Queen Zee may have only just released their debut album but they’ve already garnered a cult-like fanbase through their influential activism and raucous live shows. Named “The Rocky Horror Picture Show on steroids” by BBC Radio 1’s Phil Taggart, and “Strange, weird & crazy” by Iggy Pop, the five Liverpudlians combine pop melodies with a punk attitude that bring in an eclectic audience. With the full name Queen Zee and the Sasstones, they’re fronted by Zena Davine (the ruler) and completed by co-founding member and multi-instrumentalist Jason Taylor-Brown, Frankie Wortho (Bass & Vocals), Ash Summers (Keys, Percussion & Vocals) and Dave Bloom (Drums & Percussion).
Queen Zee claim to be an alien concept. Not much is known about their origins other than Davine began as a solo artist but used the name “and the Sasstones” to give the impression it was a full band project and confuse listeners. They often faked photos which included random friends posing as fellow members before Taylor-Brown and co stepped in. On the topic of the royal guise, they said “I wanted to create a persona, as if it was a drag queen or superhero, but that was rooted in punk. In a Leigh Bowery meets Debbie Harry type of way”.
They released their debut single ‘Sissy Fists’ in May 2017; a psych rock banger laced with distorted guitar riffs and empowering, reclaimant chants relating to the band’s relationship with the LGBTQ+ community. In 2018, they also made BBC history with their live session at Maida Vale for Huw Stephens’ Radio 1 new music show due to using the studio’s first ever all-female crew.
Queen Zee pride themselves on their diversity of topics, touching on serious issues such as homophobia and transphobia in the likes of ‘Boy’, to upbeat songs like ‘Sass or Die’. In an interview with Skiddle, they commented “We try to not be one-dimensional and try not to be a sort of Rage Against the Machine style political band – or try to be just a party band – because no one is that, no one is just political or just party. Everyone has a spectrum.”
Last week they released their debut self-titled album which has been praised by the likes of Kerrang! (KKKK), NME (4/5) and Dork (5/5). Dork commented it was already a strong contender for Album of The Year, while Bittersweet Symphonies said “Queen Zee is a punk debut up there with The Clash.”
Consequent tours and festival appearances across Europe have shown off Queen Zee’s cult fanbase, and after winning the PRS flash funding at 2018’s The Great Escape the band continue to push the limits of how far they can take their absurdity.
Catch them on tour this month, with tickets on sale now!introducing / queen zee