McQueen, female rock from Brighton - 18/05/2007

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!!!



I’m not 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 bands before?

Leah Duors (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.


You came 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 certainly flown!!!


Did this time influence your style or did you actually need this time to create your style?

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.


How did 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.


Did you 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 it.


Can you 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.


You 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 joined them?

Leah – 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 studio?

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.


Have you 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.


Could you 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.


Do you 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 song!!!



Have you 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!!!


What 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!!!!


Ok, now some questions to enable our readers to get to know you a little better:


How did 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 Peppers. 


What songs and bands do you listen to these days?

Leah – 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!!!



Is there 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 ha, ha!!!


What do 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.


Which 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.



Okay, if you could choose three bands to get on stage with, who would they be?

Leah – 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!!!


Is here anything you¹d still like to share with us?

Leah – Yeah, website and MySpace 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!

Eugene Straver


McQueen are:

Leah Duors - Vox

Hayley Cramer - Drums

Cat de Casanove - Guitars

Gina Collins - Bass



Break The Silence