YNS Live with NFL Thread Queen VOct 01, 2023
Listen to a new episode of YNS Live with NFL Thread, recorded live on Fireside with hosts Juliet Hahn and Cynthia Zordich featuring special guest Queen V.
Queen V is a New York City based singer-songwriter and the front woman of her namesake rock
band. V is currently performing and releasing videos in support of her most recent record,
Bridges Vol. 3, which is the conclusion of her Bridges trilogy.
The trilogy began with the release of the Bridges EP in 2015, which V recorded in Los Angeles
at the famed Studio 606 with the help of Producer John “Lou” Lousteau. This first EP was the result of V taking her songwriting in a new direction, refocusing on her roots on piano and acoustic guitar.
The next leg of the Bridges journey saw Queen V spending extended periods of time writing in
Nashville, where she linked up with Chad Carlson, who has become a frequent collaborator,
cowriter, and Producer. The 2017 EP, Bridges Vol. 2, was recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium, with Chad Carlson at the helm.
For the closing saga of the trilogy, the full-length album Bridges Vol. 3, V knew she needed to
bring the journey back home to New York City. V’s history in New York goes back over two
decades, making a name for herself in her early days with frequent shows at legendary venues in NYC’s club scene, such as CBGB, The Bitter End, and Don Hill’s, among countless others. With the decision made that only New York had the energy, history, and other intangibles needed to close out this anthology, V headed to the historic Sear Sound to record Bridges Vol. 3. Once again Chad Carlson would be behind the board producing the record, along with co-writing a number of songs.
Bridges Vol. 3 was released on June 10th of 2022, and has been supported by the release of a
number of music videos, including V’s first ever animated video for the track “Technicolor.” V
celebrated Vol. 3 with a concert at The Atlantic in Brooklyn, NY on the eve of the album’s
Later that Summer, V would go on to promote the album by performing at Celebrity Care Fest,
where she played two sets of her own music and sat in for performances with The Temptations,
Lou Gramm of Foreigner, and The Jacksons. This continued a long history of high-profile collaborations for V who has written or performed with the likes of Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine), Lemmy (Motorhead), and more recently country star (no comma) Billy Dean, who cowrote Vol. 3’s, “Honest,” to name just a few.
This year has seen Queen V perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Chicago’s Guaranteed Rate Field before the White Sox took on the Yankees, and also at her first Summer Soiree, which took place June 23rd at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. The Summer Soiree was an addition to V’s series of regular NYC performances, which also includes her Spring Fling and Fall Ball. Additionally, she has plans to film and release videos for several more songs from Bridges Vol. 3, most recently the video for “Write Your Song,” which was filmed on location at Ellis Island as well as at the National Opera Center. Earlier this Summer, V released a limited-edition splatter vinyl version of Bridges Vol. 3 marking the first time any of the Queen V catalog has been released on vinyl.
For more information, visit QueenV.com
“I really wanted to express as an introvert how it feels to connect with people and express insecurities and doubts. We only have so much time on this earth, so you better get out there. You can't run and hide.”
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Created live on fireside.
Welcome everyone, to YNS live with NFL Thread. We are so excited for this episode. V, I'm going to have Cynthia kind of give you the intro, but I just want to give a little kind of background. We met Queen V at the hall of Fame and we didn't get a chance to have you on. And we kept being like, oh, let's go.
And we kept all getting pulled into different directions. And then when Cynthia talked to you a little further, she was like, oh, no, you need to be on the full episode. You need to be on the full episode of YNS Live with Annabelle Thread. So welcome, welcome. And I'm excited to dive in so Cynthia can give you a little intro and then let's jump into the story.
Yes. I am so excited today to welcome Veronica Cower, singer, songwriter, entertainer, the wife of legendary coach Bill Cower. Your music, to me, music is a thread that connects all of us, in a sense, the impact that the music makes on all of us. But your lyrics and your songs just about strength, about writing your own story, it just speaks to me as well. So I can't wait to dive into your music and your message and your journey.
And thank you so much for coming. It was really fun how we met because it was at the hall of Fame and I was asking you to come onto the podcast. And then when I realized it was you, I was like, you have to talk about your music. This is the very premise of everything that I love about women in the NFL and women in general is just to support each other, promote each other, and talk about all the amazing things that we do. So welcome and thank you for being here.
Oh, thank you so much. Well, first, let me say thank you to both of you for taking the time to do a full episode. And as you mentioned, I was a little bit nervous at the hall of Fame. I'm still relatively new to the NFL culture, even though my husband and I have been married almost ten years now. But the music world and the sports, especially the NFL world, are just very different, which I'd love to get into some of that with you at some point.
But, yeah, it is a privilege to be here, truly, and an honor to just share a little bit of my journey. Where should we start? Well, I want to let everyone know where they can follow you, first off, and foremost, because I know people always get curious with that, so they can find your website, which is Queen V, as in Victor. Veronica. Veronica.
I was going to say Victoria, but I was like, that's not I knew that wasn't your name, but I was going to say Queen Veronica.com. And they can find all your music there. They can also find you on all your socials. I mean one of the things that I would love to start with because I think it's so important we talk about this on this podcast. But really in life stories connect us.
And when Cynthia and I started this know, she's had thread for many years. I've had my podcast for many years. But when we got together and then realized how we both have the same kind of heart in sharing, we love to hear other people's stories because stories help other people either heal, they connect. It's bigger than kind of what we all really can think because sometimes you'll have someone come up to you and be like, I listened to this episode and I heard this story and it touched me in this way. It brought something to my heart or it brought something out.
