Nightqueen are totally new to me. Where did you come from and what have you done before signing with Massacre?
-Well first of all I’d like to thank you for your interest in Nightqueen. We’re from Belgium.
Not a typical metal country but there is a lot of good metal bands here for sure. Before signing with Massacre, we did only some small festivals to get some experience. After the last reform, I suddenly got the right musicians for this project. Now, we’re 6 people who have the same goal: to get as far as possible in the music world. We reshaped the music arrangements, bought some good studio equipment and made some new demo’s which resulted in a contract with Massacre.
With a name like Nightqueen you have to have a female vocalist for it to not be a total misrepresentation of the name. Was that the plan from the beginning?
-Yes that was the plan. I started the project together with my wife Heidi who was at that time a good singer. So I wrote all the vocal lines and lyrics in female style. That resulted in songs like “Queen of the Night” and that sounded good for a band name and the philosophy around. After 3 spinal operations Heidi quit singing and we had to look for another singer. So we stayed in female style.
With Belgium being a small country both by size but also by metal standards where do you look to for inspiration? Any metal genres/regions that have made a bigger impressions than others?
-Look around and you’ll see enough inspiration to write songs. There are so many problems and social abuses in the world. I like to write about the main problems interweaved in a mystic cloud of fantasy. There’s also a different style in writing than the main metal music. For example: When something evil happens: others write about Satan. Well I’ll write about a dark fairy. Sounds more female and acceptable to me. There surely are influences. I grew up with the true metal of Maiden, Priest, Helloween and Queensryche. You’ll find those influences in our music too.
What kind of game plan do you have now that you’ve signed with Massacre?
-No plan at all. First of all we made sure that the recordings went perfect and preparing our shows as good as possible. Massacre makes the publicity and after that we’ll see.
When you have an idea to form a band how important is the graphic side of the band i.e. the clothes, the look, the backdrop/ground etc.? Is it important to build a magic aura around the band?
-Yes it’s very important that a band has his own identity by their music and also their looks. Nightqueen is a band who carries a metal bat in its logo for a reason. It became the symbol of the Queen of the Night which is also a given name for a big bat. But the whole philosophy is made on the band name like slogans as “the Queen and Her Knights” and also the title track of the coming album “For Queen and metal”. What the fans can see is the symbolic style around the band. 4 knights and a wizard to protect the queen. This with the looks of modern knights, more in blade-style, with swords. Together with the music it gives a kind of magic aura. I think that when people come to see us live, they earn to see a band that gives them entertainment.
Belgium might not be the most prolific metal country but some good bands have come forth. What is it about Belgium that sees so few metal bands making it big internationally?
-When I have to tell you the truth, some important people in the Belgian music scene will kill me for sure. Belgium is a small country with a Flemish and French speaking region and corrupt politicians. The Flemish part has its own music scene but only a few men dictate this scene. They decide what’s coming on the hit parade and what not. The music that get’s airplay is dictated by those assholes. When a new band comes with a good song they have to give money to these sharks. I think it’s the same story as in other countries with that difference that Belgium is too small to react. It’s even pay to play or in the best case play for zero for the main festivals. We already made that experience. The second reason is that the government gives no support to their artists in the Flemish part. In the French part the good artists do get grants. Can you still follow???
Who are the most important Belgian all time metal bands in your opinion, bands that the general metal crowd need to know about?
-Starting in the 80’s, just a couple of bands were important at that time: Ostrogoth and Killer. They were on the cradle of metal during the upcoming NWOBHM. In the 90’s: Channel Zero could open the international doors. Even there are a lot of very good and professional bands like Virus IV, Ancient Rites, After All etc; but for some reason you don’t hear much internationally.
When you are a new band how hard is it to gig around Belgium building a following? How do you go around attracting the right crowd?
-In Belgium it’s very hard. Since the contract with Massacre we get more offers from countries as Holland and Germany and some interest from Spain. Massacre told us to be patient and wait until the release of the album (24/02/12).
In building an international following is the Social Media a good way to start? How do you go about attracting attention on these sites?
-We have a lot of friends who spread the band’s music all over the social media. It’s a strong weapon for new bands to get their name a little bit promoted.
When and what can we expect from signing with Massacre?
-You can expect a new album “For Queen and Metal”. After that we hope to play on some major festivals to promote our album (you may book us). We hope that the album does well. If it does we’ll get a better contract for a second album. We’ll see and meanwhile we’ll kick some ass on stage. Hail to our Majesty the Queen, and Her Knights ! Meanwhile the only available track is on youtube (but will be remixed for the album) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjbK-9ZarwE, The first X-mas metal song in years http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQVaqRkGBXI