On her MySpace page, Teddi Tarnoff explicitly states, “I am a musician.” She may be a young addition to the rock scene, but she plays like bass player Jason Newsted of Metallica and sings – and screams – like Brian Johnson of AC/DC.
Tarnoff brings rage to the stage as the lead singer of the all-female tribute band Queen Diamond and the bass player of all-female tribute band Misstallica. The 24-year-old’s dynamic onstage theatrics and aggressive talent have metal fans lining up for more.
The Temple News: How did you all find each other? Who’s in the bands?
Teddi Tarnoff: We all met at the Paul Green School of Rock Music. Queen Diamond [includes myself] and the Black Horsemen – Gina Gleason, 17, on lead guitar, Allie Thrower, 19, on lead guitar and backing vocals, Rosalie Hooper, 18, on bass and Kaleen Reading, 17, on drums. Misstallica is Gina Randazzo, 24, on lead vocals and guitar, Gleason on lead guitar, Thrower on lead guitar and Kaleen Reading on drums.
TTN: Why metal? Why not alternative rock or pop?
TT: There’s nothing better than heavy riffs and double kick in the world. Metal up your ass!
TTN: What bands did you listen to growing up? Who are your influences?
TT: King Diamond and Metallica are favorite bands for all of us, but we do love a lot of other music. Queen, Bowie, the Misfits, King Crimson – you know, just to name a few.
TTN: Why Metallica?
TT: Why not Metallica? I mean seriously, there was no one doing it yet, and it’s one of those bands with a ridiculous following. An all-girl tribute was something we knew would get people off and us, too.
TTN: Why did you change the name from Clitallica to Misstallica? Was it all for the sake of good manners?
TT: We were actually something else, something even worse, before we were Clitallica. But because some of our members are so young, their parents still get a say in their lives. Clitallica was just too much for one mom. So Misstallica it is. We had a lot of people who were upset at the more [conservative] name.
TTN: When people think of an all-female metal band, the only one that comes to mind is Kitty. Do you compare your group with Kitty? Do you look to them as a model for what you’re doing?
TT: I can honestly say I don’t think any of us really know anything about Kitty. Do they dress as cats?
TTN: What attracted you to playing in a band? Fame? Fortune potential? Groupies?
TT: Just the groupies. No, we are all very serious about playing music, and it’s the thing we love above all.
TTN: At your Allentown, Pa., show in February, a lot of guys in the crowd had the “let’s see what they got” attitude. How do you deal with skeptics?
TT: We started these projects for the fun of it. So when guys are being d—s, it truly doesn’t bother us, and we just go up and have fun as usual.
TTN: Do you think people come to see you play because you’re girls or because of your music?
TT: It’s definitely a mix. We are really young, which is a very different thing in the all-girl tribute band industry. But we can play, so we do the music justice. And people appreciate all that.
TTN: How do you prepare for a show? Are there any personal rituals or lucky rabbit’s foot keychains involved?
TT: We slice our arms open and bleed into goblets, drink each other’s blood. Then we take the sacrificial baby to the back alley and…No.
TTN: Why do you wear face paint the way KISS did when you perform as Queen Diamond? What is the theme you are trying to portray? Fear? Darkness? Or is it just a tool for entertainment purposes?
TT: Well, I wear King Diamond’s face makeup. I wouldn’t be Queen Diamond without it.
TTN: Do you practice outside the Paul Green School of Rock Music? What is the group dynamic that makes you desirable bandmates?
TT: Those of us who graduated from the Paul Green School of Rock Music also work there, so we get to use the practice space for free. But we are all just goofy girls who love metal and ice cream, and we have fun together.
TTN: You were recently on WMMR 93.3 FM’s Preston & Steve show. What was that like? Was it your first time on the radio?
TT: We have been on Preston & Steve twice now and Danny Bonaduce’s show on [94WYSP], too. It’s a very cool experience, and they’ve all been amazingly nice and supportive.
TTN: How far do you want to take your music career?
TT: We are serious about playing music. We love these bands, and we’ll take them however far they can go. We have a play or die attitude about what we do.
Meg Frankowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.