Currently on tour with Wednesday 13, support band McQueen have just released their debut album to great reviews. Tonight its Manchester Academy 2 but first they have to get by my 'amazing' interview skills. On entering the domain of McQueen lead singer Leah Duors confirms that my name is Aled Jones and begins to sing that song that made him famous. All the members of the band are present and look like they could beat me up with very little trouble.
ALJ – How’s the tour going so far?
Leah – It’s going really good, half way through now, travelling around the UK, cos we don’t get to see enough of it already (laughs).
ALJ – How was it being back in Brighton the other day?
Leah – It was a great show, I enjoyed that one. It’s strange cos we are Brighton based yet we spend so little time there.
Hayley – That’s true, it was nice to be back.
ALJ – when it comes to playing live what’s easier? Opening for another band or having to headline your own gig?
Leah – Pros and cons to both, I think. When you headline you turn up early then hang around all day. But when you support you just get on with things a lot faster and then you get to sit back and enjoy the headline act. But saying that we essentially do what we do whenever we go on.
Hayley – Personally I prefer a short set cos you can pack in all the energy into that short length of time
ALJ – How exactly did you all meet?
Leah – I don’t know, I have no idea where they came from, they just follow me around. I didn’t want to be a singer; I wanted to be a clay pigeon shooter. (laughs)
ALJ – Well as you all followed Leah around did any of you have to be brought into the heavy rock fold?
Everyone – NO!!
ALJ – The name, is it the obvious?
Leah – No we’re not a female Scottish Queen tribute band (everyone laughs). We needed a name that symbolised individuality. Steve McQueen played by his own rules and so do we.
ALJ – Do you find that being in such a male dominated industry, that it’s hard for an all woman rock band to be taken seriously?
Leah – You’re absolutely correct. In the beginning people thought we were manufactured and the attitude of other bands in the start was: “they’re going to be shit,” then we would play and they’d quickly change their minds. If anybody tried to style us or tell us what to do, they could just fuck off. We write music for ourselves and nobody else.
ALJ – Given that, are you happy with the overall reaction to the album?
Leah – I am, yes. We’ve had a really good response, some great write-ups with people concentrating more on the music rather than us being female. Others have focused more on us being female but in time I hope it will all be about the music.
ALJ – No doubt that your epic voice stands out when listening to the album, what kind of reaction do you get to it?
Haley – you got a cracker in Paris the other day, some guy went up to her and said what distortion do you use, and you just screamed at him.
Leah- (Screams) That shut him up. It’s probably an inner demon that just says “don’t fuck with me.”
ALJ – With the first album getting good reviews are you already working on new material for the second?
Leah – All the time, I’m currently doing a follow up to ‘Bitch’ called ‘Cunt’ (laughs).
ALJ – This is a question I would like to ask every member of the band. If you were asked by one headlining band to support them at a festival who would it be?
Hayley – I’m going for a new one. I would love to support Billy Talent as I really love the new album or Avenged Sevenfold, and can you please capitalise those just in case they read this. (laughing)
Leah – For me it would be The Deftones as I’ve been indulging so much in their new album.
Cat – Some of the bands we are playing with this summer are fantastic, but I would have to go for the Foo Fighters. We were playing with them a couple of years ago in Germany, but on the day after
ALJ – Did you meet the Grohl himself?
Cat – We did and it was excellent. He just came up and said, “Hey I’m Dave.”
Gina – I would go for Motley Crue as that would be awesome.
ALJ – Motely Crue guitarist Mick Mars has an orthopaedic bed on the tour bus as he can’t stand up straight anymore, is it ever going to get to that point with McQueen?
Hayley – Yeah I think so – there will always be injuries, when I go home I’m always with the chiropractor getting my bones cracked back into place.
ALJ – With all of you already battle weary, could you tell me what is the worst that has happened so far?
Cat – I bang my head a lot, I whacked it against the top of my guitar and had a slight concussion after and was jibba jabbereing and everything.
Leah – I’m covered in bruises, my legs, my arms just a total mess really and Gina’s fingers were bleeding at one point in a recent gig.
Gina – My fingers are a nightmare they get bloody every night and I have clown feet as well.
Leah – In twenty years time after endless surgery Cat’s going to have a mechanical arm, Gina will have mechanical legs and Haley will have another 2 arms attached and I’ll most probably have a little voice box to say: “hello I’m Leah” (puts the imaginary voice box to her throat)
ALJ – When you were growing up and dreaming of rock superstardom, was there any band that you saw and made you think that is how it should be done?
Leah – Yeah, I saw a video of Guns’n’Roses live when I was young and just studied it endlessly. Just watching how Axl dominated the stage and that fantastic voice for me it was the fucking best thing ever.
ALJ – Do you think band politics will affect McQueen like it has done for G & R over the past decade?
Leah – Probably yeah (laughing), as I’m just going to fire them all in the end.
ALJ – Are you going to fire them by fax or by text?
Leah – Actually I was going to use carrier pigeons.
Hayley –That is if we haven’t already shot them (everyone laughs)
ALJ – What kind of reaction do you think you’d get on X factor?
Leah – I wouldn’t even dip my toe in that shit, I mean why would anyone really? It’s just total bollocks.
Hayley – What gets me is these people saying “I’ve always wanted to do that,” so why the fuck aren’t you already then?
ALJ – What about the future – is there an ultimate goal?
Leah – Anything could happen at any fucking time. I would love, as McQueen, to get to record the third album. Cos if your 1st album is any good you get a second album. But if that doesn’t go anywhere you never get a third. We don’t want to be pigeonholed and we just want to carry on as we are.
On thanking them, Leah once again sings ‘Walking in the Air’, just for me. Will anybody else ever get to hear such a tune coming from her mouth?