After a couple of failed attempts, much hanging around and a few beers, R13 finally managed to get all the McQueen girls in one place! Cat (C), Leah (L), Hayley (H) and Sophie (S) manage to stay still long enough for us to find out how the latest tour (supporting Viking Skull) has been going before we all got kicked out!

R13: So the tour, how's it been going?
L: Yes, fucking brilliant, really really good, we've had a brilliant time so far.
R13: Been getting good crowds?
L: Yeah but it varies
C: Yeah it does, sometimes we walk on stage and they're like 'what are they going to do?' and look really puzzled, but it has been really good actually, we've had some really great gigs
L:We've had places where people have heard of us and it's really been ...
H: Really heartwarming!
L:Yeah it is, like tonight we had a couple of girls, Claire and Dion who came down from Chester to see us
H: They've got their GCSEs tomorrow and they're going to flunk their exams because of us and then they're not going to be able to get a job because of us!
L:But then they're going to start their own rock band and become rock stars themselves! Then we had a girl who came over from Germany.
R13: Yeah I was going to ask you about that, I saw it on the message board but she missed the gig didn't she?
L:Yeah she missed the gig, that was really sad but we sorted her out with a load of free stuff
R13: Did she just come over for that one gig?
L: Yeah she left the next day.
H: She walked in the building at the changeover, we'd literally just finished!
L:She's going to come over next year though.
R13: How did she hear about you then?
L: I'm not quite sure, it must have been myspace or something, I haven't got to the bottom of that one myself actually but she made us two t shirts, really cool t shirts
H: We've got somebody in Brazil! His message was really sweet cos he can't speak much English, it was 'I'm liking your music, it pleases me' so that was ace
C: The tour's been good but a bit nippy!
L: Yeah we've had snow following us, we were down in Plymouth and it snowed, then Yeovil and it snowed.
H: Birmingham it snowed.
L: Yeah we're getting used to old Jack Frost at the minute haha, nothing a nip of JD won't cure though.

R13: Didn't you have to pull one gig because Hayley got injured?
L: Yeah her Michael Flatley impression fucked her up, Riverdance!
H: I screwed up my back and my neck so it was hurting to breathe, went to the doctors, they gave me some painkillers, they didn't work, ended up in A and E at the weekend, got to Tuesday and I couldn't move!
R13: But you only had to miss one gig for that?
H: Yeah
L: She was hallucinating the first day with all those painkillers, it was like 'you alright Hayley?' and she was 'yeah maaan'
H: We got up on stage and I felt so sick, everything was in slow motion, it was bizarre but I've got used to them!

R13: You've done quite a lot since I last saw you!
C: Yeah we've been to America haven't we?
R13: How was that?
L: That was fucking brilliant, that was really good. I think it was character building for us, we went to New York, did an amazing gig and then the next morning we fly out to LA and do another amazing gig at the Viper Room and for us it was just the best, this is what it's all about.
C: It was our first New York gig and that was just incredible, with Juliette and the Licks, we love those guys. We did a gig with them a couple of days ago in Cardiff and it was so great to see them again.
H: I love Juliette Lewis, but the Licks the band, are just fantastic, really top guys, I miss them I really do
L: It was hard saying goodbye because we've done a few gigs with them and you get chatting and they're really people that you would love to get to know better.
H: They must play with so many bands because they're touring constantly but they remember playing with us.
L: She's amazing, she's so cool about everything, she makes time for you when a lot of people in the big brave world of music really don't and it's just a shame that they had to get some cold weather over here.
H: Mind you New York was freezing!
L: The gig in Cardiff was great too, great turnout, great crowd and everyone was just loving it.
S: Everything was right, the crowds were there and the stage sound was amazing.

R13: Last time we spoke you'd already become the most played unsigned UK band in the US, so was it evident when you went out there that people knew your stuff?
C: Yeah I think so
H:And also it was a really nice thing to have a good showcase at the Viper Room
L: The guy who runs the shows at the Viper Room, he basically turned round and said it was the showcase of the year, you were fucking amazing and to come from Brighton, going over to LA to the Viper Room, which is amazing anyway and to have somebody say we're the best showcase of the year was you know, that just warmed us inside!
C:And they see some amazing bands!
L: They do!

