INTERVIEW WITH METAL MAIDENS 2004


1. Please introduce the bandmembers to us and the instrument(s) they play.

Aja "Bruce Chickinson" Kim - Vocals
Linda McDonald - "Nikki McBURRain" - Drums
Sara Marsh - I play Dave Murray's guitar parts as MiniMurray.
JOSEPHINE: I hold the role of "Adrian Smith", my nickname is "Adrianne Smith" and play all Adrian's guitar parts.
Wanda Ortiz - Steph Harris - Bass


2. Can you tell us a little about the history of the band and how you first got together, and how did you decide that this band had to become an IRON MAIDEN tribute band?

Wanda - Five women who love playing rock music met around 2 years ago and found that they all shared a favorite band :Iron Maiden! Everything just kind of fell into place at that point.

SARA - I answered an ad looking for a guitarist at the same time Linda and Josephine were interested in an Iron Maiden tribute.

LINDA - The idea of an all female Iron Maiden tribute came together when 5 musically inclined women
with a mutual love and adoration of Iron Maiden met in a
smelly ass club in (Scream for me!!!!!!!!!) Long Beach about 2 years ago. The love for Maiden was there, the talent was there and the ambition was there..............so it came to be. At first we couldn't decide if we wanted to be called "Charlotte the Harlot" or "Iron
Maidens", but we all mutually agreed that "The Iron Maidens" was the best choice! Since then, we have been paying homage to Iron Maiden, our favorite metal band of all time, and have flushed Maiden heads out of hiding in cities far and wide!!!!
JOSEPHINE: Linda and I have been jamming together for years, particularly in Phantom Blue, and some other side projects off and on, and we were asked to complete the lineup to form an all-female tribute to Iron Maiden. We both love Maiden so we thought it was a good opportunity to play the music that inspired us since the beginning. And we've been playing together as The Iron
Maidens since.
Aja - When the opening in the Maidens occurred, Dr. James Sitterly (the violinist who played on the Iron Maiden String Quartet CD) recommended me to Wanda “Steph Harris” Ortiz. The minute I heard about it, I was jumping up and down! I really wanted to get this “part”. I wanted to do something different for me, where I could express a part of myself that I hadn’t had an opportunity to express before as a performer. Well, I got my wish and then some!
The standards are very high. Iron Maiden is warrior music. The fans know their Maiden and these women are no exception. The Maidens play it very, very well. They’d been playing it successfully for several years or so. I feel an obligation to be as true to the music and what I interpret as the intention of the real band. It’s a whole ‘other world! Listening to this music and performing it are 2 completely different animals! It’s not easy but it’s really challenging and a lot of fun! To me it’s like really heavy and LOUD classical music and I approach as a classically trained musician would approach it. In the audition process, I came back 3 times, every time learning new songs, so by the time I was through auditioning I already knew a third of the songs!! It gave us a chance to get to know each other better, too. So it’s working out great!

 

3. Do you play in other bands and if yes, can you tell us a bit more about that?

LINDA - Yes, I try to keep myself as busy as I can playing or I just don't know what
to do with myself besides drive those closest to me crazy! I play with Phantom Blue, a 5 pc. aggressive twin guitar attack original female band, when the opportunity arises,
www.phantomblue.com ; Damnzel, again all woman powered, playing covers by bands like TOOL, SOAD,
Incubus, Disturbed, etc, and original material, www.damnzel.com; Valley Dolls, an 80's metal cover act www.perfectworldentertainment.com; and I freelance whenever I have the opportunity.
Sara - I play in Phantom Blue and Damnzel with Josephine and Linda - a cover band playing Disturbed to Incubus to Tool with some originals on the back burner. I'll also be joining Mistress Of Reality for their Wicked World Tour next month.
JOSEPHINE: Well, there's Phantom Blue, and Linda and Sara and I are also in
a side project called Damnzel. We play mainstream rock, college radio hits. The purpose of it is to have fun and play out as much as possible.
AJA - I’d been singing a lot of R&B, pop, and blues, even jazz (!) for my supper ( as well recording and performing original music, though it can sometimes cost you your supper to do that!!!), so I feel pretty musically fulfilled. I perform regularly with former Tower of Power guitarist, Bruce Conte. In addition, I’ve had the honor of both recording and touring with E Street Band saxophonist, Clarence Clemons, as a featured vocalist. I’ve toured in South America with Argentine rock band, Wilma Palma. I’ve also had the honor of being the only female presence on one of famed punk/blues guitarist Carlos Guitarlos’ songs from his award-winning solo release. (The track also featured Mike Watt.) I’m very fortunate and have had a chance to work with a lot of great musicians
WANDA - As a freelance musician, I get to play in a variety of projects ranging from orchestras to rock bands. Here are a couple of my favorite projects: www.southcoastsymphony.org and www.fieldofvision.net.

