The Rocket Queens joins LadySpitfire
1. Where did you get the name “The Rocket Queens”?
We’re named after the last song on GnR’s debut album,
Appetite for Destruction. “Rocket Queen” is a favorite of
ours. We take the music seriously, so we wanted something
that would allude to the fact that we are an all-female group
without using a cute pun or making a clever joke.
2. Who acts as each female counterpart to the GnR guys?
Magdalena Baldych as Axl Rose
Lily Maase as Slash
Marron Chaplin as Izzy Stradlin
Joan Chew and Yuka Tadano as Duff McKagan
Nikki D’Agostino as Dizzy Reed
…and we are backed up by our ‘honorary lady’ Don W
Berger as Matt Sorum/Steven Adler on the kit!
3. How far do you go to make an authentic GnR-like
experience? What does your show consist of?
We do everything either true to the record, or true to the
way Guns played live at the peak of their career in 1991
and 1992. In spaces where Slash improvised, OUR Slash
improvises. In spaces where he is true to the recorded solos,
so are we. So much of the feel of GnR’s music is really
funky and really heavy, and definitely comes from the
bands that influenced them–in particular, Aerosmith and
the Rolling Stones. So, we think a lot about time and
groove and how the parts fit together. The music has a
certain swing to it, as well as a certain swagger, and we’ve
put a lot of time into figuring out how to bring that to life
onstage. Our singer is also a huge part of what makes it
possible for us to do what we do onstage, and have it sound
legit. Axl was once reported as having the largest
documented vocal range in human history, and since
women typically don’t have a falsetto voice that they can
dip into to hit those high notes, we had to search for
someone really special that could cover his full range.
A typical Rocket Queens show is 2 or more hours in length
and is different every night, just the way Guns were in their
prime. It ain’t easy! But it’s a TON of fun. We try to play
most of their hits and rotate through a few different deep
cuts. So you might hear “Perfect Crime” on one night, and
then the next night you might hear “Back off Bitch”
instead. We also take a little creative license with Dust N
Bones, which is a favorite among the band. We slow it way
down and do it super slinky, sort of an Axl Rose a-la Tina
Turner thing. There’s an extended solo in the middle the
usually brings the house down.
4. What made you decide to pay homage to Guns ‘n’
It’s amazing music, and it’s aged so well! For the two of us
who play the guitar spots in the band, GnR is the thing that
made us pick up the instrument in the first place. So it’s
great to be able to really dig into the music and pay respect
to the thing that got us playing when we were kids. Guns N
Roses fans are also SO INTO the music, and it’s fun to
hang out and celebrate something we all loved so much
when we were growing up. It’s a great thing, to get out on
stage and make people happy. Our shows are a lot of fun.
People party hard; they sing along, dress up like Slash and
Axl. Some people follow us all over the tri-state area and
upstate New York. It feels like a real family of rock and
5. Do you have any tribute albums out, or are you a
Good question! Right now we’re a stage band only. We’ve
toured nationally around the US and have some summer
dates lined up in all different parts of the country, and
Canada as well. We might record some day, but for us right
now, live music is where it’s at.
6. Where is your current tour taking you?
We’re about to be in our home city, New York. Then we’ll
be in Louisville, Kentucky and Erie PA. We have some
summer dates that will take us upstate, onto a boat around
Manhattan, and as far south and west as Nevada and New
7. Have you ever been overseas?
8. What further plans do you have?
Thanks to the GnR reunion there’s a lot of interest in the
band. We’re growing really quickly and enjoying the hell
out of our time on the road. Our plans right now are to see
how far we can push this band as a tribute act, and see how
much we can grow.
9. Are you on social media? Which sites do you use?
10.Is this your main project or something on the side?
Do you have any other involvement in music?
Everyone in this group is either a full-time session
musician or heavily involved with other bands. Highlights
include Lily Maase’s metal band IDOLS
(www.brooklynidols.com) and Marron Chaplin’s Dead
Rocking Horse (www.facebook.com/deadrockinghorse)
Lily also runs a guitar school in Williamsburg called
Brooklyn GuitarWorks (www.brooklynguitarworks.org).
She was raised by the legendary New Mexico session
guitarist and educator Steve Maase and has been a part of
the ‘family business’ of teaching, recording and performing
all styles of electric and acoustic guitar since she was 17.
11.How do you think the GnR classic lineup will hold?
Well this is just our opinion, but if it ain’t Izzy it ain’t GnR!
But this is an amazing time for us, and something we never
thought we’d see happen, especially while we were out an
on the road! We got to celebrate their first reunion show in
LA by playing all of Appetite for Destruction at the
Ardmore Music Hall in Philly. It was an absolutely
12.Do you think you will actually see the originals on
We’re the tailgate band for a few of the east coast shows so
we’ll be outside the venue and then at the show!
We just released some pro-shot live video by the amazing
Jake Sam, who flew up from Austin to document the band.
He’s the creative force behind the now-infamous “Law
Hawk” commercials, which were picked up by Taco Bell
during the Super Bowl. He’s a live music wizard and has
filmed EVERYONE at all sorts of amazing venues…South
by Southwest, Red Rocks Ampitheater, you name it. The
footage is just absolutely gorgeous.
We also have an amazing creative team of friends who have
become fans of the band and been a big part of our growing
success. Ruth Anne Arnold at Lucid Revolution did our
logo entirely by hand and also shot our press photos.
Fellow rocker and professional photographer Andrea
Fischman and local music photog legend John Huntington
are responsible for most of the concert images you see
online. We reach most of our fans through word of mouth
and social media, so their love and support is pretty crucial
to what we do.
Thanks for your interest in the Rocket Queens, and for
supporting live music!