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Iron Maidens Interview



 
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Dr Van Helsing

If you were suddenly transported into another dimension where the greatest metal band in the world was suddenly cross-bred with the hottest women on the planet, the results would be The Iron Maidens. Super model looks meets virtuoso calibre musicianship. 

Formed in Southern California in 2001, the band has seen several lineup changes over the years, but one thing has remained a constant. They are the best damned cover band the planet has ever seen. Accolades from the band that inspires them are a testament to how hard and great these women rock.

They have forged their own identity over the years and in unheard of levels have toured the planet to the delight and applause of millions, yes I said millions who have seen them perform.

Your mission if you are reading this interview is to youtube these Monstresses of Rock and then demand your local clubs book them on their next tour.

For more info and tour details check out their website http://www.theironmaidens.com/

1. What were you doing when you started the band? Or in the case of joining after it was established, what were you doing just prior to joining

Kirsten: Before I joined in 2009 I was living across the country in Baltimore and was in a couple of cover bands at the time.

Wanda: When I first joined the band  over 10 years ago, I had finished college, had a job, and was playing in an original band as well as working as a freelance musician in various chamber ensembles and orchestras in the Southern California area. 

Linda: I was playing in Phantom Blue and looking for a bass player.  

Courtney:  I had a tribute band in Philadelphia called "queen diamond" , which was an all female tribute to king diamond and mercyful fate. Prior to that I was on tour with Jon Anderson of YES. Fun times. 

2.      Aha moment when you realized, “Holy crap, I'm pretty good at this!”

Kirsten: When I was asked to officially join The Iron Maidens!

Wanda: It was when I was in junior high because I auditioned for the first chair position in orchestra and band and got it. I also started winning school awards for music back then.

 

Linda: When Steve Harris told me my playing was "brilliant"......*faints*

Courtney: When i escaped from the womb. Ha hahaha just kidding. Playing came naturally and I never looked back since.

   

3.      Typical fan reaction when they realize just what accomplished musicians you are?

Kirsten: Big, big smiles and a few raised eyebrows.

Wanda: They usually aren't too surprised because everyone knows you need to have some chops to play Maiden. At our shows, most people just look like they are having a good time although, occasionally, we have people in the audience who have this preconception that women cannot play this style of music competently so it's fun seeing their surprised looks when they see we can really pull it off.

Linda: Raised fists, metal horns abound!

Courtney: I think they refer to it as "swearing like a sailor" !! :)

4.      Most memorable live show as a performer?

Kirsten: So many highlights but among the most memorable was my first time performing “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”  It was a high-profile show being taped for a DVD and it’s a long song and I was nervous I’d forget some words so I taped lyric sheets to the floor.  Well, when the dramatic thick dry-ice fog rolled out over the stage it obliterated my lyric sheets. Quite funny…think “Spinal Tap.”

Wanda: The most memorable show for me was our show at the Hard Rock in Mexico City when we were on the same bill as Steve Harris' daughter Lauren Harris.  Steve (Iron Maiden's bassist) showed up to support his daughter but ended up sticking around for our set as well. Bruce ******inson (Iron Maiden's vocalist) was also in the audience. We were all very nervous playing the show with those two guys watching us but we managed to pull it off!  Steve even came up to us after our set to let us know he enjoyed our show. Things don't get much better than that!

Linda: Would have to be Mexico City. I was up against every possible challenge equipment-wise imaginable because the gear promised was not the gear present. To top it off, Steve Harris and Bruce ******inson were in the audience. Thankfully the energy was right and I played a really great feeling set on a not so great kit! The crowd was amazing and Steve Harris thought it was a good show too! Awesome!!  

Courtney:  Barquisimeto in Venezuela.  Festival called "gilmanfest". 40k people in attendance.

5.      First Iron Maiden song you learned to play or sing.?

Kirsten: Wrathchild

Wanda: The Trooper

Linda: Murders in the Rue Morgue or The Trooper. It was for my first band ever and we played a bunch of Maiden and Zeppelin and originals.

Courtney: Flight of Icarus.  I was like 15 and I was angry bc the other guitarist wouldnt split the solo. Had to explain what duel solos meant. 


 

6.      Song you wish you wrote?

Kirsten: A nice royalty-generating song like “Happy Birthday” would do just fine.

Wanda: I'm  happy to play and enjoy other people's music so there aren't really any songs that someone else wrote that I wish I had written myself...although I sometimes wish I had more time to write my own stuff. :)

Linda: "Bohemian Rhapsody"!!

Courtney: Seventh son of a seventh son and sea of madness.

7.      Early influences?

Kirsten: Robin Zander, Pat Benatar, Ann Wilson, Geoff Tate, Bruce ******inson, and countless others!

Wanda: Iron Maiden, Rush, Yes...anything that had great bass players and great bass lines.

 

Linda: Simon Phillips, Clive Burr, Alex Van Halen, John Bonham were my earliest drum influences.

Courtney: Metallica,Judas Priest, Saxon, King Diamond/mfate, Testament, Overkill,Wasp and a thousand other thrash and heavy metal bands :)

8.      Worst/tackiest come-on by a groupie?

Kirsten: Maybe when some fan called me over only to instruct me to deliver a marriage proposal to Wanda.  Not even a come-on towards me—uber tacky (LOL)!

Wanda: I've never had anyone come-on to me in a tacky way: most of the people I talk to usually just want to talk about music, share their stories about seeing Iron Maiden, and compliment the band. I've been very lucky that way but, of course, I'm just the bass player...I don't think my other band mates have been as lucky!

Linda: Being physically molested and pawed at by people at our meet and greets after the shows.Some people cut loose with some drinks during our shows and seem to get liquid courage and think they have a pass to get extra "friendly" sometimes at our merch booth. I hate it when I am touched or groped by someone I do not know. DON'T DO IT PLEASE! I promise, I WILL punch you!

Courtney: " so you originally from Philadelphia ?"  Hahaha I was also proposed to once, my reaction was " excuse me I have to go take a piss"

 

9.      Favorite place/city to play live?

Kirsten: Humbolt has gotta make that list—they literally threw buds at us onstage.  I’m not saying everyone partook but it sure was hospitable, heh heh.

Wanda: I feel lucky to be playing anywhere live so I don't really have one favorite place..although, playing Guatemala City was very special for me because I have a lot of family there.

Linda: I don't have any one favorite! Lame answer, but it's true! I just LOVE to play wherever! 

Courtney: Bogota/Duitama, Colombia  

10.  Who plays you in the movie about your life?

Kirsten: Sarah Silverman

Wanda: The only person who would be interested in doing a movie about my life would be a family member who likes doing home movies as a hobby. Since they would have no budget, they would want someone to do it for free so it would probably just be me. Haha!

Linda: Joan Jett

Courtney: Charlize Theron because she is awesome. 


 

11.  Do any of you share Steve Harris' love of history?

Kirsten: , huh, what?!  Sorry, that would be a “no,” haha.

Wanda: Yes, absolutely. I love reading about history and people and just finished reading a biography on Ben Franklin. He was awesome.

Linda: I find it fascinating and intriguing, but my brain has not retention for it, unfortunately!! Now I can remember a jingle like the back of my hand! LOL! 

Courtney: yes.  I've completed many history projects on maiden songs .


 

12.  Before you were established and people realized that you could rock with the best of them, what were some of the hurdles you faced as females in a normally male dominated genre?

Kirsten: I came onboard once the band was rolling full-steam so I never really encountered those kinds of hurdles with the Maidens.  Prior to that, I can’t say I really encountered difficulties—my passion for this style of music was met with more surprise than anything.

