• Home

Killer Queen – Patrick Myers

Killer Queen – Patrick Myers

By: Lori Smerilson Carson

When you and your friends have extraordinary musical talent to portray one of your favorite bands, you can make your dream career come true. Killer Queen are proof of this and are bringing their amazing Queen show on a worldwide tour. Florida fans will be able to catch this magnificent show in Clearwater, FL at the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre on March 9th.
Catching up with Lead Vocalist Patrick Myers, he revealed some details about the new show, a bit about how he became a musician and what fans can look forward to.

SFL Music: You guys are getting ready to do a world tour. You already have some sold out dates in Norway and Denmark. Is there anything new or different with this tour than what you did on the last one?
Patrick Myers: Yeah. We’ve got a whole new set. New lights and special effects and stuff like that, so it’s very different form the last time we were there. As well as the new tracks that we’re going to do differently to the last time. There’re so many great Queen songs. It’s a pleasure to sort of dip into them and vary the sound a little bit.

SFL Music: The last time we spoke you explained how in college you put the band together as a tribute. Killer Queen is the longest running tribute band. You even won a worldwide award in the nineties?
Myers: The Worldwide Best Tribute band was in about ’98. We played the west end in ’95 on national T.V., but we started in ’93. Yeah, when we started there were hardly any tributes around. The whole phrase ‘tribute band’ was completely new then. So, it was kind of like a bit of a leap of faith really. Jumping out onstage in a costume and hoping people would just be ok with it, but the reception it got on that first day was so fantastic and so warm because there’s a lot of love for Queen. And just the reaction to that Bohemian Rhapsody film that came out a couple of years ago, just from generation to generation. People who never saw Queen or weren’t even born this last century you know, growing up with Queen are maybe eight, nine, ten years old now, actually adore them. So, the reaction from all the generations the whole world over has just been phenomenal for us.

SFL Music: What would you say resonates with people about Queen’s music?
Myers: I think it’s a lot of things. I think it’s partly because the songs are fantastic and I think it’s also, the songs, they don’t sit in one particular genre of music or one time period of music very easily. Even when Queen were releasing songs, they seemed like a separate entity. There wasn’t anything else like “Under Pressure” in the charts. There’s nothing else like “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the charts and when they did do things that were sort, you know, you could say that “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” is a similar genre to the “Grease” thing with John Travolta that was going on. It was, but people just didn’t regard that. It was still Queen being Queen. They seemed to exist outside any particular fashion, but that meant they never defined by any particular fashion. So, they’re just defined by the quality of their music and are an entity to themselves. So that was partly it. They never got aligned to any kind of particular trend. They were always out there on their own, but the other thing is, they always spoke in big emotions that people respond to and that kids respond to and old people respond to. It wasn’t always bombastic and “We Are the Champions”. There was a lot of heartache in there too. Songs like “It’s a Hard Life” or “Love of My Life”. There’s a lot of emotion, pure emotion that Queen dealt brilliantly. Songs like “Who Wants to Live Forever” and “The Show Must Go On”, incredibly emotive songs. Very powerful songs, and they again speak to people directly. They transcend any fashion. They transcend any time. They just speak to you as beautiful works of art. And great fun you know, you could put them on a pedestal musically because they’re so fantastic, but you shouldn’t ignore the fact of just how much fun it is to just enjoy those songs and dance around and jump about. Rock out to them. It’s fantastic! So, they kind of got this unique blend of qualities that I mean, they’re pretty timeless.

SFL Music: You previously told me how you took on the role of Freddie (Mercury). That you used to sing in corridors and you liked the reverb and echo.
Myers: Yeah, yeah. That’s true. I felt so sorry for the people I shared halls of residence with because they could just hear this voice belting away up and down the stairs. You had to get your posts from downstairs. You had your own mailbox. So, I lived two or three flights up. There was only one phone. It was before mobile phones. So, anytime I got a call or anytime I was checking my post, I was up and down those stairs, or doing my laundry you know, up and down those stairs singing away at all hours. I feel very sorry for the people I lived with. Most of the people I lived with, joined the band actually. They were all in the halls with me (he laughed). I think they all joined the band to make me shut up really.