And we don't always think that. And it is important because that's how I lead. I lead listening to other people. It doesn't matter if you are a janitor or a CEO, a professional athlete. We all have stories.
We all have our trauma, big, small and just sharing and talking get people thinking. And so that's why I'm really excited to dive into this. And how we always start is a little background. So if you can kind of just share up where you grew up and a little bit about your upbringing, that would be a great start. Sure.
So I was born in New York City. I grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, just like half an hour outside and was immersed in music. Growing up was very shy about my songwriting, but I started piano when I was five and we had all different kinds of music going in the house. My father's side of the family is very musical, played sports growing up wasn't very good, but I loved the teamwork element about being on a softball or soccer team with other girls, which was very impactful for me. And then went to college, started my first bands there.
And once I graduated, I was faced with the situation, well, I can either do this diplomacy, sociology, UN thing that I wanted to do, I speak some languages or I can go for music and devote my life to rock and roll, which I already had. And the music won out because the bug had bitten me very young and I never stopped. And I just felt it was a way where I would be more useful, I could contribute more in connecting with people and just trying to spread the message of some values of heart and soul. We can get into all that a little bit. We talk about Bridges trilogy, but eventually being in a band and the democracy of the band wasn't for me.
I had a very clear vision of what I wanted to do, sonically, lyrically, image wise, and Queen V was born. It was a way for me to empower myself, to stay as an independent artist, which I have been my entire career and never signed with a major label or anything. And the name Queen V was a way for me to really rise to the occasion, to be the best I could be. And also, I didn't want to just be Veronica Stigler, like, singer songwriter. I wanted to be like, you know, Freddie Mercury.
I wanted a cool name, something that would just make me feel like the which so here we are, three decades later, still going. I love that. That's a I mean, and one thing I think is always fun and this is why we always kind of ask a little bit about the upbringing because it does paint a little bit of a picture. So I lived outside of Philadelphia, but in New Jersey. In South Jersey?
And then my 15 years, I raised some of I mean, had kids, but I was in New York City, so I can picture both of those things. And so many people listening can be like, okay, I see I know Montclair, I know the city, so I kind of know and feel a little bit about where you were. They can kind of picture it. And that's such an important thing when you share stories, when people can picture in their own mind, like, understand a little bit. Okay, all right.
I see this. And I love that you said that your dad was into music because it always fascinates me. We were always very into the sports world. We were not very musically inclined, so it was something that we pursued. And then when you said you spoke languages, then that fascinates me with the brain, because the brain and music and languages, there's such a connection there.
Did they come easy to you? Easily. You also loved it. But I always get fascinated when things that we're good at, we kind of go towards. Right.
You said sports. You did it because you loved that teamwork, but you didn't find that you were as successful so as you were diving into the music. Was it something that was like, okay, this is what I'm good at. This is giving me confidence? Is that what drove you first, or was it something different?
Yeah, I think I took to it pretty young, for sure. But, you know, I would go to these concerts when I was, you know, a little kid, and, I mean, all throughout my teens, and I would just weep seeing these people on stage because I wanted so bad to be up on stage and connecting with an audience that way. This might be hard to believe, but I'm pretty much an introvert, and it's just a great way to connect with people and to really be open and honest and truthful. Because you can't lie when you're on stage, right. The most punk rock thing you can do is tell the absolute, brutal truth, which has been one of the axioms that I've had in my music.
My entire catalog is just tell the truth, whatever you do, just open. But I do think that the more that I invested in my career and did the work, the more rewarding it was. And so it was just sort of this self fulfilling sort of engine that propelled me forward. But the languages I'll tell you about the languages, though. So I'm first generation American.
My mother is French Algerian, french Jewish Algerian. So I grew up bilingual, French and English. And my father is Swiss German. Emigrated from Switzerland. So there was always a lot of languages around.
And then taking Spanish was a breeze because I could speak French. So it just all sort of was there. And like music or sports, when you learn something when you're young, it never kind of leaves you. It's still in there somewhere. I have a question about your music, and especially at a young age, it always fascinates me, musicians, between the music and the lyrics.
And I know that rock and roll is such a message, of course, and so are all the sound of rock and roll. But what is your passion first? Is it the lyrics? Is it your message? Is it what you want to speak on?
Or is it the music?
That's a great question. It depends. It has changed over time. For example, when I was young, I really paid attention to how the music made me feel, whatever the music was. I mean, I still feel that way, but that was the primary driving force, right?
And then once I picked up an electric guitar, it was all about writing riffs. As you can see, I'm in my den here, but then around ten years ago, I decided to dial back the distortion, started writing on acoustic guitar and piano again. And that's where the Bridges trilogy came from. And I really started paying more attention to more personal lyrics, which is something I had not really shared before. Of course, there's always a message, there's always a theme, but I think with the Bridges trilogy, I really just wanted to get as personal as possible and kind of mind those songwriters from the how, they were just so earnest.
And some of it you're like, oh, that's pretty bold to be that honest. But it was again, the most truthful thing I could do is just speak from the heart. And that's when Bill and I came together and then I started writing love songs here. We that I love that segue because I was like, oh, wait, I have so many questions on Cynthia. I love that story.
I mean, that question, that's such a great question. So I'm going to do kind of like a double question. And then Cynthia, if you want to jump so because I was going to say, are your songs written after everyone? So I listened to honest and so, for instance, is that I was like, okay, that's definitely after someone. But I don't want to assume because it could just be a feeling.
