An Interview with Courtney Cox of The Iron Maidens

0 0
Read Time:10 Minute, 47 Second
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is thumbnail_Original-Logo-899x1024.png

The new age of fierce, rocking female guitarists is stronger than ever. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing several already, and it’s my pleasure to have Courtney Cox with us today.

As I’ve said before, the Rock and Metal game has long been dominated by men. The lead guitarist of any given band is often glorified but is also almost always portrayed as a strapping young male player.

These days, there are so many incredible, shredding lead guitarists out there who are females, and in this way, Rock and Metal have never had more balance than they do now.

That said, we still have a long way to go, but with hard-rocking players like Courtney Cox in the game, I truly believe we will get there and then some. Courtney is currently one of the guitarists for The Iron Maidens. You can learn more about The Iron Maidens here.

In the meantime, check out this interview and enjoy getting to know Courtney a bit better. Cheers.

Andrew:
Courtney, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. This last year has been rough. How are you holding up?

Courtney:
I’m hanging in there. It has been very strange changing from a life basically living on the road to being stuck at home for a year straight. You have to make the best of what life throws at you, and so I’ve been using this time off to practice, compose, and also have been enjoying this time off with my better half and two kitties. I’m sure the cats are fed up with me being home this long.

Andrew:
Tell us about your backstory. What was your musical gateway?

Courtney:
My introduction to music occurred when I was very young. Although the farthest thing from anything “musical,” I would hit random keys on my grandmother’s piano in her house. As I got older, I became interested in musical notation and started to learn how to sight-read so I could play the sheet music my grandmother had in the house. I would then join my elementary school band playing clarinet, an instrument I took to rather quickly. When school band wasn’t cool anymore, I asked my parents for a guitar when I was thirteen, which confused my parents as I have never shown interest in one before. It was meant to be, I guess, the stars aligned. By fifteen, I was gigging and starting to tour. Never looked back.

Andrew:
As an artist and guitarist, who are some of your earliest and most important influences? How did you develop your signature sound?

Courtney:
When I received my first guitar, my musical obsession was Heavy Metal, Thrash, etc. So naturally, Metallica was the band that got me hooked. I could list an infinite number of influences, but the major ones that stand out from a young age would be: Kirk Hammett, Darrell Abbott, Glenn Tipton, Andy Larocque, Adrian Smith, and John Sykes. For tone, I never wanted to sound exactly like one of my influences, so I would take different aspects from each player that my ear preferred and shaped my sound from there. I have never been a gear “nerd,” so it came down to thinking, “Ok, this sounds good, there is my tone…back to playing.” My tone has been the same since I was fifteen.

Andrew:
Let’s talk about some of your early work with Queens Diamond, which you founded. How did that group come together? Ultimately, why did it come to an end?

Courtney:
I am a co-founder. The band was a fun sideband and our “Metal escape” from the Prog tours myself and my friends were currently on at the time. Unfortunately, I was ready for a new life chapter and moved to California, and QD remained in Philadelphia. They continued to play shows and then turned into a Metallica tribute “Misstallica” before calling it quits as other members moved away. I stay in touch with most of them to this day, notably Gina Gleason, who currently plays for the band Baroness.

Andrew:
After you moved to Los Angeles, you ended up joining the Iron Maidens, right? How did you end up with the group? What has the experience been like?

Courtney:
When I landed in California, I immediately started looking for bands. After a couple of failed attempts finding the right people, I heard through the grapevine that a band called “The Iron Maidens’’ was currently auditioning for their Adrian Smith position. I sent an introduction to their Myspace at the time, and after a few days without a reply, I was upset. What I didn’t know is that I had my messages shut off on my page, so they couldn’t reply! [Laughs].

They found a way to get hold of me to tell me they would love to have me come in for an audition, and the rest is history. I still pinch myself from time to time to make sure it is not a dream, as cheesy as that is. I am extremely fortunate to be in such an incredible and hardworking band, tribute or not. We have seen most of the world together, and we have no plan of slowing down.

Andrew:
Besides your current work with the Iron Maidens, do you have any solo work or new projects on the horizon?

Courtney:
I’m the kind of person who doesn’t care what band I’m in or what type of band I’m in. As long as my heart is full and I’m playing music, I’ll be lending my guitar. I can’t wait to see where the future guides me. Aside from the Maidens, I’ve been working on my first release, and it is very exciting to be on this new journey. All the cell phones I have saved filled with riffs since I started playing are seeing the light of day again! [Laughs]. Other projects during the pandemic I’ve been involved with are jam collaboration videos with musician friends from around the world.

Andrew:
You are the first female artist to represent Caparison Guitars officially, right? Tell us about that and your signature Horus-M3-CC guitar. You’re an important role model for all aspiring young girls out there today. Let us know your thoughts on that.

Courtney:
I’m not sure if I’m the first? :: checks artist roster:: I guess I am! I honestly never notice or care about that kind of thing. It doesn’t affect my sleep at the end of the day, and I’ll pass on the gold star to put on the fridge. [Laughs].

