Ex-Asleep at the Wheel Singer Elizabeth McQueen Mixes It Up With Brothers Lazaroff
Was it their idea to do a remix CD?
I had heard the Verve Remix series in my early twenties when I was an intern at our local radio station, KUT in Austin, and I had an idea that I wanted to do something similar. So when I did Laziest Girl in Town I thought about doing a remix. And I talked to Brothers Lazaroff, but then I got pregnant, and that fell to the wayside. But we came back to it and were in the right mindset together. We decided to do a Kickstarter for it, and then we did the rest of the remix record, and it's been awesome to collaborate. David and I were really tight when he lived here, but when he moved back to St. Louis, our friendship, as friendships do when people live thousands of miles a part, we only saw each other occasionally. But working on this project I was able to connect with them again in a really deep way.
Did you work on the remix EP together in the same place at the same time?
We did not. I sent David the stems for the album, and they would go into the studio with the guys. David and Jeff did most of the producing. There was a back and forth, and we were rarely in the same place at the same time. I did come to St. Louis to record the song "Dreamin'" [a bonus track on the EP], but that was the only time we were in the studio together for the EP.
Does this feel like a true remix or does it feel more like a re-recording?
We call them remixes. They are literally remix versions. Brothers Lazaroff would take a piano track and run it backwards, or a saxophone track and run it through all kinds of effects. They used a lot of the rhythm tracks as a basis to start the remixes. But they are really re-imaginings, re-thinkings of the songs, which is cool.
One of the things that stands out is how rhythmically rich the remix is, even polyrhythmic on some tracks. But the way you sing, your voice can move around those denser rhythms.
A lot of that was Jeff and David taking the original vocal track and stretching and warping it. But having to sing these songs live, I actually like the remix versions more than the original versions. In general they have more of a vibe. I hate to use such a generic term, but I have a much clearer picture of some of the tracks. The original album was kind of a genre study. I wanted to do something in the style of 20th-century vocal jazz records that were recorded at the same time, like Ella Fitzgerald or Nina Simone. But the remixes are more their own unique pieces as opposed to a genre study of another era.