Members: Bill Swanson, Lead Vocals | Gary Ingram, Bass Guitar |Ralph Circelli, Guitar | Dan Driskill, Drums | Al Contreras, Guitar
From concept to reality, Maiden Chicago had themselves a substantially powerful core group of musicians in an amazingly short period of time. The instrumental pieces were assembled and solidified little more than a month after the initial idea was presented. Transpiring as if the effort was guided by divine direction, every step of the formation process was natural, yielding the most ideal outcome at every turn.
Motivated to contribute his efforts to a legitimate Iron Maiden tribute, singer/guitarist Eric Babcock posted an inquiry on the official Iron Maiden Fan Club forum attempting to gauge potential interest. Eric joined forces with bass player Gary Ingram as a result of that inquiry in early September of 2010. Initially, Gary was not sold on the idea of doing another Maiden tribute, but eventually jumped in with both feet and became especially instrumental in the early formation of Maiden Chicago. When Eric and Gary committed to the effort; they gave it a name, established an infectious web presence and generated a boatload of interest within a few days time.
Almost immediately, the subsequent âbuzzâ and a musical affiliation from the past landed the bandâs third member; guitar player Ralph Circelli. The infant band was now three-strong, and wading through an onslaught of interest from âNicko McBrainâ hopefuls. Among them was former âBravoâ drummer Dan Driskill, who provided the first and only drum audition Maiden Chicago would ever need. The quartet jammed together for the first time at Danâs Bourbonnais home in early October, the result of which was nothing short of legendary. Everyone in the room was fully aware that they had something very special in their grasp before the first song concluded. With the instrumental core established, Maiden Chicago embarked on a massive promotional campaign and spent the next five months actively searching for the ultimate "Air Raid Siren". The search would bear little fruit during that time as the band came up empty week after disappointing week. Maiden Chicago's patience and determination eventually paid off with the acquisition of former "Revelations" vocalist, Bill Swanson in late February of 2011.
Besides the musical proficiency of its members or even the passion they have for Iron Maiden, this collection of musicians is blessed with that coveted âintangibleâ element that most musicians hear about, but rarely experience. Now fully equipped with the ideal lineup, they press forward with the highest expectations; ready to provide fans throughout Chicagoland with "The Ultimate Iron Maiden Experience".