Photo by Sandra Lee Elford
Recently Katie Sears sat down with Sandy Stokes, front man for Queen’s Maid, to find out a little a bit about the band and their first full album, Pound.
by Katie Sears
Where are you guys from?
Well, we’re all from the same town. — New-Wes-Valley — except for Ryan Strickland (bass player) he is from Lamaline. We’re all different ages, we listen to all different types of music. And we all enjoy rock and roll.
How did you guys meet?
Myself, John and Steve we grew up together, we played hockey together growing up, and, Bobby he’s a little older than us, he didn’t really hang out with us. We knew he played drums though. The first Crab Festival we ever had, Bobby played drums at a teenage dance, and I remember looking up at him and thinking “man, I want to play in a band with him sometime.”
Bobby was that guy that we all wanted to play with. After myself, Bobby and Steve decided that we were starting a band we were looking for a bassist. Steve, who is our rhythm guitarist, he introduced us to Ryan. And Ryan at the time was just a guitarist, he just played guitar, never even touched a bass before.
When did Queen’s Maid actually form?
It was the 27th or 29th of Decemeber in 2006, we played our first jam, and it was that very day that Ryan got his bass guitar and amp. It was the first time he ever touched the bass!
Where did the name Queen’s Maid come from?
Queen’s Maid was just something we all agreed on. It was just thrown out there as one of the first suggestions for a name.
What other bands or artists have had an influence on your music?
For me, everybody. It would be Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin has been an influence, but I know I’ll never sing like him. Jim Morrison is a big one as well. And Gordie Downie from the Tragically Hip, he’s one’s of my biggest influences, he’s a poet. Everything he’s written I’ve always tried to tear apart, just to see what was on his mind. As for the rest of the band, our guitarist John’s influences would be Slash and Zakk Wylde. Bobby is all punk, he’s always enjoyed playing that. And Steve, he likes rock and roll and blues music. Ryan is our 80s rocker.
So about the album… Why did you guys name the album Pound?
Ever since we started playing we’ve always just used that word to describe our music. We’ve always said “pound” about our music, when we raised the question about naming the album, somebody said Pound, so we just went with that.
Who wrote most of the tracks?
John, our lead guitarist. He’s got a knack for writing rock and roll. We all write, but John writes the bulk of it.
How can you describe the album?
John White put it best when he said “it’s just a big melting pot of rock.” We tried to go for a live feel. All the rhythm you hear on the album has been recorded live off the floor. It took one take, we didn’t stop, we didn’t cut and paste. We just went in and recorded our rhythm tracks.
What are most of the songs about?
Sex, drugs, and rock and roll. That’s pretty much what it’s about. “One Night Nadine” is, and I’ll put it lightly, about a whore. It’s about a girl who goes out and picks up a different guy every night. She never sticks with one guy. Our song “Middle Man” is about a cocaine dealer. The song “Front Row Lady” is pretty self explanatory. The song “Music” is about love lost. Everybody has been through that.
What kind of impact do you guys want your music to have on your fans?
I want to have a positive impact on our fans. For example, “Middle Man” is about a cocaine dealer, but it doesn’t mean that we’re saying that that is good. If you listen to most of our songs, we’re dissing the drugs. We want to be positive. I don’t want people headbanging to our music, I just want people to enjoy it.
Where did the band record the album?
We recorded at Jet Set Studio with Curtis Perrin. Curtis is a cool guy. We met Curtis a couple of years back when we started, he played in a band called Marceno. I think we opened for him at a gig, and he just asked us if we wanted to record a couple of demo’s. When we went and did the album, we were looking for funding, and when it all came down to it we ended up paying for the album by money we made selling t-shirts.
When did the band start the recording?
We started recording, I think it was the end of Novemeber or beginning of December of 2007.
What was it like recording the album?
I think the band had fun. Bobby spent a couple of days in the studio, drummers got it pretty easy recording the rhythm tracks. And John done a lot of work, he put a lot work into his solo on the song “Consequence”. We all had fun, everybody tried to be around as much they could. We’re all still learning right now. We really put our minds into this album. I hated recording for the first little bit because we use to pull long days. But as we kept going, I loved it.
What inspires you guys to make music?
I don’t know what else to say. The inspiration for me is the fans. My inspiration, starting up, was just to be in front of people and play music. I just always wanted to be up on stage playing music. I don’t care if I’m in front of ten people. I just want to play.
The Queen’s Maid CD Release party will be at the Rock House on November 7th. Queen’s Maid members are Sandy Stokes (vocals) Steve Vincent and Jonathan White (guitarists), Ryan Strickland (bass) and Robbie Welcher (drums).