NATALIE NOOTENBOOM: “Your Differences Make You Special And Set You Apart”

Natalie Nootenboom photo shoot

Model/musician Natalie Nootenboom recently released a cover (as well as a NSFW video) of the Guns N’ Roses classic “Rocket Queen.” Nootenboom herself took the time to talk with Metal Express Radio about her cover of “Rocket Queen,” what Guns N’ Roses has meant to her, balancing being a model as well as a musician, and more. Check out the chat below!

Metal Express Radio: You recently released a cover of the Guns N’ Roses classic song “Rocket Queen” what kind of feedback have you been able to receive?

Nootenboom: I’ve had both a lot of excitement and hate. A lot of people really love that song; it’s a favorite for many GNR fans, so people would message me telling me that they were glad I covered it and gave it a fresh twist. I definitely expected a little bit of hate since Rock isn’t the most open-minded and welcoming genre when it comes to the audience. I knew that covering a classic song from the 80s I would get a lot of purists saying this is “garbage” because it’s not what they are used to hearing. But that means that I’m doing something right because I’m taking people out of their comfort zones, and introducing them to something newer.

MER: How did you go about putting your own twist on the cover?

Nootenboom: It happened in two parts. The first part was working with my producer on taking inspiration from the original track and then infusing it with more contemporary sounds like using a simpler approach to the drums and adding synths, etc. Then there was the process that came with recording vocals and really playing with it and putting the “Natalie” stamp on it with the ad-libs, singing every word I was saying it and meant it, and of course, stepping into the energy of the song.

MER: What kind of feedback have you been able to receive from the music video of “Rocket Queen”?

Nootenboom: I read a couple of comments and it’s again mostly purists and the older rock demographic critiquing the track for having synths and calling it “EDM” because of that. I was really expecting many people to be more upset at the sexuality angle, but it was more about the track itself and how it’s not good cause it’s not the original. I turned off the comments just so I could shut out the noise and focus on making my new music with a pure lens.

MER: What has Guns N’ Roses always meant to you as a musician?

Nootenbloom: To me, they represent the art of recklessness. Myles Kennedy once described them as “primal rock and roll” and I think that is spot on. Every note they play is so visceral. The stories they tell with their songs really feel like they are telling them out of the necessity of their soul. To me, that is a mark of true artistry.

MER: What do you see as far as plans for 2023?

Nootenbloom: I’m cooking some amazing stuff up with my producers, working on some big singles, and working towards an album. I already picked out the name of the album (it’s something no one could ever guess). It’s super exciting to watch the songs evolve and give that title a deeper story behind it.

MER: Are there any other songs that you hope to cover?

Nootenbloom: I’m obsessed with “Dr. Feelgood” by Mötley Crüe, but I might wait to cover that one and save it as a treat for those who come to see the live shows and release the studio version later.

MER: How is it balancing being a model as well as a musician?

Nootenbloom: So far it’s been pretty easy. My schedule has been pretty balanced between music and modeling since my agents and I are coming up with my next big look and having me spend time in different cities to meet clients. I think as I travel and work as a model, it feeds me inspiration rather than burns me out. I’m fortunate to work in the creative industry for that reason.

MER: What type of message do you hope to send with being a model as well as a musician?

Nootenbloom: If you are living a happy, healthy, and inspired life, then who cares about being trendy or whatever. Instead of trying to change yourself to belong with everyone else, you can be that person that creates that space where other people just like you can be themselves. Your differences make you special and set you apart, own them, and you’ll be unstoppable.

MER: Having such a unique sound with your music, who would you see yourself touring with?

Nootenbloom: I honestly don’t know. My sound is about to get way more unique with my upcoming releases. I will leave that up to whoever will be my manager in the future.

MER: What are your hopes for your future in music?

Nootenbloom: I hope to find my audience one day. I want to sort through the audiences that don’t resonate with me and find the people that do. I can’t wait to see who those people are, meet them, and connect with them. I want to make the younger version of Natalie who dreamt of making music proud by releasing things that feel like true expressions of who I am currently.


  • Matt Zaniboni

    Matthew is an interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He started his passion for music journalism back in his college radio days serving as the Heavy Metal Director at WKKL out of Hyannis Massachusetts. During Matt’s tenure in radio, he has had time working for commercial stations in Boston Massachusetts such as WAAF, WZLX AND 98.5 The Sports Hub before landing with Metal Express Radio. Anytime you want to talk heavy Metal, hockey, Guiness, and dad life, Matt is your guy m/

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