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Meet Rebel Queens, running with the rock and roll torch

Rebel Queens.
Rebel Queens.courtesy photo

by Sylvia Jennings

April 16, 2021

In a biweekly series of features, we're inviting Minnesota artists to introduce themselves to our audience. Today: Rebel Queens, a band of self-described "vintage rock and rollers" out of Minneapolis.

Tiffany Beamer: [I'm] Tiffany Beamer. I play the vocals and [am] the CEO of the company.

Danielle Pearson: Hello, my name is Danielle Pearson, and I play the drums.

Tiffany: We [also] have Katie Wyrd. She is the guitarist. She's been around, probably seven years. We have Pika on bass. She's been around for about a year and a half, and we have a brand new guitarist who plays mostly lead guitar, Stevvie Mora. She's awesome. She just started. We haven't even played live with her yet.

I saw the Runaways movie, and I thought it would be cool to be in a band [made up] of women. I wasn't even a singer or a musician or anything, [but] I just decided I was gonna do it. I just kind of put it out on Craigslist and found some people, and since then we've had several different band members throughout the last decade. I've been in the band for 10 years, and Danielle's been in the band for nine years. It was kind of [on] a whim.

It originally started when I just wanted to play music from the '70s glam era, including the Runaways and Bowie, and all that stuff. It just kind of expanded from there. We always wanted to just try new things and try to expand. I think we really found a sound for the band when we had the same lineup for six years. It just helped everything grow so much musically, and we just kind of found ourselves as a band.

Danielle: And what people's strengths are. When you have a constant group, you can figure out, well, "They're really good at this style, or this type of song or music," so you can go that direction. In the beginning, we played a ton of Runaways and a ton of songs that were from that soundtrack, and that was fun, but then we kind of branched out.

Tiffany: It was just an initial idea to get started, and then we were like, "Let's see how long of a set we can play." Then we learned like 100 songs.

The idea pretty much from the beginning was always to do some original music. We'd be largely playing music because we want to play all night. We'd be playing a lot of covers, but the idea [to play originals] was always there. It never was able to be fleshed out until we had that same group of people for a long time. We really got to know each other and connect with each other and were able to finally do that. Everything aligned finally.

Our first EP was just kind of a hodgepodge of stuff. We just kind of wrote some songs randomly, and other people in the band brought some stuff. There was not really a clear message other than just having a good time playing music and just playing live. We're mostly a live band. We're kind of centered around that. After that, we started to be just a little more intentional.

Basically, since the beginning, the band has been about women coming together and playing music. We all have our own struggles, and we all have our own difficulties in life. Coming together for a few hours and playing music and trying to have fun and smile and dance, and the same thing for our audience, is what we want. That's kind of what the band is about, in general, and then every song kind of has its own message. I'm kind of a super existential person, so a lot of lyrics reference that type of stuff, and finding yourself, learning about yourself, and learning about other people.

There's something about the last year, too, that really kind of... our upcoming EP is starting out existentially, but then [is about] realizing what matters, and becoming more confident in yourself, and trying not to be materialistic. Different things like that is kind of what our next EP is about.

Our single ["Ride On Thru"], that one actually kind of started [with Danielle] playing guitar a little bit.

Danielle: I was rocking out on the guitar, I guess.

Tiffany: She likes to just play random stuff on the guitar, and then I sing along, and I'm like, "Oh, I kind of like that." It kind of started out slower...

Danielle: ...but she can't slow me down! You can't tell me what to do.

Tiffany: It got faster and heavier and it kind of turned out to be much more rockin', but it kind of fits. The lyrics are about how you could just be sitting somewhere, minding your own business, and people come up and they think that they know you and they can guide you and your life, like you need to be helped. You're kind of like, "No. I'm gonna go through this and everything's gonna be fine. You don't really know everything."

Danielle: You don't even know what me. You don't know me! Nobody does.

Tiffany: To go and try to tell other people what to do, it's kind of like, going back to existentialism, who am I to say? Who are you to say? There's weird comments that people say and you're like, "I'm just gonna do what I think is right, right on through baby."

We have a lot coming up. We're just kind of starting to get things going again, after a long break.

Danielle: This break was good to get our new lead guitar player up to speed with the amount of music that we had to learn. So she's doing a great job doing that, and we're gonna play a jam coming up.

Tiffany: A lot of outdoor stuff. You know, [we're] just slowly starting to try and see how things are going and see how it all goes. We look forward to that. We'll be putting out another single [soon] and then an EP in June, Remember Rock and Roll. That was a theme that came out of the pandemic. Don't forget it.