 

4. Do you have other influences besides IRON MAIDEN?

SARA - My guitar hero right now is Jeff Beck. When I started playing, I copped alot of Clapton, Hendrix, and Iommi/Rhodes licks.
LINDA - I have been influenced by everything from elevator music, Barry Manilow,
Madonna, Gloria Estefan, Andy Gibb, to Judas Priest, Van Halen, Disturbed,
SOAD, to the music on commercials or cartoons and everything in between and beyond. I am influenced by almost anything it in some way....especially life and stupid people...okay,....people. (be nice)
WANDA - Yes. When I was younger I listened to Rush, Yes, and Led Zeppelin quite a bit. Lately, I've been listening to a lot of blues.

AJA - Of course! I’m a musical sponge. I listen to everything, regardless of style. I love all musical styles and feel there are great artists in every genre of music (someone once said there are only two kinds of music- good music and bad music. I agree.) Some very inspiring vocal influences are: Janis Joplin, Robert Plant, Paul Rogers, Roger Daltrey (I love the Brit rock bands), Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Grace Slick, Joni Mitchell, Chrissie Hynde….whew! The list goes on and on and on…I love great singers and songwriters!

JOSEPHINE - I grew up on Kiss and Maiden and Zeppelin, and let's not forget
Queen and I love electronic based bands such as Depeche Mode and Tears For
Fears. Nowadays I listen to a lot of The Crystal Method and Prodigy and
Skinny Puppy and a lot that is considered techno and industrial, and that
seems to be my main influences in songwriting right now.

5. Do you see yourself as a coverband or a tribute band?

SARA - Tribute cuz we play only Iron Maiden.

JOSEPHINE -We call ourselves a tribute because we pay tribute specifically to one band which is Iron Maiden, and we pay attention to details as far as
trying to play everything as close to the real thing as possible, note for
note.
LINDA - Pure Tribute baby! We strive to recreate the
whole vibe of a real Maiden show when we perform from recreating some of the
stagewear with a feminized touch and decorating the stage with Maiden
flourishes throughout. Cover bands just play other people's songs.
AJA - I don’t see us as a cover band, per se, as a cover band does various artists music. A tribute band is very specialized. We have an opportunity to explore, in depth, both the music and the performance side of a really amazing band. That’s what makes this such a great project. To really be able to focus on this incredible body of work is so much fun! My job is to sit and absorb as I watch a master showman work his magic. I’m learning from the best!
WANDA - A tribute band.6. Please tell us something about your live shows. Are they an exact copy of
an IRON MAIDEN show of a certain period, or do you only play a set of IRON
MAIDEN covers? Do you also use stage props like IRON MAIDEN does ( f.e, do
you have your own "Eddie" on stage, and do you also use any backdrops etc.)

JOSEPHINE - A few times, we've done "Live After Death" shows and we try to
keep the same song order as the real thing. Sometimes we'll bill our show as
"DiAnno night" where the majority of songs we play are from DiAnno era. But
regardless of periods, we have all kinds of props on stage, from Eddie's head,
22 Acacia Avenue street signs, skeleton that hangs from the ceiling during
"Hallowed Be Thy Name", CO2 tanks and other more elaborate props that are
prepared by our management led by Mark Dawson. He's been expanding the
extent of our live performance by coming up with new ideas for a more
interesting live show.

LINDA - And he just keeps coming up with more tricks!!!! Yahoo!!! We're gonna have to hire a bus just to lug the props around soon if he keeps getting more ideas!!! Hehe! We've also done "Classic Maiden" shows and are thinking about doing special album themed shows where we will play a complete album and deck the stage out per the album's theme.

Sara - We've often performed the Live After Death setlist. We try to mix it up with old Di'anno and newer stuff up to Seventh Son- kinda like putting your media player on random.

WANDA - For the most part, we cover Maiden during the time when they were at the height of their career (mid-eighties) but every now and then, we'll throw in a song or two from their early days...and we may even do a song off their new album. Our act incorporates a variety of stage props and our own "Eddie" to add a special "extra touch" for our audience.7. Do you play 'live' regularly?
WANDA - Yes.

SARA - Yep! Lot's of maiden fans out there!

