British rocker Chez Kane is back with her sophomore album Powerzone and FemMetal writer Taylor Cameron had the chance to sit down with the badass Chez to discuss her new album, how it felt finally being able to play live, and her biggest influences.
How are you?
I’m good, it’s nice to see you!
It’s nice to see you too, thank you so much for talking to me. Jumping right in, your first album was primarily written by Danny Rexton of Crazy Lixx, I was wondering if you were more involved in the writing process on this one?
No, I haven’t been involved in the writing process for either album. Danny had the songs already written before asking me to demo them and he has such a great way of writing this type of music that I haven’t wanted to touch on it because it’s already perfect.
What was it like working with Danny again?
It’s been amazing, I think we have such a good working relationship. We both have the same vision for this project even though it was his idea. I’ve always had a massive soft spot for this type of music and it’s what I grew up with, so anything that he gives to me I feel like I have the same vision. We work very well together, I’m really happy.
You guys seem like the perfect team
It feels that way
How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist and how has your sound developed since your first release?
I feel like I’ve grown quite a lot and I feel like Danny has grown in his song writing since the first album as well because a lot of the songs I ended up doing were old Crazy Lixx songs that never got released. He’s gotten to know me and my voice a bit better now and I feel like the writing for this one has been more focused on me. I think we’re growing in a nice steady way, and I feel like we’ve come so far since the beginning and that it gets stronger each time. I think it’s going in a good direction.
That’s great to hear, I’m glad. You’ve finally been able to play some live shows this year, what has that experience been like and how has the reception from fans been?
It’s been amazing. When I made the first album, we were all in lockdown, which was the most frustrating thing ever because all I wanted to do was get out on the road and promote the album and I couldn’t. But when the shows finally came around, I had all this energy built up so being able to step onstage and release all that was insane. I haven’t had many shows yet, but I have a headlining tour coming up after the release of the second album so I’m in full preparation mode now but I’m excited.
I’m going to get to see you on the Monsters of Rock Cruise next year and I’m super excited about that.
I’m super excited too, I’ve been wanting to do this cruise for so long
I’ve been lucky enough to have already heard the new album and I think it’s top notch, is there a song that hasn’t been released yet that you’re excited for everyone to hear?
The two songs I’m most excited for people to hear and to hear what they think of them, are “Children of Tomorrow Gone” and “Love Gone Wild” because they’re two songs I absolutely love, and I can’t wait to perform them.
The new album is titled ‘Powerzone’, where did this title stem from?
The first song I recorded and demoed for this album was the track “Powerzone” and it was the first song I heard when picking the songs. This song got me really excited to move forward in this project and when Danny asked me if I had any ideas for title, I said you know what “Powerzone” is so powerful we can’t not name this album “Powerzone”. I definitely forced the issue on that because I love the song, it’s probably my favourite song on the album.
You’ve released a music video for “I Just Want You”, “The Things We Do (When We’re Young in Love)” and “Love Gone Wild” what was it like filming those?
It’s been really good fun. When I’ve been filming the music videos I’ve been working with Danny in Sweden because that’s where he’s located and it’s easier for me to fly there then have him bring everyone over here. It’s always a great experience leaving the country to go and have a bit of a holiday as well if you manage to have some down time. But to be honest even when filming the videos, we were having so much fun, we all get on really well and the vision we had for them has been the same. It’s just been a hell of an experience and an experience I’m never going to forget.
You’re known for your 80s hard rock sound, what inspired you to create this genre of music?
I grew up on loving 80s music, my earliest memory of starting to listen to 80s music was when I was 13, I discovered Def Leppard and fell in love with them. I was obsessed with Def Leppard. I got loads of their albums and it grew from there. My sister loved Pat Benatar, so she introduced me to her music, and she became a favourite of mine as well. It just went on and on from there and you discover more of the classic 80s albums. I wasn’t born in that time but was a huge fan of the music and when Danny discovered me from YouTube and asked me if I wanted to go down this route, I was like, yes! It’s been a passion of mine for ages, so I felt like it was my calling.
Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
It’s really hard because I have so many. Obviously, I love Def Leppard, I was highly inspired by Miles Kennedy of Alter Bridge. I love a wide range of rock music, not just 80s. Miles Kennedy has been a huge influence, so has Erik formerly of H.E.A.T, now of Skid Row.
Being a female in a particularly male dominated industry and genre, how do you deal with the sexism that comes along with it and do you have any advice for any fellow females in this industry who may be struggling with this?
It’s a strange one because I don’t feel like I’ve dealt with that from guys since I’ve been in the music industry, I might come across it at some point. There have been a few comments flying around from my video “I Just Want You” which I’m sure you can imagine. I feel that you have to just do you and don’t listen to anyone. Be strong in your mindset because I wanted to go down the root I’m going down because I find it empowering to me. I love my body and I want to be able to wear what I want to wear and enjoy feeling empowered. Don’t let little comments from people bring you down and just do you, because I feel that is the best way. When you’re so focused on your opinion, no one else matters. And everyone out there is beautiful!
I think you always handle things so well online with little comments and with staying so confident, I think it’s really inspiring! You’re able to go back in time to see one concert/festival, who would you go see and why?
It’s got to be Queen, Freddie Mercury, I would’ve loved to have seen him in concert. Every video that I’ve seen on YouTube, it makes me feel like he would’ve been like how Erik (Gronwall) is to me today. I think he’s such a great frontman and would’ve inspired me to try different things out onstage, so I would’ve loved to have been there in the flesh and seen him live.
You can only listen to three albums for the rest of your life, what would you chose?
Ooh that’s a hard one. I’m going to go with Queen greatest hits, because that was the first album, I had by them. And then I’m going to say Blackbird by Alter Bridge, I have the album artwork tattooed on my back. And any of the H.E.A.T albums, we’ll just pick one out of the bunch and it’ll be perfect.
You’re playing a festival and are allowed chose the lineup, who else would be on the bill?
I’m going to say Crazy Lixx, I have gigged with them and its good fun. Nestor, I love Nestor. H.E.A.T, Reckless Love, bringing out all the fun 80s influenced bands.
That would be an awesome show! Those are all the questions I have, Is there anything else you would like to add?
I just want to thank you for interviewing me, it’s been a lot fun and just to anybody out there, follow your heart, follow your dreams. Keep going because it’s worth it. Sometimes it might feel hard, but you just have to push past it and do what you want to do.