It could have been like when we were teens and we have the idea of what love is, and then you have these big feelings and something could come out of that or was this a very specific person? And you could be like, I'm not telling you. And that's also okay. I want you to know that. Well, you raised a really good point, Juliet, because as a songwriter, and especially within this whole last decade of mean, I wrote hundreds and hundreds of songs and went to Nashville and really worked on the lyrics.
And sometimes the inspiration comes from some other situation and you put yourself in somebody's shoes. But for honest, it was a moment, I will tell you in 2012, and Bill and I were at this black it's literally the lyrics in the song. We were at this black tie event, and we were just looking at each other and I was like and that was the moment that I knew I was like, this is the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with and can we get out of here? So I can tell you that I love that. And I felt that it's so funny as I was listening to it because I love music.
I'm not musically inclined at all. I'm kind of probably tone deaf. Like, if I sing, it's like, oh, that's scary, and I have no sense of it. But I love music just because of the stories behind it, right. And the feelings that you get.
So as I was listening to Felt, I felt you and that's why I was thinking I was like, I feel like this is Bill, but maybe if it's not no, it is. And I tell the story and I'll just share a little bit more about know bill and I were with a few other couples, and we were talking about that moment when you knew. And I just started to get these lyrics in my head and know everybody went home and I stayed up for another couple hours just writing these lyrics, and I got together with another songwriter, Billy Dean. He's like big country star. And I said, Billy, you got to help me here, please.
I would like to write a song that sounds like james Taylor and Carol King were hanging out with Sade in Paris at a Keith Richards expensive Wino show. And he just started playing the riff. And we were in Nashville at the Hutton, at the recording studio, and he just put down this rough guitar and that's the guitar you hear on the recording, just like this. That's so cool. So that gives me chills.
I love that stuff. Magic. I don't know how it happens. Wow. It's rewarding on so many levels because it's rewarding to be able to articulate what you're feeling in your heart and share it with others and for them to kind of connect with it because they're like, this is what I'm feeling, and this is so I love this song because I feel similar.
It's rewarding to collaborate with other artists to get the sound you're looking for. It's just such a talent, such a blessing that you can I just feel excited for anybody that can't go to sleep at night because they're on a project. I just think it's so exciting. I don't want to say lucky, but you're using your talent, so it's a good thing. It's a blessing and you're using them.
Listen, I'm grateful every single day that I feel this, that I'm able to do it, that I have made the choices, that I have to invest in it, invest myself. But what I'm even more grateful for are people who connect with it and respond and who appreciate me. So Bono has this great quote in his book, Surrender. As songwriters, we write the songs we need to hear, right? So these songs, this is what I need to hear in my head when I hear all this music in my head.
But really, it's the sharing it and wanting to connect with people, which is why I put out records, which is why I get up on stage. It's the same. It's threads, right? And all these moments of connection. And that's also why the trilogy is called Bridges because it was not only transitioning from one part of life to the other, but building Bridges, obviously, between myself and the outside world, between you and you and anybody else out there who's listening.
Oh, my goodness, building Bridges is fantastic. I want you to really talk about Bridges. I just feel that there's so many correlations. Like, Juliet, you're such a storyteller. It's all about the story for you.
I know you're about the lyrics. You're all about the lyrics. And here you're writing music like the title. Write your own song. It's the same thing.
It's like, write your own story. What is your story? What is your then, you know, strong, honest. Like, these are all things that just completely this is why I was so excited to have you on. And then Bridges, to me, like, transition.
I talk about transition from in the League for the NFL families, but transitions across the board for everybody. And I'm excited to hear about your particular reason for wanting to build a bridge. Help people realize that they need to build a bridge. What is Bridges for you? That's a big question.
Well, I'll say that this trilogy started as again, wanted to write this other kind of music. Wrote the songs in New York for Bridges, Volume One. Took the music out to La. To record at the Foo Fighter Studio with our guy John Lusteau, producer, and had this great experience on this board. And the soundboard, which was from Sound City, where, like, Fleetwood Mac recorded on and in, you feel it in the room, right?
And people told me, well, if you really want to get into songwriting, really dig deep, deep and roll up your sleeves, you need to go to Nashville. So from La, went to Nashville, spent a week, a month for a year in Nashville writing songs, sometimes two, three sessions a day and really invested in that. And there the manager I was working know, we started talking about this and the word Bridges came up and it was ah, transitioning not only geographically around the country doing this whole songwriting journey, but also just like what's coming up in me and trying to relate to all these other people. I mean, I must have met 60 or 70 songwriters in Nashville and these are cold sessions. They're like, hi, my name is so and so, what do we write about today?
A wild experience of putting yourself out there and talking about building the bridge because you trying to find common ground, right? Or at least meet in the middle to take the imagery literally. But from all that work in Nashville and volume two and the beginning of volume three and all the songwriting, I really wanted to bring it back home to New York, which is why the rest of the album was recorded here in the city. But when it came time to write the title track of, you know, you have to have a song called Bridges if you're going to name the trilogy after you have to do that, it's like Thriller, like the Thriller album you need.
But anyway, when it came time to write that song again, it's just something that kind of poured out of me and co wrote it with my producer from Nashville, Chad Carlson. And I just wanted to address that point about your mental state. So Pink Floyd delved a lot into this, about a lot of the psychology and all the things that go on in your head and how to share know, mental we talk about mental health.
