Paradise Kitty is a band of five badass babes born and bred on Guns N’ Roses bombastic 1987 debut, Appetite for Destruction. With serious metal honed chops and raucous reverence for the Sunset Strip warriors that took Hollywood and the world by storm, they are a sexy, smoldering, dead serious tribute that’s out to get GN’R fans far and wide.
Comprised of veteran L.A. based drummer, Rachael Rine, bassist Nikki Stevens, lead guitarist Britt “Lightning” Denaro, rhythm axe Hisako Ozawa and frenetic frontchick, Jenna Syde, Paradise Kitty is poised to kick in your door, blow your roof off, and vandalize your authentic Axl, Slash, Duff, Izzy and Steven-loving hearts. Jenna Syde chats to Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about the tour which starts on Thursday.
It must be getting exciting now counting down to the Australian tour?
Yeah, I’m really excited, we’ve never been down there before. It will be a first time big adventure.
What have you been told about Australian audiences?
We’ve had quite a few Aussies who have come out to our shows, if all Australians are anything like they are then it is going to be a really great tour.
What attracted you to playing the music of Guns ‘n Roses?
I grew up in a musical family, my father was a punk rocker, my mum was a groupie with a poet heart and the whole family was in the country but always a rock ‘n roller! I don’t know if there was anything in particular that attracted me to it except for the danger. I never wanted to be the one with too much responsibility, I wanted to party and I wanted to rock.
How important an album was Appetite For Destruction growing up? Did it influence you more in many ways you would never know?
Oh yeah, I don’t think there is one person who loves rock ‘n roll who doesn’t have that album in their top ten. As a kid growing up it was an album you heard on the radio all of the time. It was a huge influence and something particularly when I saw Welcome To The Jungle I knew I wanted to do that.
What did you think about the remastered version of Appetite For Destruction that just came out?
It sounds awesome, it sounds really cool.
How did Paradise Kitty get together and what were those first few shows like?
My drummer Rachael and I were put together through a mutual friend of ours. We lucked out with our first show playing The Monsters Of Rock Cruise. By the second show we had Axl sending our flyers out and people were ready to eat it up. All of our shows were crazy, the fans were crazy and we’ve built it up which has kept going and going in to something bigger and bigger.
How do the rest of the Guns ‘n Roses album stack up for you after Appetite For Destruction?
I was a kids that grew up in the nineties so Use Your Illusion I and II were the albums I loved the most. We try and put some of our favourites in to the set and some fan favourites such as You Could Be Mine and when we have our keyboard player along with us we’ll play November Rain. One of my favourite albums and I wish we had more of it but we don’t have our keyboard player along with us all the time.
Did you ever get in to Chinese Democracy as well?
I love it but a lot of purists do lose their way, I’m a huge Axl fan and so is the rest of the band. I think that album is a great album and really does show his influences as a musician himself you can hear how much he loves Elton John and how certain people have influenced him over the years, I love that album.
Has Axl or any other members of Guns ‘n Roses ever endorsed Paradise Kitty?
On our second show he found out about us and tweeted out our flyer to his entire Guns ‘n Roses fan base, that was pretty cool. Slash knows of us pretty well, the Conspirators sat in with us, DJ Ashba is an old friend of Rachael’s and a lot of the community have embraced us especially GNR themselves. Sometimes Dizzy Read on the West Coast we’ll open for his band Hookers ‘N Blow. We’re lucky enough the band enjoys us and gives us the thumbs up for what we are doing.
Do you find some of the guitar parts in certain Guns ‘n Roses songs hard to play?
One thing that people don’t realise is Rachael and I hire a lot of different girls over the years because of the extensive amount of touring that we do. So we have the best girls in the scene out here and they don’t realise the monster they are taking on that is Slash. His guitar parts are super intricate and even Izzy wasn’t a rhythm guitar player he was a dual lead. The stuff he was playing underneath Slash’s riffs is just as musical. Duff as a bass player, a guitar player who has a bass in his hands, he is all over the place and that’s really hard stuff to learn. I can’t even tell you about learning Axl’s lyrics, that man has poetry and has full poems in each verse. It took me a while to master everything down. They are an amazing band what they did and what people don’t realise when they listen to the songs is how intricate they are, just awesome.
Interview by Rob Lyon
For tickets and tour dates for Paradise Kitty head to http://silverbacktouring.com.au/paradisekitty