JOSEPHINE - Yeah, we try to do that as much as possible. There are times
where we play constantly every weekend in the vicinity of Los Angeles, and when
we're out of town on a tour we play almost every night.
LINDA - We LOVE to play live!!!! We play as regularly as possible without going into
overkill (Overkill of Maiden??? Impossible!!!) Ya, like Josephine said, we were playing every single
weekend at one point, sometimes twice in one weekend, and flying in and out
of town, which I think was getting a little hairy. We definitely do gig
regularly. It's an important thing to do....and did I mention how much fun it is too?!?!!
8. With which bands did you share the stage already and maybe you can tell
us some nice stories about your live experiences?
SARA - Playing The Trooper with Alex Skolnick in NY with members from Arch Enemy in the audience.
JOSEPHINE: As far as other tribute bands, we've shared the stage with Atomic
Punks, the tribute to early Van Halen, and we especially like sharing the
stage with AC/DShe, an all-female ACDC tribute from San Francisco Bay Area.
We've also played on the same bill with the B-52s, the band LIVE, Snoop Dogg
and Cypress Hill, and the most interesting of all, Danzig, where we were the
direct opener, in an outdoor venue in Las Vegas, in front of thousands of
people.
LINDA -It's always so wild when the crowd responds to the band's performance just as they would at a real Maiden show. They sing along and shout and just make you feel like they really love what you are doing! They don't look at you like you're just a bunch of girls playing Maiden, they look at you like they feel like they are really at a Maiden show! That's what we want to acheive! We want to be their surrogate Maiden band until the boys come into town again!

WANDA - We've played with original rock bands, cover bands, and established acts like Danzig for example. One of my most memorable experiences was at a show in New York: Alex Skolnick joined us on stage for "The Trooper".

9. What's been your biggest gig so far and when was that?
JOSEPHINE - The most prestigious gig we've billed for was The 2002 Annual Smoke Out, and probably the show with Danzig where we've got thousands of people standing on their feet chanting along with every Maiden song we played.
SARA - The Cypress Hill Smoke Out!

LINDA - The Cypress Hill Smoke Out at the Los Angeles Coliseum! I have NEVER had such a bad case of pre-show anxiety in my life!!!
WANDA - Well, assuming "biggest" means the largest number of people at a show, then that would have been our gig in Henderson, Nevada opening for Danzig (Sept. 13 2003).


10. What's your goal with THE IRON MAIDENS?

SARA - For me, having the opportunity to jam out Iron Maiden's music with talented musicians is a high in itself. It still trips me out when I see the response live because the music is truly moving.

JOSEPHINE - To play more shows and reach all Maiden fans across the
universe. We realize that there are people that don't like what we're doing
just because they're skeptical about anybody reproducing Maiden music, but
our point is to have fun playing the music we love, to do it well, and we
hope we can entertain those who share the same passion for Maiden.
AJA - COMPLETE WORLD DOMINATION!!!! Oh… and to have a bit of a laugh and a pluck with the lasses!
WANDA - To have fun!

LINDA - To spread the addiction to Iron Maiden's music all over the world so they would have to tour more often! This band is soooooo much fun, I hope the future allows us to continue with
it for a long time. There's nothing like the embrace of fellow Maiden fans -
cuz they are HARD CORE!!!!!!!! And they love having live Maiden music while
we all patiently wait for the next real Maiden tour!
11. Is it hard for you girls to be accepted in a (still) very male dominated
music scene? Especially when girls start picking up instruments and rock the
house down. Or don't you feel this is an issue anymore and you've never
experienced that at all?
SARA -The only difficult thing is having the motivation and self discipline to woodshed with your instrument- if you're good at what you do, the music can transcend barriers.

WANDA - Yes, somewhat. People seem to still be unaccustomed to seeing women perform music of this nature even though more women are doing it these days. It's a lot of fun seeing the surprised looks people get once they hear us play: it's as though they weren't expecting us to pull it off and are just absolutely amazed that we are. Anyway, once the crowd sees that we nail the music, preconceptions generally go out the window and everyone just starts having a good time.
LINDA - We don't really get much of that any more. I think most people love to see chicks playing and working the crowd! There will always be the naysayers here and there, that's just life, and that's motivating to be sure you do the best job you can. Most people are over that kind of attitude with tribute bands these days. Female tributes are popping up all over the place!

