Interview - Queen Bitch
Queen Bitch is the musical project by Irish music artist Róisín Bohan. Addressing the breadth of human experience, the songs touch on topics such as trauma, sexuality, doubt, suffering, and joy. The music blends rock, blues, and grunge, to mention a few genres, in empowering and inimitable ways.
The debut single ‘Bones’ from Queen Bitch's forthcoming self-titled debut album showcases a shattering, cymbal and guitar-heavy fury, the song is an upbeat celebration about mending, regaining one's strength, and losing trust before finding great trust, beginning with a fierce scream.
We sat down with Queen Bitch to discuss her music and much more. Here's what she had to say:
Hey Queen Bitch, welcome to FLEX! How are you?
Hey Flex! I am super excited to be working on the release of my first single, ‘Bones’!
Congratulations on your debut track ‘Bones’ - what inspired this particular tune?
The song came about randomly. One evening in June 2022 I sat down with my guitar and with little thought just started strumming the chords that make up the main chord progression. Then the main chorus line ‘My bones, my bones won’t break anymore’, along with the vocal melody, just came right out of me.
I thought about what this line could mean, and it made me think of the adage ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’. The hook line I suppose is almost making a statement contrary to this.
And do you have to be in a certain mood to write?
I wouldn’t say I have to be in a certain mood, because my mood can vary when I’m writing, from joyful, to frustrated, to sad, to furious (all the different feelings!), but one thing that is consistent is that I am usually feeling some sort of emotion that has got to a point that it needs to be expressed or released. The writing process is an outlet really.
There are times when I have sat down to write just for the sake of putting myself to work and trying to get some ideas flowing. Things have come about that way or can get started that way, but it’s usually when I’m in the throes of some particular emotion that the real gold comes to me.
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing process was laborious. After getting the main hook line, it actually took me months to complete the rest of the song, and I spent a lot of time on it. This was mainly due to my being really critical about everything I wrote. I think the whole writing process for this song involved letting go of that inner critic. I kept feeling like the lyrics I was writing weren’t good enough until eventually I started questioning why I felt that way and accepted what I had written. I finally came to really appreciate what I had written (although I’m still not sure about the very first line - it's too late now).
The recording process was so fun. ‘Bones’ is such a fun track to play, especially with a full band, and the guys Rohan and Al that I recorded with in Beardfire Studios are so much fun to work with. There was more letting go for me to do when I handed the song into their extremely capable hands - it was like a trust-building practice I guess.
I couldn’t settle on the vocals for a while. I ended up re-recording the vocals 2 weeks before the release day, so it was a tight turnaround, but it was a decision I was really happy with as the re-record was a noticeable improvement on the first attempt. Also, the scream that you hear in the intro of the song might not have been there if I didn’t do the re-record, as it was suggested to me by my housemate Sam just as I was headed out the door to the studio - a very serendipitous moment.
For viewers who don’t know Queen Bitch, how would you describe your sound?
People who have heard the songs have described the sound as rock, grunge, eclectic, bluesy, and even a hint of country (on one of the tracks that will be on the album). I’m delighted to get such a varied response. For me, I really want to rock out on stage with the tracks so I would definitely say rock, but I think there is a pop and commercial vibe to the sound too.
And what are some of those activities that you engage yourself in when you aren't writing or recording in the studio?
To be honest, this past year has been so focused on getting the music off the ground that other activities have taken a bit of a back seat. I’m grateful for any opportunity I get to hang out and decompress with friends. I’ve been trying to stay on top of a fitness routine going to the gym the last few months, and (TRYING) to have regular meditation and yoga practice. Also, I’ve been checking out gigs or things going on in the local music scene, and when I need to switch off, I might read a book or watch some TV. Lately, I’ve been enjoying watching the newest season of Great British Bake Off (I hope I can make time to do more baking in the future and try all the stuff they make on the show, and especially try my own showstopper).