interview with Bitch Queens

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Have any of you played in other bands? Yes - I played in a band called Dogs Bollocks. Marcel our bass player used to play in a metal band called Secondhand Child and Danny our second guitarist was a member of Cherry Blossom Drive. All smaller local rock bands. 
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you? Bitch Queens is Mel (Vocals / Guitars), Harry (Vocals / Drums), Marcel (Bass) and Danny (Guitars). We are all in our early thirties. We are still teenagers inside our heart but the hangover lasts now more than a day...
Have you had other previous members? Yes, there was another singer called Dave years ago when we were a shitty punk band with a different band name. And there was founding member Dan who played guitar for 13 years with us.
Did you make music even when you were young? Harry and me started to play together in 2000. We had no clue about writting music or playing our instruments properly. We just wanted to have a band. So out of this shitty punk band back then we formed Bitch Queens in 2008. 
Where are you from? We are from Basel, Switzerland. It’s located up north close to the German and French boarder. 
It’s alright to live here. We have at least a pretty good bar and nightlife scene. 
What's your style of genre? Let’s just say it’s punk rock. A mix of the late 90s Scandinavian Rock with older punk and garage influences. 
What inspires you? That can be a lot of things. Best is shitty mood or just having trouble with something. Summer is quite shit to write good punk music. Too nice weather and everything is too happy and easy haha
How often and where do you reherse? We have our own rehearsal room where we also record our music. Harry our drummer is the guy for that part in the band. Actually most of the stuff you need to do in band we do DIY. We don’t rehearse that often anymore. In some months not at all and in others twice a week or a whole weekend. It depends on what’s going on.
How have you developed since you started with the music? I hope we are all better musicians and mainly better songwriters now. 
Do you have other interests of work outside the band? Sure, everyone in the band has. But most of it is somehow connected to music. 
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? Yeah we are always on the lookout for new partners. But it’s quite difficult for a band like us. For the good companies you are too small and working with really small companies makes no sense cause we probably have better contacts over the years. There are some cool in between agencies around but it’s really hard to get in there too. But having good booking contacts is really important!
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? We are on a label for years now. It’s called LuxNoiseRecords. Its a small independent label here in Basel with a long history. I work for the label too. A bunch of sound nerds trying to keep R’n’R alive. 
So there is a lot of heart in it and we can do and release whatever we want. 
Labels are not that important anymore as they were years ago. You can pretty easy have all your stuff available world wide. 
What made you decide to make this music? I once saw a clip of the Hellacopters on MTV. Back in the days when all these music channels still played good music. I loved them, bought their record in our local record store and took it to the rehearsal room. 
Everyone was blown away and we knew in what direction we need to go. 
On the other hand I had this really cool guitar teacher. He is the singer of the Lombego Surfers and still a good friend of mine. He showed me all the good old stuff from back in the 60s and 70s. My Kung-Fu master of R’n’R! 
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? Mostly one of us comes with a good riff. Then we arrange it together and our drummer Harry is writing all the lyrics. 
Do you compose in a certain inviroment? No - just sitting on the couch or in bed with the guitar in my hands. Sometimes I have an idea walking the streets at night - then I try to record it on my phone. Always funny to hear me singing some guitar riff the next day and then I try to make something out of it. 
How you done any covers live? Yeah we usually play covers with a guest singer or guest guitarist. It’s a cool thing to support other musicians in the scene. We did songs from the Dead Boys, Motorhead, Ramones, The Runaways, Misfits, Alice Cooper and many more.  
What language do you sing in? We sing in English. 
What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? That goes from 10 to 4000. Best show so far was in our hometown. A huge festival all over the city which takes place every second year. A lot of fun to play it. We are booked again for mainstage this year. 
What ages are most of your concert attendants? Hard to say - one thing I know for sure. There are not many young punk-rockers around. When we started all our shows were full of them going crazy in the front row. Nowadays you probably better run a youtube channel to reach them than playing in a band. 
Do you have a regular place you play live often? There are many venues we play every year. The ones with the right attitude and a promoter who still has the fire in his heart. You meet so many fucked up people still running a venue but you can see in their eyes that it’s actually over...
What was your first gig like? Our first show we had in school. We were absolutely terrible. But no one cared about it back then. 
We played 4 songs I guess. 
What was your latest gig? We played in Spain in May. Spain is the best country to tour in Europe at the moment. You can ask whoever you want. Everyone is telling the same. 
Where have you played live this year? We played in Switzerland, Italy, UK and Spain. 
Where do you plan to gig the comming year? We already have shows booked in Germany, Norway and Switzerland. Maybe there will be some Austrian and Czech shows later this year. 
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? We did that really early. It’s fucking important to have a good merch. Some bands just don’t get that. So we have shirts, panties, hats, bags, patches and of course records for sale. 
Where can people buy your merchandise? They can get all the stuff here:
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? Downloading makes absolutely no sense to me when you can stream everything on Spotify. We are cool with that. Maybe you don’t sell that many records anymore but with the internet you can promote your music all of a sudden to millions of people. Back in the days you needed a lot of money and a huge promo agency to do that. 
What do you think of my work? You did not introduce yourself so far. So I really don’t know. 
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? You never know. The more you promote your band the better it is! So I think everything helps in a way.
Do you have any role models or idols? I think we all have our different role models. For me it started with Tony Iommi and then there were Nicke Andersson, Dregen and Antony Thomas from the Lombego Surfers. 
Why do you think that they exist? Because their parents had sex one day I suppose. 
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? You can get inspired from everything. Even from some over produced chart song. There is a good harmony or a crazy drumbeat - in the end it’s just important that you create your own sound. So people can here your style of doing it and you are not just some random sounding band. 
What advice would you give other bands or artists? Try to play as much as you can and networking is probably the most important thing. Go to concerts, festivals and talk to people, connect with other bands on Facebook or wherever. It’s a lot of work but it pays out.
Do you have any new material? Yes - we have a new album out called L.O.V.E. - everyone who is into Scandinavian Rock will love it and Peter from Peter Pan Speedrock is playing as guest on it too. 
What are your web sites? Just check or
What are your plans for the future? We would like to record some new stuff by the end of the year and besides this we try to tour as much as we can! 
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