Hello Queen Kwong……welcome to the DeClunk universe
Could you please describe your surroundings so that we can all get a little cosy together for the Q & A.
Um, I’m sitting on the floor waiting for some laundry to dry. Very exciting stuff.
Great name, Queen Kwong. Did you have others in the hat?
No, and I sometimes regret going with Queen Kwong because it’s a mouthful and a lot of people can’t seem to wrap their heads around it. Haha. But, I didn’t really think it through. I released some four track demos under the name and they started to get played on radio, so it just stuck.
Can you remember the first song that you wrote? How old were you, what was it called and what was it about?
It was called “Alone” and I wrote it in the fourth grade. I put a group together called Population 3 with two other girls and made them sing it too. I actually still have a recording of it that my music teacher at the time recorded with us. It’s pretty hilarious.
The new video is out there for the track ‘I Know Who You Are’. We love it here at DeClunk HQ. Can you tell us a little about the song and why you were inspired for the video by the scene from the 1981 film Possession?
Thank you! “I Know Who You Are” is the opening track on the record and I chose it as the first single because it’s just a punch to the throat. It’s my way of calling out the fake, performative, bullshit people I know personally and professionally. People who play a part and get away with bad behavior. It’s my way of reminding them that I’m not fooled.
The movie “Possession” is an overall allegory for divorce so in a lot of ways my record is thematically aligned with the movie. But the movie was written from a male perspective and the tunnel scene portraying the female character going crazy wasn’t the takeaway I wanted for the video. I wanted the opposite result. I wanted the tunnel to represent all the emotions you feel while navigating a toxic relationship, from start to finish. It’s not a portrayal of a crazy woman but a woman who is pushed to the brink of feeling insane after facing betrayal and disillusionment, and extreme gas-lighting.
There’s an album on the way, due for release in July. It’s called ‘Couples Only’. In recent years I understand that you have been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis and you have been through divorce. Tough times. Is this reflected on the new album?
To be honest, making art isn’t about having fun for me; that’s never been a priority. Haha. Yeah, the last few years were so unbelievably dramatic and traumatic that sometimes it’s hard to even believe any of it happened. I dissociated from a lot of it just to cope. The record served as a kind of reckoning, in a way. The songs are me processing everything in real time. I didn’t worry about beating around the bush with the content of the record. It’s a very blunt and raw exploration of betrayal, loss, mortality, survivalism.
Who else was involved in the making of ‘Couples Only’?
The basic tracks were done with just Joe Cardamone, my touring bassist Drew, and myself. Then I sent it around to some friends to play/sing on (including: Kristof Hahn from Swans, Roger O’Donnell from The Cure, Laura-Mary Carter from Blood Red Shoes, Darian Zahedi from CRX). Then Tchad Blake stepped up and offered to mix it, which was totally unexpected and amazing.
Is there a tour? Are you coming to Cumbria? There’s a dinner at DeClunk HQ in it! (Don’t let that put you off!)
Tour dates are in the works for UK/EU later this year. Hopefully everything will come together smoothly and I’ll be able to make it for dinner. I’m a big eater, just to warn you.
Would you consider a grey haired oldish fella for a part in a video some time? Maybe sitting in a corner in a rocking chair or something. Obviously I will do it for free!
You never know. But if you’ve seen any of my videos, you know they’re pretty demanding for everyone involved. Be careful what you wish for.
If we came to your neck of the woods for a weekend where would you take us? You are the Entertainments Committee!
I’m not very good at entertaining (offstage), to be honest. I spend most of my time in silence doing arts and crafts.
Any bands/ artists that we should check out?
I’m always plugging Joe Cardamone and everything he does because he’s one of my best friends and my longtime collaborator. He’s been releasing tracks from his project with Mark Lanegan, called Dark Mark, that are really different and experimental. Total departure from what either of them are known for. Definitely worth checking out. Other than that, I predominantly listen to rap music from the early 90’s.