Twin Musix was lucky enough to have a chance to interview Linda McDonald and Courtney Cox of The Iron Maidens
TM: What can fans expect from your Australian tour?
Linda: You can expect 5 very, very enthusiastic women who are totally into Maiden visiting Australia for the first time, and playing great music for our fellow Maiden fans! It’s a very high energy scenario. We pull out a lot of the classic, a lot of the not-so-classic more obscure songs. We try to mix it up a bit because not everybody wants to hear just the hits all the time. We may even bring an Eddie or two!
Courtney: A lot of energy, it’s going to be long and crazy!
TM: That’s awesome! We have had so many people tell us how excited they are to come see you play! Everyone is excited in Sydney!
Linda: Sydney is going to be a big one! It’s actually our first one, our first show in Australia is in Sydney. So that’s going to kick it off for us over there.
TM: Courtney, you joined the band in 2008, what has your experience been since you joined?
Courtney: I’ve been in 10 years now and its crazy to think. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger. For us it’s not really a job it’s more of a hobby. So, to have this love all around the world with fans saying come here or go there, it’s very humbling and I’m very happy to see where this ends up and how long it goes.
TM: Can you tell us about the equipment you use on stage, for example what brands your drums and guitars are?
Linda: I am the drummer and I endorse, and love, my DW drums, Paiste cymbals and Vic Firth sticks and of course my Humes and Berg drum cases. Courtney of course will have her Comparison signature guitar, Nikki will also be playing her signature guitar and uses GHS strings, Wanda plays with G&L Basses. They are who we prefer to use because that’s who we endorse, but it can vary depending on what we are provided with at the venue. Our endorsements can be found on our web page. Link Here http://www.theironmaidens.com/band/bio.html
Courtney: For me; my amp is Freidman and my pedals, which I take all over the world, I use a DD-3 BOSS delay, a BOSS CH4 Chorus, BBE Boosta Grande for solo, and that’s about it, quite a simple setup.
TM: You have your signature guitar that you use on stage, how did you go about the process of designing the sound and the shape?
Courtney: Well mines not out yet, you must be thinking of Nikki our other guitarist, she has her signature model out. Mine is coming out in September.
TM: Can you tell us what it was like to work with Phil Campbell?
Linda: Oh my gosh, he is a whirlwind of energy! He is a very creative person, he is a very artistic person, and he is a very hyper person. He is very mysterious, always likes to have fun and he trained us on lead on a few separate occasions, and sat in and played The Trooper with us. It was really cool! We were friends with all the Mötorhead guys, that’s how we met Phil, who was also a Comparison guitar player.
TM: If you could choose any band to cover an Iron Maiden song, which band and song would you chose and would it be in your style or theirs?
Linda: Oh boy, I’m trying to think of a band that hasn’t already covered one. It would be interesting to hear Pantera do one, if Pantera was able to do that. That would be interesting, which song? Gosh, I couldn’t pick just one song. I’d say, whichever one they were in the mood to do because Pantera is a voice of their own and of course in their own style, it would absolutely be in their own style.
Courtney: Oh, that’s tough! My favourite band is King Diamond and having him do a Maiden song would be very interesting.
TM: Can you tell us what your experience was like performing with KISS and how you came to work with them?
Linda: Well, when we were proposed to do that gig, we were absolutely floored! Our bass player Wanda is a huge KISS fan, so she was especially excited about that. That was at a private event for Sysco Systems. They were having a corporate event for their employees and KISS were playing and they asked us if we would be on the bill with them. The Sysco people did, not KISS. So of course, we said yes, and there was also another all-female band on the bill, either AC/D She or Lez Zeppelin, I don’t remember which. It was absolutely amazing though, we did our show and then we got to go out into the venue in the front row and watch KISS do their thing in all their glory, it was incredible!
TM: What has been your favourite experience with your fans?
Linda: It’s one of two things, its either the connection that you make with the people when you play this magical music of iron maiden, because it’s just so powerful it touches everybody, including us when we are playing. The connection you make with the people when you are playing this music is something that is absolutely amazing and also magical. It’s also amazing when someone comes to you after a show and lets you know that you took them back to a time period when it was a really great time period in their life, or just bringing back a lot of memories for people. Also, when young people who are just starting out learning music come and see us females playing this powerful music, it just makes it all so worth it.
Courtney: I’d say every moment, before the show, during the show, after the show, even running into them when we’re not on tour you just run into them in various places around the world and they say oh I saw you perform in such and such place and it was such a great show lets go have a beer.