Wanda: In school, it seemed like people who never actually heard me play always assumed that guys could play better than me.. so I would always practice and audition for everything and if I played well, then everything would be alright...and it was. But later on, when I started playing rock music, I realized that in addition to wanting someone who could play well, bands were wanting a specific "look" as well. Sometimes they wanted a "bad boy" image for example, so having a girl in the band wouldn't work. I guess the biggest hurdle for me was finding a project that would be a good fit for me. I really loved progressive rock and metal but there were a lot of bands that wouldn't even let me audition because I was a girl.

Linda: Just being taken seriously before being heard. It was okay though. People thought it was so "cute" that a little girl was hitting things with sticks. I'm just happy I could put a different definition to "playing like a girl" into their vocabulary. ;-D 

Courtney: Proving yourself . Acceptance. That however is just life!!! You face that with every road you choose. 


 

13.  What Iron Maiden song do you most identify with?

Kirsten: Honestly, since the songs are typically about epic battles, Satan, Biblical events, prostitutes, human sacrifice, English literature, and other weighty and historical subjects, I can’t say I actually “identify” with any of them but they all give me great joy to listen to and perform.  One song that always gets me revved and puts a smile on my face is “Aces High.”

Wanda: The Trooper.

Linda: Maybe Infinite Dreams......but maybe not. HAHA!

Courtney:  Wasted Years


 

14.  What's your guilty pleasure band?

Kirsten: The BeeGees.  But I don’t actually feel guilty—I’m proud of it! (Interviewers note: Absolutely love the Bee Gees! Kirsten is now on my future ex wife list)

Wanda: Kiss

Linda: Barry Manilow is awesome!! I've seen him live about 10 times! Shhhhh!!

Courtney: Backstreet Boys. ( I grew up in the 90s) lol


 

15.  What new artists are you into?

Kirsten: Sad to say, I don’t listen to much new music these days (shame on me).  I guess it’s finally happened: I’ve become my parents and don’t understand the music the kids are listening to these days.  But happily enough, lots of kids are discovering the old-school metal that I’m into.

Wanda: With my work and music schedule being so busy lately, it's hard keeping up with all the latest and greatest new bands..so, unfortunately, I can't really think of anyone brand new that I'm into.  I'm sure there are a lot of great new artists out there... I just wish I had the time to check them all out. :)

Linda:  Well, they are not a new artist, but I'm loving the newest Van Halen! LOL!

Courtney: There are all of newer trash bands that are sweet. Really into the new wave of thrash. I honestly stopped listening to music in 2003  . Sorry.  Haha


 


 

16.  What equipment are you currently using?

Kirsten: I usually stick with my trusty Shure wireless beta-58 mic.

Wanda: I use G&L basses, a BBE B-Max T preamp, a QSC PLX3102 power amp, Schroeder Cabinets, and Rotosound strings.

Linda:  DW Drums, hardware and pedals, Paiste Cymbals, Vic Firth sticks and Humes & Berg drum cases! :-)

Courtney: My one and only Peavey Valve  King , jackson guitars, boss and bbe pedals , DiMarzio pick ups and cables , Dunlop picks, line 6 wireless , ghs strings .


 


 

17.  What goes on in the five minutes prior to taking the stage?

Kirsten: Chaos, napping, pooping, vocal warm-ups, running to the bar, fixing potential wardrobe malfunctions—any and all of this.

Wanda: I'm usually checking my tuning one last time

Linda: pre-show nerves, potty, warm up and hand stretches.

Courtney: Wine and bathroom haha


18.  I have an nine year old who owns two Fender mini-strats. What words of inspiration do you have for her and other little girls like her?

 

Kirsten: It’s perfectly normal and acceptable (and pretty rad) for girls to want to shred and rock out so don’t hesitate for a second if it makes you happy!

Wanda: Find a method and a pace that is right for you and don't worry about anyone else or what everyone else is doing. If you do something long enough, eventually you will get good at it. Most importantly, have fun. :)

Linda: Rock and Roll!!! Play a lot and jam with people! This is the time to just have fun with learning! Enjoy yourself and just do it!

