– How are you guys doing having just released your debut album? It might be exciting times, I guess. What’s the feeling when you can hold the real, physical artifact in your hands? When it’s not just something abstract anymore, not just ideas?
Hi Queens of Steel, thanks so much for having us for this interview!
it’s always such a cool feeling to release music! It starts in the studio, then you get to be a part of that magic! Eventually, you’ll hold it in your hands. The story or pressing plants being delayed is no secret, so we were super stoked to finally have physical copies. The fruits of our labor.
-This debut is ‘Forced Perspective’. What’s the meaning of the title? Literally and not.
“Forced Perspective” is accompanied with some art work of a womans hand gripping a mans throat, a twist of the old narrative of power plays. A fun way of saying “ youre gonna see it my way, AND you’ll like it”. Beyond the obvious power reset, a forced perspective can cause us to understand something from another point of view. Definitely some literal sense of the essence here, but also tongue in cheek.
-The music style is deeply rooted in the ’80s. Mixing Heavy Metal and Hard Rock. Did you have a clear vision in your mind about how the album should feel/sound like or has it developed itself in a more spontaneous way? From the writing to the recording or even the mix, do the songs get new life?
Yes, very heavy 80’s influences. We definitely made some tunes that nod to a lot of the greats!
Carlee love Lee Aaron, Accept, and Doro, and I think that shows! It’s interesting, these songs existed before Carlee, Amos, and Matt joined us. She pretty much came in and made them all her own, stylistically, in melody, and lyrics! It was fun to see her and the others breathe different life into these songs!
-Your logo is quite menacing. It has a street vibe (which fits perfectly with your cover artwork). Does the logo speak of yourselves? Of your style?
Our logo is very much in alignment with our overall motif and vision, “the streets are tuff, but so am i!” We love the 80’s street gang lore, so wicked, so killer!
-Does it also fit with your lyrics? What do they deal with?
Our lyrics certainly speak to our aesthetic and “vibe”. White Lies is about seeing through the BS in this world, too slick for anyone to pull a fast one. The ultimate street smarts anthem. Additionally, tracks like “ Bad Guy”, “Speedin’ for your love” and “ruminating” capture multiple perspectives of triumph and victory.
-‘Speedin’ for your Love’ has sexual connotations. Nowadays women’s sexuality is still a taboo and in metal has always just been a fantasy of the dudes. Sex from a woman’s perspective/voice is almost an act of defiance. Is it also a statement?
Haha, I was hoping someone asked us about this one! “Speedin/ for your love” is a spicy one! Carlee had a lot of fun writing these hot lyrics. Why not though? Its fun, its sexy! Carlee isn’t too concerned with taboo ideals, she just likes to get the crowd excited during this one. To no surprise, its definitely a fan favorite during our sets. Sex is fun, I guess we are comfortable with that.
-In fact, gender stereotypes seem to be firmly screwed in the genre (as in society in general). What do you think is the reason behind this? Maybe that it tends to be a very nostalgic “world”? And what would be the first steps to make to revert this? As we are all part of this, from musicians to writers, from promoters to fans.
I think seeing more women in metal has started to reshape some archaic mindsets of what they can/cannot do. Over all, seems more accepted but it is still very much present. I think organically following your passions and doing them well are potent tools in shifting the over all stand point on women in metal/music. We are here, we are hot, and we are good. Get use to it, dweebs!
-A few months ago, you came back from a tour with Savage Master. (Thankfully) there are a lot of talented women in Metal getting some exposure. What were your role models when growing up? And what contemporary women artists inspire you?
The Savage Master tour rocked so hard! We had such a blast sharing the stage with them every night, and creating tons of fun memories. I mentioned it earlier but Carlee has a lot of influences like Lee Aaron, GirlSchool, Doro, and Hellion. It was hearing Catalepsy- “ Evil Within” that inspired me to sing metal, I heard that song many many years ago and stuck to the vision since then!
There’re not only women fronting or playing in bands, but also involved in the scene in different ways. You recently played at Immortal Festival, ran by Deb Levine of Lady Beast. How was it?
Pass/ we didn’t end up playing this fest due to someone getting covid in the band. Bummer!
Deb is such an inspiration to us, we are always in awe at how involved and passionate she is within thee scene, all hail DEB!
– You hail from Atlanta. How’s the scene over there? Any labels, bands, zines…?
The Atlanta scene is pretty sick! Pretty much anything big, small, and in between comes through ATL!
we just played an amazing show with Hallas, and Free ways and it was such an honor to share the stage with such phenomenal talent!
-And finally, what’s next for Crossed Hearts?
Whats next for us is writing new material! We want to mature our aesthetic and lore, and want to explore making more music videos. We are leaning into the film nature of what this genre practically begs for. Until then, we’ll see YOU on the edge of the blade!