Queen Zee are rapidly garnering attention, for all the right reasons. Under their recent accolades are a UK tour with grrrl punk trio Dream Wife, and a sold-out hometown headline show. The band weren’t made to fit amongst the rest. Instead, their music is bold, brash, and queer, and they’re not afraid who knows it.
“Liverpool’s got such a history of being a music city, you don’t even need to mention The Beatles and Echo & The Bunnymen, but the scene has always been compartmentalised,” says vocalist Zena about being queer in the band’s birthplace. “It’s got these individual scenes that all seem to do their own thing in their own microcosms without crossing over. So, a band like ourselves, there wasn’t any one particular group that really sat well.
“Bands like Dead or Alive and Frankie Goes To Hollywood set the path for the current queer scene, and bands like Sonic Yootha [a Liverpudlian queer club night] have just done an arena tour with Kylie, so there is that movement there.
“In terms of guitar bands and being involved in the queer scene, it doesn’t exist really. I’d say Queen Zee is the only thing that’s come out recently. We’ve come out the punk scene as a queer band, rather than coming out the queer scene as a punk band.”
Listen to the band’s single ‘Porno’, or any of the tracks from their ferocious debut, and you’ll realise that they couldn’t care less about what people think of them.
“We haven’t had massive difficulties,” Zena says regarding what the response has been like to the band’s distinct identity and character. “Liverpool is a very left leaning and accepting city, but obviously we have had our issues, and we have had people be abusive in particular ways and so on.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s harmed Queen Zee, or harmed what we’ve been doing, but I think it’s something every queer artist in every city all over the world experiences. There are particular people who are uncomfortable with the queer identity and are uncomfortable around queer nature, so for someone to come out and be overly queer that makes people not necessarily want to work with you.”