Jenny "Bruce Chickinson" Talks with Chicago Local Live Magazine
Excerpts of this interview appear in Chicago Local Live Magazine
by Joe Ochwat

CHICAGO LOCAL LIVE: What can a girl Iron Maiden tribute band do better than a boy Iron Maiden tribute band?

JENNY: I don't think of it like we are doing anything "better" than the male Maiden tribute bands out there. We do our best to attain the accuracy of the material and perform it with a feminine twist. That alone is unique enough for people to get excited to come to our shows. It's hard enough to find women who just plain like Iron Maiden let alone who want play it. One thing the Maidens do better than my last Maiden (mixed gender) tribute band Wrathchild, is pack the house. Wrathchild had pretty full shows but performing as an all female metal band just packs the house that much more. We're very supportive of other Maiden tribute bands like our nearest brothers, Piece of Mind out of San Diego. They are great guys and talented musicians and put on a spectacular show w/ a lot of special effects. Each band puts on a different production with slightly different songs so each is enjoyable in its own way.

CLL: Was the Maiden tribute band from Chicago that you found online called "Revelations"?

JENNY: Yeah. At the time my plan was to put together a standard metal cover band with a female front and the whole "tribute thing" had never entered my mind. I had no idea tributes were "the thing" now. I came across the Revelations website on a fan site and I was soooo excited. I thought "these guys rule." That's where I got the idea for a Maiden tribute.

CLL: Any reason why you chose to pay tribute to Maiden and not another band? Was it based mostly on how much you liked Iron Maiden, or did the name of the band lend itself to being the most "workable" with an all-girl lineup?

JENNY: Iron Maiden has been my favorite band of all time. Even when I kind of grew out of metal and started listening to a lot of classical music in college, I always had a soft spot in my heart for Iron Maiden. I always identified very deeply with the music, lyrics and just their whole essence and the emotional experience of seeing one of their shows. The first Maiden show I saw, was a long time in the waiting because my parents forbid me to attend the PIECE OF MIND or POWERSLAVE concerts because they didn't approve of the lyrics. (Pretty crazy when you think of the tame yet political lyrics on the albums. It's not like it was one of my Mercyful Fate albums screaming " All Hail Satan.") Anyway, I had so much anticipation for my first Maiden show at Long Beach Arena, I was pretty close to the stage and when Vincent Price's voice rung out starting the show with THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST and Maiden ran out. I was totally sober and just sobbed like a blubbering idiot through the first four songs. I'm glad it was dark and no one was paying attention to me. I was just totally emotionally overcome by the experience and must have looked like a drunken bimbo with streaky mascara marks running down my face.

Answering your second question, our options in naming the band were THE IRON MAIDENS or Charlotte the Harlot and everybody wanted THE IRON MAIDENS.



CLL: If there were no Iron Maiden and you still wanted to do an all-girl tribute, what are some other bands you might choose and what would you call them?

JENNY: Well, Iron Maiden is the only one I have the heart and soul to do BUT if Maiden never existed and I needed the money, I'd do an all female tribute to KISS and call them KISSES or for the comedy element, a female tribute to Twisted Sister called The Twisted Sisters. They were funny guys. I could get a long crazy blonde wig and do all kinds of shenanigans.



CLL: Do you play "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"? And do people leave and assume it's a bathroom break when the slow, boring bass part comes in like they do when my old band covered that song? (Yes, I play bass).

JENNY: That song is actually slated on the learning board for next year. We want to do it but we've scheduled a lot of the classics for this year and Rime will be the icing on the cake. Anyone who has covered that song has my respect!



CLL: Will you be taking this group on the road? If so, are you coming to Chicago?

JENNY: We are working w/ a German booker currently for a summer European jaunt and a national booker to book us in mini weekend type tours all over the US. Stay tuned to www.theironmaidens.com for details as we get them. I'd love to come to Chicago. I've got family out there who has never seen our show and I'd love to stay an extra day and see some comedy shows and get a taste of the great pizza.


CLL: Why isn't "your" Eddie a girl?