TM: Do you think The Iron Maidens would ever write their own music?
Courtney: Well, we have thrown that idea around before and we are actually going into the studio in March to record the next tribute album. The idea was thrown around of ‘hey let’s write a song and make it the bonus track’. So, we will see, you never know
TM: You released a live DVD in 2010 from Japan for the Japanese market only. Would you ever release it to the rest of the world?
Courtney: Well, we have a different line-up now so I think we are looking into recording a new one, so if the powers to be say so we could look into doing something in Australia. I think the Japanese one is long retired though
TM: What is your favourite song to play live?
Linda: That is probably one of the toughest questions to answer, because it really depends on your mood of the day. I think one of my favourite ones to play live would be Phantom of the Opera. When you listen to it, it’s like a roller coaster ride, it goes up and down. It’s probably one of my favourites and the audience seems to really like it too.
Courtney: that’s a tough one too. Right now, I would say Sea of Madness, there’s just so many songs it’s hard to choose.
TM: How do you come up with the setlist for your tours?
Linda: When it’s our first time in a new place, we tend to play more of the Maiden hits but it also depends on where we are playing. Like if we play rock clubs like we are heading to in Australia sometimes they (the fans) prefer the deeper stuff.
TM: what is the largest venue you have ever played in?
Courtney: I’d have to say, it was a festival and it was outdoors. I think we played to around 40 thousand people, I will never forget that show, it was absolutely mind blowing.
TM: What advice would you give to people who want to start a successful cover band like you did?
Linda: I would say; make sure your heart is in it and make sure you put the time into it. Also learn your parts and learn them well, you can’t half ass anything, this goes for if you’re doing a tribute band, a cover band or even more so if you’re doing original music. Above all though, you just have to have fun, because if you’re having fun at what you’re doing then that will guarantee that more people will want to come and see what you’re doing.
Courtney: I would say: do it because you love it. A lot of people get into the business for the wrong reasons, like they want the mansion and the cars. Just stick to your passions and stick to your heart and never look back.
TM: It’s awesome that you guys are the only all-female maiden cover band, how did you come to join?
Linda: Yeah, that was kind of lucky! In Los Angeles there was this group of us girls that were all into this type of music and were really into Maiden. A lot of guys always joke around with us saying “oh my god I can’t even find a girlfriend who likes iron maiden, and here you girls found each other who love them enough to form an Iron Maiden tribute band!” We really were lucky that we have these 5 girls who are devoted and have the ability and love for playing Iron Maiden.
Courtney: Well I am originally from Philadelphia and I was in a band called Queen Diamond which was a tribute to King Diamond and I left that band and moved to LA because that’s where you have to be for music. They actually went on to form Misstallica. I heard through Myspace that they (The Iron Maidens) needed a guitar player, so I messaged them and auditioned and since then I’ve been in the band.
TM: What do you think drives your band? What keeps you going?
Courtney: Well we never imagined we would come this far, as far as we’re concerned this band is a hobby it’s not a job. It just kind of took off and blew up in our faces. At every show we are still shocked and still humbled that we have this love all around the world. It’s a dream come true, we couldn’t have asked for more.
TM: If you could play any music festival, which one would you play at?
Linda: Well. We’d like to do Wacken, that’s for sure!
TM: have you ever been to Wacken?
Linda: No, never, but I don’t think they’ve ever had a tribute band at that festival before. If we can’t play it I’d at least like to go to it someday.
TM: have you played many festivals before?
Courtney: we have played a few local Californian ones before, but we are looking to break into the European scene next year, so we will see where that takes us. Fingers crossed that we get to play Wacken.
TM: Is there anything else you would like to announce to your Australian fans?
Linda: Well, we have been together for 16 years and we’ve tried to come to Australia in the past but it just didn’t work out, so we are so happy that after 16 years if you can believe that, we are finally coming down there!
Courtney: Be ready for us because we plan to bring the storm! We are very excited and hope that this won’t be the last time we come to Australia. After the show in Perth myself and the girls are planning to fly back to Sydney for a couple of days and hopefully we get to meet some cool people at the show who can show us around and see the sites.
Thank you so much to Linda “Nikki McBURRain” McDonald and Courtney “Adriana Smith” Cox for this interview and everyone at Twin Musix and in Sydney are extremely excited to come see the show!
Press Release Link Here - https://www.twinmusix.com/the-iron-maidens
Tickets Link Here - http://davidroywilliams.com/tours/the-iron-maidens/