INTERVIEW: THE QUEEN GUILLOTINED

photo: Mike Gatti

*taken from our June 2022 printed issue: A Guide 2 the New York Underground

FEATURED INTERVIEW WITH THE QUEEN GUILLOTINED:

1. How did you first arrive at your band name? Is there a story behind it or did it just fall into place?

Trevor Sobierajski: I wrote our song “Lie To Yourself” and was talking about starting an old school deathcore project with a friend, trying to come up with a title that sounded straight out of MySpace. It’s somewhat inspired by “Queen of Winter, Throned” by Cradle Of Filth.

Ryan Sutton: The band name was already in place we had a previous band before queen and Trevor released lie to your self under the name The Queen Guillotined and that’s just how we kept it.

2. What made you start doing music? What was the catalyst that started you down the path of forming or joining a live band?

John Folts: I have been basically playing music since I was a toddler. I don’t want to get into it much but I was a problem child with learning disability. My dad played drums among other instruments though and I’ve just always been ingrained into music. I learned songs by ear of Sega games on a keyboard before I could actually read or write my own name. I spent a big portion of my teenage life literally doing nothing but smoking weed and playing guitar. There was a long period I never really thought i’d even ever be in a band but when I was 17 I moved to the city and met some people off Craigslist and my band history took off from there.

Mike Rizzuto: I grew up surrounded by music with my brother and mutual love and passion with friends. I always wanted to play out live, I think every musician wants to get out like that.

TS: Ever since I was young I was pretty much obsessed with music. First band I was really into was Iron Maiden, due to my father. He also worked with a guy who played in the band Stemm and he acquired their demo thru him, that was the first time I heard screaming.

John Bergeman: I started drumming when I was 3 or 4 playing rock with my dad on guitar. I took lessons since 1st grade, and joined every school band/orchestra I could. I always wanted to start a band, but it was hard to find people on the same page.

RS: What made me first start doing music is it was just always around i was always surrounded by it my dad was in a Judas Priest cover band through out the late 70s and 80s and he just always had a bunch of guitars and basses around the house and all my brothers played guitar and where in bands so it just fell into place.

3. Who are your biggest influences? These could be bands, individual artists, other people in your life, etc. Who helped shape the music you now aspire to create?

MR: Biggest influences were Ozzy and Manson when I was a kid. Loved the whole shock rock appeal and evilness to the music. That carried the torch and I branched out to more artists like Prince that opened my eyes to a much more broad love for music.

JF: I’ve had a lot of different influences over the years, prominent ones are Dimmu Borgir, The Black Dahlia Murder (rip Trevor) Rose Funeral, Knights of the Abyss, Volumes, August Burns Red, Northlane, and a bunch of friends I grew up playing music with who helped shape and direct my creativity in various ways.

JB: As a kid it was classic rock, some jazz and blues, and I found Trivium in 2nd grade which got me into heavy music. In high school, I played a lot of jazz and symphony. I met one of my best friends freshman year, and we discovered a lot of metal, deathcore, djent, etc. so I picked up double bass.

TS: My musical influences change all the time, just whatever I happen to be into at the moment. Horror films influence me as well.

RS: My biggest influences have to guys like Jim Root, Randy Rhoads, Sinister Gates, Bucket Head. Ozzy is what really got me into music though when I first heard Blizzard of Oz I was this 8 year old kid who was just like blow away by the way this man was playing guitar then what got me into my heavier stuff was definitely Slipknot.

4. When it comes to your contributions to the band, what are some ways you’re currently challenging yourself? What skills have you been working on honing lately, or what techniques have you been drilling?

MR: Im always pushing myself to expand on my percussive//hybrid picking styles on bass. Even trying to throw bass taps and sweeps when applicable.

JF: These slam riffs are new to me and sometimes take a lot of picking endurance and control I haven’t really developed even like 18 years into playing guitar. Definitely am being challenged jumping on Trevor’s writing level and Ryan’s engagement with some of this down/alternate picking.