I know it's very important to kind of be right with yourself before you can connect with other people and know where you're at and mindfulness. That's a big subject these days. So it was something I delved into and really wanted to express as an introvert how it feels and the need to want to write these songs so that I mean, I'm going to start crying, but so that I can connect with people and so that I can talk to the both of you and express these insecurities and doubts. But we only have so much time on this earth, so you better get out there. You can't run and hide, like that kind of thing.
And just something a lot more personal, maybe a little bit the pep talk. You kind of have to give yourself the prompt to keep going, even though when the odds are against you and all that kind of thing. So that song is very much a journey, and it kind of very much takes you somewhere. But to me, I'm very proud of it being the finale of The.
Know. So I know that you recorded in La. I know you recorded in Nashville and you recorded in New York, and I think that's so beautiful how you stated healing. It sounds to me like it was healing for you. And I mean, I think that what so many things that people in this world lose sight of is that creative outlet for healing or finding that thing that actually can heal you.
And it doesn't mean you have to be great at it. It's something that you have to find. And I talk about this all the time because I think so many women, whether you decided to stay home and raise your kids or you decided not to have kids or you decided to stay at work and do all of it, there's a time in your life where you kind of lose sight of, like, okay, whoa. What have I done? Where am I going?
And what am I meant to do here on this Earth? And it doesn't matter how confident you are, how self conscious you are, but we all can have that little time, and we all can kind of remember when it is. And I think it's so important and also for men, because I think it's not talked it is being talked about more for men, but just here for the collective of us women, it is so important to find that I call it the creative outlet. And Cynthia knows the story. So I'm dyslexic so when I was in school, there was this time when I was in third grade that everyone went to gifted and talented except me.
And the troublemaker we had to go to special reading, but I know it was like, oh, what am I doing? But I was like this happy go lucky kid that was like, okay, however, that day because when they came back, they talked about all the art and creative stuff that they did, and I gave myself that. Oh, I'm not creative. So literally for years, and I'm a very confident person, even though I struggled there, I played sports, I had a lot of friends. I was that kid that kind of could kind of bounce back to things.
I failed a lot, but I was like, okay, let's just get it back up. But it's so crazy when I realized in my forty s and I'm going to be 50 this year, in a couple of months, actually, but in my mid, where I was like, wait a second. When I started the podcast and I started doing these things, I was like, this is so silly. I told myself I wasn't creative for all these years because I couldn't draw all so that's what I want people to listen. I'm not musical, right?
So the things that I thought were like what you're supposed to be when you're creative. But then all of a sudden it was like this box that kind of opened and it's been so amazing to see how creative I actually am. It's just not the traditional creative that I gave myself that narrative. So I always challenge people to go find that thing that it's like your comfortable space. It's this thing that just kind of, again, unboxes you.
So I love how you said that, how you shared that, but all of those different places, nashville, New York, La. I love how you said you brought it back to New York because that was like your like that just also does the thread of the story. Right, right. I feel that Bridges is and I really want to go back into that. And also why you are like music is something that is therapeutic for you and that you realized early on that you are shy and that you needed something to put yourself out there, which is extraordinary to me.
You could just be shy and you could just be quiet, and you're pushing yourself. And then in your life it seems like you're pushing yourself into situations that make you get in front. And I think that that's really interesting that you do that. And do you know where that comes from? That desire to push yourself outside of that shyness?
I think a lot of it comes from my parents. They both were entrepreneurs, as I said, they both emigrated.
But they were always like self starter people. And I think I probably got some of that from them. And also, I think just for myself, I don't know, I just really believe in self empowerment. I kind of always have, and especially as a woman, that you have a choice, right? You can either just hang back or embrace life.
And I really have always chosen to do that. I do think, though, to your point also, Juliet, I think that when I was making music in my twenty s, and even like early mid thirty s, I was just so fired up and so like and had all this stuffed. But that's why if you listen to the earlier catalog, it's some high octane rock and roll. It's not for the faint of heart. People say they like to run to it, which is good.
And then it's true. I hit 40 and got reflective. It might be a cliche, but cliches are true for a reason, because they're true. I'm 51 now, so I've been on this path and yeah, looking back, looking forward, where am I at now? And I think that's a really healthy thing to do for me.
I couldn't write the same song over and over and over again. I mean, that wouldn't be honest or good or helpful. It would just sound like something regurgitated. And who wants to listen to know? I've always liked the Madonna's or David Bowie's, who kind of evolved throughout their career, know that kind of arc.
But I will share one other thing which I don't think I've ever shared before. I am dyslexic.
Okay. Which you, too, did not realize until I got to college, right? And then took this like, somehow it was detected or diagnosed and then ended up taking this speed reading course or reading course. And it explained a lot about why it took me so long to read these books. But I love to read.
I just read slowly. And I think that's why I'm also so fascinated with lyrics and wordle and spelling bee and all that stuff. No, well, thank you for sharing that, because fun fact no. And a lot of times it's interesting because when you were saying about your creative side of your brain, that's what always fascinates me, because the language I really, actually couldn't do foreign language. My oldest is Dyslexic, my dad, my sister.
It is hereditary. And so you kind of find that ladies I know Cynthia on her sister side. There's Dyslexia. So it is really close to my heart. I actually have another podcast on Dyslexia because it's like things are not talked about.
But it is very fascinating when people are so uber creative. A lot of times they're so strong in their right brain. Thank you for sharing that. But I do have a question because I think it's something that's really interesting. I shouldn't say, obviously, but I'm an extrovert.