Courtney: Play because you love it. Stop when you don't . If that ever happens. ;)


 

19.  When do we get to see you on the east coast?

Kirsten: Pray to the Travel and Booker Gods: soon, SOON, I beseech you!

Wanda: We would love to go there but right now, we don't have any shows booked. Please keep checking our website (http://www.theironmaidens.com/) for upcoming shows. Hopefully we'll be in your area soon!

Linda: I know!!!! It's funny how we can go to places like Guam, Indonesia, South America, etc, but can't get a promoter to bring us to the East Coast. !!! What's up East Coast bookers!????! Let's make it happen sooooon please!

Courtney: Hopefully soon because I'm from Philly!!!


20.  Have you ever entertained writing a Iron Maiden-esque record?

 

Kirsten: I’ve heard the idea floated once or twice—and some of us have been or are currently in original projects, too—but our recording priority is to do some more Maiden songs with our current line-up.

Wanda: Yes, back in the days when I was playing in original bands.

Linda: Well if we were to do originals there would definitely be a Maiden influence because we are all influenced by them! But would we make it Maiden-esque on purpose? I don't think so, I think whatever came out would come out. I think setting out to do that would be kind of weird and some people would bash us saying we were trying to be Maiden. I can hear it already! LOL! If we were writing original tunes I would prefer to just be ourselves.

Courtney: Mind blown ahhhhhaha

February 15, 2014 10:26 pm

Destiny

I went to look them up and very amazing and talented women. Very hot as well. I can't wait till they make it into my neck of the woods. I was thinking more on the girls that play in the band, I remember when I used to be able to play the guitar, I hated when my mother made me give it up do to my grades. But I have a feeling I could have picked it right back up but never did.

February 15, 2014 10:47 pm

Julian Montgomery

Fantastic interview. I have always found it amazing that women just cannot find a place in the world of heavy metal. Lita Ford had some success back in the 80's, but other than that, I do not remember any that made much of a blip.

That these ladies go out there, and play the music they love, and basically do not care what people think is awesome. I have heard of them before, and would love to see them come out to the East Coast to perform. 

Plus...they are extremely hot.

February 15, 2014 11:00 pm

Dr Van Helsing

Talk to club owners out your way about booking them. They are a gold mine for any club.  They may be hot but their music reputation is what keeps the crowds coming back.

February 15, 2014 11:22 pm

Aubry Kainen

Very interesting interview. Being not one of the younger players here I know exactly what they are talking about 'making it' in a male dominated trade. Kudos for them and if they ever play in my City I will make a point to go support them and enjoy the show. It is really cool that for once a 'cover' band is being noticed simply because they are talented and to know they are enjoying the hell out of what they are doing.

February 15, 2014 11:47 pm

Moon Fyre

Great interview!!  I looked them up awhile back and was very impressed with them.  I'd definitely go see them if they ever made it here to the east coast.  They truly are great role models for girls who just want to rock out.  I love they way they encourage young girls to just go for it and keep at it.

February 15, 2014 11:47 pm

Jabril Statham

Seen both these ladies and Hammer of the Broads (Zepplin cover group) at Paladino's.  Very rockin' show, and seem like very fun peeps.  Glad to see them get some spotlight from the East Coast too.  Since they're already booking regular out this way, I doubt I'd be much help, though, but they'll definitely get my vote to come back anytime they want. I would be interested to hear their "original Maiden-esque spin" on some other songs that weren't originally Maiden, though...but that's a case for me with many cover bands. 

February 16, 2014 12:05 am

Father Pat McGroin

Courtney Cox is an amazing guitarist. I'm not sure if she has her own line of guitars out but I have seen her promoting some brands.  To say she's great is an understatement.

Equally amazing is Nita Strauss. How they were able to score two amazing fretboard magicians, who just happen to be visions of beauty is incredible.

