Queen Zee  – Lucky 7

LUCKY 7 is the feature where we ask artists to name their 6 favourite songs by others, and a lucky 7th song of their own…

Queen Zee

Queen Zee is a Liverpool band that are currently at their rabble rousing menacing best, evoking the likes of early 90’s Marilyn Manson.

Drawing heavily on a variety of musical influences, from the teenage rampage that was the 70’s garage and punk rock explosion to the maddest, wildest elements of exploratory 80’s pop – blurring the lines between everything, from sexuality and gender to global politics, Queen Zee are a musical force of nature.

Ultimately, they say, they’re more influenced by the city’s working class politics, LGBT+ community and diversity than by what they see as a stagnant music scene around them. With this knowledge in hand Zee take us through a fascinating look at the songs that shape with their Lucky 7…

1. Bruce Springsteen – ‘Atlantic City’
Nebraska is the closest I think there is to a perfect album, and weirdly enough the only Bruce Springsteen record I’m that familiar with. But there is something about ‘Atlantic City’ where he captures this almost melancholic hope, it’s uplifting and depressing at the same time. Life isn’t as simple as expressing a singular emotion, so neither should Art be. The older I get, the more I draw from this record.

2. Fucked Up – ‘Son the Father’
Fucked Up are one of my biggest influences, to me, punk was always about questioning. Questioning authority, questioning mainstream culture, questioning mainstream art. But you’ve got to go further and question Punk authority, punk culture and punk art. Fucked Up have done that, again and again and again. Why do you have to stick to four power chords? Why can’t you experiment with instrumentation? Why can’t you push the boundaries of what makes a punk record? So even though there’s no studded jackets or spiked hair, I think Fucked Up embody my definition of punk better than anyone else.

3. Smashing Pumpkins – ‘Zero’
I only ever saw my Dad at weekends and one weekend I told him my friend liked punk bands and that I had heard of some of them. It was stuff like Green Day, NOFX, Alkaline Trio. My Dad was into more leftfield stuff, like Aphex Twin and Suicide but he had liked the whole grunge scene in the 90s. So gave me a box of old CD’s to work through; Nirvana, Pumpkins, Hole, Mogwai, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead etc. but Smashing Pumpkins stood out just cos Billy Corgan’s voice was so fucking weird. It resonated with me. He was androgynous, he was an outsider, and to an 11 year old kid it totally blew my mind. I spent a whole summer trying to learning every Smashing Pumpkins and Hole song on my Dad’s old guitar.

4. The Runaways – ‘Cherry Bomb’
Joan Jett is an absolute hero of mine. I don’t know if I want to be her or be her best friend. Maybe both. She writes these great, cool as fuck, pop songs! Yes they’re pop songs, and this is a great example of how similar punk and pop really are. I try to channel a lot of that in my own song writing.

5. G.L.O.S.S. – ‘Outcast Stomp’
Hands down the most important band of the decade. I’m upset it ended so soon but also glad the integrity of the band will never be questioned. I write a lot about my own experiences as a Trans woman, and without bands like G.L.O.S.S. I don’t know if I would have had the confidence to do so. They really have done so much good for a community that are so viciously demonised in our current media climate.

6. Pat the Bunny – ‘A Glorious Shipwreck’
Pat Schneeweis’ lyricism might be my favourite ever, and I love this whole record, but on ‘A Glorious Shipwreck’ he manages to create the most beautiful analogy of anarchism; “Captains will go down with the ship my dear, and we’re all captains here”, I love his politics and I love his songwriting. I have been endlessly influenced by this record and find myself coming back to it again and again on long drives whilst we’re touring.

Lucky 7. Queen Zee – ‘Idle Crown’
I was a bit nervous when I presented ‘Idle Crown’ to the band. We already had enough songs to go and do a record and I felt as if I was just adding to our workload by asking to develop it, but I’m glad we did. This is the closest we have to all five of us contributing to the writing of a song. Myself and Jay share most of the heavy lifting on the writing process but everyone worked on ‘Idle Crown’. It shows us moving away from plain raw punk aggression and into something more harnessed. Lyrically it has some of my favourite lines “We’re ballerinas dancing on broken glass, but it’s actually gasoline and I’ve got the match” and yet it came together really quickly (I think we finished it in an afternoon). This is Queen Zee digging into what we’re currently listening to and looking at what bands like Drab Majesty are doing, as much as what Frank Carter is doing.

Queen Zee are on tour now supporting Marmozets and have their own headline tour in April.