After 7 years of struggling we are happy to finally get some news from the Belgian band who play wonderful metal. Now their debut album is here, and Nightqueen kindly answers our questions.
Please tell us about how the beginning was with Nightqueen! I understand it was not the easiest way to start a band, right?
Yeah, I can tell you that the first years were not serious.
Before reaching this level with this line up there has been a struggle for years to get the right musicians together, who were technically and mentally good enough to form the real Nightqueen as band. The years before we did only some small concerts as a test. There was also the time factor. You have to know that I also run my own company in health care and home nursery. So it was not daily that I was busy in my studio. So the project was running very slow until summer 2010. Now I took some extra employees in my company to get more time for music because now I felt that the definite line up is ready to explode. :-)
Now you are ready with the first album, when did you start writing songs for the CD For Queen And Metal?
These songs were written in the years that I started to believe in the project. Old songs we refreshed into modern metal. Except Secret Of The Blind Man. We made that song during the recordings of the album to get more balance in the set list.
Do you write songs as a band? Or is there a main songwriter?
I write the main song melodies and also the lyrics. But we do the arrangements as a band.
It's also very amusing to work with the guys and doll. We feel no pressure and can work on a song as long as we like. It's pure fun working together and finish a song.
What inspires you to write music / lyrics?
Whooooops; this is difficult to explain. The lyrics is the easy way... I like to write about the
many social abuses in the world and interweave this message into a fantasy story.
The music is the way to express the lyrics. F. ex. When You Hear Screaming For Mercy, you can feel the werewolf clawing and attacking its victim.
By the way: What bands / artists made you start playing? And which bands / artists are you listening to these days?
I started playing in the mid 80's in some local projects, nothing special. After I graduated
I quit music, started my own company and got in a bad marriage. After my divorce I restarted music in 2003, played in a local band and a year later I wanted to do my own thing.
I started the Metalogy project which changed into Nightqueen after I wrote Queen Of The Night.
These days I still listen to my favorites of my youth; Judas Priest, Maiden, Queensrÿche, Saxon, Helloween and Accept. And with time I discovered some other fantastic bands like Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica.
Imagine this : 7th of April Nightqueen plays on the P.P.M fest in Mons together with some of my favorite bands (Accept, Sonata Arctica) That's much more as I expected when I started with Nightqueen, haha.
How long did the recordings take? Where did you record For Queen And Metal? Who produced the album?
Very looooooong! There were a lot of issues we had to deal with. Finally I produced the album together with Philip Weinhold, a newcomer as producer; assisted by Daniel and William.
We recorded the album in our own studio. The Midas Studio did the masterwork.
Who did the artwork? And how is it tied to the album title?
I contacted Jan Yrlund (Dark Grove design) for this job. I only told him what Nightqueen and the album was about and let him do his job. The result is what you see.
The artwork is very Nightqueen. Extreme good work of Jan. I want to work with him for the 2nd album too.
Which songs do you think represent For Queen And Metal best? And why?
I think that every song represents the album. This is what Nightqueen is. The best representative is the title song For Queen and Metal. It's a real stomper live song with all ingredients of our music. Also the lyrics are what we stand for: our Queen and our Metal !
Will you do a video? Which songs would you like to visualize?
We already made 2 videos at the end of 2011: our Christmas song Xmas Wonderland and Lady Fantasy. For that song there's also a second video with the album mix. There will be new videos coming up to promote the second album.
You'll see these videos on YouTube and on our website and Facebook.
How is the metal scene in Belgium today? Are there some other bands you work with?
The metal scene here in Belgium is very small on the top. There are a lot of small bands
but only a few bands with the right professional mentality like Channel Zero, Iron Mask, Max Pie, After All, Ancient Rites, Diabolo Boulevard... Don't shoot me, if I forgot to mention other good bands. :-) (Claudia: You mentioned After All, so I won't complain! ;) )
Belgium is a small country with a general main stream and dance minded population. And there is no real rock or metal club scene. Only a few clubs in the country and some metal festivals like PPM and Graspop what makes us looking over the border trying to get there.
We're since the release of the album in the upperground scene and we feel like new. We still have to meet some of those other Belgian bands and maybe something is coming up.
I guess you already got some feedback. Are you satisfied so far?
We know that almost every band has its opponents and so we also have received a couple of bad reviews. But most of the reviews are very good. So let's say that we are satisfied.
What about playing live? What are your plans?
We like to play as often as possible but have to be patient. The album is just released so let the world first get knowing us. This summer we're programmed on local festivals and at the end of the year we're on some Xmas fests because of our Christmas song.
We recently signed a booking agent. So let's see what's coming up.
Do you plan to record some live footage - not talking about Pro Shots - for YouTube or similar platforms?
Yesterday we did our first show since the album release and we already find the first fan videos on YouTube. Every show will be filmed by our crew too. So you'll find official concert compilations soon. Maybe some day we're coming up with a live DVD.
Talking about the internet... Social network is both a blessing and a curse. What's your opinion about it?
It's the evolution of mankind. :-) People don't realize that they harm the bands by free downloading. I point the finger to the governments who still allow this.
But promotional the social network are very good. Without it that would cost the bands and record companies lots of money for promotions.
So what can I say? If there ain't coming any rules from our smart politicians, someday rock'n'roll dies.
What's next on your schedule? Anything you want to add to the interview?
We're going to record the Nightqueen version of Priest's Diamonds & Rust in a couple of weeks. The song will be recorded in vocal duet between Keely and Tony our friend and singer of Max Pie.
The track will be placed on our sites as a free download for the fans. We hope you'll like it. :-)
Thanks a lot to let our readers know what is going on with Nightqueen. It was a pleasure to hear, and we wish you good luck on the rocky road in the future.