JOSEPHINE - I still run into this problem- especially when I hang around male
musicians that have never seen me perform. They stare me down and it's so clear to
me what they're thinking- I can almost hear their thoughts running through
their heads, 'what the hell is this girl doing here? I'm sure she can't
play'. I've had guys yell at me before, 'let's see what you can do'. But I just keep quiet and let people judge me AFTER they see me play. I don't let
anybody's opinion bother me. Whether they like or don't like who I am and
how I play, they're entitled to that.
AJA - It’s challenging to be accepted in a male dominated world in any field, but not impossible. Being a woman can have its advantages, too, you know. It certainly hasn’t hurt in the Maidens’ case, from what I’ve seen.
I often will bring my own monitor rig for gigs and rehearsals. I need to hear well and I’m particular about my sound. Not all soundmen are created equal, I’m sorry to say and rehearsal hall PAs are really not adequate for a band with this massive a sound. Since we don’t always travel with a dedicated monitor man, I will attempt to control a bit of what I hear if I can, as it’s so critical to my vocal performance. Ya gotta take control of your own destiny!!!
I may get a few looks from soundmen initially~ sometimes outright astonishment. I’ve been told by some that they’ve NEVER seen a singer bring their own rig! A lot of singers aren’t always the most knowledgeable people in the equipment department, so I understand their confusion ~ but as soon as the guys figure out that I know what I’m doing and that I won’t blow up their PA, they usually relax. I find that real musicians and sound guys, hey - real men for that matter, respect a woman who knows her way around equipment and especially respect those who can play music this difficult this well!
The only guys I’ve ever really had a problem with are guys who don’t what they’re doing and so maybe they’ll be a little defensive and condescending. But that’s OK, too! I forgive them, for they know not what they do! Plus, I have my own mix and volume control!!! Mwahaha!12. What are your plans for the future?
JOSEPHINE - To rule the world! Just kidding. I personally would like to
continue to work on music, whether it's to perform live, write and or
compose. Continue to spread the gospel of Maiden.
LINDA - To keep playing as long as I am able to, whether it be in a venue, in a studio, in my garage, in my head.............and to save my hearing! Maybe I'll teach someday. Maybe I'll just own a bunch of dogs and teach them crazy tricks.........now THAT sounds like fun!
SARA -Play until my fingers fall off.

WANDA - As long as I’m playing music, I’ll be happy. I would like to get into an established symphony orchestra at some point..so I guess that means a lot of practicing.

13. Did you already record anything and/ or are you planning to do so in the
future?
JOSEPHINE - We currently are in the process of finishing our first Maiden tribute album. We've done all the instrumental tracking, and we hope to finish the album sooner than later so we can start sharing it with other maiden fans out there.
LINDA - Please check our website for info on this! www.theironmaidens.com Hopefully
it will be ready by Fall!!!! It was so much fun
taking Iron Maiden material into the studio and recording it! It gives you a
whole new respect for the real band knowing how perfectly they recorded
their songs and it challenged us to dig deep to try our best to recreate the same vibe! Damn those Maiden men are incredible!!!
SARA -We recorded 9 tracks and need to finish up the vocals.

AJA - I can’t wait to go into the studio to record the vocals for the first CD recorded by The Iron Maidens!!!!!!

WANDA - We are currently working on a full-length tribute CD that should be out in the fall.

14. What's your opinion about the rock or music scene in general?

LINDA - I hope it gets better soon. I think people are ready to have fun with music again instead of this depressing rehashing of Cornell clones we've had jammed down our throats the past few years! I know I am anyway! Why do you think tribute bands are doing so well these days???

SARA - I like that heavy music is becoming mainstream again-it's cool to hear fast guitar riffs on the radio.

AJA - There’s a whole generation of kids who’ve been force fed the more pre-fab type music. I believe there is a hunger out there in people for REAL bands with REAL musicians who can actually play and are singing with REAL emotion. They’ve had enough aural fast food, time for soul food!!
WANDA - Well, the rock scene seems to be doing much better in other countries. I wish I could find some radio stations that play hard rock and metal in addition to all the "classic" rock songs. I never hear bands like Iron Maiden on the radio and that's just a shame. 15. Do you have any hobbies other than music?
WANDA - Reading, travel, photography, and hiking.

SARA - I like to snowboard and surf. I love video games but playing them makes my hands numb.

AJA - I’ve been training in martial arts for the past couple of years. In the Shotokan style, to be precise, a very traditional Japanese martial arts style that originated from Okinawa. It’s really great. It’s not just about learning to defend yourself or others, and working out and getting fit, though those are some of the benefits to practicing. In some circles, karate is called “moving Zen”, so there is also a spiritual benefit to practicing martial arts as well, which is great for someone who doesn’t feel comfortable as part of an “ism”, but is seeking a “little more” in their lives.

