Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Ripple Conversaton with The Iron Maidens

Kirsten “Bruce Chickinson” Rosenberg on vocals, Linda “Nikki McBURRain” McDonald on drums, Courtney “Adriana Smith” Cox and Nita “Mega Murray” Strauss on guitars, and Wanda "Steph Harris" Ortiz on bass.

I spoke with Bassist Wanda Ortiz  and drummer  Linda McDonald of the Iron Maidens ,fresh from their tour of South America. As the world's number one all female tribute to Iron maiden, I found them to be both down to earth and proud of their  contribution to the maiden legacy. They were genuine fans of the band and seemed very happy with their musical life.

How was the tour of South America?

It was awesome. The crowd was so passionate. Very beautiful country. Yeah beautiful country, amazing people.

So your band has played all over the world. Europe, Indonesia, south America. Everywhere lately, except for the East Coast of the United States.

Yeah we ask ourselves that too. We can play all over but haven't been back east for over ten years. We can go to Guam for the weekend. We can go To Iraq. But we can't make it to the East Coast. What is wrong(laughs)There is a promoter trying to set up a Canadian/east coast tour. Keeping our fingers crossed. We will be on the Monsters Of Rock Cruise which is sort of East coastish. Meet us in Florida and knock on that boat(laughs)

How was your show in Iraq?

That was a trip that was not to be forgotten. A chance to do something good for the troops. We are just so grateful. They really appreciated that  we would go there to play for them and spend time with them. It was so opposite for us cause we were the ones who were so appreciative of them for being there. They are there for our country and most of them didn't have a choice to be there. We couldn't say no to going. It was a treat for us.

As a tribute to Iron maiden, your band has the opportunity to play songs that they themselves may not get to play during a set. Are there any songs that you do that they don't play?

Oh yeah,  we do "Alexander The Great", They have never played that one live. "Judas be my guide", "Cross eyed Mary". Yeah we do a lot of their golden oldies.

Anything from Bruce's solo albums or strictly Maiden?

No strictly Iron Maiden.

Favorite Maiden track, both personally and to perform?

"Phantom Of The Opera", or "Revelations", "Losfer words", "Genghis"

Are you Fans of the last Iron Maiden album and how many songs do you play from it?

That's too new. They are still promoting that album. We don't play anything off of that one. But yeah it's a great album. What's not to like.

I know you have jammed with Nick(McBrain) how was that?

 That was awesome. He is the sweetest guy. He doesn't have a rock star attitude. Just really cool. We got to experience Nicko playing "war Pigs(Sabbath) and that was really something.

In terms of sound and equipment. How close do you try to match what Iron maiden uses?

We try to get as close to their sound as possible. Some of the equipment that Maiden uses is older. Probably not accessible now so we go for the sound as close as the gear that we have. We are all very happy with our gear. Courtney has the Adrian Smith model guitars. So that is pretty accurate.

Have you had the new "Trooper" beer that Maiden has?

No we have not. Not yet available here(California)

I have talked to a lot of upcoming female fronted metal acts. Do you guys feel that the age of male dominated metal has come to an end?

There have always been female musicians in metal. It's just more visible now

Do you feel that you are inspiring women to enter into the metal field?

As far as that, I certainly do hope so. I think we are because we get emails from female fans that are thrilled that there are women doing this kind of music. It's really flattering when you get compliments like that.

Any other favorite bands?

Jazz to Barry manilow, top forty, blues. We have a wide range between all of us. Not just Maiden. Wanda actually plays upright bass in an orchestra on the bands off time. She lives that life too. It's not all just metal.(laughs)

What's the craziest thing that has happened to you on the road...that you can talk about?

(Laughs), When we were in Istanbul we got robbed. That was really not cool but no one was hurt or anything. They just came in and stole out of our van. The most surreal was Mexico city when Dave and Bruce checked our our show. We were on the same tour as Steve Harris' daughter, Lauren. So they came to the show. We were surprised to see them stay for our set. They told us afterward that they liked it. It was surreal. No pressure. They were in the front row balcony. We also opened for Kiss. Doro Pesch.


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