I love watching their videos on youtube. Their live shows give you a real sense of just how good they are.

February 16, 2014 01:22 am

Babylon The Great

While my comment is totally not worth me getting any reward my eyes have never been more satisfied with an interview. Total metal lady boner.....can I say boner? I think I can say boner.

February 16, 2014 01:47 am

Bree Ravencroft

I have heard the name before, but sadly have never really taken the time to sit down and get to know more or listen (blame that on an older brother who force fed me this genre at a time when I wasn't ready to listen).  That said, I went to the tube and listened to a couple of the covers mentioned throughout the interview. Very impressed by the technical skill these ladies got. but the music itself stresses me out to no end. My mind is constantly trying to find something to latch on to, but the music's too busy for me.

I do love the words of inspiration from all of them. Those lessons can be applied to all areas of life, whether it's listening to this genre or doing something completely different.

February 16, 2014 03:03 am

EirieNightBreed

  After reading this interview i also went and looked them up.. I have been a long time Maiden fan and for some reason have always been awed by Bruce's vocals.. That said I cued up a play list for the ladies and closed my eyes and just listened.. I was pleasantly and very much impressed by their music, Living in Ohio I have not gotten to see them nor many other bands I have wanted to go to but i have been talking to old friends who were in groups themselves and played the clubs in Cleveland etc in the hopes they can get someone to help bring them into our neck of the woods.  I wish them all the best of luck and look forwards to hearinfg more of their music.

February 16, 2014 09:15 am

Jaxson Cross

I would love to go see them live. I listen to Iron Maiden and a lot of the older metal bands. I will have to go look the group up now. This is the kind of music I grew up on so them being an all female group is even more amazing. Gender shouldn't be an issue when it comes to music and most of lifes trivals.

February 16, 2014 09:52 am

KrystalSkye

Im going to have to check this out.. Love their answers, nice to see down to earth people in the rock business... I have a few contacts up here on the east coast I just might have to pass their link around to them... I think they would kick ass up here

February 16, 2014 11:17 am

Mercy Bishop

I am thoroughly impressed with just how hard the iron maidens rocked. Even being a woman, there are still some stereo types about what men can do that women can't...or shouldn't. But these women break the rules and prove anything men can do, we can do to.

As a long time Maiden fan I was also thrilled how well the Maidens executed the songs. Completely Rocked!!! Seeing them in concert would be a blast and a half! But being on the invisible east coast it might be a long wait. Thank god for you tube though. Honestly, they made another fan today. Can't say enough positive things about them. Long live rock and roll!!
February 16, 2014 12:41 pm

Lenny Shultz

I adore these women and will make it a point to check out their videos on youtube. If there was a club or even a decent bar out here, Iíd pitch the idea to a promoter but Iím in smack dab in BFE and have to position my radios just so to get anything besides top 40 and country.

The first thing I notice about these four from their responses is that theyíre great role models. Not just for aspiring girls and women, but for boys and men as well. They are who they are and thatís so refreshing. To be who you are and be comfortable with that is hard, but these women have no fear. But Wanda Ė you are NOT just the bass player! Youíre in the band because youíre important and if you want Iíll make come-ons, but wonít grab cuz yeah thatís wrong. Just remember you got proposed to!

I canít decide whoís my favorite: Linda giving new definition to hitting/playing like a girl, Courtneyís short and sweet responses, Wandaís honesty or Kirstenís humor.

Itís interesting that these fantastic ladies have stopped, in a sense, listening to new music. Being too busy writing has never stopped a writer from reading new books. According to many authors, thereís always time to read. Sometimes and often times, the best inspiration comes from reading othersí works, but perhaps thatís the difference between playing music and writing?

Itíd be great to hear some original pieces from The Iron Maidens. Theyíre obviously incredibly talented women. But whatever they decide to do, you just know itíll be awesome.

Blew the cat right from the bag, girls do poop! (Always end strong.)
February 16, 2014 04:01 pm
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