The artist Elizabeth II, writer, performer and producer of “All My Failures”
Hey, very happy to welcome you to the Radio Show and Podcast community. Tell us a little bit more about yourself. Introduce yourself to the community.
Hey Everyone! I’m Elizabeth II and I’m a rock singer and guitar player from Washington DC. If you like huge guitar riffs and solos, catchy rock n roll melodies, high energy performances, and don’t mind a lotta blue hair, my music and shows are for you!
One thing that I’m always interested in, when I sit down and chat with artists is, what their defining moment was that they knew that they wanted to be in music… What was that moment in time for you?
For me it was in the 7th grade when my friends Rachel and Kaitlyn introduced me to bands like Led Zeppelin and Rush. As soon as I heard songs like “Communication Breakdown” and “Dazed and Confused”, I thought to myself, “I want to do that!”
Do you mix and master yourself or do you have an engineer or a producer that works with you?
I have an Engineer and/or producer that works with me. Generally, I demo out all my song ideas so when I go into the studio, It’s super easy to relay how I envision the different parts. That’s been the case for every song I’ve recorded and released except for my new one, “All My Failure”. For this one, I worked with John Mark King to songwrite and record this tune at Bias Studios with Mark Reiter. I’ve also worked with producers Mark Williams, Ben Green, and Austin Bello (of Forever the Sickest Kids) to record tunes with.
What motivates you? Not just in your music but in your normal life as well.
Being good at something and allowing it to consume my time. For the longest time as a kid, I had a hard time trying to figure out what I wanted to do as a hobby. As soon as I picked up the guitar, it was crystal clear to me that I had to get so good at this instrument that no one can deny that. This is something that still motivated me today as I still have lots of practice and work to put in, but knowing I’m working to get better at something really motivates me. I try to apply that same drive throughout my day to day, However, What I’ve found really works for me when it comes to motivating myself throughout the day is to write down what I want to get done in a journal the night before and cross out each activity the next day as I do it.
I am personally on a mission to get good music heard by everyone. What is one thing that bothers you the most about trying to come up in the music world today and, do you prefer being underground or, is the mainstream something you strive for?
What really bothers me is that there’s so many different paths I can take my sound that I often find myself overwhelmed as to what I want my sound to be. A part of me wants to be mainstream be-cause that’s what the largest audience listens to, but my ears are more so drawn to rock sounds that aren’t in the Top 40s, so we’ll see where I go from here.
Who, musically, is one of your bigger influences?
Ah yes, I love this question. When it comes to writing rock songs, It’s gotta be my My Chemical Romance. I’ve always been drawn to their songwriting structures, lyrics, and arrangement. Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge has got to be my favorite album of all time. I’m also very influenced guitar wise by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, and vocally influenced by Emily Armstrong of Dead Sara.
One question that I like to ask artists is, how did Covid affect your music in particular and the music scene in your area?
The music scene immediately died and went straight to the internet. Every weekend there was livestream shows, videos, and new music coming out like clockworks over the course of the last year and a half. For me, I gave me a lot more time to focus on practicing guitar and writing. I was probably practicing for about 7-8 hours a day at that one point.
I, myself, personally think that there’s too much social media out there to keep up with. I understand why it’s necessary but there’s a ton of it out there. What are your feelings on social media and music today?
I have a love hate relationship with social media. I’m a marketing major in college, so in a sense I have to be around it if I want to have some kind of career in marketing. I do enjoy the content creating aspect of it. I love posting and making videos and showing of a sweet solo I learned. On the other hand, it’s suuuuper over saturated, making it impossible for the crazy talented ones to shine through. If there’s nothing unique about you, social media will forget you. It’s a bit of a game, you see. You have to learn how to play it right and adapt as new social platforms are being created and as algorithms and trends change, otherwise you will be left in the dirt. In a way, it’s the same thing for any business. If a cellphone company doesn’t update their phones to match the technology of their competators, they’re going to go out of business. If food brands don’t constantly update their branding, people will generally forget about them or look past their “old timey” looking box in the grocery store shelves.
Do you create music often? When can we expect another release?
I have hundreds of voice memos and unfinished demos just sitting on my laptop. I probably write a song in it’s entrirty about once every couple weeks. I have another song that’s getting mixed at the moment and should be ready to release within the next few months!
I grew up in the 90’s, I listened to everyone from Dr. Dre, to Weezer, to Pink Floyd, Metallica,Cypress Hill and back again. I truly believe that the 90’s were one of the greatest era’s for original music. Which era of music is one of your favorites?
I gotta say, Nowadays 90s are my favorite. I’m obsessed with the simplicity and aggression behind grunge music and find myself using the genre as influence. While that’s what currently influences me, I was influenced heavily by the 80s for years. I obsessed over bands like Van Halen, Montley Crue, Iron Maiden (Still obsessed actually with this one), Bon Jovi, and Whitesnake.
If you could swap yourself into a different artist, who would it be?
Probably Mateus Asato, the guitar player. Reason being is because he is my favorite guitar player and that I want to know what it’s like to play and think at the musical skill level he’s at.
What tips or advice would you give someone that’s just starting out in the music game?
Definitely spend time writing songs that you yourself would listen to if you heard them on the radio. If you write songs you like, you’ll have more fun writing them and more people will enjoy listening to it. It’ll be unique and it’ll be you!
I want to thank you for this Q&A, Is there anything you want to say to everyone out there? Shout outs?
Yes! This is a really fun closing fact: I’ve had my hair blue for over 9 years. I love the color so much that I just kept dying it the same color, and here we are, 9 years later and still blue.
Follow Elizabeth II at the following links: