EMQ’s With Queen of Distortion

Queen Of Distortion Logo

EMQ’s With Queen of Distortion

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with German Melodic Heavy Metal band, Queen of Distortion. Huge thanks to their bassist/ Keyboard player/ Backing vocalist, Carsten Bätge, for taking part.  

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Carsten Bätge, bass, backings and keys. The band was formed in early 2018 by the guitarist, the drummer and myself as a successor to another band. We wanted to change our sound and were looking for a female singer and a second guitarist. Luckily, we found the singer very quickly, but we only found the second guitarist after recording our debut EP in October 2018.

How did you come up with your band name?

Our singer originally studied classical singing and works as a singing teacher. She later did postgraduate studies in Complete Vocal Technique, where one technique was also distortion. And since she had mastered this technique excellently, she was crowned Queen of Distortion during her studies. When she told us this story, we decided to use that title as the band name.

What Country / Region are you from and what is the Metal / Rock scene like there?

We’re from Brunswick, Lower Saxony, Germany. We’ve got a lot of fans in this region, it’s a very lively and great scene, but it’s no metropolitan area. We’re in the middle between Berlin, Hamburg and Hannover, so we often have to drive long distances to play.

What is your latest release?

The latest release is our full-length album “Checkmate!”, released in summer 2021. We filmed four videos of songs from this album, you can watch on YouTube: ‘Nightmares’, ‘Bloody Rain’, ‘Checkmate!’ and ‘Throne of Destruction’.

Who have been your greatest influences?

That’s hard to say… my personal influences are at first the whole NWOBHM, but also American bands like Riot, Overkill and Metal Church and German bands like Helloween and Accept.

What first got you into music?

Motörhead, “NoSsleep ‘Til Hammersmith”. Lemmy was great.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

There are lots of great musicians, I couldn’t decide. Maybe Tony Moore, Ex-Singer of Riot. I’d like to let him sing a duet with our singer Chris. I think it would be fantastic.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

To follow the path of the celebrities: Donington, Rio, Wacken. But I like the big festivals as much as the clubs, the main thing are the fans.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Seriously, a bra. Ugly, huge, skin colour, flew onto the stage. I guess it was a joke, no women should ever wear such an ugly thing.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Thanks for your support and stay loyal to the Queen’s court.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Dio, I met him in 1997 on music fair and we still have to drink another beer together.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I can always express all my emotions while playing, I can give all my power to the audience and I get back pure energy from them. I hate technical problems and gear that doesn’t work.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

They should leave the big stars and the big money and build up the smaller bands with artists who have a lot to say.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Fire Down Under” – Riot.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

CD’s and vinyl. I like to carry something in my hand and I love the artwork. An album is a total work of art.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

I guess it was 1998 in Spain, Puenta de la Reina, as a supporting act of U.D.O. We were reaching the stage and had to high-five the front row. The Spanish fans are crazy and very cool.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Renovate houses, coaching people in psychic things, grow vegetables, brew beer… all the things I like to do as a hobby.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

If they don’t have to live right now: Lemmy, Ghandi, Terry Pratchett, Robert Sheckley, Franz Schubert… it would be very funny.

What’s next for the band?

We’ve just lost again our second guitarist, so we’re looking for a replacement. Apparently, we had some issues getting this position permanent… And we’re writing songs for the next album and preparing for the upcoming shows in 2023.

What Social Media / Website links do you use to get your music out to people? 


Time for a very British question now. As an alternative to the humble sandwich, is the correct name for a round piece of bread common in the UK either a Bap, a Barm (or Barm Cake), a Batch, a Bun a Cob, a Muffin, a Roll or a Tea Cake

I don’t know, I live vegan.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

I hope we can play some shows in UK in 2023. And thank you for your interest and support.

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Queen Of Distortion – Checkmate!

Checkmate! Album Cover Art

Queen Of Distortion – Checkmate!
Green Bronto Records
Release Date: 02/07/2021
Running Time: 53:25
Review by Simon Black

Checkmate! is the debut full-length album for this German-based five piece, all of whom are experienced players coming together for this project. They’ve been going since 2018 and have previously released an EP and a live EP, but this has clearly been delayed by Covid, hence the rather unusual sequencing of the live offering before a studio full length debut. Musically this is straight up twin-guitar fuelled good old Heavy Metal, with solid riffage, subtle but technically effective melodic structural integrity and a restrained level of flourish on top. I can’t really fault any of the song-writing either, as these songs are well-crafted and structured, if a little bit predictable.

Vocalist Chris T’Anti, interestingly, is a newcomer to the Metal world though, having started her career as a vocal coach and has sung in more mainstream projects to date but is absolutely front and centre of the mix. She can deliver an edge and has the roughness that can work well in the genre, but comes across a bit like she is forcing herself too rigidly to follow the melodic riff structure and phrasing the guitars are rendering – much like a Thrash vocalist who has fifty per cent of their focus on the instrument hanging round their neck might tend to, rather than being freer with the melody lines – although you get a hint of what she is capable of with her overlaid vocal backing vocals, which stretch the envelope a bit. For an album full of experienced musicians though it has an unusual, almost unfinished feel as if the band are still finding their voice. I think an element of this lies with T’Anti needing to develop the confidence to let rip with her more natural (and considerable) vocal talents.

However, when a track like ‘Torn From Life’ comes along that difference is stark and clear. Whereas the majority of the songs show her phrasing and delivery in quite a fixed, gravelly and staccato light, this track (at nearly seven minutes the longest on the album) is a Power Ballad, that opens gently and sees her singing properly and opening up in a completely different way. At this point she is utterly entrancing. I guess the point I am trying to make is that the more overtly Metal tracks on here see her trying to be a Metal singer, rather than just being a singer, who is in a Metal band. From this point onwards some of the songs show her balancing the two styles a little bit more frequently, but I can’t help feeling that if she had opened up and just sang her heart out with the clear, powerful and emotionally wrought set of lungs and voice box that this track delivers, more consistently on the rest of the tracks, then this would have been an absolute belter of an album.

‘Bloody Rain’ (Official Lyric Video)

01. Throne Of Destruction
02. Bloody Rain
03. New Order
04. Electrified
05. Threatening Stalemate
06. Four Horsemen
07. Save Yourself
08. Torn From Life
09. Rest In Pieces
10. Into The Void
11. Checkmate!
12. People Without Tears
13. Nightmares

Chris T’Anti – Vocals
Torsten Schirmer – Guitar
Mike Richter – Guitar
Carsten Bätge – Bass, Backing Vocals, Keyboards
Holger Schilling – Drums


Queen Of Distortion Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.