I enter a room, and everyone knows I'm there. I've always been an extroverted kind of person and having kids and sisters and siblings and brothers. And I remember I have some introverted people in my life that are more quiet or shy. And I remember my mom always saying that it's more that they're quiet. Shy is a different thing.
So I would love to hear so introverted, quiet and shy. Sometimes people will put a negative thing to some of those right. Some of those words. And sometimes you could be a super confident person. You're just quiet.
Like, my husband is more of a quiet person. He's confident, but he is definitely an observer. He likes to sit and let you know. But I had one of my sisters, when she was growing up, she was considered more shy. Right.
And so I remember this being a conversation in our house. So I would love and just I mean, I know it's completely off topic, but I would love for you to kind of touch on that. Like, the introverted, quiet and shy, where do you find because I think it's good for also people to listen and hear what your thoughts are on that. Yeah, I've never really thought about that, to be honest. I will say what I do know about myself is I'm a slow starter.
It takes me a long time sometimes to get started on something. But then when you get me started. Like, whoa, I won't stop. And it's a little bit of being the youngest of five maybe, and just being the quiet little sister, but then it was like, let me play piano with you. Like, let me play piano with you.
And also being like a pain in the neck about it at some point and then that kind of thing. But I think it's okay to be quiet. I think not everybody has to always be the one in the center talking. But I do think that I have something to say, something to share. I mean, we all do, but that's why when I saw you at the hall of Fame, I was like, oh, I don't need to do I'm good.
I don't even know what we're going to talk about because I'm new. I'm not that person, like the new girl in class who's going to be like, hey, everybody. Hey. I'm just like, hi. I'm just going to sit back here and just observe, observe.
I'm very careful. I'm not a daredevil, though. I do risky things like get up on stage, hope nobody throws tomatoes, right? Because someone would say, that's very courageous to go up on stage and let your heart out writing songs that are something personal to you. So I always find it fascinating how people interpret things, right, and what is important.
And I wouldn't say the word important, but how people kind of put themselves out there and think, because others would look at you and be like, well, I would never get on stage. I could never have the balls to do that. I mean, you also clearly have a talent, and you're confident in that talent. So, I mean, I think that's something that is different, and I think that's something people can think about. And that's where it's like you put yourself out there when you have confidence.
When you don't have confidence is when people don't when they shy away from things. To me, the message also is that now I'm looking at two aspects of your personality. One is that you pretty much have offered up, that you are more of an introvert when it comes to that. And even when we met, it was definitely clear because I want to share the story. And that at the hall of Fame.
It's a luncheon with all of the hall of Fame women that are all there. It's like such a beautiful group of women, also dynamic and also different. And Juliet, of course, is at the front doing the podcast, and I'm going out saying hello to everybody and bringing people in to be on the podcast. And V said, oh, no, really? No, really.
I don't know what I would talk about. I'm just new here. And I was, you know, just talk about what you do. The whole idea is promoting who you are, what you do. And she's like, yeah, but my husband, he is a football coach.
I'm like, oh really? My husband is a football know where and she's like, well he was with the know and I'm like, oh really? And then so it comes out that it's Coach Cower and I'm like, wait a minute, aren't you a musician? Aren't you a fantastic musician? And V, you were so funny.
You were like, yeah, this is what we're going to talk about. But what I love about your personality in that is that with that you took the stage. With that you are sharing your message, your words, speaking to other individuals, not just women, about those things that are important to you, that are important to them. And then you get into the idea that of course you didn't find out that you had Dyslexia until college, but obviously you realized that early on that, hey, this is difficult reading these books. But you read them and you took that time and you wrote and you wrote music and you have these languages.
So to me I feel like you're just such a fighter. You're just so cool. You take things and you're like, you know what? No, you are not going to win. I'm going to win.
And I love that. For me, that's the kind of message I like to share, to like my nephew who has Dyslexia would sit at the island and do homework for 6 hours. My sister would say, God, Gerard, stop it, go play. And he'd be like, I have to finish this. And he was determined and he's still that way.
And so I feel like what you do in your life with what you would call what others might think, okay, this is a shortcoming. No, this is what you make it the best thing about that one of. The things that I'm going to and then I'll let you speak, but Cynthia touched on so I didn't do it. But I always ask where the grit comes from. And I think when people have first of all, you're the youngest of five.
I mean, that also says a lot. So I grew up with five and my brother is the youngest. It was all girls and a boy. But when you struggle sometimes, obviously you weren't completely aware, right? It was like, okay, why is this harder?
You just have to get through things. It does give a grit. And this doesn't mean just not just for people with Dyslexia, so many different things. But when I went doing the podcast for as long as I've done and how many people I've interviewed, it always fascinates me because it is when you think back to your life and think, okay, where did I get grit? Why did I get grit?
And then you really kind of connect those dots so much makes sense. And I think so many people don't do that. I mean, as you said, as you get older, you kind of become more introspective and you think about things. But it is really interesting to think, like, okay, you did struggle in school. That probably right.
Gave you a lot of being like, I mean, I know it did for me. I would literally fail, and I'd get back up, and I'd be like, no. And I would usually blame the teacher. Instead of saying I was stupid, I'd be like, the darn teacher. They gave me that test.
They didn't teach me that. I didn't know it. So I kind of protected myself in that way. But I think it does what oh, yeah. I'm excited to hear where the grit.
Came from and where comes know I can assume where I think your grit came from, but if you could kind of just share that, and I know cynthia kind of talked on that, but if you can kind of elaborate a little bit on that. I mean, I guess the best way I can sum it up is I always wanted to just do the best that I could do. The grit is that I'm constantly in competition with myself. It's not wanting to beat out the other person or if anything, I want to lift up the person next to me. But if I know that I'm half assing it, it will kill me.
