Wanda Ortiz Interview bassist for the Iron Maidens talks about life on the road, influences and social media in music. November 24, 2014.
The Interview with Wanda Ortiz
– What’s new in the world of Wanda Ortiz?
Wanda Ortiz – Lately, a lot of travel. There have been some short tours in Central and South America as well as Mexico and Dubai. Since I’ve been back , I’ve been putting most of my energy into organizing a charitable event that will take place November 29th: The Iron Maidens along with our friends Alice In Cooperland and American Zombie (tributes to Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie respectively) will play a charity show at Romano’s Concert Lounge in Riverside, California. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Community Settlement Association, a charitable organization which provides after school programs, substance abuse counseling, and assistance to needy families amongst other things. They have been helping those in need since 1911. For more information about that show, please visit https://www.facebook.com/TheIronMaidensOfficial or www.theironmaidens.com. For more information about Community Settlement Association, please visit :http://communitysettlement.us/
Hopefully, we’ll have a good turn-out. :)
– Do you play the bass a lot on your spare time to keep up to date with your techniques certainly Steve Harris ways of playing.
No, not really. I play bass a lot mostly because I just enjoy playing.
– What would have been some of the craziest things you have seen on the road?
It seems like there is always something but there are some events that stand out more than others. Being the first all-girl metal band to play in Venezuela was pretty crazy but, at the same time, really awesome. We (The Iron Maidens) played a large festival and were on the same bill as Ripper Owens and Rata Blanca. Looking out into a crowd of 40,000 people was pretty intense!
– During a year how many shows do you do on average and how crazy does the schedules get with the Iron Maidens?
I’m not sure because I’ve never counted how many shows I’ve done. In addition to playing with The Iron Maidens, I play upright bass in other groups, like South Coast Symphony. Scheduling can be hectic when you play with more than one group but fortunately, most orchestras have their season planned way in advance so that helps.
– Could you describe some of your earliest influences in life and in music?
Music in school. Since I was very young, I’ve always loved music. I remember my second grade teacher would play children’s music and I would try to sit as close to the stereo as possible. When I was nine, I got the chance to play a stringed instrument in elementary school. At the time, I just wanted to play music and wasn’t thinking about going with any specific instrument: I ended up playing bass because I was late to class and all the other school instruments had been checked out. The rest is history. :)
– As the Facebook page for The Iron Maidens is approaching 1 million likes. How important is it for a musician in this generation to spend time on social media?
Well, it shouldn’t be ignored because it can certainly help spread the word about your project but, at the same time, I would be careful not to spend too much time on it. Social media can be a huge time vacuum and, before you realize it, you can easily end up spending more time than you had planned on just farting around on there…time that probably could have been better spent doing something else.
– How important are music videos in the industry today? How do they compare to videos from 20 years ago?
Right now, it seems like we’re constantly being inundated with live videos online since they are so easy for anyone to post. The good thing about that is you may have more chances of getting the right people to see your video , however, there is also a strong possibility of getting bad videos out there since anyone can record your show and post it . You have a lot less control over what gets out there now then you would have had 20 years ago so it’s definitely more important to have a polished and well prepared show nowadays.
20 years ago, music videos were mostly staged and there was a lot more control. There also wasn’t as much competition because there weren’t as many people were doing them so they probably made more of an impact even though they were, for the most part, not as polished as the professional videos we are now used to seeing due to the technology of the day.
– What could we find interesting in your music collection at home?
As a music undergrad, I got turned on to a lot of interesting stuff while studying music history so I’ve got a pretty wide sonic variety in my collection. I would probably have the most fun sharing some of the more obscure pieces I got excited about when I heard them for the first time. Bartok’s Music for Strings , Percussion and Celesta (second movement in particular) is really great, for example.
– Could you describe what goes on in a day in your life as a musician on tour?
It seems like we’re always on a really tight schedule so, on a typical day, I would feel pretty rushed. Usually, when we travel, we would finish a show, go back to the hotel, wake up in a couple hours to catch the next flight, get into the next town, check in our hotel, sound check, play a show, then repeat. We like to make the most of our time out there so we don’t take many days off.
– Where do you see music in general going in 100 years from now?
It’s hard to say. I really have no idea. Popular music today seems so different than it was 100 ago. I bet people then would have never guessed that music would have turned out to be the way it is today.