw you you've changed bass players.
L: Yes, Sophie!!
H: Yeah you know the big changes I was talking about before with 'Running Out Of Things To Say'? It's like a new lease of life, not to disrespect our last bassist but we're now such a great team.
R13: How are you finding it Sophie? Fitting in?
S: Yeah I love it.
L: This is the missing link, she's fucking amazing, to write with her has just opened up so many great avenues that we wouldn't have gone to before.
H: Me and Sophie had a bit of a moment earlier, we were watching Juliette doing the sound check earlier and we had a real moment, it kind of dawned on me that I don't ever want to play with another bass player again because I really feel like we've connected.
L: It's more than a musical level though, we're all bonkers and it's just great to have Sophie, it feels like McQueen is complete now, it really is.

R13: What's the story about Hattie leaving then? I have to say I was surprised.
H: It wasn't for her and I'm being polite.
R13: In a musical sense?
H: Yeah.
L: I don't really want to go into it because we're a different McQueen now and we've upped the stakes but she was always a fan of indie music so there was that kind of difference there anyway but things just came to a head and she decided she didn't want to do it anymore.
H: It was the end of a tour and it felt right, the end of an era.
L: You know, shit happens and then we get Sophie!
H: The Suffragettes have had bass players coming out of their ears!
C: So Sophie's like gold dust!
H: She's our nugget!

R13: You're out on tour with Viking Skull in November / December
L: Yeah I can't wait!
H: We are going to have a wicked time on that tour
L: I tell you something, tours and McQueen are like...there's a term that we've created, lapalava, we have it everywhere we go, like we went to Germany and a tyre blew out and it's going to be so much fun because shit is going to happen! And this fella here (points to Jamie) is gonna be driving!
(Cheers all round!)
L: we're trying to nail him down because it takes someone with a strong fucking stomach to take us! On the way to Germany, cos I don't like fucking boats and I had to get on a ferry and I was shitting myself because I didn't bring my dinghy! So I was sitting there at 7.30 in the morning drinking double brandys and it just didn't stop. Bottle of Jagermeister, three bottles of wine, gone! Oh we're in France, we should get some wine! There, three bottles gone.
H: Three? Five! We did three and then (?) pulled out her sneaky two bottles that she'd bought!
C: So we turned up totally battered to Germany and with motion sickness as well.
L: Talking to Dave Grohl as well! Josh Homme and Taylor Hawkins as well, we got in the van at the end of the night and we're like 'we just met Dave Grohl!'. We were really fucked up but it was really good though. They're lovely guys, really nice.
H: Oh me and Taylor, we were separated at birth.
L: They really were.
C: You have to see them together.
L: I've got it on my phone!
H: When I talk, you've probably noticed I can't stop walking around the fucking room and Taylor is exactly the same.
L: Check this out (produces mobile phone) that's Hayley and Taylor.
(Much hilarity follows as everyone looks at highly amusing and slightly disturbing pictures from the tour bus!)
L: When we got out of the tour bus, we opened the side door and bottles just fell out everywhere, our tour manager was telling us to hide the alcohol or they won't let us on the boat, I was like 'I don't want to get on the fucking boat!', god I hate boats.

R13: So you're not fed up with being the support act yet then?
L: To be quite honest I love being the support act.
R13: You did the Mad Capsule Market's tour as well?
L: When you're the headline there's more pressure because you've got to be the fucking dogs bollocks, when you're supporting you can go on, do your shit, come off and nobody is expecting anything. When we headline, like we've done some headline slots in London, which have gone really well but we're like we've really got to nail it tonight, really nail it.

R13: What's the story with the mobile phone subscription deal?
L: It's all fucking porn! No, just kidding, basically you text in a number.
C: And you get babe world!
(see website for details!)
L: Basically what it is, is from your mobile phone you can get into this web page and you can see everything about us, there's profiles about the band, tour interviews.
S: Pictures like those ones on the phone!
L: It's a really good move, we heard about it and were really interested and we're the first band to ever do this. We're the shit!
C: I feel really lucky to be part of it, even though I did get to a porn site through it!
L: It's not anymore though! Basically it'll mean we have a closer interaction with our fans, it's basically like a fanzine on your mobile, which is ingenious when you think about it. I was talking to the guy who's sorting it all out and he's just a fucking genius, he just knows his shit and I think what better way of interacting than just going on your mobile! It's three pounds a month, which is like pocket money and you can check what we're doing and where we're going. I'd love to do that with some of the bands that I like, it's kind of like stalker on your mobile!
H: Velvet Revolver are in the process of doing this deal but we're the first!

New single 'Running Out of Things to Say' is released on October 3rd and you can catch the band on tour with the very metal Viking Skull throughout November and December.