Barb Wire Dolls are currently slaying stages across the nation on this year’s Warped Tour! Their new record “Rub My Mind” just dropped through Motorhead Music and is keeping the true spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, alive, as well as proving that punk rock is still alive and capable of drop-kicking listeners in their face with its attitude! Isis Queen is one hell of a vocalist and she rivals any vocalist alive today! Don’t miss Barb Wire Dolls on this year’s Warped Tour!
By Chad Thomas Carsten
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Isis, how did growing up in Greece influence who are you as a vocalist today?
Isis Queen: I was a very angry teenager (as most are!) and I always felt incomplete with the music that was force fed on me through radio and TV. When you’re young, you confide in music to give you meaning and answers to your pain. I was always into rock ‘n’ roll, even though I grew up in the early 2000’s when hip hop, rap, and made-up boy/girl groups reigned. So I turned to older bands and rock groups from the 70’s and 80’s to give me the power and authenticity I was looking for. Growing up in Greece, metal was God, so naturally, I rebelled against it and never got into it. So when I discovered Punk Rock, I knew I found my voice.
Did you have other stage names in mind before choosing Isis Queen? Why Isis Queen?
Isis Queen: Isis is my first name. The beauty about getting into art is that you are free to reinvent yourself. So I gave myself a new last name that pulled me away from my persona that people knew me as before the band. I now could be someone that I saw myself as, not who my family and friends knew me as beforehand. Isis Queen seemed like a twist on Ice Queen. And the Ice Queen was the main character in one of my favorite fairytales growing up.
Define punk in your own words on how exactly is Barb Wire Dolls keeping Punk Rock genre alive?
Isis Queen: We are influenced by the first wave of punk from the 70’s when the genre was about being different from your predecessors. Bands like the Ramones, Sex Pistols, Blonde, The Clash, X-ray Specs, and The Germs were completely different from each other but were considered punk. The attitude and rebelliousness made them punk, by doing something different and unapologetic. Most bands that are considered “punk” nowadays all sound the same. They have the same polka drum beats, wear the same clothes and sing about the same relationship issues over and over. That is why we don’t really consider ourselves punk. Lemmy said it perfectly, “we play rock n’ roll”. There needs to be something different to wake up the next generation.
Most influential Motörhead album and why?
Isis Queen: Bad Magic. It was the last studio Motörhead album to be released and “Victory or Die” (the first song on the album) is a true statement that after decades of being in the music industry, Motörhead have the same power and realness they did when they started out more than 40 years ago.
Most cherished memory when first meeting Lemmy Kilmister?
Isis Queen: First of all, Lemmy is God. If you ever had a chance to meet him, you knew the pure power that he embodied/embodies. The first time we met Lemmy was the first night we arrived in Los Angeles. After being invited to play LA by legendary radio DJ Rodney Bingenheimer, we went to check out The Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip. We bumped into Lemmy and talked about 70’s punk rock and the Greek scene and when he hugged me, the sheer strength in his arms made my knees buckle.
When first offered the chance to perform at Warped Tour, what were the first thoughts that rushed through your mind?
Isis Queen: “Finally, we can play to the youth!”
How is the Warped Tour experience, thus far?
Isis Queen: Amazing. It has been a life changer. We have had our ups and downs but it has all been worth it. The down part was our bus breaking down before even getting to the first show and we have lost so much sleep, money and the stress levels have skyrocketed. But the ups are the fans and youngsters that smile, scream and cry with happiness in the crowd. A young girl told us that after discovering our music, she found a reason to live and has pushed away any suicidal thoughts from her mind. The fans make it totally worthwhile.
Why should Warped Tour concert goers not miss a single second of Barb Wire Dolls set?
Isis Queen: Don’t miss history in the making.
If you had to pick one desert dish to describe your live show, what would it be and why?
Isis Queen: Baklava. We are crispy, flavorful and exotic. There is so much sugar in the syrup that you don’t notice how much you eat and before you know it, you’re on a sugar high!
What personal life moment precisely inspired the title for “Rub My Mind” and what does the album title represent?
Isis Queen: It’s time to wake up. Yes, we use our minds daily but what around us really affects it to the point of being inspired to create something bigger and better than your already existence? Rub YOUR mind. Look beyond the obvious and recreate your fate.
What kind of content can fans expect from your upcoming LP “Rub My Mind”?
Isis Queen: We met Eagles of Death Metal when we both played Riot Fest in Chicago and we invited them to record at the artist commune on the island of Crete (Greece) where we come from. Soon after, David Catching of EODM invited us to record at his legendary studio in Joshua Tree, California called Rancho De La Luna. We were honored because his studio is where the desert rock movement began with Kyuss, then Queens Of The Stone Age who all recorded their albums there. As we were set to record there, the horrific Bataclan attack happened at their show in France. David told us to still come and record our album for there because the music has to keep going. We ended up writing many new songs that reflected how we felt at that time just as we entered his studio. Then on the last day, we recorded the album in only two quick days, Iggy Pop and Josh Homme showed up to record “Post Pop Depression”. It was a surreal experience. We captured the vibe of the desert and the melancholy of the world in this album.
Which track featured on the album was the most challenging to record vocally and why?
Isis Queen: The last song on the album is called “Waiting To Be Lost”. It is a six-minute song that was totally free flow. The band jammed it without vocals or structure and then I came in and sung whatever came to mind without knowing how long the song was and where it was changing. I got it down in one try! It was the hardest because it was either make it or break it. If it turned out bad then we would have scrapped so thankfully I nailed it. It’s a beautiful song and I am proud of it.
Are you able to break down the track “Where Mountains Drink the Wine” from its production to the true meaning behind the lyrics?
Isis Queen: The song is about a girl that goes to a big city, like Los Angeles to find herself but ends up getting lost in trying to impress the wrong people and falls into drugs and prostitution in order to give her life meaning. “Oh how she died to live forever.” We know people that fall into that game and it’s a song for people to find guidance.
Which track from “Rub My Mind “was the most emotional to record and why?
Isis Queen: “Desert Song”. It has a lot of meaning to me personally. Being in the desert while recording it, especially because of the circumstances, the song has a well of energy that I’m grateful to be a part of. It was also the first track we played EODM after it was finished. They sat and listened in total silence which shows the kind of people they are and the respect they have for music and living life with others.
Isis, any advice for young female musicians who look up to you for inspiration on what not to do on the road when touring?
Isis Queen: Go with the flow and keep your ego in check.
What do you want to accomplish with Barb Wire Dolls in the next ten years?
Isis Queen: More songs and albums that we are proud of. To play to bigger audiences and to get our music out there to more people around the world. You’ve only got this one life to make it as big and glorious as possible, so take it to the max and never compromise your expression. See you at the show!
Barb Wire Dolls are currently on the Vans Warped Tour dates HERE
“Rub My Mind” Is OUT NOW and is available now from the following links: