The Iron Maidens – the world’s best (and only all-female) Iron Maiden tribute act – are bringing their intense and electrifying live shows to light up venues across Australia and New Zealand. These five adrenaline-charged women have The Number Of The Beast on speed-dial and possess the musical chops to deliver awesome renditions of all your favourite Iron Maiden classics.
Having received the thumbs up from Steve Harris and Bruce Dickinson, California’s Iron Maidens have established themselves as one of the most invigorating and original tribute acts in the world, and have garnered praise for their musical prowess and energetic live shows all over Europe, the UK, the Middle East, South America and Asia. Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles spoke to Courtney “Adriana Smith” Cox about the tour.
How are you?
I’m a little under the weather but I’m hanging in there.
Oh no, that’s no good. It’s really exciting, I never thought we’d ever get to see the Iron Maidens here in Australia. When the tour announcement come through that was just awesome news for everyone.
Yeah, we’re excited too. We never thought that would happen either so we’re in the same boat.
First tour of Australia, have you been told much about Australia and Australian fans or what to expect when you come over here?
We frequent the Monsters of Rock cruise and we have a lot of Aussie friends on that. They always warn us how crazy everyone gets down there when the musical acts come through, so I look forward to it. It’ll be crazy.
Has there been a lot of requests from Aussie fans saying that you have to come down here and tour?
Generally we get that pretty much all over the world like “When you coming? When are you coming to this?”, and we’re like, “We don’t do this. It’s the booking agents.” So I’m glad that it’s finally happened with Australia and New Zealand too. I’ll go anywhere even to the moon if possible.
With a massive back catalogue, how do you kind of narrow it down into a ninety-minute set?
We stick to the hits because you have to and then for our sanity, we switch things up every show. Actually, our drummer keeps the set lists from every show, every tour so if we return, we make sure it’s a complete different set. I’ve seen the set for this Australian tour and think everyone’s going to be excited. It’s a good one.
Has Iron Maiden always been a significant influence for you musically?
Obviously. Growing up an avid heavy metal fan, you know the top tier bands Priest, Maiden, Saxon and you know I was into all of it. Now being in this tribute band getting to play my favourite songs as a kid, every night, it’s kind of amazing. We never thought that this isn’t a job for us, it’s a hobby and now we’re touring the world playing our favourite songs. It’s like being a kid again.
Was it ever a choice between being in The Iron Maidens or being involved in another band?
Constantly, I think it’s been an amazing ten years now, which is crazy. Along the journey, you get approached by different projects, and this and that, and I did join a few others, like I’m in Femme Fatale. I have a new band with Nita Strauss and Jill Janus called The Star Breakers. I’m doing my own thing on the side too. It’s just that you’re pulled in either direction, and it is hard sometimes, but for me the band is family. I get all the time “Why are you still focusing on this tribute band?”, and the simple answer is, it’s my family. Being a musician, regardless of what band, or any style of band, original tribute, this that, you can broadly do anything. If you don’t have that connection and get along with the people you’re around every day, it becomes a job. The Maidens is not a job for me. It’s just playing my favourite songs with my friends, my family.
That kind of helps gear my career in my mind especially when I’m starting to question myself like “What am I doing?”, blah, blah, blah. You just remind yourself, “You have a good thing going. You couldn’t manage to play with better people.”, and it’s life. Things happen, just ride the ride and see where you end up.
With the way that The Iron Maidens play, do you actually watch Iron Maiden videos? Or go to their live shows and compare notes?
Oh yeah! If we’re not on tour, especially when I come through the West Coast, we usually are asked to do their pre-party shows in like Vegas and stuff. I tend to catch them as much as I can. I actually booked flights to England for next July when they start that Legacy of the Beast Tour. So I’ll be flying out this season, a little vacation! They’re still one of those bands that can put on those eighties arena shows where it’s like, I like to go just in awe. It’s like skating the crowd as much as you can, but yeah, I like to see them as much as possible.
Do you have a favourite Iron Maiden album or a particular period of time for Iron Maiden?
Probably the late eighties. I like Somewhere In Time and Powerslave. It’s so hard to choose. It just depends on my mood that day I guess.
Being endorsed by Bruce Dickinson and Steve Harris, was that a fairly important thing for The Iron Maidens to have?
Yeah definitely! I think any tribute band or cover band would want that. The tribute’s are huge now, especially in the States. I don’t know in Australia or anything, but it’s such a big thing and you kind of wonder how far we can take this. I’m very humbled to know that the main guys approve and tell us to run with it. It’s just fun.
What are you looking forward to most about coming to Australia?
Actually, I’m looking forward to Melbourne. I heard it’s a great city, but unfortunately, when we tour the promoters keep us on the books and stuff like that. So basically we’ll see the inside of a van, an airport, hotel, the venue, and that’s pretty much it. It’s a lot of hard work and we seem like we’re having fun, but touring is definitely tough. It’ll be a lot of flights and no sleep, but hopefully we get to see a few things. I think the girls were actually talking about staying a few days after the tour finishes. I think we finish in Perth, so I think we’re going to fly to Sydney or Melbourne, just to relax for a few days. Eat some food, maybe hold a koala.
Beyond the tour are you getting back in the studio to finish off your new album or is it most touring?
Yeah, we’re really booked this year so I think I’ll maybe see the inside of my room maybe a few times per month. We’re really going for it this year. I think when we get to the studio it will technically be like our vacation.
Interview by Rob Lyon
Catch The Iron Maidens on the following dates, tickets from: http://davidroywilliams.com/tours/the-iron-maidens/