JOSEPHINE - Mountain climbing, horse riding, scuba diving, sky diving, bungee jumping... Those are the things I don't do. I love to cook though. My other-side hobby involves music also- I compose music for motion pictures. I have five movies under my belt so far, and I will continue to do more.
LINDA - I love doing physical stuff like swimming, walking, bike riding, etc. But most of all I LOVE to EAT!!!!!!!! MMMMMM! FOOOOD! I'm ALWAYS hungry!!!!! I am a dog freak and enjoy manipulating photos with Photoshop.16. What's the strangest question people have ever asked you?
JOSEPHINE - Hmm, I don't know- "Can I lick your shoes?"

AJA - What are you?

SARA - If guy bands ask for head from a groupie, do you girls do the same?

WANDA - Sometimes I'll get e-mails from people who want me to pass along a message to Steve Harris. I always refer those people to the official Iron Maiden website: www.ironmaiden.com.

17. When you go on stage, do you also see yourself as being Steve Harris or
Bruce Dickinson etc? In other words, how far does the adoration for the
band IRON MAIDEN go?
SARA - Music only- but I love the guys and totally respect their extensive body of work.

LINDA - Adoration runs very deep, but you gotta draw the line! I don't have to worry about possible prostate problems so I can't be seeing myself as Nicko or Clive! You do have to kinda get inside their heads to understand where their drumming vibes come from though. It's neat!

JOSEPHINE - You believe, you become... I've pretended to be Adrian on stage as far as the guitar playing when I pay tribute to him, but that's all there is to it. I mean, I don't plaster my walls with pictures of Adrian in every pose possible, and I don't walk around in grocery stores in a complete Adrian attire.

AJA - Oh no! I don’t see myself as BD at all! That would mean it’s time to call the men in white jackets to come take me away for a “nice long rest”. This is all in fun, like little girls playing dress-up and pretend! I adore the music wholeheartedly and I appreciate and admire Bruce Dickinson for the great artist and performer he is. I’m very inspired by the band and the music. But that’s as far as it goes. Besides, my chest isn’t hairy enough!

WANDA - On stage, I try to emulate Steve Harris as closely as possible...but with a feminine touch.

18. Do you prefer Paul Di Anno, Bruce Dickinson or maybe even Blaze Bailey,
and why?
SARA - I love the voice that influenced the music-each brought something unique to the table.
LINDA - Love Di'Anno and Dickinson! Di'Anno is the harder edged, darker guy, and Bruce is the classic voice. Man does that guy have a range! Both unique and added their own touch to Maiden on the albums they were involved with. Never found the same kind of love for the Blaze era stuff. His voice is much better suited for other bands. He just wasn't the right one for Maiden.

JOSEPHINE - When I first learned about Maiden in my teenage years, Dickinson was in the band and they hit an all-time high. To me it's always been about
Dickinson, but I do like Paul DiAnno's stuff as well.
WANDA - I prefer Bruce Dickinson because I like the way his voice sounds with Maiden's music best.

AJA -I’m not a big Blaze fan, though he is a good singer. I just don’t care for his voice or style. I like Paul DiAnno, especially on songs like Remember Tomorrow. He has really good tone and control of his instrument. I really believe him on songs like Killers. But overall, he’s a little dark emotionally for my taste.
For me, Bruce Dickinson is the man! Bruce’s style is so heroic and REAL! His vocal range is inhuman and especially impressive because he’s a belter, not a falsetto singing guy. He just has so many colors to his voice. But the most important thing to me is that he means every note he sings and he’s never been afraid to take chances, both vocally and in his performances. I love that and find it very inspiring!!!19. Oh, and in that same context, would you rather hear good old Dennis
Stratton, Adrian Smith or do you rather prefer Janick Gers?
JOSEPHINE - Adrian Smith, no question. I hold him responsible for my playing
guitar... Ha ha.
SARA - Adrian Smith writes great songs and has great style. Since Janick has more years with Iron Maiden, I think he's found his sound with them- I like the stuff he contributed on DOD.
LINDA - I love all their guitarists playing, but believe the Russian dancing and ballerina steps belong elsewhere than on a Maiden stage! hehehe.
AJA - Dennis Stratton and Janick Gers are both good players and have done their share in contributing to the legacy of Iron Maiden. Janick is a good songwriter and has great stage presence and a lot of personality, too. I like that. But I love Adrian best, he’s got that coolness factor and has such a beautiful melodic approach to his playing. Plus, he writes really great songs!
WANDA - They are all fine guitar players.

