DIY Spotlight: Linda McDonald

Drummer Linda McDonald had some mainstream success in thelate ‘80s and early ‘90s with the hair metal band Phantom Blue. The “Why Call it Love” power ballad, for example, got some serious MTV airplay. Of course, McDonald caught the music bug some years before that.

“Some of my first performances were when I was a kid around six years old and my brother and sister and I would put on circus shows in the living room with silly skits for our parents,” she says. “It was soooo fun! I really enjoyed performing and making our mom and dad laugh.”

She kept learning, and eventually fame found Phantom Blue. 

“It was not easy in those times for women to be taken seriously in a heavy metal band, and I believe we broke a lot of stereotypes with what we were doing,” McDonald says.

McDonald also performs in an all-female Iron Maiden tribute called the Iron Maidens.

“It has truly evolved into something beyond our wildest dreams with a tribute band,” she says. “We are so lucky to have been doing this for almost 22 years now! That is longer than most bands and marriages last! We recently did a six-week 

European tour supporting the band Accept with 29 shows in 30-something days!”

Regarding the concept of DIY, McDonald says that music is the musician’s creation and they can cut out the middle man. “When Phantom Blue was signed to Geffen Records, the biggest major label for our genre of music, we suddenly seemed to have a large recording budget, yet it took years to finally get the album done with waiting on deadlines to come and go,” she says. “These days are different than in the ’90s. There are so many home recording methods for writing and recording, and professionals with home studios at their disposal, as well as friends who are knowledgeable at their craft, you don’t really need to spend that money anymore.”

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