The Black Queen is coming to Russia for the first time, but have you personally been here before? Do you know some Russian words?
Well yes but I don’t know how to spell them. My grandparents, on my father’s side, one of them was from a town in what is now Belarus, called Slutsk. Before they died they spoke a lot of Russian, when I was young. So I picked up some words and phrases…very basic things. But I can’t write them. Then a few years ago a dated a girl who came to the United States from Russia in 1989, and her and her family spoke Russian, so I learned more.
When did you meet each other? How did you get to making a group together?
I knew Steve for a long time, since 2007, when he started working with The Dillinger Escape Plan. We began writing music together in 2010, because we shared some similar melodic influences and ideas, and were becoming really good friends. Josh I met in 2011, while on tour with Dillinger, and he was in Puscifer. We got along really well, and started hanging out back home in LA, and soon we all found ourselves writing music together and hanging out all of the time. The first song we finished was “Maybe We Should”, and we knew we had something special.
Does the name “The Black Queen” have a special meaning for you? Is there a story behind it?
The name is a reference to intense seduction and temptation. Seduction that can either lead you into an amazing place or into a terrifying one, or sometimes both.
Your debut LP “Fever Daydream” came out in January and single “Secret Scream” – in July. Can you share some interesting “in progress” facts?
So many things happened during the creation of our album. A lot of personal tragedies and loss that bonded us together. We really fell in love with our music and the album while we were working on it, for so long, from 2012 to 2015. It kept us going. One in progress fact that may be interesting is that midway through the writing and recording, Steve and I were moving to a new place, and someone stole our moving truck, with everything we own in it. It was New Year Day, and it was found empty two days later.
What’s your perfect place to play The Black Queen music? Is it more about club intimacy and darkness or about open-air festivals?
We haven’t played any open-air festivals yet, but usually I prefer clubs. The darkness and mystery, there’s nothing dangerous about an open air environment, I prefer clubs, the darker and more brutal feeling better. Dungeons. Although an outdoor festival at night can have its charm. Not during the day though.
I’m in love with your videos, they complement the music so well. The effects and details are interesting: some kind of glitch in “Ice to Never”, typography in “Distanced”, and the latest highly contrast black&white in “Secret Scream”. Where do you get the ideas and inspiration?
Thank you. The visuals in our band are really important to us. We view this as more of an art project than a band. A world for you to live in. We want everyone to feel what we feel, so we try to inject our lives into the videos. The time period when we wrote and recorded the songs was a really special time. We are very protective of this band, so all of the ideas come from us, so it feels like us. We get inspiration from hanging out together and talking.
About things that inspire us, feelings in our lives that we can all relate to, a movie, a book, a concept, anything. The visuals in “Distanced”, the slow moving clouds, which are actually underwater, were inspired by “the nothing” in The Neverending Story movie. We wanted something beautiful and ominous. And we wanted to do a lyric video in a more interesting way than is typically done, and then we mailed those lyric posters to people. We want people to feel like they are a part of this.
You latest videos are directed by The Black Queen itself, right? What does it mean, just the three of you making everything from the beginning till the end?
Right, we filmed and directed the last three, and we wrote Ice To Never. We love to film, and I love photography and video, cinematography, so to me it’s just another way for me to create art. I don’t consider the band just music, I consider it everything. The videos, the way we communicate with our fans. Everything is an artistic outlet to me, and to us.
Imagine, that you need to create perfume describing your music. How will it smell?
It would make you hallucinate and feel euphoric, but maybe a little scared at the same time.
What’s your attitude to the pirate copies and illegal spreading records in the internet?
I don’t see it as something to really think about. It’s out of my control. The road goes forward, and there are parts of the road that are rocky, but overall the road goes forward. I do what I do because I love to. Because of passion. The industry will correct itself, it already is.