20. This is obviously about choices here, Clive Burr or Nicko McBrain ladies?
WANDA - I like them both.
SARA - Clive Burr in Nicko's tighty whiteyz.
LINDA - Clive and Nicko are two completely different beasts! Clive will always hold a special place with me because it is his playing on Innocent Exile from Maiden Japan that made me decide I was going to play the drums! Thanks Clive! Nicko's playing is off the wall and way cool stuff too! More technical than Clive, but Clive is more furious and driving and raw. Both excellent players in my book!
JOSEPHINE - Clive Burr is a monster and his playing definitely blew me away.
But Nicko is definitely a perfect man to fill Clive's shoes.
AJA - Hard to pick on this one!!! Clive is a great drummer and certainly was a bit more consistent timekeeper, but Nicko is so wild and fun and full of energy!! He really knows how to pump up the excitement! I can't choose! I 'kin won't!

21. Do you have any rare IRON MAIDEN items in your record collection, or any
other things in your possession related to the band that you're very proud
of?
AJA - I mostly have recordings and video. My favorite is the "Bruce cam" view of Fear of the Dark. That was brilliant! All I want is a picture of me with the Air Raid Siren!! That will satisfy my Maiden lovin' soul.
SARA - I was sad when my aces high shirt fell apart. But I have all the guitarist picks!
LINDA - Clive Burr signed one of my band's CD's when I met him at the London airport a long time ago, and the photo my friend took of that moment is priceless! I also have a pair of sticks from the Clive Burr benefit last year and some rare recordings and picture discs I can't get to right now to list. *Sorry* I broke my toe many years ago and had an artist friend draw the Killers Eddie on the entire front of my cast. It went from my toes to my knee!! It looked soooo precise!
JOSEPHINE - Not in particular. I've got a rare Adrian's guitar pick that he gave me. Does that count?
WANDA - I would have to say that even though I enjoy all my Iron Maiden CDs, t-shirts, etc., my prized possesions are a pair of Steve Harris' wristbands and an autographed (by Steve Harris) Iron Maiden biography.

22. How many times did you see the real band live?
JOSEPHINE: Twice so far. There will be many more. I grew up where Maiden
never came to town so I never caught them on any of their early tours. If I
could go back in time, I'd love to see Live After Death, Piece of Mind,
Somewhere in Time, Powerslave, Beast and Seventh Son tours.
SARA - Three times: Fear of the Dark, Give Me Ed, and DOD
LINDA - 7 or 8 times. 2 nights at Long Beach Arena for those glorious historical "Scream for me Long Beach!" nights!!!! I met Steve Harris that night and he told me a bit about Clive Burr. # of the Beast, Piece of Mind, Give Me Ed and DOD tours. Can't remember if I was actually there for the Powerslave tour or if I only dreamt I was there.....
WANDA - At least 7 to 10 times over the course of several years.
AJA - Not enough, that's for sure!

23. What's your favorite IRON MAIDEN song and why?

LINDA - Bet you can't pick just one song and not want more and more!!!!!!! An impossible question to answer! Depends on my mood I guess, but most likely something off the first three albums because of the energy.
SARA - "Die With Your Boots On"-one of the first Maiden songs I learned on guitar and lot's of fun to play live too.
JOSEPHINE: This is a cruel question. How can you pick only one? I think I
like "The Trooper" just because it's a turning point for me. That was the
first Iron Maiden video I ever saw- in my teenie-bopper era where all I
listened to was George Michael- and my jaw dropped to the floor and I said
to myself, "I want to do THAT!" I wanted to play guitar like Adrian.
WANDA - I'm sorry, I can't pick just one song. I have too many favorites.
AJA - Only one?? How can anyone pick just one Maiden song from so many?? Right now, though, I am dying to sing Wasting Love, just because it’s such a great song with such powerful lyrics!! It’s got the feeling! I love the Wicker Man, it’s got that kick drum that just won’t quit! Stranger in A Strange Land, The Trooper, Rime… I told ya I just can’t pick one!! I love them all! That’s what makes this such an amazing band, they consistently come up with great songs!

24. What's the most difficult IRON MAIDEN song to play live and why?
LINDA - God, I can't pick just one! Right now the most difficult one for me is
"Genghis Kahn". It's just got this
really fast and repetitive bit that is hellish if you're not completely
warmed up for this one!
AJA - For me as a singer, right now, the most challenging song is "Where Eagles Dare" – It’s in that high, clean belt range all the way through, and I can't recall ever singing that many triplets in a row!! But in reality, each song presents its own unique set of challenges.
JOSEPHINE - As far as Adrian's guitar solos, playing "Caught Somewhere in
Time" and "22 Acacia Avenue" are the most challenging. All his solos are
technically challenging.
SARA - "Phantom of the Opera" has alot of changes to keep track of, so I tend to look at my fretboard more so I don't get caught up in what's going on with the crowd.
WANDA - Probably "Phantom of the Opera" because with a song like that, you need to be very cognizant of what everyone else is doing all the time..individual parts are very exposed and everything needs to always be in sync otherwise the song just won't sound right. Very little room for error.

