GUNS’N’HOSES is if you’ve missed it a Guns’N’Roses tribute band. And with a Guns’N’Roses reunion tour just around the corner this band should too be in the publics eyes. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
What is it that made you want to start a cover band?
Erin Marsz (Axl Hose / Lead Singer): I formed Guns N’ Hoses as a project to create new friendships with other female musicians and to have a fuckin’ good time playing GNR and telling a lot of dick jokes. I had kicked the idea around for a while but the real start didn’t happen until I met Mia Von Glitz on the night both our bands played together. Our bands had been on the same bill and we started chatting at the merch booth. I said to her, “Hey, I’m starting this GNR tribute band and we need a bassist. Would you be interested?” She said, “What’s it called?” I answered, “Guns N’ Hoses”. She was in right after that. Cred to her that she was not shocked she was the only additional member at that time. From that point it was like one person brought in another person in a continual circle. It’s been an incredible project and we’ve only just begun. Guns N’ Hoses isn’t a cover band, we’re a tribute to Guns N’ Roses. We started learning the complete album of ‘Appetite For Destruction’ front to back. You gain a deeper appreciation for the musicianship and talent of the groups you listen to when you learn to play their work. That’s only a small part of the fun. 7
Gina Ilasi (STEPHANIE ADLER / DRUMMER): For me being in a cover band is a way to pay “tribute” to the songs and artists that inspired you to play.
Emmy Wildwood (LIZZY STRADLIN / RHYTHM GUITAR): I joined the band for the opportunity to play with other killer female musicians and to challenge myself in my guitar playing.
There is no band that has a discography of great albums so how do you pick the songs you play?
Erin Marsz (Axl Hose / Lead Singer): I disagree with this question. Guns N’ Roses has a lot of great albums. Lie on your bed in the dark, have a little whiskey, put on Appetite For Destruction with the volume all the way up, time how long it takes someone to call the cops. It’s a great album. So we play all of that. We mix it up with a bunch of hits that the crowd can sing along with for a while to get them comfortable, then we punch them in the face with a deep cut so we can headbang, jump into the audience, and cause a raucus. Gina Ilasi (STEPHANIE ADLER / DRUMMER): You pick music that people want to hear. I usually ask myself “if there was a jukebox what would most people put on”. Of course in the case of tribute bands you also need to know the “B” side tracks because your hardcore fans WILL request them and you should be able to oblige! Emmy Wildwood (LIZZY STRADLIN / RHYTHM GUITAR): We all love the hits and b-sides equally but we play whatever we feel is right for the gig.
In Sweden we to got cover bands like yours too but it seems that there is a huge scene for band like yours. Why are cover bands so popular?
Gina Ilasi (STEPHANIE ADLER / DRUMMER): People enjoy hearing songs they know by artists they know and when the musicians that are playing those songs do it well, it gives it a whole new appreciation sometimes. By being a cover band you also get to play songs by bands that are no longer in existence or maybe they are in existence but it’s not the same lineup of members…..just like GNR ! Songs can trigger memories for people and I think everyone enjoys hearing those songs that trigger emotions. Emmy Wildwood (LIZZY STRADLIN / RHYTHM GUITAR): I think people miss seeing live rock bands. The concept of people playing actual instruments rather than laptops has dwindled and we are nostalgic for the crowd.
How hard is it to find the right art work? What are you looking for?
Erin Marsz (Axl Hose / Lead Singer): Sexy. Whiskey. Punk. Looking cheap can be very expensive. Ask Dolly Parton. That’s what we look for.
Gina Ilasi (STEPHANIE ADLER / DRUMMER): Art work needs to be expressive of the project that you’re involved in, and in my experience it can be challenging sometimes. 7
Emmy Wildwood (LIZZY STRADLIN / RHYTHM GUITAR): For art we pick things we like that convey the general vibe.
Do you ever feel that you get spat on and ridiculed because you are a cover band? That you should be second rate musicians for not playing originals?
Erin Marsz (Axl Hose / Lead Singer): There was a girl who got so into one of our shows the she danced like a jelly fish on the floor pouring beer all over her head. We played another show and I kicked a dude in the face. So no. I don’t feel people believe we are second rate musicians because we don’t play originals in this project. We all play originals in other projects. This band is for us to raise hell.
Gina Ilasi (STEPHANIE ADLER / DRUMMER): I haven’t heard that said to me personally or about Guns N’ Hoses, but I’m sure there are people that do think like this. To that I say: A musician is a musician….you still need the talent, ability, stage presence, equipment, knowledge, etc. to go on stage and perform. You need to practice your craft and be good at it no matter what. If you’re a shitty musician….trust me people will know no matter what you’re playing. I also have 3 other bands that write original music so I get to still be creative and be a part of writing songs. What I find sad is that people won’t go out and SUPPORT local, original music anymore which is really a shame.