SFL Music: You also studied vocals and acting?
Myers: I was in college to study acting. The Goldsmiths College at London University does acting and fine art and music, and I was interested in all those things. At the time, I’d been in bands as a kid before I left university and I didn’t know how to combine everything I wanted to do because I really loved being in bands. I didn’t want to say goodbye to that, but I also really loved performing and acting onstage and I wanted to do that too, so I sort of for a while, did both those things. I’ve got an acting agent and I still do acting in between the touring, but the touring is so intense these days. It doesn’t really leave a lot of time for acting, but I’ve got experience in vocals and performance and I played some big crowds with my own band before we started Killer Queen. So, that was really, really useful ‘cause I wasn’t unused to big audiences. Well not huge audiences. I played in front of maybe like a thousand people or something a few times and those sorts of things. I knew how to move across a stage and I studied movement at the National Youth Theatre with (Sir) Matthew Bourne (OBE). He went on to direct Swan Lake and loads of other West End, choreographer, and he taught me a lot of movement, as well as I studied with Lindsay Kemp who taught David Bowie and stuff like that. So, there were a lot of good influences in terms of music and movement and acting that all came together and really helped launch Killer Queen and made me feel like you know, I wasn’t completely an absolute beginner. I had a chance of making this work, but having said that, those songs are so difficult (he laughed). Really tricky. The stuff I’d been playing in bands in my hometown was so much simpler compared to playing a Queen song. So, we sort of threw ourselves at it and then went, oh wow! How do you play this stuff? This is really hard. So, we rehearsed for like two years going wow, how does that chord work? What on earth is that chord? How do you make that happen? How do these harmonies work? The whole thing just seemed like climbing Mount Everest at the time, but we just kept on going at it because you do. We didn’t get disarmed or anything, we just thought well, we’ll just keep practicing until we get it right. So, we did and thankfully it went well and the show led onto to things in a couple of years to the West End which is the sort of Broadway equivalent over here, and then it got national T.V. coverage and that led onto competition and major awards, and then playing the same arenas that Queen played in a few years on from that. We were playing things like Forest National arena where they shot all their videos, Ahoy Arena, and we were playing there the same time Queen were playing there by the time we got there. Queen were back on the road with Paul Rodgers. We looked and it was Elton John playing the day after we played and then it was a few months down the road, it was Queen and Paul Rodgers. So, we were thinking, how did we get here (he laughed)? This is so weird that we ended up playing the same places more or less at the same time. It’s just crazy, but brilliant fun.

SFL Music: The last time you said you almost had the chance to meet them, but you still haven’t had the chance to meet them?
Myers: No, I did nearly meet them when I was a runner for an advertising company, while I was getting the band together and doing acting auditions. They were based in the West End and my acting auditions were in the West End, and I was trying to coordinate running Killer Queen and acting and learning about graphic design. I did a lot of graphic design then and because of that, they got Queen in Studio B We Will Rock You musical, and they became the designer for the artwork and for the posters. They came in, it was cool, but they wanted me to dress up as Freddie Mercury and serve Queen tea (he laughed). I thought that was a brave idea. I thought a brave, brave, brave idea, but you know that is playing with fire because that can easily go wrong as an idea, as a concept. They can go, what? Because it was only 1998. It was not that long after. So, I politely declined. I saw them come in and I watched them from a distance. I’ve never met them since, and I don’t know if I ever will, but I feel like I spend a lot of time with the songs. You get to know people through their style of writing up to a point in a certain way. You know, you become really involved with their songwriting and it’s been a privilege to be able to sort of see the songs from the inside out, so to speak. The mechanics of how they put these things together and the sheer beautiful musicianship and artistry that goes into every one of these songs. Even the simplest of songs. There’s something there in every single track that’s remarkable. So, you know, it’s been nice. So, no I don’t know if I’ll ever meet Queen. I guess I’ll have to leave it at that. I’ve been in the same lift as Queen (he laughed).

SFL Music: That’s very cool because you guys have played arenas and halls.
Myers: It was cool being in the same place they shot their videos and that was really just such a trip for us because I’d grown up watching those videos and just to think, wow. I’m actually on the same stage here. You know, I’m playing to sold out audiences and how did I get here? As I say, because when I left for university, I hadn’t planned to form a tribute band at all because tribute bands didn’t exist. It all snowballed in a weird kind of way just because we happened to be all together at the same time when learned that Freddie died. We all started singing the songs together and that’s why it all came together from really, singing the songs.

SFL Music: You did say you grew up listening to Queen. Prior to that your parents got you into The Beatles and stuff.
Myers: My mum was a fan of the early Beatles. She’s American, so the whole (The) Ed Sullivan Show you know, thing. She was completely sold on it. That was her version of The Beatles and so yeah, there wasn’t a huge amount of music in the house, but what there was, was amazing. You know, I really enjoyed listening to that and I still love The Beatles. The whole Get Back thing that was on Disney is just such a joy to behold. That was good fun, but my parents’ kind of helped me a lot because I learned a lot about music theory and I studied classical guitar and piano when I was a teenager. That also really helps putting a band together because you got to have a certain sense of how things work harmonically to get those harmonies right, and that background in music really helped me a lot.