I have two models currently: Horus-M3 CC Pink Sapphire and Horus-M3 CC “Greenie.” The guitars are identical apart from their color: pink and green. My Horus-M3 is based on the original Horus-M3 with only a few subtle mods, as the original was already a perfect match for my playing style, to begin with. My guitars have a maple body with two mahogany wings, a 5-piece maple and walnut neck (27 frets), a Schaller floating tremolo modified with Fu-Tone parts. They are loaded with Caparison pickups: Bridge PH-bc, Neck SH-27F.

I am very humbled to be able to provide inspiration to anyone regardless of gender. It takes me a step back sometimes when people list me as an influence or follow me on social media because I don’t view myself as doing anything different from anyone else out there; I love to play my guitar. I have no secret answers to anything I do. Practice, work hard, stay grounded, and follow your heart. If my way of navigating this career and passion for it helps others, it is a major bonus.

Andrew:
Piggybacking onto my last question. Despite the incredible work of amazing organizations such as Women Who Rock and Women In Vinyl, women are still underrepresented within the music industry as a whole. How do we go about empowering more women and enacting positive change?

Courtney:
You can’t force someone to pick up an instrument; you can only empower and inspire. Gender aside, every musician just needs to work hard, practice, be fearless of failure, and only compete against ourselves in this wild world that is the music industry. If you follow your heart and hold onto your passion for what you do, you will end up where you are meant to be.

Image Credit: Interdependent Photo.NL

Andrew:
Let’s circle back around to the Maidens now. What are some of your favorite tracks to play live, and why? Sub question: what is your favorite Maiden album? Who’s your favorite Maiden vocalist, Bruce, Blayze, or Paul?

Courtney:
It changes from tour to tour and day to day when I’m at home jamming. My favorite album is Somewhere In Time, and all the songs I usually say that are my favorite to play can be found on that album, such as “Sea of Madness.” I love the tone that record was recorded with, so naturally, my ears gravitate to those songs and most of the other songs written in the late 80s Maiden era. There are only a few songs I don’t like playing live to paint a picture for you. [Laughs]. Bruce for me.

Andrew:
Touring is usually a huge part of a working artist’s proverbial machine, but as we know, COVID has disallowed it. What do you miss most about touring?

Courtney:
I miss traveling to all parts of the world and meeting new faces. The energy of the crowd is probably the thing I miss most. Hopefully, I’m back to it soon.

Andrew:
One disturbing fact I’ve learned over time is streaming services don’t pay artists well, if at all. What are your thoughts on that issue? How do we as fans do our part to help?

Courtney:
We all should have listened to Lars Ulrich with Napster! [Laughs]. Little did we know what the music world would turn into. Bands depend on merchandise and bodies through the door these days, so get out there and support your local artists and help keep live music alive! The world would be a darker place without it.

Andrew:
In a world dominated by big business and social media, can artists truly get ahead? How do we keep the playing field level so that everyone has a chance to succeed?

Courtney:
If it were easy, everyone would be a musician. It comes down to one’s character and thick skin to navigate a career in anything. There will never be a level playing field, and why would you want there to be? I strive for my accomplishments; if they were given to me without a challenge, well, that would just be boring. Your work decides your playing field.

Andrew:
Are you into records? Tapes? CDs? Digital? Where do you like to shop for music?

Courtney:
I’m into it all. Due to COVID, most of my purchases have been digital, unfortunately. I’m a physical album type of person.

Andrew:
What are a few albums that mean the most to you, and why?

Courtney:
…And Justice For All (Metallica). That really started it all for me, so it remains the closest to my heart. Wow, too many to pick from, but most albums from Judas Priest, Pantera, King Diamond, Merciful Fate, Saxon, Maiden (obv), Thin Lizzy, and it goes on and on. I’ve recently been into the band ICON and their releases from the ’80s like Icon and Night of the Crime. Great band. If it is a good song, it means a lot to me regardless of the band because it inspires me. My ears are always open.

Andrew:
Who are some of your favorite artists?

Courtney:
I touched on this before in previous questions, but Metallica, Judas Priest, Pantera, King Diamond/MF, Iron Maiden. These bands definitely inspired me the most and helped mold the musician I am today.

Andrew:
Last question. What advice would you have for young artists just starting? How do they stay afloat in a world that seems to be so abhorrent to creatives?

Courtney:
Stay true to yourself and follow your heart. The only competition is yourself and should only be yourself. Know it is ok if some people don’t like you, you don’t need them anyway. When you get knocked down, get right back up and remember good things come to those who get out there and work hard. Lastly, don’t rely on the soundtrack of society; create your own!

Interested in learning more about Courtney Cox? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interview

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

Since he was a young child growing up on Long Island, NY, Andrew has always loved writing and collecting physical music. Present-day, Andrew is proud to share his love of music with the world through his writing, and the result is nothing short of beautiful: articles and interviews written by a music addict for fellow music addicts. Andrew lives on Long Island and works as a Horticultural Operations Manager by day and runs the Vinyl Writer Music website by night.
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

2 thoughts on “An Interview with Courtney Cox of The Iron Maidens

  1. Hwy courtney. Its Karina pavlov. Member me from the chance in poughkeepsie. 2018. The chance changed ownership. Kinda sucks. Like our last names. Dont forget me. I got a new guitar. Rock on you awesome women. I’m looking for a stratocaster. I’ll always be here in whiteport Ny. Love Karina

Leave a Reply

Social profiles
%d bloggers like this: