With band members:
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
BB - My brother exposed me to a lot of great records since I was a toddler, he himself used to play in bands and has always been an example for me. I remember him leaving home for band rehearsals and gigs. I found that so exciting and wished he would take me with him every time. When I was 11 years old I started writing the first ‘songs’ and he made me promise that I was also going to play an instrument, not just singing. So I ended up doing the same thing as him and have always been very passionate about making music. If I didn’t get into music I would have probably tried becoming a neurosurgeon.
VC - My friends and I really enjoyed listening to music and at some point someone suggested that we could start a band, so we started dreaming of being on stage playing rock n’ roll, which is eventually what happened. Once we agreed who was going to play what, I learned how to play guitar.
Before then I was constantly thinking about football. I was getting ready hours before training, fantasising about how far I could get by playing football, but from the time we started the band I couldn’t think of anything else but the guitar.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
BB - There are so many things I enjoy doing, in fact I never get bored. The main ones are travelling, cooking and reading. Recently I started being very interested in anthropology. I am very fascinated by cultures different from mine and would love to explore them more in the future. I think everything I do subconsciously feeds back into the music I make, this is why I try to have as many experiences as possible, these stimulate my mind and therefore my creativity.
VC - Making films is my other passion, If I am not doing music I am working on some idea for a video or learning new videography techniques. It’s impossible for me to get bored when I am doing music or videography. They are both creative activities that influence each other and I really enjoy this balance.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are both based in South-East London and living in this city has definitely influenced our music. British music and culture have always been an inspiration to us. Stage presence also is something we have discovered here in the UK and gradually incorporated into our live performances.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
BB - I found this word ‘dronning’, meaning ‘queen’, in a Norwegian vocabulary. I love how it sounds, decisive and strong, the way I see my music. So it became ‘dronningen’ (the queen) and over time I developed a manifesto around it, which is on our website. Whoever assumes it’s because I like the monarchy or I am bossy hasn’t read the manifesto or doesn’t know me at all. What it actually means is living your life with attitude, crafting your life into something that you love without allowing other people’s expectations or the environment to dictate to you. It’s a celebration of uniqueness and self-expression.
What is your favourite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Definitely The Monarch in Camden but unfortunately it has been permanently closed, this is really sad. Sometimes we joke about playing at Wembley Stadium, but it’s just a joke :)
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
If we could choose, there would definitely be Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Foo Fighters, Jack White, Primal Scream and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I would suggest first of all to understand what they really want to do. Playing in a band as a hobby is one thing, trying to do it more seriously or even professionally is a completely different matter and requires you to develop a different set of skills because in most cases being good at one thing is not enough and you really need to have a clear vision of what you want to do.
An advice I would give to my younger self would be: “You can do things your own way, it is not written anywhere that there is only one way through so be flexible and trust your instinct at all times”.
VC - Just make sure you are doing it with the right people and you share the same objective. Being in a band is something beautiful and it can give you great satisfaction and great memories if done the right way. Find what you add to the band and do that, not every member of the band is a songwriter, not every member is a leader, there is a natural balance between band members that needs to be reached and sometimes somebody needs to take a step back in order to add value to the group.
I would tell my younger self to practice more, explore more music genres, be less picky about music and definitely come to the UK much earlier.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
VC - Sugarbox. It’s the one I have put most of my style of playing in, whilst for most of the other songs I am always trying to explore new ways of playing.
BB - All the songs are very special to me because they originate from a personal experience so I can’t pick one only, they are all my babies.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
That any obstacle can be overcome, it all depends on the attitude you adopt in life and that you should take ownership of your uniqueness. Being different is a wonderful thing.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Of course we do, every type of collaboration finds some friction at times. We only had minor disagreements that were easily overcome with some good sleep haha :)