SFL Music: When you were fifteen you would sneak into bars?
Myers: Yeah. That was when I discovered rock and roll. I studied classically initially and then I discovered that you could sneak into bars and pretend to be a rock and roll star in your own right with a guitar. So, we had a little band. Were we called The Nasty Termites ‘cause we wanted a name that sounded like The Beatles, so we chose The Termites. We thought The Termites doesn’t make us sound rockus enough, so let’s make ourselves Nasty Termites (he laughed). We were only fifteen. That was going to have to do for a name at the moment. So, we wrote some songs we recorded. We were playing there. We had been playing there for years when I turned eighteen. I had a big eighteenth birthday party and the guy who’d been putting me on said, “you’re only just eighteen?” (He laughed), yeah, sorry about that! It meant I had quite a few years performing before I went to university. So, starting early helped really.

SFL Music: That’s what prompted you to study what you did when you went to university?
Myers: Yeah. Well, I was interested in acting as well and comedy and acting and music. All of those things just were fascinating. I wanted to go to London. The main thing for me was get to London because if you’re going to have an adventure, it’s got to be in London. So, whatever you do, go to London (he laughed). That was my main kind of mission. Get to London and have adventures and just try and get something you know, that’s fun and that’s engaging and that uses what you can do.

SFL Music: Well, you definitely did that with Killer Queen.
Myers: Yeah, it’s been great fun!

SFL Music: What would you say is the secret to having this longevity with a tribute band?
Myers: Not quitting (he laughed). Not stopping. I don’t know. I’ve always been fascinated to see where this show can go. Even when I was just starting. In my youth, I always had sort of dreams of, wow wouldn’t it be great to do this? To see those sort of dreams come true. I never expected anything to happen with Killer Queen. There was no expectation with it, but there was a sense of you know, wishing. It was a huge amount of wish fulfillment going on. You dream of playing. We never played Wembley Stadium, but we’ve played arenas and just the idea of doing that was so fascinating and any idea of seeing, as you realize how the mechanics of touring work, you know, maybe we can do this. Maybe let’s go to America. Let’s play Red Rocks. Let’s make it happen. Let’s build a big stage set. The challenge of all that and also the sheer fun of it means that I’m constantly fascinated as to where this can go because its great fun to do onstage, but it’s just fantastic fun to sort of plan for. I think the other reason we’ve lasted so long is Queen are amazing at keeping themselves going with the We Will Rock musical, with the various releases they’ve done and compilations they’ve done over the years as well as the new material they found from Freddie, and then touring now with Adam Lambert who’s sensational. I’ve got tickets to see Queen and Adam Lambert later on this year in England at the O2. I booked a hotel. I’ll be staying there right after. Make a proper night of it, but yeah, I think Queen, going back to what I said before, they sort of transcended any fashion. They never were desperately trendy, but you know, they were always just Queen and you wanted to see what Queen had to say for themselves as a right to themselves. I think they still, even though they don’t have Freddie anymore, like touring with Adam, they somehow sort of locked back into that, and people can go there. Have the most cathartic and fantastic and fun experience. It just wakes everyone up to just how amazing the music is again, and I think Killer Queen are a reflection of peoples love for Queen. So, if you want the real answer to that question, it’s because people love Queen and we’re a reflection of that to put it simply. Obviously, we try to make our shows good and exciting and as visually authentic as possible and a feel of a Queen show, but without Queen doing such an amazing job of keeping it out there and being so kinetic still, all these years after you know, everyone thought they were gone for good when Freddie died, but all these years later, they’re still such an amazing sight and kinetic and magnetic band onstage. It blows everyone away. As I say, we’re a reflection of that extraordinary, Queens longevity.

SFL Music: It’s the same band members?
Myers: Its Brad Waissman (bass), Simon Small (guitar)and John Howells (drums) and Patrick Myers (lead vocals) onstage. Yeah, still the same. It’s been difficult being off the road all this time because we’re always itching to play. We enjoy what we do. I’ve always known how much I enjoy this. This was never sort of something I discovered during lockdown. I knew how much I loved doing this, but you really feel it keenly when you suddenly realize that you can’t. It’s been two years now, so we’re delighted. So delighted to be back and the messages and support and stuff we have from the fans who hung on to their tickets for a couple of years you know, really, really a hundred percent behind us getting back onstage and having a good time with us, and that’s been fantastic to hear. It’s been great to keep on getting their messages for the past time we’ve been off the road.

SFL Music: Was there anything else you wanted to add?
Myers: Well, we’re just looking forward to getting out. I can’t wait to just hang out with the audience and having a party.

Share It!