Emmy Wildwood (LIZZY STRADLIN / RHYTHM GUITAR): I do not feel ridiculed for being in this band. If anything people are almost always surprised at how good it is. But that’s an entirely different conversation about girls playing rock music.
Charlene Kaye (GASH / LEAD GUITAR): I haven’t gotten a sense of ridicule at all. In fact, I find that the fans who talk to us after the show are mostly in awe of the fact that we made this much of an effort to do this!! This is pure fun for us – we all have our own musical projects, so this band is not only an excuse to play some of the wildest, most intricate rock music ever written, but for us to celebrate our strength as women and our very deep friendship. We take the music seriously in that we rehearse hard and do our best to put on an electrifying stage show, but we don’t care at all what other people think of the band. This is for us
Do you feel that you get the recognition you deserve, nationally as well as internationally?
Erin Marsz (Axl Hose / Lead Singer): We might be a litte bit of a slow burn but we are burning. We get more recognition everyday. We’re grateful. If you consistently slay at shows, word spreads.
Gina Ilasi (STEPHANIE ADLER / DRUMMER): I feel that GNH as a band has gotten good recognition but not enough!!! We’re workin on it!
Emmy Wildwood (LIZZY STRADLIN / RHYTHM GUITAR): We have played both nationally and internationally and we are always received with open arms and after rocking people we are always invited back. We’d love to play internationally more in the future!
Is the end of physical close by or is there a future for all formats?
Erin Marsz (Axl Hose / Lead Singer): Future for all formats. Girlfriends still need to smash a boyfriends records on the wall for dramatic affect when he doesn’t cook dinner right, forgot to do the laundry, or was selfish in bed. That can’t go away.
Gina Ilasi (STEPHANIE ADLER / DRUMMER): If you’re referring to physical formats of music such as CD’s and Vinyl, then my opinion is that unfortunately more and more people depend on a digital music library. There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s your thing but I personally like owning a CD by a band or artist. I also love Vinyl…but I grew up before the digital stuff started taking over so I appreciate going to a record store. Try finding one of those around now…..that’s sad too! I MISS going to record stores and coming home with a physical product from a band. I still buy CD’S and will continue to do so, but I’m part of a dying breed.
Emmy Wildwood (LIZZY STRADLIN / RHYTHM GUITAR): I think there’s a future for all formats. It will never be as it was but there will always be collectors who appreciate packaging and liner notes in album covers. There will always be people who appreciate the warmth of vinyl.
I get the impression that today’s touring scene is most made up of festivals or multiple band line-ups. Is it harder/tougher to tour today?
Gina Ilasi (STEPHANIE ADLER / DRUMMER): For Original bands it’s WAY harder to tour nowadays because not many people go out and support original music anymore. It pays for original bands to get on festivals and such to get exposure. For tribute / cover bands it’s easier to find gigs in independent clubs because of what you play. Club owners and promoters know what their crowds want to hear and what they will pay to come see.
Emmy Wildwood (LIZZY STRADLIN / RHYTHM GUITAR): Tour is always hard work. Strategically, physically and emotionally. It’s manual labor with little recovery time. Luckily we’ve been fortunate enough to play many one-offs lately. But there’s nothing more fun than going on adventures with your friends.
Charlene Kaye (GASH / LEAD GUITAR): I only have my own touring experience to reflect upon, but yes, it’s incredibly challenging in many ways. The other band I’m in, San Fermin, spends a large majority of the year touring and I calculated that we spent 24 whole days of 2015 in a van. That’s almost a 12th of my waking hours in a single year! There’s a lot of driving, a lot of hauling gear around, and not a lot of sleep, but I will go to absurd lengths to experience that one hour of bliss every night and I’m sure many musicians who have been doing this for a while would say the same.
If you were to decide how would the stage show look like?
Erin Marsz (Axl Hose / Lead Singer): The stage show would open with a giant flower that blossoms into a huge Vajungle as we begin to play. Then bursts of flame shoot out as each player appears and I ride a lion onto the stage.
Emmy Wildwood (LIZZY STRADLIN / RHYTHM GUITAR): If we had unlimited funds for set design I’d make the stage look like one huge Vajungle!
Gina Ilasi (STEPHANIE ADLER / DRUMMER): Pyro…..lots of pyro….
What does the future hold?
Erin Marsz (Axl Hose / Lead Singer): As a futurist, the wisest answer is I have no fucking idea. But as a band member I’ll tell you, we are working on putting together a west coast tour, an east coast tour, some dates in the UK, and if you’re lucky… some dates in Scandinavia. Which leads me to the question – if we end up in Sweden, can we crash at your place?
Gina Ilasi (STEPHANIE ADLER / DRUMMER): We would be rich ladies if we knew my friend! This weekend the future holds lots of alcohol for me lol! As a band I want us to keep playing all over the place, getting our name out there and to keep having fun. Meeting new fans, playing with new bands and making friends along the way doing what we all love to do is what will continue to happen. Plus the fact that 3/5 of the ORIGINAL GNR have gotten back together proves promising for us Hoses!!