When DRUNK IN A GRAVEYARD first embarked to attend the inaugural Housecore Horror Film Festival, we did the necessary research to find out who was who in that particular metal zoo and see which bands we needed to see. On that list, immediately came to be blackQueen, an ominous and spooky sounding band inspired almost totally by Dario Argento’s Suspiria. After listening to the very minimal music that was available online for the band, I was intrigued and they topped my list for must see acts. I am ever enamoured of a bunch of a weirdoes that refer to their music as “witch metal”. The badge pick up party coincided with happy hour and I got very intoxicated on shitty PBR, got made fun of by the bar tender for wearing a Lana Del Ray style flower headband, and declared to the bass player of blackQueen that I came to Housecore to “Hail Satan and fuck witches” and generally made an asshole of myself. blackQueen in short is a very tight band – the music definitely needs to be experienced because there’s an intensity and passion behind it that is actually palpable when experienced live. I picked up CDs at the show and they maintain a steady rotation in my collection. I was also blessed (?) enough after being a total fuckass to be granted a chat with Pete from blackQueen. Pete puts up with our poor behaviour and for that we are forever grateful. Hail the Directress!
Robin Goodfellow: So for those not in the know, tell us what is blackQueen?
blackQueen: blackQueen is the musical representation of the powers of nature being channeled through a human host, and of the fear born from its misunderstood creative and destructive elements. We strive to represent the individual instead of the group or herd. We play witch metal because that is the term that most accurately describes us. We are not a black or death metal band. We are about utilizing and cultivating the powers of the unknown though esoteric practice, and creating the soundtrack to such practices.
RG: What brought the coven together?
bQ:We started playing witch metal in 1998 in our first incarnation is San Francisco, which started with just drummer and long time Florida friend Bil Bowman (now of Hornss). After going thru a few bassists we finally found Jason Stamberger as our permanent bassist. After releasing the WitchMetal demos, an obscure split 7″ and the mini LP Anthropocalypse, i left San Francisco to pursue my martial arts career in Seattle. After completing my teacher certification, i decided to remain in the northwest, and realized that blackQueen needed to be resurrected as i felt it was my best work, and still very much an important thing that needed to be heard. I joined forces with drummer and horror film makeup artist Alex Bytnar, keyboardist/noise man Brandon Fitzsimons who was my bandmate in the late Wormwood, and prog bassist Ursula Stuart. This completed the new lineup and we are constantly working to evolve our music to a new level.
RG – Aside from Argento and black magick, tell us about some of your other concepts.
bQ – I personally am very into what i would call psychic self defense, which can be defined as being able to manipulate others perception of you and your actions so as to limit outer resistance and conflict and thereby prevail in situations without any obvious effort. This is done without harm to anyone, but limits others knowledge of your intentions, thereby allowing you to go unnoticed. Other than that i can say a drunk person is an honest person, and that is a another concept we support as well.
RG – How do you incorporate magick into your music?
bQ – There are things you can hear on our recordings, which you cant perceive the origin of. You hear these things on a subconscious level, because they are not easily analyzed consciously. This creates and invokes an emotion and feeling born from the unknown. This emotion is the magick. What you do with it is up to you.
RG – BlackQueen played the inaugural Housecore Horror Festival in 2013, tell us about how that came to be and what that experience was like for you.
bQ:It was a truly great experience! I mean we got to play a fest with Goblin, the Melvins, Eyehategod and Repulsion in the company of many great filmakers, actors and actresses, it was like a dream come true for us, since we are all about metal and horror film soundtracks. I contacted the folks at HHFF as soon as i found out it was happening, and they were kind enough to actually listen to us, and the music spoke for itself i guess.
RG – Tell us about BabeGhostWitch, your short film and will we see more shorts?
bQ: BabeGhostWitch was a concept i came up with as a soundtrack for a film chase scene. The way the song progressed gave me the vision of the storyline, and with the help of my brilliant friend Chris Word, who did the cinematography, and several friends helping out with the cast, vehicles, and Alex creating the gore effects, this short film was born. They world premiered it at HHFF, we did a local premiere in Seattle, then Cvlt Nation did the online premiere. It was a year in the making but really with shooting and editing only 6 months, and it was totally DIY. It’s obviously Argento influenced with the lighting and camera angles, and the song itself is inspired by Keith Emerson’s Inferno soundtrack. I am planning on making another short this year, this one will contain more blood and gore, martial arts, and of course, lots of devious witchcraft. Alot more people will die and all for good reasons.
RG – Tell us what the Future has in store for blackqueen?
bQ – We are mixing our new LP ‘The Directress’ which is being produced by Billy Anderson, and features our best wok to date, along with several surprise guest appearances. Then we are doing a west coast tour this october on our way to play Southwest Terrorfest, then working on a european tour. We hope to gain more of a following in the film scene as well as the music scene, and in fact have been asked to be a part of an independent film soundtrack which will also make its debut this year.
RG – Recommend some music for our readers and their ear holes.
bQ – Check out Ved Buens Ende’s ‘Written In Waters’ , Domheimsgard’s ‘Beyond Possession’, and anything by Bethlehem prior to Schatten Aus Alexander Welt. As for non metal stuff there’s Goatcraft (who also played Housecore), the soundtrack to Creepshow, Contamination, and Diamanda Galas ‘The Litanies of Satan’
RG – And to close, we are known as DRUNKINAGRAVEYARD.com – so list your favourite intoxicant and horror movies (and yes, Suspiria is too obvious so it doesn’t count)?
bQ – Absinthe with real wormwood and Kung Fu From Beyond The Grave.