The Glycerine Queens: Underground and Underage

I can’t even begin to tally the total number of tremendous things that being a fan of one of my favorite bands, The Donnas, has brought me. The first time I ever flew was to attend their first ever fan club show. Some of the finest friends I have I met somewhere whilst seeing them. I have been introduced to bands like American Bang, The Click Clack Boom and Elevator Fight who opened for them on tour. I have seen their side projects and savored their live shows. Most importantly, though, I have seen them inspire so many girls to pick up guitars and get a band going. One fellow Donnaholic that did just that is Kayla Smith of The Glycerine Queens.

The Glycerin Queens are glam rock girls Cynthia Rittenbach on vocals and guitar, Kayla Smith on guitar, Kayla Cervone on bass and Jen Amoscato on drums. Underground and underage, jamming from the Jersey Shore, the Glycerin Queens are a brand new band whose demo is now available for download. Youtube youngsters who began as Runaways cover queens, it comes across very clear who their influences are, and its obvious TGQ is ready to rock and roll! Getting gigs in NJ and NY, the girls get better and better as a band the more they book! Making it to the semi-finals of The Break contest, they came close to bringing their band to Bamboozle. Their next show is Wednesday, July 6th, at The National Underground in NYC.

Sara Fincham: First of all, how old are all of you?

Kayla Smith: I am 17, Kayla Cervone is 17, Cynthia Rittenbach is 15 and Jen Amoscato is 15.

SF: When did the idea of starting a band cement itself – was it an individual thought and then you found some friends, or was it an ongoing group conversation that carried through?

KS: Cynthia and I met over Youtube and we both loved The Runaways, so we decided to cover some of their songs by sending garage band files to each other. We both really wanted to start a band and when we found out that we both lived in New Jersey, we put our plan into action. Cynthia knew Jen and had been playing with her for a while, so she was our drummer. Jen knew Kayla C, and they had been playing together since 6th grade, so Kayla C became our bassist and that’s how The Glycerine Queens got started!

SF: Once the decision was made to begin a band, how long did it take to feel confident enough and put together a set list that you thought would showcase your talents live? You formed in July 2010 – when did you play your first live show?

KS: It took us a couple of months to practice and get to know our songs before we played them live. We all played our first live show together December 12, 2010.

SF: How long did it take to do your demo and what obstacles did you have to overcome to get The Glycerine Queens downloadable?

KS: It took about 7 hours to do our demo. The obstacles we faced were getting the licenses to sell the 2 covers on the demo, “I Love Playin’ With Fire” and “California Paradise.” The licenses took 4 weeks to obtain. We also had to wait for the copyright for our original songs on the demo, “Child of the Moon” and “Tomorrow.”

SF: What were the outcomes of all these Battle of the Bands for you – The Upper Shores Branch Lavallette Library Battle of the Bands, Jersey Shows battle of the bands, and The Break contest?

KS: The Upper Shores Battle we didn’t win, we didn’t make it to the next round of the Jersey shows battle and we made it to the semi-finals of The Break Contest!

SF: You seem to be very charitable – playing benefit shows and rallies – how do you decide what to say yes to and what to decline, or do you say yes to every offer?

KS: We say yes to every offer, but we have to check with our parents first!

SF: Being a new band, I’m sure you’ve learned a lot and continue to do so with every show. What is the most important thing you’ve learned so far?

KS: We have all learned not to sweat the little things, to have fun, have a good time and to give a great performance every time we play, even if there aren’t many people watching. Also we learned that winning isn’t everything.

SF: What’s the best advice you’ve gotten so far?

KS: The best advice we have all gotten was to have fun and play good music!

SF: Your name – The Glycerine Queens – could you elaborate as to how you decided upon it, what it means – is it taken from the Suzi Quatro song Glycerine Queen?

KS: Well, we really love Suzi Quatro and so Cynthia and I thought that her song, “Glycerine Queen” would be a cool name. So that’s how we came up with The Glycerine Queens!

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