It will eat at me. The other part of the grit, though, is very much from the outside world. And being a woman in the music industry, and I can't tell you how many people at labels would say, z, we love your music. We're just not signing it right now. I'm like, okay.
Or the idea like, oh, she's good for a girl, really. So it was very much I mean, if you delve into again, a little bit into the path, it was always just finding myself in a boys club, and that really pissed me off because I really had to fight extra hard. But by the same token, I had some great sort of older brothers in the business who really gave me a hand up. I mean, I never really had formal management or an outside label or support that way. Everything was in house.
And I got to open up for music legends icons because I was either invited or won a contest or something. Got to tour with a lot of people or write with them. So I feel very lucky. But the grit, I will say, also is new york city. Yeah.
Coming up in clubs like CBGB's and I mean, that's just and the bitter. End, I was going to say, I went I'm like, maybe I saw her. I mean, I love those many times, many times. And just I put the time in and the sweat equity and the blood and sweat, tears, all that stuff. But I think it's just I love music so much.
I love life so much, and whatever it's beyond inspiration. It's whatever motivates a person side. What makes you tick, that's the grit. How much do you actually love it. If love is like the tension to the details, then sometimes you have to fight your way through it.
But I don't know. Here. We are still in New York City. Yeah, but New York does give you a.
Definitely it will test you. But it's still my favorite place in the world to me. It's so interesting that the fact that you found Coach Cower and he's somebody that has a passion for the game, I personally feel that the fact that my husband had such a passion and drive and it's so hard getting in. It's hard staying in that I feel that it makes him support everything that I do so much because he knows where passion comes from and how hard it is. And I know when I spoke to him at the Gold Jacket Dinner and we spoke about you coming on the podcast, and we spoke about your career, he just is one of those guys that is like, do it, and I'm supporting you.
Talk about that a little bit. I love it. He is incredibly supportive. I mean, obviously, he has a very storied career. He played for five years in the NFL, undrafted the whole story, then coordinator, then head coach, went to the Super Bowl twice.
I mean, it's all very well documented. But then he transitioned, he stepped down and became an analyst on CBS, which he's been doing for 17 years, which is not an easy transition. It's a totally different career. But his love for the game and his passion for the game is still evident. I mean, he's like an encyclopedia.
It's incredible. And we talked about Michael last night and all of his career and those things, and just the similarities, really, between football and music or the NFL and music industry. There are some for sure, as a player or as an artist in that sort of performance aspect and all that, that takes, which is I think that's been a very natural transition for us to make together. I mean, it's certainly taken a lot of time. As I said, I was new.
I didn't really know and felt a little out of place. But then I met, you know, the owner of the Steelers, and he knew I was very nervous. He said, don't worry, you're one of us now. And I was like, thank you, beautiful. Thank you.
But Bill is incredibly supportive. All three daughters, my three stepdaughters, all very athletic, gorgeous, intelligent, have families of their own. Now, his late wife was a tremendous professional basketball player, so there's a lot of well, he calls them the women in his life. And he's an incredible father. He's my best friend, and we've had a blast doing this all together and just really encouraging each other.
And as I said, I love sports. I grew up a jets fan. Don't hold it against me. No, I love it. No, I know you do.
And Bill loves music. So we get to enjoy both aspects of that. And I also love bringing the music into whether it's a national anthem, like at the White Sox Yankees game, know, performing in Pittsburgh at Celebrity Care Fest alongside any of the Steelers, know, raising money for local charities there, know, last summer performing with Lou Graham and the Temptations and the Jacksons. But this is more territory where sports and music really comes together and it's just a beautiful thing. It's a beautiful combination.
And it's know, we were talking before, like, all rock stars want to be football players or athletes. All athletes want to be rock stars. It's a given. And I know in my own family, a lot of people ask because both my boys played and my husband, it's like, it's all talk football, right? No, it's music.
Music combines my family, my boys and my daughter, they'll go out into our little winery and sing all night long. Just sing to the microphone like we have a microphone. We've gone into Peppermint Studios in Youngstown to record because they just want to feel that and they love it. And it connects them always, always lyrics between Eddie Vetter and the know, Axel Rose, it's like, for them, that's what connects them most is the music, not the game. And I always thought that was really fun and I always loved that because I knew they'd have it forever.
It's so special and it's so funny because, as I said, I love music. But my husband is a huge music, like you two Foo Fighters. When the kids were little, he would make them every time when they turned five, he would make them their own playlist. And it was like Montgomery's playlist, Truman's playlist and Penelope's playlist. And it was always like songs from all different things, but all songs that were, know, some of his favorites.
And then he worked outside the home and he was in the city when we lived in the city, but he didn't get home until eight and the kids were already asleep. But every now and then when he was home and he would put them to sleep, he would rock them to sleep, and he would sing one of the songs and I could totally get choked up and I'd be like, outside being like, I would sing the ABCs. And I knew French ABCs. Because that's the only thing I remember from French. So I would sing the French ABCs or American ABCs and he would sing like, just beautiful lyrics to them.
And it really does. Music is such a special thing and for so many people, I mean, so many people. I have a cousin that is in a band. He's in a rock band. Cynthia, you met him.