JB: I’ve improved a lot with finger technique doing all these blast beats (laughs). Recently I’ve been working on swivel technique. I just picked up gravity blasts, on my right hand at least. Also, I’ve been working guitar on and off for a few years to help understand and contribute to the band. Before meeting these guys, I figured I’d have to write myself, as I didn’t know many metal players.

TS: I try to bring interesting riffs to the table. I want us to do shit you wouldn’t necessarily hear the next band doing. I’m the vocalist for the band though, with that duty I like to find different techniques and sounds to create, as well as write interesting vocal patterns that compliment each individual part of our songs.

RS: As far what I been really working on lately and my contributions to the band I say I just kinda jog there minds during the writing process. Things I have been working on is trying to come up with more unique riffs, and as far as techniques go I say just getting use to more odd time signatures.

5. What are your individual gear setups? More importantly, for the gearheads reading this, what are some of the brands, makes, and models you swear by when it comes to instruments, amplifiers, sims, plugins, mics, etc.?

MR: As far as my current set up I’m running a seafoam green 5 string Schecter jazz bass in Drop A tuning. Im using a fractal audio AX8 floor model with a flat response powered speaker cab, its the 1×12 2000watt Headrush model. Its got an XLR out in the back too which i think is a nice touch. I love me some tube amps and such, but as far as consistency and mobility I prefer digital rigs. I put the rest of the band onto playing digital for the same reasons. Being able to pack all your gear up with everyone else in 1 van without a trailer is super nice. I also enjoy not having to lug an 8×10 bass cab around (laughs).

JF: Physical amps are barbaric now. Kidding, but seriously we all use Headrush speakers and fx modelers. I myself run off a laptop with the nolly Neural DSP plugin. I’m not getting paid to say this, def check out the NDSP plugins if you haven’t already, amp sims have made huge leaps and bounds and they are amazing now. Guitar I’m just using an iron label ibby with this band. 6. I’ve been in a bunch, but Something Better because we hit Schecky with his car for a music video and then set it on fire.

JB: I got a Mapex Saturn V kit, I wanted it since I saw Periphery when I was 16, it gives a really full clear tone. I use Speed Cobra 910 kicks, with extra heavy springs, and Trick Pro 1V beaters. Currently I have Sabian hihats and ride, Zildjian crash, bell, and china.

TS: Whatever the venue’s got for a mic and PA.

RS: As far as gear goes I mainly use a prs marc Holcomb signature with 62-13 gauge strings, I also use a Jim root jazz master. I don’t really have like a particular brand I am drawn to just kinda what ever feels good in my hands and sounds good love slim necks though with a neck chunky tone. We recently just switched to going digital I am using a pod 500x by line 6 plugged into a head rush and a Digitech whammy.

6. Talk about any past bands you’ve been a part of that we might remember.

MR: I’ve been actively playing guitar in The Bunny The Bear for the past 7-8 years and still going strong.

JB: This is my first real band, but I jammed with Christian Vega on guitar in high school. He moved to Florida and now plays drums in Tactosa!

TS: A few shitty bands growing up.

RS: Me and Trevor been in bands together for the last like 10ish years but nothing really notable.

7. Think of a specific song, or even a riff you’re most proud of in the band’s arsenal.

MR: The ending riff to “My Name is Unpronounceable” is one of the heaviest and fun to play riffs. It bites hard.

JF: 8. I second mike with that riff choice.

JB: From what we have released, My Name is Unpronounceable. We reworked it for a long time until it felt right. Then Her Favorite Knife, which we wrote in an evening.

TS: My Name Is Unpronounceable is our most cohesive song right now and it lyrically means a lot to me. We have some unreleased stuff that I think is pretty crazy but no sense in talking about that yet.

RS: A specific song I am the most proud of is “No Redeeming Qualities” I love that opening riff and just the energy and intensity of that song

8. Plug any and all upcoming shows. Attach fliers to the interview, so I can print them in this zine!

TS: Day 1 of Rebirth Fest in Allentown PA, June 11th. June 18th in Buffalo. July 9th in Buffalo. July 29th in Rochester with fuckin’ Dr. Acula, baby. And some other shit in the works…

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