Black Queen Speaks Checkmates Other Funk-Rockers
It's a well-known fact that most band names are essential gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off we're working to find some meaning in the monikers.
Black Queen Speaks' own description of itself is better than any other we could possibly come up: They sound like Jane's Addiction and Soundgarden got their asses kicked by James Brown.
Their music is an electric fusion of hard rock, blues, and funk, a combination that has made us fairly leery of many, many more inept bands. What Black Queen Speaks bring to the table is, well... not sucking at it. The result is electric and dirty, music that acts as a neon sign spotlighting the kind of sex that was illegal in this city until recently. It's hate music to make love to, is what we're trying to say.
But what's up with that name? What Black Queen? What the hell does she say that you have to go on and on about it? We sat down with the band to find out.
"Many people have asked about the origins and the meaning of the name Black Queen Speaks," says singer Mike Blas. "The name was originally coined by my friend, Jon Liechty of Seattle. I brought it to Pez Lopez and explained his interpretation of the name.
"Black is truth and honesty; Queen is emotions; Speaks is expression. Together, Black Queen Speaks means a true, emotional expression, or honestly expressing oneself with one's art."
"The name has an enhanced meaning," adds bassist Lopez. "As a follower of Master Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do, The Way of the Intercepting Fist, the name made perfect sense to me. It reminded me of Master Lee's famous quote, 'Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.'"
That may be what the names means to the band, but frankly it's such an odd little label that it brings all kind of images into our heads just hearing it, and very little of it has to do with honest emotional expression or legendary karate men.
What we were thinking about was chess. The queen is the ultimate powerhouse on the board, and the black queen tends to symbolize injury and vengeance as the most powerful warrior on the defending side.
"The black queen can go anywhere!" we shouted at the band. "Where do you want to go?"
"I just want to dance," says guitarist D2 Day laconically.
"I hope it takes me to Spain or Japan," puts in Lopez, "But L.A. would be a nice start."