Cousin Michael? The one that's in Pittsburgh. Yeah, I mean, in Pennsylvania. But it is like whenever we get together, he gets the guitar out and again, he got it from his mom's side and not his father's side, who is our side? The rest of us are really like, when we all sing together, it's like, oh, I think my ears hurt.
But it just brings a feeling out in you that's so special. So I do want to ask and I know you've been in so many different things. You perform with so many people, but I want to ask you a question on the spot, and the first thing that comes to mind, I don't want you to give a lot. So just a moment that you can think of right now. That is like a moment that was just an amazing moment in your life.
It could be tiny, it could be huge, just like in your music career. I'll give you two off the top of my head. I love it. The first one I will say was opening for Bon Jovi at the Meadowlands Arena in 2005. And I'm still fledgling going through all this, but to be in the arena on stage, like, opening up for Bon Jovi, who's obviously like, legendary New Jersey to do it in new Jersey.
Jersey in the arena where I saw my first concert. Oh, my God. It was just one of those, like, this is bananas. What am I doing here? And it was sort of this out of body experience.
And I don't even know if I like I don't think I performed extraordinarily well. But, I mean, I made it through, right? It was my first arena show, so it was just huge. Oh, I love all of those. Head exploding.
And then the second, I will just say something a little less bombastic, but very meaningful to me. The last show that I performed my summer soiree at Rockwood Music Hall, which is a small club downtown in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. And to be back on that stage eight or nine years later from the first time I performed at Rockwood and to have written this trilogy and recorded it and performed it and everything and just to see and there was just this energy, this palpable energy in the room that night. And at the end of the show, when we performed Bridges as the song, Bridges as the finale, it was just like mic drop. Like, I'm done if I never get on stage.
Oh, I love that. I love it. I love that. See what's next. We'll see what is next.
That was incredible for me, personally. Very fulfilling. Incredible. Incredible. Okay, so now I have to ask both of you and I'll share, too, what was your first concert?
Oh, boy. Culture. Mine was. Oh. Culture Club.
Okay. I love that. Mine was in excess. Oh, that's a good answer.
Mine was Eddie Rabbit. That's also a good answer. Yeah. Oh, my God, I love so again, this is like it's so fun because everyone remembers their first, like, so my husband, again, takes the kids and do things so his first concert was you two. Both boys first concerts were you two.
And then he took my daughter to Taylor Swift and he was like, don't you want to go? And I was like, I love that. The music. This is a memory. For them to have their first concert with their dad is just something I think is beautiful.
And since you did it with the boys, I want you to do with her. So I did not go to Taylor Swift, even though I really like Taylor Swift, but I was like, you go. They went to the one in Nashville, the one that thunder and lightning and almost didn't happen. So it was like insanity. It was like she saw probably 14 panic attacks around her and was like, this is crazy.
I mean, it was crazy because they were so stuffed in. So the experience on top of each other. But everyone remembers that first concert and that first feeling of just being like, live. Yeah, with your eyes, right? Meatball.
Like, just those eyes that you're like. Holy crap, I missed your first concert. I didn't hear what you said. Well, let me specify here. So my first concert, concert in an arena was in the metallands, but it was Culture Club.
Culture Club? Yeah, Culture Club. But my first come on, come on, come on. Yeah, exactly eight years old, whatever. But my first stadium show, I was 14, and it was in Switzerland at an open air soccer stadium, like one of those big festivals.
My older sister took me and it was YouTube on the Joshua Tree tour with the Pretenders and Big Audio Dynamite and World Party. It was one of those shows, and I'd never been pressed up to the front before, and it was just the most intense atmosphere and European punks. Right? Like, the whole thing. And I was terrified, but enthralled.
And then started to rain and people kind of, like, chilled out a bit. And then you two came on and I was just like, again, just sobbing. And you two is probably the band I've seen the most in my life. I've seen them really ten or twelve times. Yeah, I'm a huge wow, that's a lot influence for me.
Did you see his one man show, Bono's? One man show. I didn't. I read the book. Okay.
So I saw. Yeah, which I loved.
Well, I heard him speak about it during that time, but no, I never made it to the Beacon. But you loved it. Oh, my God. I mean, tears. It was so touching.
And so like, again, you're just like your mouth's open and you're like, what am I experienced? It was so moving. It really was moving. It was really moving. That's cool.
I think they filmed it. Yeah. I feel like that they're going to put it out at some point. I do. Yeah.
That'd be awesome. I have three friends that follow you two across the country. That's what they do together. Nobody else is invited. It's just Redhead Jackie and Duns and they've been all across the world, and I think he's coming to Vegas soon and they're going there.
So you two has been in our lives forever and because of them, and of course, because it's you two and they're fantastic. But I do love that band and I love their and his lyrics, his music, and I always love that Bono always says that he had to write his own music so that he could sing his own music, like, because his voice is a certain way that he knows what his range is. And that was the main reason. And I always loved that when he said that, because his message from the beginning, from Joshua Tree on to me, is always just he's such a civil servant. And I appreciate that.
They're not political. They're just about human rights all the time. And that's why I love you, too. Well, and the stories he told in that one man show, it was like that's. I was literally like, oh, my mean, Dan knew a lot of them.
I didn't know a couple of really? It's beautiful. But again, music brings so many things out in people. So I love what you're doing. I love that you're putting yourself out there and sharing.
And again, you guys can find Queenv.com and this is why we do this. And so I'm glad kind of that you weren't on the hall of Fame one, because now I love just putting I'm glad because we have so much to dive into and so much excitement. I love when people follow that passion, things that make them excited. More people need to do it. More people need to go out and just put themselves out there.
