One windy afternoon when the clouds opened up around a magical coffee shop in the St Katherine's dock near where the poppies grow. There on the stairwells sat the founder of Katie and the Queue and her partner in crime Laura H. The two were ready for some interrogation by musicmuso.....the coffee flowed. Get ready to read the thinkings and the ongoing story of Katie and the Queue
Katie, it is a pleasure to see you again, please remind the readers of musicmuso who you are and what you’re all about?
I’m Katie and the Q; currently I am in the development stage of creating a band. Doing solo projects, I’m still not signed and very independent. I‘ve been working a lot with john McKenzie on some of my songs that are being produced by The Fuse
Since the last time we spoke nearly a year ago, what’s been happening in your world?
Katie Q - Well, I’m more improved. I am now in a studio producing music, as you know, before I had been recording on my bedroom floor, so that is an improvement, I also pulled in Laura H, who has helped me so much with where to go with the music.
Laura H - at the start we were just messing around on Katie’s bedroom floor without sounding provocative (cough cough), but seriously we are making more of a rounder sound.
You recently recorded at ‘The Fire studios’ in North London, how did this come about and what songs did you record?
Recorded in North London somewhere and working with John McKenzie who works with The Fuse (Justin) and took me to his studio. We recorded ‘Do Me’ a more electronic sound along with ‘Jesus lays your hand on me’ and ‘first ever love’. 4 or 5 tracks to be pressed placed on CD. I will then be going to Australia with Laura H. Then we’ll contact independent radio stations over there along with smashing some UK radio stations. The music is based on the time I watched Thelma and Louise. I want it to be all about the road trip, add to the story and hopefully not jumping off a cliff, to see where it will take us.
It is really exciting, but not killing people and all that, which will mean a great holiday as well. Can’t have that stuff you know.
You have admitted the immense pressure you feel when you are onstage, how are you trying to overcome/deal with this and what goes through your head before you are onstage?
Katie Q - I’ve been playing for about a year now, and the panic is painful, I don’t mind attention in small groups. I seem to be ok with all that, but for a venue where people are there and more than a handful of people, I was thinking I can hopefully make them all wear blind folds, that may help. I did go to hypnotherapy and they wanted to talk about my childhood, any childhood incident that didn’t happen and I thought fuck that..
Laura H - we have been trying to do meditation, try and get you on stage.
I then asked Laura about her stage experience
Laura H - I grew up in stage, I was dancing on stage from the age of three, and I am from a very musical background. You know though I still get the nervousness and wanting to pee. It doesn’t get to me as much anymore, we just have to get Katie up there, and she will steal the stage.
Katie Q - I’d be worried, if I go up on stage and say something really offensive.
What was the first song you learnt to play on guitar?
Katie Q – I have always had a guitar but only played it over a year ago, but the first song I played was one I made up, it was ‘Sweet Love’. I can play guitar but don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve never learnt it properly; I use four strings and make up a song from there
Laura H – My grandparents were in the Church, so I learnt hymns first of all, but I did rock a great ‘Silent Night’ on the organ.
Katie Q – Laura knows all the words to frozen and knows all the musicals. She loves a musical, I think that is what Laura adds to this music.
Laura H - I want to check out so much over here, see the smaller venues and watch what will grow.
What are you doing to get yourself ‘out there’ and how are the singing lessons coming along?
Katie Q - I’ve stopped the singing lessons; I’m just going to carry on growing naturally, with the people around me and the help of Laura and her vocal skills will only improve. I tweet all over Twitter; I’m a tweet whore really. I chat shit and see what happens.
Laura H - Sound cloud is working your music gets shared around U.K and Australia.
Katie Q - Recently loads of remix producers are following me on Soundcloud, and Tracy Perry has helped me as well my playing and spreading the music around.
‘Do Me’, for me is probably one of your strongest songs and the lyrics are superb, what has been the response to this track, would you care to share the inspiration behind it? We love a story Katie Q….
Katie Q - It was around spring time I wrote it, I was alone and felt like no spring chicken. It was really early in the morning. It was on the back of someone talking about the book 50 shades of grey...oh I am so taking a note pad when that film comes out and it just got me thinking, sexual frustration and all that! Two radio people were interested, but they then said it was too rude, which really through me, as you can talk about killing people, being bitches and whores but ‘Do Me’ is too rude, it is just crazy. ‘Do Me’ is the one John McKenzie who used to be an A&R scout, said that this one is the most commercial songs I have., that does constantly get the most attention....and I know the words to it as well...maybe I should write more rude songs.
Is there anything that the readers of musicmuso can help you with at the moment? such as working with other musicians?, if so, what type of musician(s) are you aiming to work with?
Katie Q - I want to work with anyone or anything, as long as they don’t come with agents and all that, I just want to start a band. Be eclectic I don’t care as we work and play well together. Kadialy kouyate who plays African drums works with the BBC has mentioned we should work together, because our styles are so different we have to put something in our diary to get this started, but it is the getting started. At the moment any musicians out there want to join a band then get in touch.
You mentioned that you are a fan of pianist Tokio Myers, have you ever seen him play and what is it about him that you admire? Would you consider working with him if the opportunity arose?
Katie Q - I don’t think I’m good enough for him, he is so talented and all that
Laura H jumps in - hold on, what you talking about, you have your own style and work so hard and you are extremely talented.
Katie Q - yeah well, ok I saw him play Liebestraum and it’s so hard to play, I’ve played how I want it in my head and then I saw Tokio begin to play it and I thought FUCK he is so amazing. If he is interested in working on something together, then yeah I’d jump at the chance.
If you had Jesus’ mobile phone number (let’s assume he has one), what would you text him?
Katie Q - 'Do Me' hahaha
Laura H - Lay your hands on me
Katie Q- Where are you as people are trying to find you....or when you coming back?
Can you write a short song/poem with the words ‘Spoon’, ‘The Dude’, ‘Piggy Bank’ and ‘Nappy Rash’?
Sounds like something from ‘Do Me’ that let me put my thing in your piggy bank slot....mmm that could be the next song I can make sounds a great idea.
Your guitar playing is getting stronger and stronger, are you still practising every day and what is it about that instrument that turns you on?
Katie Q - Two of the four guitars need to be repaired, I don’t know how to tune it all, it needs restringing, cleaning and all that. I’m still practising. I use to be a drummer, the kit was premier and I could hide behind it. I like that feeling of something between me and the audience. With a guitar I can still hide behind it. I like the vibrations of the sound when I am playing it; it’s very soothing and sounds really rude as well. When I play piano I have to sit to the side and I am like, fuck this and it is freaky.
Among your many talents you’re also an author, with books such as ‘15 ways to be happy’, are you planning on continuing this venture?
Katie Q - These are more like leaflets because they’re small – I gain confidence in that area, I’ll write a big book and make a trilogy. My next book is going to be actual book – it’s based around fine art, kind of a mystery about a lady who has her life through the portraits – Laura who is so encouraging, bought me an iPad, I’ll get a keyboard and desk too. Laura is going to write one to, aint ya....
Laura H – yeah I am planning on doing one, I use to be a nurse, so it is about the expectations of the nursing industry, not autobiographical, not a fictional book. Basically they are scenarios and what to look out for in that role, bringing clarity to being a nurse. It’s all from my perspective from working bed side and corporate in England and Australia.
Katie Q – I think it’s important if you’re an artist of any genre, music, books and art, you can get too close to them. When I started music I isolated myself by talking about it constantly and always ask if I am getting better. My friends were getting bored of me rambling and not having anything else to talk about. My biggest fear is getting on stage, it can start rotting you. It is a great idea to take a side step, put focus on to another area and not take everything so precious.
Katie Q - I’m taking on ballet at the moment, which Laura is helping as Laura has done Ballet also – a guitar playing ballet dancer who writes books.
Your song ‘Rock Bottom’ is a deep and dark entity, is there a story about the track that you are happy to share with the readers?
Katie Q - Just before I moved to London, I had an ex who caused me problems. No hint it was just leave me alone. I had friends around me who were saying they were being supportive. But all they really wanted me to do was to hit rock bottom and digging me out, not being supportive, waiting for me to be wrong. So I decided to write Rock Bottom. It is very cruel by them as they are not here to help me achieve. That was the concept of the song and at the moment I have great people such as Laura and John McKenzie to help me push further
How do you find the right chords to start a song off with? Is the sound an accidental find?
Katie Q – Well, I only know four chords, I get the capo, I go up and down and decide what I can do and what I like the sound of, then put my fingers on it and see what happens. I bought a chord book and it looked like Braille...and pretty mush restricted me.
Laura H – It is entertaining to watch, she will pick up a guitar, to see her finger work is amazing, she doesn’t play the guitar like anyone I have seen.
Katie Q – that’s what John said, don’t learnt to play it, do what you are doing already, is what he said.
You use Twitter to get your work out there, has this helped? Do other musicians get in touch wanting to work with you?
A few have, but I’ve had some really odd ones. One guy asked if I’m a serious musician, he then said are you single, then..then he said you are not a serious if you are not single, I will come England and live with you and be in your band. That was pretty weird conversation. I get a few dodgy ones. But I have Laura with me, we met as we worked together for a time, she is great to me , really encourages me especially with her knowledge and confidence building which I sometimes struggle with, also though she does help me as she can play the carpet as a percussion and it just works so much.
How have you evolved as a musician and as a person since the last time we spoke?
Katie Q - I’m noticing differences in my voice. The other day I did a ‘Whooo’ and I was so pleased the excitement was, well a way that cannot be printed, but I couldn’t find that sound again. I’m more confident with it all now so when someone speaks to me, they will ask if I’m a musicians, I’ll say “yeah I am,” may be in years time I’ll become an arrogant twat. It’s all new and the confidence in this is growing.
Laura H - You were quite selective on whom you told, you would only tell certain people, you’re more open with it now. There is a confidence building and that happens when your range improves as that is exactly what is happening. She is great, she will see it soon.
Will you be playing live somewhere on New Years Eve?
Probably on karaoke and all that, I’ll keep my ear to the ground. Get smashed then get arrested and then get a bed for the night.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2014 and start of 2015?
2015 is the date that I need to get on that stage and show what I am capable of doing, Finding musicians to work with and become part of the Queue, so any musicmuso reads out there want to get in touch, then come on and join the ride.
After that, Katie needed a pee, but we had to continue, no letting up on this, we began to protrude the inner thinkings of Katie and Laura with the immense, passion filled and excruciating Quickfire questions....
Ginger Beer or Special Brew?
Katie Q – Special Brew
Laura H – I don’t know what Special Brew is....
Katie Q it’s alcoholic Ginger Beer.
Laura H – Special Brew.
Drum machine or the real deal?
Real Deal - Both
Electric Toothbrush or manual Toothbrush?
Electric Toothbrush - Both
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)?
Lemmy - Both
Oasis or The Verve?
Oasis - Both
Easter of Christmas?
Easter it’s day full of chocolate – Laura H
Christmas – Katie Q
Sneeze or Hiccups?
Sneeze – Laura H
Hiccups – Katie Q
Car or Motorbike?
Car – Laura
Katie Q - Motorbike
Acoustic or electric?
Acoustic – Laura
Electric because I’ve just started to play an eclectic guitar – Katie Q
Kylie or Dannii?
Dannii – Laura H because she just keeps it real, Kylie has become too British
Kylie – Katie Q
Tattoos or Piercings?
Tattoos - Both
Robert de Niro or Al Pacino?
De Niro - Both
God or Google?
Google – Both
We'd like to thank Katie Q and Laura H for sparing their time to sit and drink copious amounts of coffee whilst opening their souls and spilling the beans. We wish them every success in the future.
Interview by Mark Wincott