The battle between Brooklyn’s all-female Guns N’ Roses cover bands is turning into an all-out civil war that’s pitting musical prowess against a—less chaps.
Last summer, Guns N’ Hoses took Brooklyn by storm, reintroducing women to glam and the leather-pants spirit of the ’80s with temporary tattoos and enough hair spray to threaten the ozone layer.
Now, another group of twisted sisters is paying tribute to metal heroes Axl Rose, Slash, Duff McKagen, Izzy Stradlin, and Steven Adler, performing under the name the Rocket Queen.
And this rivalry is the biggest Guns N’ Roses battle since Rose had a beef with Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil.
This metal fight, much like Rose’s Motley feud, comes down to substance versus style.
“I know these songs note for note,” said Lily Maase, who plays Slash in the Rocket Queens. “They don’t have that going on.”
That’s because Guns N’ Hoses say a cover isn’t just about hitting the right notes — it’s mainly about sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll.
“We embody our beloved Axl, Slash, Duff, Izzy and Steve in every way we know how,” said Mia Von Glitz, who plays “Muff” McKagen in Guns N’ Hoses. “Gash humps her Les Paul and shreds her solo while Axl Hose screams, crabs and falls to the floor, only to be faced with the up-the-skirt-shot of my vajungle … [Lizzy Straddling] sexily headbangs her incredible red mane to the solid beat given by killer Stevie Rattler on the kit.”
It is, in fact, quite a show.
But the Rocket Queens has its own secret weapon: a keyboard.
The six-piece act’s electric piano lets the band play Guns N’ Roses’s proggy riffs and ballads, most notably “November Rain.”
Guns N’ Hoses, on the other hand, prefer the rawness of earlier anthems like “Out Ta Get Me” and “You’re Crazy.”
“If you love something, you emulate it to the best of your ability,” said Guns N’ Hoses’s Von Glitz, who bought an all-white Fender Precision bass that looks like the one McKagen used to play. “In truth, learning Duff’s bass lines has made me a much stronger bass player. The dude is an animal.”
Clearly, Guns N’ Roses means a lot to these women.
Maase grew up in a conservative household where her mother forbid rock music. But her father sneaked her a copy of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” when she was in elementary school and it changed the course of her life.
“It was the first time I had heard any electric guitar,” said Maase. “It was like someone flipped a switch in my brain. Since then, I’ve had a life-long love affair with Slash.”
The rival rockers are willing to put down their axes and forge an alliance, that is if they can convince other female Guns N’ Roses fans to take up the trade.
“If there were five (all women Guns N’ Roses tribute bands), we could have a festival,” said Maase.
Von Glitz agrees.
“We’d just start an orgy to the sound of the poetically sinful ‘November Rain’ and melt into the horizon on a slow fade,” she said.