R13: So is there any news on a single release over there?
L: There is but at the moment we're doing things strategically.
S: We just found out tonight that we've got an American agent now, a company that we met when we were out there.
L: Stateside it's all cool, we've got stuff out, we're on iTunes and CD Baby and I think you can download stuff on Karma but we've also got free downloads on the website now, you can download 'Blinded' and we've got short samples of stuff from the album. The thing is singles have short shelf lives and you want to do it when it's right, at the moment we're just building and building.
H:The main thing is that people hear the thing, it's not about releasing a single, it's about getting McQueen out to as many people as possible.
C:There will be a general release one day!
L: I think we're looking at the New Year for the release of the album and I think the single will be pre-album release. The thing is you can print thousands of copies of a single, put it on the shelf, it's there for two weeks and if not enough people know about you then it's pointless. We're selling both EPs at the gigs, we're going to be selling album samplers.
H:In a way you'd rather people just jumped on the website and downloaded stuff or just listened to our music

R13: I'll probably get him in trouble but Geoff (tour manager) was saying earlier that he wasn't sure this was the right tour for you to do, with the type of audiences
C: Ooh controversial!
R13: But I think his point was that until you had an album out it was fair enough, once you have an album out and you've had a lot more publicity then you can tour in your own right
L: I think the thing at this stage is that we're so happy to be out on tour, we're happy to be out and going places
H: But also being put in front of a crowd that we wouldn't normally be put in front of, that's a challenge, which is making us work really hard and we're loving it. Put us somewhere and just let us play! So the fact that we're on a tour that we wouldn't normally be on is great for us.
L: It's like the Mad Capsules tour, they are so different from what we do but we stood up and that worked. We did The Holiday Plan, that's very different and that worked as well.
H: When we're writing as well, when you're out with bands that aren't the same as McQueen it really helps the writing because it puts a different angle on it.
L: I don't think there's another band just like us, we are quite individual in what we do so it's good in that way because we can play with other bands. We're kind of punky, we're rocky, we're a little bit grungy in places.
C: There's something for everyone
L: like a box of Roses!
H: If you like a toffee, have a toffee
C: If you don't like nuts don't have a nut one!
L: You can listen to albums and you can hear the same song in twelve different formats, the thing about McQueen is that we've got so many different influences that we love to experiment and we really push ourselves when we write. I think that shows when we do our punkier stuff or when we do our heavier stuff like 'Break The Silence' or 'Blinded', it's not that we don't know what direction we want to go in, the fact of the matter is that we're punk rock, we do both. We put elements of ourselves into each song and we are commercial and heavy at the same time and we don't necessarily even intend to be commercial. I mean we love bands like Green Day and other punky, rocky bands and when we hear stuff like that it inspires us and we want to write stuff but then we hear something else ...
H: I think we just write from a variety of influences, I mean have you heard Skindred?
R13: Yeah
L: We love Skindred, I'd love to get the singer to come down to the studio and lay something down in the middle eight and just have me screaming alongside him! I do a radio show in Brighton and I get sent CDs every week and a lot of them sound very similar but as soon as I heard Skindred I thought this is the bollocks! It's like nothing I've heard before.

The conversation veers off on a tangent about the virtues of Skindred... 2 or 3 minutes later just as I think order is restored Cat and Leah decide to do an impromptu a capella version of 'Life Support ICU' (which was nice!)

R13: That brings us nicely to the next question, 'Life Support' has been picked up for use on a Playstation game?
L: Yeah that's very cool.
H: That's one of the cool things about being in America, we got a tour of EA games.
L: I'm a big gamer, I love PS2 and just seeing what these guys do was amazing, they're computer geniuses, they'll spend all day working on one gate!

R13: So what's next after this tour?
L: We've got a bunch of stuff planned for next year but it's very much secret squirrels at the moment. We're going out to Australia in March, so we're going to show those Ozzies how to rock.
C: And how to cook a prawn on the barbie!

Well we finally got kicked out at this point! Look out for the album release sometime next year, if what McQueen have achieved so far is anything to go by it could be the springboard to much bigger and better things!