JENNY: We've looked and looked for our "Betty" believe me. It's not easy. I started the concept of "Betty Wrathchild" with Wrathchild and wanted some hot fit "Ms. Fitness" type to come out w/ muscles and cleavage wearing the Eddie mask with a long haired wig and eye lashes and some sexy shorts etc but we could never find anyone who fit the bill. We are still looking. Some hot bodybuilder like CHYNA (Joanie Laurer) would be a great addition to our show, so if you know of any CHYNAs, send them our way.


CLL: Is it possible for you to give me a complete list of the songs you currently cover?

JENNY: Here are the 21 we currently know and we are always dying to add more but time is limiting, plus getting five women to agree on the next Maiden song to learn is damn near impossible. (Agreeing on a cute pair shoes is much easier.)
Aces High, Two Minutes to Midnight, 22 Acacia Avenue, The Trooper, Run to the Hills, Iron Maiden, Hallowed be thy Name, The Number of the Beast, The Clairvoyant, Wasted Years, Die With Your Boots On, Wrathchild, Losfer Words ( Big 'Orra), Murders in the Rue Morgue, Still Life, Flight of Icarus, Killers, Be Quick or be Dead, The Evil That Men Do (a trippy song when women cover it), Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter, and Powerslave.

We'd like to add some older stuff and more instrumentals too.


CLL: Have you gotten any kind of feedback or anything like that from "The" Iron Maiden? Have you had a chance to hang out with them much at all?

JENNY: Mel, Linda and I think Jojo have met quite a few members before I asked them to join the project so no. We haven't like hung out w/ the real Maiden men since we became THE IRON MAIDENS and discussed stuff like how they did this or why they played that part that way etc. One of our on-line friends called into the ROCKLINE RADIO SHOW when Bruce Dickinson was on and mentioned us. That was cool. Maybe he'll come to a show the next time he's in LA and I can drag him on-stage to sing the rest of our set.



CLL: Tell me about your best moment while performing in The Iron Maidens.

JENNY: That would be the Sony Rock in Rio / Reissue CD Release Party we played in LA where the show emcees Robin McAuley (McAuley Schenker Group) and Michael Kenney (Iron Maiden's Bass tech, live and session Keyboardist) came up to us after the show and said we did Iron Maiden justice. Here's a guy who' s toured with Maiden for over a decade saying that we nailed their material and live we do some similar stuff that Maiden does (weird behind-the-scene type stuff that no one would know about monitor glitches between Nicko and Adrian). I thought that was pretty trippy in a cool way.



CLL: Tell me about your worst moment while performing in The Iron Maidens.

JENNY: The worst moment while on stage was during our first gig. I got up early and had eaten practically nothing all day, too busy running around and taking care of dozens of merch, prop, set details for the show. We went on pretty late and half way through our set we started The Trooper, I sang the first line and took a flying leap off the drum riser and as soon as my feet hit the ground I got dizzy and started to black out. The next line of lyrics that came out of my mouth seemed fuzzy and unintelligible but at least on pitch. I felt myself start to fall to the ground and I thought "KEEP IT TOGETHER CHICKINSON! YOU CAN'T PASS OUT IN FRONT OF ALL THESE PEOPLE!" My head barely tapped the stage floor and miraculously *something* instantly gave me a feeling of resiliancy and I bounced back and finished the rest of the songs in the set. Afterward my friend James said he didn't even notice and he was Dave Murray in my last Maiden tribute and knows these songs better than anybody so it was okay. I learned my lesson though. Now I'm like Rocky Balboa the day of a gig and eat like a pig. Five eggs for breakfast and tons of pasta for lunch. Being metallic just takes too much energy.



CLL: How long do you think this band will be able to stay together "meaningfully"? And what do you think will be in store for the band if the time comes to split it up?

JENNY: The Iron Maidens have quite a few good years left. Right now none of us have plans for kids (or more kids in my case) but we're all getting older and within five years one or two of us may want to grow what I affectionately call a "body snatcher" for nine months. Try playing Iron Maiden pregnant. It' s not happening! If we do that, we'll either break it up or find replacements. Hell, if that happened to me, I'd want to replace myself and have the Maidens live on and on and on. I always joke about doing a Vegas casino reunion tour when we're like 85 years old. Iron Maiden then will be considered old-fogey lounge music, so it will be fitting.


Photo by Mike Miller