rebel queens

We spoke to Tiffany Beamer, lead singer of all-female American rock band, Rebel Queens.


How did Rebel Queens form?

I have always wanted to be in a band, but wasn’t confident enough. I thought if you were a female singer, you had to sing pretty. I had always liked Joan Jett and had started getting into The Runaways. I was totally inspired by the music and performing style and the vintage-glam fashion that came along with it. I decided I was going to start an all-female rock band and perform some of the Joan Jett and The Runaways music so I put and ad online in November 2010. It was tough finding local women rockers, but I got a couple of responses right away. I did not find the full band until March 2011. It was the first band for all of us so we were eager to get playing. We had our first practice in March, our first performance in April, and have been going ever since.

What city/state are you based in, and what’s the music scene like there?

We are based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minneapolis has a big melting pot of different styles of music. There is hip hop, hardcore, indie, rock, punk, rockabilly and everything in between, and plenty of live music venues to support it. There are also several all-female bands from this city that we have come to know. One of the classics being Babes in Toyland, formed in the late 80s.

What’s it like being in an all-girl rock band?

Mostly fun and empowering, with a ton of hard work involved. There is a lot of criticism from both music industry people and the crowds we play for, There’s always extra pressure being female, you have to work extra hard to prove yourself. I really enjoy playing with all women. There’s just something special about it.

RQ Tiffany

What’s been the best gig you’ve played so far?

One cool gig that stands out in my mind is a Women Who Rock charity event at Guitar Center we played last year. The charity is She Rock She Rock who works to empower young girls and women through music. We had our first performance at their open jam and they will always be close to our hearts. There were some awesome local female bands who played along with us: Mayda, Sick of Sarah, Angry Bukowski. They had speakers between bands and gave out some great swag bags.

You guys are influenced by The Runaways, do any of you have similar personality traits/styles to members of the band?

For myself, I’d say my singing/performing style and personal style is a mix of Cherie Currie and Joan Jett, but my personality is more like Joan. She was the one who felt the band was her baby and stuck it out despite the hardships and changes in line-up. She is creative, driven and hard working. Our drummer is pretty similar to Sandy West, as she is sweet and easy-going, but fiercely talented. She also has a great voice. Everyone that’s been in the band has been very different from the other, which I think is good and keeps it interesting.

Would you say it’s harder for rock ‘n’ roll bands nowadays to break through the mold?

I think these days a lot of musicians want to conform to playing the type of music that is popular and are afraid to go out of that box. Especially for cover/bar bands. They are all playing the same songs as everyone else. We have had pressure to conform, but stuck to our guns and have no desire to change our style. That is something I am most proud of with this band. We also tend to shock people who see us loading in our gear and expect us to play current hits or music by only female musicians. We have a pretty balanced set list of both male and female artists, but it’s all rock ‘n’ roll!

What’s planned for Rebel Queens in the next few months?

We took some time off to train in new guitarists who are ready to hit the ground running at our upcoming summer shows. Expect new songs and a fresh dynamic with our new players, along with some original music. We hope to keep growing our audience and growing musically and see where it takes us.

Do you have any advice for people who want to start their own band?

Educate yourself on all aspects of the music business. Marketing, branding, booking, management, book keeping, social networking – just a few examples of things you need to know when running a band. Also, checking your personal feelings at the door is an important thing to remember in a band situation. Remember that everyone is thinking about the best interest of the band. If your playing is off and someone points it out, it’s not a personal attack, it’s to help make everyone sound the best they can. That is a hard thing to remember but it definitely comes in handy.

When’s your next gig?

Our next gig is 14 June at ‘Freedom Rider’s Rally’ which is a motorcycle rally in Mountain Lake, MN. We have a substitute bass player for that gig as our new bass player had another commitment when she joined the band. The first gig with our full line-up is 27 June at Palmer’s in Minneapolis, MN. Palmer’s was actually just on Esquire’s list of ‘Best Bars in America’ and we will be playing there monthly starting in June.

Are there any plans to come to the UK?

I would love to do a UK tour if someone would get one set up for us! I like to travel, but have never been out of the USA; #RQtoUK