15 years of Queens of Steel: Tania

We Queens of Steel are turning 15 years old in 2020 and we want to celebrate it in different ways, like with a series of short «interviews» with colleagues, collaborators, artists involved in the Metal community in any way, in any discipline, to conmemorate these years through music, gigs and, in a nutshell, through moments.
Today myself (the founder of Queens of Steel) I’m gonna answer to my own questions. Yes, I’m interviewing myself. It’s pretentious, I know, but well, I was bored and… Moreover, we are talking to everyone that has been part of our (not road) crew so, why not talking to myself? So here’s my speech.

-We Queens of Steel have been annoying people for 15 years now. During these years a lot of albums have been released. What albums do you specially remember or are your favourites of these last 15 years? Those you have pretty much scratched.
Anything In Solitude. No-brainer. Specially «The World. The Flesh. The Devil». The Devil’s Blood. And Antichrist. Yes, broadly too. One of my favourite Thrash Metal bands of the last years. Also the first Black Magic and the first The Tower. I remember 2014 because of those two very records. Beyond’s album. Killer. And «Epitome of Darkness», by Repugnant. Degial’s debut album also stuck. Even though I’ve played that opus a lot of times just to listen to «Swarming». I still love Enforcer’s «Diamonds». I could stop and think and mention albums from these last months too, but the ones I just mentioned are those that have stuck with me and the ones I always go back to after several years.

-And the split up you regret the most?
I don’t believe in split-ups. The band that hasn’t done that yet, will reunite at any future KIT. But some deaths felt strange, like Lemmy’s. He had always been there and it felt like he would always be. Sometimes I realise I haven’t fully made my mind to the fact he’s not alive anymore. But that’s the magic of art; the creator lives in their work eternally. Also Mark Shelton’s passing hit near home, because it was unexpected and specially because, after so many chats, felt more personal. And I know I will regret the death of some KISS members, because they were my soundtrack while growing up. Because somehow, I’ve spent more time with them than with some people close to me.

-All of us tend to attend gigs, festivals… During 15 years we’ve spent a lot of time in airports, trains, cars. What is the show or festival you recall with special affection?
I remember the first festivals, of course, specially the first one, Metalmania 2003 (Slayer, Dio, Immortal…). The first time I saw KISS in 2010 (next to what I believed was a Nicke Andersson’s copycat. «Look at him, with the cap», I thought. Unaware that the support act had been Imperial State Electric). Also when I saw King Diamond for the first time last year at Rockfest. Watain in Uppsala with In Solitude and Degial was special. A microcosmos was formed. The feeling all three bands conveyed was like the one of life making its way through and rising from the Death. And I had a lot of fun at the only edition of The Fires of Samhain, in Dublin. It was a constellation of different things; attending a festival due to a personal project for the first time ever, all the people I met…

-They are a lot of years if you think about it. Which would be your most memorable moment(s)? A milestone or achievement, on a personal and/or musical level.
Precisely this, the reason behind these Q&A: having been able to move forward this project for 15 years. And the fact that it still makes sense to do it. Also what QoS has provided me: doing radio, a fanzine, collaborating with major magazines that were an important part of my life when I was starting to listen to Metal… And interviewing artists that inspire you, that you admire, or whatever you want to call it, is always exciting. It has also allowed me to know, to some extent, how the industry works from the inside, besides the opportunity of getting to know more bands, more people (collaborators, thanks! It is flattering that someone wants to be part of your project because they believe in it). On the other hand, it has also kept my creativity aflame and brain cells on guard trying to find new outlets, creating new content, finding different approaches for interviews, etc. There’s something new to discover everyday. It is exciting. Besides Queens, being part of Sycamore is enriching, and its an important project. Well-needed. Having spent some time with my online store Lvx Arcana and to see how something that first started as an experiment/game turned into something so big, was lovely. And as lovely was that it gave me the chance of working with different amazing artists (designers, photographers, models, musicians…), of meeting Magickal people and of travelling around Europe. To see that something you create from the scratch awakens interest in strangers and makes you forge some kind of link to different individuals, it is a flattering thing if you think about it. And it is beautiful.

-Everything evolves (involutes sometimes) with time, so does the Metal «community». What do you believe has been the biggest change the Metal scene has experience or is experiencing during this time? For the better or for the worse. Because if we stop and think about it, not even Spotify existed 15 years ago!
As I’m mentioning technology here, that inmediacy and easy access to pretty much everything, has made music become a product of fast consumption instead of being experienced as another means of artistic expression. And, even though this way of perceiving music is a con to me, the effect has some pros. Besides this, to me the most important change is in political and social terms. I loathe how fascism and some other shitty ideas are accepted as normal while the people reacting to these ideologies are being called out. The good thing is this, that there’s a reaction. An answer. There’s resistance. And everyday there are more projects with antifascist, feminist, etc., perspectives claiming that Metal is a place for everyone. To me, the annulation of individuality goes against what Metal is, and restricts the spirit of freedom and rebellion it should have. More counterculture, please!

-Looking to the future, what would be the best possible scenario for you if you think about the next 15 years?
More underground in our cities and less recycling old classics. Diversity on stage and among the crowd. And, I’m gonna be honest, even though sometimes I feel like blowing everything away and I feel like and I can’t take it anymore, I want to stick with QoS for as long as possible and find new ways to reach people (with a fanzine, a podcast, gigs…). After all, if I’ve reached to this point, it seems like I find it rewarding enough.

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