Introducing: Queen Kwong [August 2015]

By Lais

In case you aren’t aware, Queen Kwong is the mastermind of LA musician Carré Callaway, who was discovered at the age of 17 by Trent Reznor. She is about to release her debut album on Friday, and she will be taking to the stage at Reading and Leeds this weekend with fellow musicians Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit), Hayden Scott (AWOLNATION) and Fred Sablan (Marilyn Manson). We had a chat with Callaway herself to find out what we can expect from her debut album, why she doesn’t consider Queen Kwong a supergroup, and how she feels about playing Reading and Leeds.

Hi Carré, how are you doing? What’s going on in the Queen Kwong camp right now?

We are getting ready for the album’s release and we are about to head to the UK to play Brixton Academy and Reading and Leeds, followed by the record release party in London. So there’s a lot of exciting stuff going on right now.

I’ve just been listening to your new single ‘Get A Witness’. It’s a great track. How would you describe it to someone who hasn’t heard it yet?

Thanks. ‘Get A Witness’ is the title track on the LP and that’s because it’s one of my favorites and one of the songs that’s most meaningful to me. It encompasses all of the emotions that are on this record. It’s a really personal, raw, simple song but it packs a punch. I think people can tell from this song that Neil Young is one of my influences.

How would you describe your sound in general?

Queen Kwong is an ever changing project so the sound is ever changing as well. I’ve done everything from folky singer-songwriter stuff, to piano ballads, to electronic/drum machine tracks, to straight up rock’n’roll. Right now it is more of the latter. Rock music has always been what I’m drawn to the most and it’s what feels the most true to who I am and what kind of a performer I am.

You also have your debut album coming out very soon. What can people expect from it? Is ‘Get A Witness’ a good example of what to expect from the rest of the record?

I’m super excited about this LP coming out because it’s my first full-length record and I think it provides a really good example of who I am as a person and songwriter. The record is also kind of polarizing. ‘Get A Witness’ only represents one facet of the whole picture. Every track goes from one extreme to another. Every song is visceral and true to me but that’s probably the only theme that stays consistent throughout the LP. I can easily understand someone liking a song like ‘Get A Witness’ and not liking the song after it which may be completely sonically different. And I’m okay with that. I’m a complex person and this record portrays that.

You’re coming over to the UK to play Reading and Leeds Festivals. How are you feeling about that?

I can’t express how excited I am to play Reading and Leeds. I honestly never, ever expected to be able to play these festivals. It is literally something I dreamt about when I was younger but I never felt it was a tangible or realistic thing. So, it’s really exciting and also kinda surreal.

What can we expect from your live show?

The only thing one can expect from our live show is for it to be unpredictable. I can never say how a show is going to go. Whatever happens, happens. It’s all really organic in that way. We always give it nothing less than 100% but how that translates is different from show to show.

You could be considered some kind of a supergroup, with Wes Borland, Hayden Scott and Fred Sablan in your band. How did you all meet and what’s the energy like within the band?

I wouldn’t call the band a supergroup. I don’t mind that anyone does call it that but I don’t think any of us see it that way and Queen Kwong is my project and it existed long before any of us had played together. Having said that, this lineup is by far the best I’ve ever played with and the energy between us all is unbeatable. I’ve been friends with Hayden for a long time and Wes and Fred have been friends for a long time and we all knew of each other for a long time before meeting. So it came together pretty naturally. We all get along so well with each other that it makes being in this band easy.

What are your plans for the rest of the year once the album has come out?

After the album comes out my plan is to tour as much as possible in as many places as possible while also working on new material for the next record.

What are you most excited for right now?

At this very moment I am most excited about eating a sandwich because I’m really hungry and haven’t had the chance to eat since yesterday.


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]