While female lead string players and all-girl cover groups are usually rare, Lindy Day shatters these stereotypes as the former lead guitarist for The Killer Queens, the world’s only all-girl Queen cover band. Additionally, Day writes songs for her own solo project and has shared the stage with Santana, ZZ Top, Steve Miller. She also has a large social media following with over 8,000 followers on Instagram and has made appearances on the popular accounts @RiffWars and @TalentedMusicians.
Visit her website at lindyday.com.
The WiMN: What was your introduction to music, and how did you start playing guitar?
LD: My mom used to invent songs when we were kiddos. Every now and again she’d pull out her guitar and we’d help her write songs about fairies or baby deer. Pretty typical kid stuff!
I started playing guitar pretty late compared to most guitarists. I started at 16. My sister got a guitar for Christmas and I was a little bit jealous of her so to alleviate my jealousy I stole her guitar after she went to bed. Very quietly, and very carefully, I’d teach myself chords at night.
Honestly it didn’t start out as a thing of love. It was rivalry. Long live younger sisters!
The WiMN: Tell us about your gig with The Killer Queens. How big of an inspiration is Queen and Brian May? What song or solo is the most difficult to pull off?
LD: Brian May is, of course, a huge influence. Most of the classic rock gods play a big part in influencing the younger generation. I’m really glad the Queen movie just came out because it’s triggered a resurgence of Queen music. I’ve been teaching some of my students Queen songs recently at their request.
One of the most difficult solos is “I Want It All.” There was only one guitarist in The Killer Queens but there’s two guitars in the studio recording. It’s really tough to play the solo on that song and switch between the rhythm guitar and lead guitar parts. When we played these songs live we had to arrange them in such a way that it sounds like the recording. I had so much work to do in that song because I’m one guitarist covering two guitar tracks.
It’s funny – the harder a song is, the less I tend to run around on stage. That song takes up all my focus so I tend to stand still. Yet somehow at the end of those 5 minutes I feel like I’ve run a marathon.
The WiMN: Tell us about your solo project, where you sing in addition to playing guitar. What was it like to tackle singing?
LD: Our solo project is called Black Ramen. Although each of us happens to be a touring professional, this project is a studio band working out of our label, WLM Entertainment Group. We write epic music for film, games and TV. We have music out to Gears of War 5, Major League Baseball, ESPN, CBS, IMAX films, and some upcoming movies.
In late 2018 we decided we wanted to transition Black Ramen from a studio band to a touring band with a complete stage show.
Writing for film and games is fun but you’re usually writing background music. Even explosive movie trailer music is technically background music. Writing for public consumption is different than writing for film, but I really enjoy the challenge. We’re putting the final touches on our first 4 singles which won’t be targeted for film and games. They’ll be targeted for Spotify and live audiences.
Currently, we’re finishing up a photoshoot and two music videos. People will finally be able to see what we look like! Black Ramen will be strategically quiet on social media until we launch, but until then you can check out the band’s podcast, Fan Ramen.
Ralph Avalon, our drummer, and myself are voice actors. Kevin, the bassist, is a foley artist. So this podcast is two professional voice actors and one professional foley artist reading fanfiction outloud. We use the Black Ramen studios to produce these episodes, so we talk about the band from time to time on the show. We also write all the music featured in each episode.
In regards to singing – vocals don’t take up my main focus. Guitar is a funny instrument. You can reach a point in guitar (in any instrument*, really) where you’re not really practicing. It’s more like you’re exploring. You explore the guitar for hours and hours. It doesn’t feel like work.
Singing feels like work. I’m totally fine with that so I work it into my expectations. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy it, it’s just a little more of a “practice routine” as opposed to exploring.
*and yes, vocals counts as an instrument
The WiMN: You’re also an avid classical guitar player. How does the instrument fit into your repertoire these days and what does it mean to you?
LD: I used to play classical guitar in wineries and casinos, but ever since I joined the classic rock circuit there’s been no time to book those gigs. Having a female lead guitarist is desirable right now so many bands have asked me to play with them. Still, I spent years learning classical guitar and even though I don’t have time to perform classical shows, I still find myself playing classical guitar for myself in the mornings.
I currently take neoclassical shred lessons from a touring shred master and before each lesson I warm up on classical guitar for about 30 minutes. My teacher doesn’t know I do this. Maybe I should tell him.
You ask a really good question, though. What does classical guitar mean to me? A well rounded musician can do many skills well, even skills he or she doesn’t need in their current project. Like how samurai had to learn the art of poetry, learning classic rock is one area of expertise. But if you want to be well rounded, you’ll need to master many areas of guitar. I’m not using my classical repertoire professionally right now, but playing Capricho Arabe on classical guitar supports my lead guitar skills. They’re more connected than they are separate.