It was 2010 when i first came across Kerosene Queen, from Birmingham, UK. They were then known as Hushwhore, and were on the same bill as my band. Instead of getting the usual mix of Hardcore wannabes, here was a band with a difference. A riotgrrl (yes, i did spell it like that) band with Nu - Punk influences, and a frontwoman in Charly Mills that has the voice of a mix of Courtney Love, Siouxsie Sioux and Poly Styrene.
Unashamedly trying to 'make it' - which is not a bad thing, the band easily show onstage that they are destined to go far, BUT on THEIR OWN TERMS. Songs like FRAUD, which is as close to original Vice Squad as ANY band will ever get, and the Hole inspired TAKE IT ALL prove that the band has the right idea, and can easily attack any musical style of the so called Punk genre.
If you are partial to female fronted Punk, which mixes the styles of UK '82, Riot grrl, and Grunge, then you should definitely check these guys out via their web pages.
Taking time out from her busy schedule, front woman Charly has agreed to a chin wag with her old pal, Rotten....so lets hear the story in her own words.
Punk Globe: Thanks for taking the time to do this Interview. Now, how did the band first form?
Charly: No problem! As a band we’ve had many roller coasters with formations! I won’t bore you with ever single detail, though! My drummer and I met in late 2009 and started jamming with a few guys to see what would come out of it. I needed something to do as my old band had just split up. Over the next few years we adopted new guitarists and new bassists, all coming and going until Summer 2011 we decided to become a lot more serious and take the band a lot more serious too, by trying to keep permanent members! (We’ll have to see about that one!)
Punk Globe: You were originally known as Hushwhore, but changed name in 2011, Why was this?
Charly: As I said, we just wanted to take things more seriously as more determination began to develop. We decided to change our name to “Kerosene Queen” because “Hushwhore” gives off bad impressions and doesn’t/hasn’t given us good connotations. Our previous name was only used because we couldn’t think of one which suited us at the time, so we called ourselves something insulting for a laugh!.
Punk Globe: Who were your Influences when starting the band?
Charly: My personal influences obviously stem from female fronted bands. I’m not sexist in that respect, I just love seeing women rock out in music! I mostly listen and love listening to punk/grunge and riotgrrl: L7, Hole, Bikini Kill, Babes in Toyland, Garbage, McQueen, Civet, Vice Squad, The Devotchkas, The Slits, Blondie, X-Ray Spex, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Suzi Quatro, The Runaways, No Doubt, Tsunami Bomb, The Plasmatics, Horrorpops, The Distillers... so, so many! All of these bands combined would make an amazing sound!
My aim is to combine a mixture of sounds, keeping a punk attitude but branching out a lot more to bigger audiences, I’m sick of punk having “hardcore” connotations, if punk is to survive it must evolve and breath in to new sounds. I want my band to be seen as “new punk” – by taking inspiration from past bands, but making our own sound/path, without the idea of trying to sound like someone else.
Punk Globe: You have played support to many known UK Punk bands, Who was your favorite and Why?
Charly: There is a few I can choose from... Supporting The Dogbones (with previous members from Queen Adreena) was amazing, 6 of the best young Midland female fronted punk and rock bands all under one roof, I loved it! That is my most recent favourite... The Anti nowhere League (whom I supported with my old band a few years ago) was a very funny night, I would have to say that gig was my favourite... probably only because I had just turned 18 and I went absolutely nuts with and on alcohol! (As it is legal to drink in the U.K at 18!) It was the first show I did where I wasn’t worried about not getting served at the bar so I went crazy. What made it funnier was before the show, I briefly went in the band room where Animal was sleeping, only for me to discover that he fell asleep watching “Time Team...” It tickled me all night! It was the first time I got really hammered that is why its remembered so well! (From what I remember, anyway!) Hopefully I can definitely top that gig though when it comes to favourites!
Punk Globe: As the main songwriter, What influences the way you write songs and how?
Charly: That is actually a toughie, because deep down most artists don’t really feel comfortable talking about that... for many reasons, whether it is just personal or simply because they just don’t know. I do believe some people were born with natural talent or a natural ability to do certain things in life, and if music or lyrics comes to you with ease then I think it’s just a gift and you should embrace it. Music hasn’t always been too difficult for me to do; it has been at times when I have suffered blocks etc... But generally everything around me influences me. A lot of it is based on feelings but when written or played musically... it has been given a lot more energy, “raw emotional energy” is the only way I can describe what influences the way I write.
Punk Globe: If you could play with any other musician, who would it be and why?
Charly: Hands down, it has to be Courtney Love. There are so many other artists I would love to perform with, but I would always pick her as the first one to cross off my list. I’m aware she has had a lot of hate spun towards her in the past and even now, and through all these years she is still going despite having to deal with that. I am obviously a massive fan of hers, (whether you like it or not!) because on an artist level, she is one of the only artists I have heard and seen perform live with so much passion and emotion. There is a lot of depth to her songs, and I’ve loved listening to them and trying to figure out how she was feeling when she wrote them. I think if an artist has that power over you they have definitely done something right, especially because she has managed to achieve depth but still keep channelling a rock and roll sound and outlook – she’s just brilliant, and to me she is a punk through and through, because she says it as it is.
Punk Globe: You have just released your new EP on Reverbnation, Can you tell us about it in your own words?
Charly: Yes, Expensive!
Next question... (laughs...),br>
Seriously though, we are very happy with the quality of our tracks but it was expensive to produce. Why didn’t we do it DIY you may ask? Well, as much as I love the ethos of DIY, I love sound quality on tracks. At the end of the day, what you put out is how people judge you and your music, so we wanted to put out there the best we can do with the best production we could find.
The tracks on the E.P in their own right are very different from each other, so hopefully people will enjoy them separately as individual songs, and together one after the other on the E.P. One thing is for sure is they are pretty damn cool songs!
Punk Globe: If you were not doing Kerosene Queen, What other career path would you have taken?
Charly: If I didn’t like doing music or weren’t that fussed about it... I would probably use all my time and money to either become a semi – successful or even successful model... maybe get tattooed up to f**k and be a tattoo model... who knows. The idea of travelling the world excites me too, anything where I can help the environment would be cool, or help animals... One day I would love to turn around and say I have visited every country in the world.
At the moment, I am a University student studying English Language whilst managing my band, because the idea of being a teacher, and just having a Degree behind me as well as doing music gives me options in life... I’m tackling it all now so I can give myself a choice later in life I suppose.
Punk Globe: What are your Hopes for the band, and where do you see the band in 10 years time?
Charly: I have no idea, a part of me doesn’t want to know... but obviously I’d love to see my band brace the covers of magazines one day, and play to thousands upon thousands of people. I bet that is such an amazing experience... It would be very cool indeed to do! But! It is about working hard, meeting the right people and getting your foot through music’s industry ladder, it might take years or it might not happen at all... but hopefully luck is on our side... the only thing we can all do in music is do our best, and wait and see.
Punk Globe: Finally,whats next for the band, and where can people contact you to find out more about Kerosene Queen?
Thanks Charly, and all the best with Kerosene Queen.