25. Why should people go to a gig of THE IRON MAIDENS, when they could also
wait for the real band to play live in their country?
LINDA - Heaven can wait, but Iron Maiden can't! Maiden doesn't tour as frequently as
many other bands do so it is not often you get the chance to see the real
thing live. The Iron Maidens bring you the finest of Iron Maiden songs, many
of which the real Maiden don't play live any more, and dishes it out with a
dash of estrogen!
JOSEPHINE - If they can wait two years or more for the real band, yeah, why
not wait. But I think we offer something more in our live shows- we play
smaller venues and it's more convenient to most, we offer free giveaways of
Iron Maiden items, and we play old Maiden, nothing newer than "Seventh Son
of The Seventh Son" album. Everybody that comes to our shows are people that
only want to hear old Maiden, and I think that's why people come to our
gigs.
SARA - Iron Maiden doesn't tour the states that much anymore. It is kinda weird that we're tributing a band that still tours tho huh. We don't play anything past SS, so I guess we tribute old school Maiden.
WANDA - Because the real band can't be everywhere all the time. A tribute band would be the next best thing if you can't see the "real deal".
AJA - Why wait for the real band to go on tour to get your Maiden fix when you have the Maidens right here ready to satisfy your craving for great music you rarely get to hear live?26. Are you also in contact with other IRON MAIDEN tribute bands?
JOSEPHINE - Whenever we go on the road and play different cities and states,
we always end up meeting other musicians that are in a local Maiden tribute
bands. All of them have been a blessing to know because they support what
we're doing and we support each other. They are not afraid to lend a hand at
our shows, loaning us their gear, their Eddie, anything. We end up being
friends and keep in touch with them.
LINDA - Yes! It is like an extended family with most of the other Maiden tributes.
We are all very supportive of eachother. We were loaned us some Eddie
costumes when we were in New York! Maiden Seattle also helped us out when we were in a bit of a pickle in Washington!
SARA - I bought a custom guitar with the killer artwork from the guitarist in Sanctuary out of New York, and Maiden Seattle are good friends as well. We also met Eddie from Ironically Maiden when he was on holiday in California.
WANDA - Yes.

27. Bruce Dickinson lived in The Netherlands for some time, as you may know already. What else do you know about our country (The Netherlands, or Holland)?

LINDA - I love the Netherlands! I've been there 3 times and have always had a
blast there................................................Very liberal place! Wonderful people! Most people speak excellent English in The Netherlands too! LOTS of cute little barge dogs from there! And there are a LOT of metal heads there too!!!!!
..................................... We would absolutely LOVE to come play in the Netherlands!
Somebody, please hook us up with a promoter!!!!! We won't let you down!
SARA - hmmmm, fresh Heineken!
JOSEPHINE - Good food! Lots of Indonesian cuisine there, which is my favorite
kind of food. Beautiful country too. When I was there on a Phantom Blue
tour, I didn't want to leave after the tour was over. That place gave me a
certain warm and cozy feeling. Did I mention good food? And the chocolate is
the best in the universe.
AJA - I would love to visit the Netherlands and play this music for an audience there.
WANDA - I'm afraid not much... but I love visiting different countries. I try to go someplace new every year and I've heard that your country is very beautiful... I hope I will have an opportunity go there at some point.

28. What did you think of the idea of doing a cover/tribute band special and are there more magazines that pay attention to tribute bands like you, or
don't they take them too seriously?


