It started out as a joke.

Emily Marks, a classically trained conservatory guitarist and executive director of Girls Rock Camp Austin, a nonprofit camp that connects girls and music, bandied about the idea of an all-female Guns N' Roses tribute band with some friends. A few rehearsals later — and after finding lead singer and expert Axl Rose re-inventor Kitty Shearer — they played their first show in November at Creekside Lounge on East Seventh Street. The line stretched outside.

"Somehow the rumor got out that that was the best bar night Creekside ever had," says Marks. "So four days later we had offers all over Red River."

Almost a year later, Marks and company have emerged as one of Austin's most beloved tribute acts, sharing bills with renowned locals the Octopus Project and Sunset, playing the House of Blues in Houston and closing out this year's South by Southwest Music Festival. Part of that's down to their furious, technically astonishing live show. And part of that's down to what has to be the most unforgettable band name in the city: Paradise Titty.

Friday night, they'll attempt their most audacious set yet, as they team up with Philadelphia all-women Metallica tribute band Misstallica for a show at the Parish re-creating Guns N' Roses and Metallica's infamous 1992 co-headlining tour.

Paradise is one in a very healthy crowd of cheekily named all-female tribute bands that came into prominence early last decade — other adherents include Lez Zeppelin, the Iron Maidens and, locally, the Angus Young-approved AC/DC tribute band Hell's Belles. In Marks' view, there's no central reason behind the trend — every musician brings his or her own motivation.

"Most of us in the band are indie rockers, and we were trying to have a laugh of it," says Marks. "For me, so many people told me I couldn't play the music, couldn't do that whole Slash thing, and for me once somebody told me I couldn't do something, I was like 'Yes I can.' It was an empowering thing for me to learn the music and pull it off."

And if playing in an all-female tribute band allows her to stick it to one of rock's most blatantly misogynistic front men, well, that's just an extra perk.

"I'm a turbo feminist. Somebody once made a joke I'm like an eighteenth-wave feminist. So for me I think it's hilarious that we get on stage and have an audience and we're just owning the tunes," says Marks. "Axl Rose was often derogatory, toward women and people of the Jewish faith, and I'm half-Jewish, and I think it's hysterical and big flip-off to Axl."

Not to overthink it, of course — plenty of Paradise's members are just there to rock out. Drummer Lori Gidden joked that she wanted to play in a cover band because she was "sick and tired of playing to three people and getting paid in PBR." Between the popularity of Guns N' Roses, the band's rock-solid reputation and the intrigue of that name, Paradise generally plays to large crowds.

"It's a built-in audience," says Marks. "It's a good time. You can rock out. You don't have to think and everyone knows the song. It's very kitschy, and we're really kitschy on stage, but we allow people to enjoy themselves. They don't have to think about looking cool."