There is something about the supporters section for every team; whether it's the chants, the flags, or the drums. It gets your adrenaline going even before the first whistle blows. By the time that first goal is netted; you're already at the edge of your seat because the rhythm of the stands never stopped. So for this Spotlight, I wanted to shine some light on Nashville's Drum Queen; Kate Guidry.
Q: Let’s start by what got you into Nashville Soccer Club? What was your first game?
I started loving soccer in college. I was studying abroad in 2016 and the Europa League final was in Basel—watching it in the town square made me love the community aspect of it. I moved back home to Nashville after graduating and a great friend of mine found out that I loved soccer and invited me to a game in 2018 (shoutout to Valair Shabilla). It was September 22nd at First TN Park against Charleston Battery. I was instantly hooked and wanting to learn every chant that I was hearing for the first time. I got season tickets as soon as I could.
Q: What has been your favorite memory with Nashville SC so far?
Hands down the Nashville SC Unified game last season after the LAFC game.. The supporter’s stayed behind to cheer on our NSC Special Olympic athletes and drumming for them is a moment that I will never forget.
Q: That was an incredible experience that is also at the top of my list. So tell me, what is the best game you’ve been to?
Picture this--It was a cold night in Cincinnati. October 27th, 2021 is a date that doesn’t leave my mind. We (my fiancé and I) drove up that Wednesday afternoon not knowing what was in store for us. NSC beat them SIX to three. The goals kept coming and coming. Ake Loba scored in the 80th minute and the FCC fans started to leave, so the traveling supporters decided to go down to the first level of stadium to get an up close look. We hugged the players and cheered with them after CJ scored in over time. Truly, one of the best games and it was the best away game experience I’ve ever had.
Q: What an experience, So let's move on to the worst game you've been to:
Oh man, I’m going to take it back to USL days. This game wasn’t the worst so much in the performance, but more so the weather. Now, it rains a LOT during NSC games, but this was on another level. It was my first away game on May 4th, 2019 against Atlanta United II. The game started out well with two goals in the first 11 minutes—then what felt like a monsoon came through Kennesaw, GA. The game got delayed until almost midnight as we all huddled under a tiny cover near the bathrooms. AND then the wind started—so we all got soaked. It was quite uncomfortable.
Q: I know a question a lot of fans have wondered; How did you get into the drum line for the Supporter’s groups?
That’s a funny story actually. So, this was my first full year as a member of the Roadies in 2019 (I had joined in September of 2018) and I sat in section 106—right next to where the drum line was at First TN Park. I always had fun screaming chants, but was curious about drumming. I have my undergrad in music so I’ve been around a drum. My friend Angelo was on the line and asked if I wanted to play bass for a game since I taught music at the time. I had only played for a drum lab (which I almost didn’t pass) and was super nervous. I ended up LOVING it and they haven’t gotten rid of me since haha. I practice at my apartment and am constantly trying to improve each year. Angelo is also the one who coined the phrase “Drum Queen”. I had started out playing really soft because I was nervous about getting something wrong so he said, “you’ve gotta own that shit and be a drum QUEEN”—and it boosted my confidence in playing. The rest is history.
Q: What’s your favorite chant to drum to?
100% one of our newer ones—the “Ohhhh NSC” chant. That is all La Brigada. One of the drummers started out that beat before a match and it’s just electric. There are points in the match where Stephen (one of our awesome capos) will tell us to play a beat, so I turned to him and said “play that rhythm you did earlier”. We all followed him and the crowd started out with an “oooooooo” then “NSC”. Now, I get so excited when we play it since it’s our own organic chants.
Q: What are your expectations for the Club both on the field and off the field this year?
I know that on the field—we are going to finish a lot higher than last year. We did well in the west, but the east is where we belong. Making the playoffs is a must and I’d love to see us make an extended run in the Open Cup too. I can see the squad going really far this year. As for off the field, communication is key here. That’s the one thing that I feel needs more improvement year after year. They have a fantastic social media team that does incredible work and sometimes they get the short end of the stick unfortunately.
Q: Who is your favorite player? Both past and present
I could truly give you an answer for my favorite player of every squad since 2018, but I'm not going to do that. I think a top 3 might be the best way for me to go about this. My number one pick has been and will always be Taylor Washington, ever since the USL days. I was over the MOON when he scored the last match against Montreal and man, was it a pretty goal too. He's always smiling and grateful to be involved with the club--both on the field and off. I've never seen a player so involved in the community and wanting to genuinely get to know the fans. As they said on the broadcast, he's a Nashville Original!
Second for me is Alex Muyl. During the pandemic, the Backline did these player calls where you got to be on a Zoom call with a player and Jamie Watson mediated it. I was lucky enough to be on some calls, but the one that always stood out to me was Alex's. First off, he's a cool dude and just seems like a great person to be around. He jokingly said he'd invite the entire squad to my house for me to cook them Cajun food and that we'd be best friends if I did this--this did not happen [Laughs]. He also just had such a great energy about being on the team and gloated about how everyone got along in the locker room. I enjoy watching him play in any position from right wing to right wing-back and am an unapologetic defender of the man. He always gives his 100% on the field.
Last, I'm going to throw it back to USL and say Michael Reed. I remember that he got a yellow card the first match I ever watched and decided to keep my eye on him the rest of the match. You could tell that he was always watching the squad and making sure that opportunities were taken at the right time. He was NSC's first captain and wore that badge with pride. When I think of a player that just exudes NSC, he's still the first one that comes to mind for me.
Kate, thank you for your time and your story. I know there are hundreds of unique stories at our club and I'm excited to explore them all. You can find Kate on Twitter @thedrumqueen or in the supporter's section keeping the rythm going or even in the Capo stand leading the chants. Thanks again, Kate!
Our next spotlight will be March 29th with Brian Taylor