LINDA - I thank you for doing this special issue on tribute bands! Quality tribute bands are popping up all over the world and bringing people to the clubs again! There have been a lot of magazines and periodicals that have been doing blurbs and running articles on Female Tributes recently, but not a big feature like you are doing! :-) Thanks!
JOSEPHINE: We've done quite a few interviews for tribute articles, all over the United States, both for hard copy edition and for several websites. I
think people are curious. We don't care if nobody takes us seriously- we don't even take ourselves seriously. I mean, we care about what we do, and
we strive to make the best show every time, but we admit what we do is a goof. A very fun and lucrative goof.
AJA - I think there is respect for good musicians who play their instruments well. Being in the world’s only all – female Iron Maiden tribute band is very special and I’m really glad that I’m the one who was chosen. I HAD to become an Iron Maiden! If it wasn’t this music and this band, I don’t think I would have been so excited about the tribute band thing, in all honesty.
As a vocalist, I’ve always gravitated to “guy” material anyway. This is my first all female band and it’s great!! I love playing with these very powerful ladies and it’s the only band I’ve ever been in where I feel so free and I don’t have to hold back. I can’t possibly blow too hard or strong! I love that! There are no posers in this band, either, just serious and dedicated musicians. It’s what attracted me to this project in the first place.
SARA - ahhaha, yeah, like it's a slow month so you need some filler. We take our musicianship seriously, and that's where respect for our tribute lies, but it's meant to be a fun project so yeah, mags get a kick out of it.
WANDA - I think it's a cool idea, especially since there are so many cover /tribute bands out there. We've gotten quite a bit of press but I don't think anyone really thinks about taking a tribute band seriously..it's mostly a fun thing...we get attention because people are having fun at our shows.

29. Have you got any idea what the real IRON MAIDEN members think of your, band or did you never get the chance to get in touch with them and/ or invite them to your show?

LINDA - We met them all at their shows last year! They find it intriguing and are
happy there are fans like us out there playing and spreading their music to
the masses when they are not in touring here! They had a photo of us in
their studio while they were recording their latest CD, Dance of Death. :-)
SARA - I spoke with Dave at the last show and he was curious to know our touring schedule and such. His tech always bugs me if bought a strat yet.
AJA - I look forward to meeting them the next time they roll through town. It will be an honor.
JOSEPHINE: Adrian thinks I need to wear a wig...
WANDA - I never asked any of the guys in Maiden what they thought of us so I don't know. We got to meet them at a couple of their shows and they were really nice. We would love to have them come to one of our shows.. hopefully they'll have a free night to come check us out the next time they are in California.

30. Linda and Josephine, can you please inform us about the status of PHANTOM BLUE at the moment. And if the band still exists, who are the band members at this moment, and is there any chance that you will record a new album soon?

JOSEPHINE: We haven't done anything for some time now. I am having too much fun with The Maidens. We have recruited Sara as our second guitarist in the band, because I feel this great chemistry with her as far as being partners in sharing guitar duties, that I hardly ever felt with anybody else. So it only makes sense to take her on in this double guitar entourage.
LINDA - Ya, it's been a little bit on the back burner since we started playing with The Iron Maidens. This project came at a time where a much-needed break was at hand. Perhaps new life will be breathed back into us at some point. We got Sara recruited as Josephine's dueling lead partner from the Maidens! So maybe there is hope. The first album we record will be The Iron Maiden tribute CD.

31. Is there anything you'd like to add to this interview? Maybe you have a message for our readers?

JOSEPHINE: yeah, visit www.theironmaidens.com regularly.
AJA - I appreciate the warm welcome extended to me already by The Iron Maidens’ fans and look forward to seeing you all soon! I sincerely hope you enjoy my homage to the greatest singer on the planet!
WANDA - Thanks for keeping the rock scene alive in The Netherlands!
LINDA - Support your local music scene and your local magazines like Metal Maidens! Hope you got some insight to our band and come check us out sometime soon! Also, check out Paiste cymbals, DW drums and Vic Firth sticks for some of the finest drumming gear around! (I had to do it!)

32. The last words are for you.....

FROM ALL THE IRON MAIDENS - Metal Maidens rocks The Iron Maidens!!! Thanks for the many years of support
to the world of female powered music!!!! Up the Irons, Baby!!!!!! And please
check out our website www.theironmaidens.com for updates on the band and our
new tribute CD out later this year!


Interview questions by: Toine & Rita van Poorten/Metal Maidens 2004.
===================================================
=================================================
R. van Poorten-Wiegel (editor-in-chief)
P.O. Box 230, 4140 AE Leerdam,The Netherlands.
Tel +31 345 614136 / FAX +31 345 610688
Email: metalmaid@globalxs.nl
http://www.metalmaidens.com
***Current issue: MM#35/March 2004***
[out now!!!!!!!!]
DON'T MISS IT!!!!!!!!
Interviews/stories with: BITCH, CHASTAIN, EPICA (NL),
THE DEL TOROS, ARMOR OF GOD, SUPERFLOOR,
IMPERIA, SCARY BITCHES and much more female
mayhem.............
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________________________________________________________
Toine van Poorten (co-editor Metal Maidens)
P.O. Box 230, 4140 AE Leerdam,The Netherlands.
Tel +31 345 614136 / FAX +31 345 610688
Email: metalmaid@globalxs.nl
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[only for true metal warriors!!!!!!!!]

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