Billed as the world's only female tribute band to English heavy metal legends Iron Maiden, southern California rockers The Iron Maidens are all too aware that they have huge shoes to fill.
Especially when the women boast stage monikers that pun on the names of the original Iron Maiden members - an act of reverence, of course.
"I always feel pressure to perform my best. With Maiden fans, if you blow it, they are going to know," drummer Linda "Nikki McBurrain" McDonald told M in an e-mail interview.
"We try to represent Maiden's songs as true to feel and accuracy as possible.
"I think Maiden fans appreciate that we are not... half-cocked. The last thing we want is to make any Maiden song sound horrible," she added.
The energetic five-member group, formed in 2001 and also comprising frontwoman Kirsten "Bruce Chickinson" Rosenberg, bassist Wanda "Steph Harris" Ortiz, guitarists Courtney "Adriana Smith" Cox and Nikki "Davina Murray" Stringfield, will be in town for a one-night concert on Sunday.
Jokingly referring to themselves as "Iron Maiden with boobs", Rosenberg promises local audiences a show featuring Maiden hit favourites like The Trooper, Fear Of The Dark and Aces High, as well as a special appearance by Maiden's trademark monster mascot Eddie.
These spunky rockers, all in their 30s, have defied criticism to emerge as a tour de force of technical bravura.
"There will always be people who think that women aren't capable of playing this style of music, but once they... see that we can pull it off, preconceptions vanish," said Ortiz.
"Like many female musicians, it's common for us to get sexist remarks, especially on YouTube and social media sites," she added.
Having performed in several cities around the world, including London and Cologne, The Iron Maidens have had their fair share of crazy fan encounters, including a few drunk men who almost crossed the line.
"We've had everything from lingerie to marijuana flung on stage," recalled Rosenberg.
Ortiz added: "We've had guys throw their underwear up on stage and some who asked to have various parts of their body signed.
"I don't think they meant to be disrespectful. Usually, it was because they had one beer too many and were having too much fun."
Away from the metal scene, the members profess to being feminine at heart.
"When not growling and screaming on stage, I cook, clean, arrange flowers and knit... sweaters," said Rosenberg.
"Okay, I'm exaggerating, but yes, we are all very feminine. We listen to a variety of music too. My favourite non-metal singers are Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Karen Carpenter and The Osmonds."
Added McDonald: "Sometimes, I like to wear a cute short dress or skirt because I never get to wear anything but spandex when I play with this band!"
The Iron Maidens Live In Singapore
Neverland II at St James Power Station
June 14, 6pm
$68 from Sistic (sistic.com.sg or 6348-5555), $88 at the door
This article was first published on June 10, 2015.
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