Life + Arts

Singer creates his own sound

There will always be a place in Texas where heavy, grooving rock bands will be well received. ‘

This Saturday at Rudyard’s British Pub, the band Black Queen Speaks promises a good reception. Upon listening, one will find danceable and driving beats coupled with a fusion of funky bass and thick bluesy guitar riffs. The music is fresh and sticks to the ribs. Although not entirely southern, the sounds carry a quality reminiscent of dirty rice and beans straight out of a kitchen off buffalo bayou.’ ‘

The distinct Houston sound comes from the main songwriters, D2 and Gabe Lopez who are both Houston born and bred, while California native and drummer Josh Skiffington lends varied and stylish rhythms to the band.

The vocals have a distinct soulful character, which lead vocalist Mike Blas jokingly admits could have come from his childhood obsession with New Edition. Blas had a musical journey from Seattle all the way to the muddy swamps of Houston.’

The first group he played for was Changes Daily, which he described as ‘very creative.’ He later mentioned that the show included armpit farts.’ After six years, Blas decided to move to Denver to focus on his career.’ He eventually picked up the acoustic guitar and started writing lyrics and chords, but later gave up the endeavor. ‘

‘I play acoustic guitar about as well as you can beat on a rock,’ he said.’ ‘

After living in Denver, Blas ended up in Houston, and started hitting up poetry jams in the Fifth Ward. According to Blas, this was where he really started to develop as a lyricist.

‘The Jams were basically like taking your rooster and throwing it into the ring, and it really challenges you and helps you to grow as an artist.’

He also mentioned how the largest struggle in the band has been disputes over business and the songwriting process. He spoke as if it is unavoidable in order to keep everyone on an even keel and to promote a sense of openness amongst the members.

‘I kinda feel like we’re trying to be that Metallica movie except before they were famous.’

Saturday night at Rudyard’s should be a good night for the band, who are trying to mold and shape not only a sound that represents them, but also the city they live in.

‘If you can learn how to make it in Houston, you can pretty much make it anywhere, because you kind of have to create your own culture,’ Blas said, in reference to his move to the city.

This is exactly what Black Queen Speaks has successfully done as artists, and will continue doing.’

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