So many people are so guarded. So thank you so much for sharing everything that you did. Well, listen, I very much appreciate the opportunity to talk about music, where it comes from.
I do want to mention one little thing, too, that a little tiny story, if we have time. Oh, we have plenty of time. Yeah. Okay, we'll keep you all day. Yeah, I was going to say, I don't have a cut off.
I just want to be respectful of your time, too. No, you go. No, it's so funny because we're talking about so many different subjects and kind enough to let me share a lot about the trilogy and just where the whole thing kind of comes from and explain it, because if you listen to it top to bottom, it really is like a three act play to me. Or that's how it was written, by design, like a whole concept album. Right.
But one of the most exciting parts to me about this music are making the videos. So growing up with MTV, some of them were kind of goofy, some of them were a little extraordinarily creative, whatever. But for me, that was always a medium that I loved. I'm such a film buff. Saturdays, Bill will be watching College Football Day.
I'll be watching, like, five movies, three at the same time, and just know, immersing myself in that. We've made several videos for the trilogy, but the latest one that we made is for the song called Write Your Song, which is actually a song I wrote for my father and telling his life story.
And we shot it at Ellis Island and got the federal permit and everything and were able to create this mini movie. I call them short shorts, but it's basically just a retrospective, sort of a legacy eulogy piece from my father, who, as I said, emigrated and integrated to be an entertainer and then was called to service and then served in the Korean War and then transitioned into the corporate world and always played, but never really went after it as an entertainer. And he asked me to write a song for him, which I started, but I didn't finish it while he was still alive. So come to finish it, release it. And now we've made this video, and you'll see some of the images of who he was, of myself and my father growing up.
I have the chills. And they can find that on YouTube, right? Well, it's not released. The song is out, but the video. We will have a premiere event in New York City this fall, which I'll be able to share more details.
You can check Queenbee.com, but it's going to be a really special event with the premiere screening and a live proud of These teamwork. We have a great team. Two directors atoJ Abbot and Jeff Masillo, along with our assistant director, Ed Martin. And we've just collaborated on this. Fantastic.
I'm very, very proud of that. And just the images that we've been able to put out. Yeah, but so that's why everything can be found on your website. So that's like a good place to find that. Absolutely.
For you to complete that. Especially the fact that your dad asked for that, which probably made it even more difficult because then you have some serious expectations for yourself to put something that to tribute your father, which I can't even imagine doing that. But I feel like putting it into words because there's so much emotion when it comes to that relationship. So for you to finish it, and I'm sure you feel so good in your heart about that. And I can't wait, having lost my own father, I can't wait to see it.
To kind of connect with that idea of leaving something for your father, like a legacy, like a song, is just incredible. It's beautiful. It's beautiful. Thank you. And definitely, when you do these, this is where you bring in the NFL family.
When you do these type of premieres, please let us know, because there's so many organizations that we can share what you're doing with and I will be promoting, promoting, promoting on thread. But there's also so many awesome organizations out there, NFL family wise, like off the field and the women in the know. The NFL is even putting together a brand new women's community that is really all about what are women doing in the game. And so we'll just put it out what you're doing. Thank you.
Listen, I'm blown away by the incredible caliber of people within the NFL and certainly I've experienced some at the hall of Fame. But even just over the last decade, some of the most incredible people that I've met know talking about Dan Rooney who is the ambassador to there's, I could go on and on.
It's, it's just an honor. I'm just so grateful to be able to have this whole other world opened up to me and be able to share that. So thank you. I appreciate know we've talked a little bit. I can't wait to talk more, know what else I might be able to contribute or roll up my sleeves and get involved in some of the great work that's being done out.
Let us and again, as Cynthia said, I know you'll let us know, but even if we have you jump on, again, just talking about getting ready for that or after, like we're totally happy to do that. I mean, that's amazing. Thank you. Again, that's going to touch so many people's hearts because everyone has a father in some way even if their father wasn't present. We all have our relationships with our parents and so it's going to bring up a lot of things for people.
It could heal a lot of people. It could also show the relationship that you guys have to again, the stories connect us and that's what's so beautiful about living in this world. That's why it's so important. I always say just open yourself up because we only have one life and when you share who you are, it not only helps you but it also could help someone else. So again, thank you so much for joining your next stop.
Not your next stop. What am I talking about?
That's my other podcast and I just recorded one yesterday.
Oh my God, YNS live with NFL thread. I mean, this is why Cynthia and I do this. It's so beautiful. And again, I've got chills probably like 30 times during this conversation. Really?
Oh, it's amazing. Same here. Thank you so much. It is such a joy and again, a true pleasure and honor to be with you both today and just share this and thank you for creating a space where we can all talk about all these subjects and let us share our stories. Appreciate that so much.
So much. Thank you. Thank you. And again, thank you. Everyone that's listening and this will know it's being broadcast everywhere, but it also will be out on your favorite podcast player shortly.
So continue to follow. NFL thread or I am Juliet Hahn and we will see you guys again. Let me bring Mr. Waitbot up. Let's see what kind of music we have.
Cynthia, because it's always kind of funny, too. I'm going to be pushing that. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. All right, everyone, thank you again.
My focus is entirely on helping you follow your passion, even when you feel like you've got stuck in crazy town. There is a way out, its me helping you. You don't have to ditch everything in your life that is making you feel overwhelmed and stuck, you just need some help to navigate it.
WHEN YOU FOLLOW YOUR PASSION YOU WILL NATURALLY ENRICH THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE