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There’s a reason why the considerable rock’n’roll talents of Lemmy of Motorhead and Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine can all be heard on the upcoming The Decade Of Queen V. Once they witnessed her ferocious hard rock, lung-shattering vocals and guitar playing, they were instantly won over.
Ferocious hard rock guitar playing, powerful, passionate vocals, and endless swagger and attitude. This is what Rock ‘N’ Roll is all about, and this is exactly what you get with Queen V.
After getting her start in the music industry as a songwriter and performer in musical theater, V wound up bouncing between such famed New York City clubs as CBGBs, Don Hill’s, The Palladium, The Bitter End, and The Green Door. It was in those venues that V found her inspiration and will to cultivate her passion for music from a pastime into a career.
Queen V, the band, started in 1996 when she met producer Phil Schmoll. She settled on the name Queen V because in ’96, rap was replacing rock in the minds and hearts of young music fans. The name, to her, raises the stakes, and makes a statement about how scorching female-fronted rock can be.
In 2003, Queen V toured with Twisted Sister. “I think that was our toughest crowd,” she remembers. “To open for Twisted Sister on Long Island? Oh man, you get these really tough biker dudes standing right in front of you with their arms crossed looking up at the stage, almost daring you to impress them. But by the end of the shows, they know you’re there for the same hard driving rock and roll they came for, and all of a sudden they’re on board.”
Queen V found herself opening for Billy Idol at a show in her native New York. It went so well, she opened three more, then seven on the West Coast. “It was my first tour,” she says. “There are a lot of women in Billy’s crowds and they loved seeing a girl up there doing her damnedest to rock their faces off. The response was very good and the more we got out there, the more people got to know the music, the more my confidence grew, and the shows just got better and better.”
Tom Morello and Lemmy were in the audience at Hollywood’s legendary Viper Room when Queen V rocked the house in 2004 during a tour for the compilation album New York City Rock’n’Roll. “It’s our home base in L.A.,” she says, “it’s a great room. It has all the legendary magic and history behind it.” After performing a blistering cover of Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love,” Queen V met the two rockers and the three became fast friends, so much so that Morello plays lead guitar on “My Machine,” another track off of The Decade Of Queen V and Lemmy co-wrote and sings on album closer “Wasted.”
In 2005 Queen V had another chance to play with another industry heavy hitter when she won a popular vote contest on XM Radio leading to the opening slot on a Bon Jovi tour. “I’ve been very fortunate to have met some amazing people along the way. Jon and Richie [Sambora] were so gracious to us. Not only did we open for them, but the show was at the Meadowlands! Being a New Yorker and growing up in Montclair, N.J., that’s my home turf. It was the biggest thrill of my life. I saw my first concerts there!”
Queen V has also used her voice to perform at a series of benefits that she deeply believes in, most particularly her heavy presence for IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America), having performed in conjunction with their 2010 Benefit Gala in Hollywood.
This is an artist with the kind of ballsy independent streak geared for the long haul. “I never wanted to be something I’m not.” One aspect of this fiery spirit resulted in her “Take Back New York” shows. V continues to work diligently to preserve New York’s underground music scene, and those shows, started in 2007, brought to the fore an old-school rock party in Downtown Manhattan which always culminated in a raucous jam for local musicians.
This is one Lady who can hold her own with the fellas, dress like a lady, and rock the roof off of any room. All it takes is one listen and you’re hooked.