Bruce Dickinson Interview
Riding high in the charts with their latest album, "The Number Of The Beast" (Capitol Records), England's Iron Maiden is taking America by storm! Their new show is the biggest yet, with a specially designed set, a huge P.A. and lighting rigs, and a host of outrageous effects.
Lead singer Bruce Dickinson recently chatted with us about Iron Maiden's success.
Q: You had some difficulties with this last album of yours, equipment breakdowns, and your producer being involved in an automobile crash. Do you really believe it had anything to do with recording "The Number Of The Beast" or was it just coincidental?
A: Well, I mean it's difficult to say. I think I have to say it's coincidence, 'cause if I believed anything else, I'd probably be in a mental institution. It went to Number 1 in England the first week, so it can't be that Satanic.
Q: Martin Birch has worked with Deep Purple, Sabbath, and Rainbow. Could a producer of the Bee Gees work on an Iron Maiden album?
A: It depends whether he had a feel for the music or not. I've no idea whether the Bee Gees producer has got the right feel for heavy rock. A producer is someone who has a rapport with the band, who understands what the band is trying to achieve on vinyl and makes the band achieve it better than the band themselves thought they could do, by pushing them in the right way, by bringing the best out of their performing abilities, in the studio. Martin has so much experience at that with all these other acts, and in working the way he does with acts. You see, when we go into a studio, we have all our material written, and arranged and he doesn't interfere with it at all. We would never have a producer interfere with our material.
Q: Where did the name "Iron Maiden" come from?
A: An iron maiden is actually a name for a medieval torture instrument which was a coffin with spikes in the lid that they used to shut on innocent young females who transgressed. The name Iron Maiden was originally chosen because it was unmistakably a heavy rock act.
Q: Some rock critics have seen a similarity in dress between the "new wavers" and the hard rockers. Do you see that similarity too?
A: No. I've never been interested in fashion in the slightest. I despise fashion. I think all of us in the band sort of have nothing in common with the ways of fashion. The only person I'm fashionable to is myself. We're musicians, not clothes dummies.
Q: Rik Emmett of "Triumph" remarked that his group was one of the few rock groups to write and sing about positive things in life, and that most rock groups tend to emphasize the negative. What's your reaction to that?
A: I've never read any of Triumph's lyrics, so I don't know to what extent they're talking about positive things. Music appeals to either your innermost fantasy or your innermost reality. You find that all music slots into one of those two categories. If you want to make life into one long, long love song, well, that's a great fantasy, but is isn't all like that, is it? But that still doesn't devalue the song.
Q: Do you think some people take rock music too seriously?
A: I think that when people try to put all these heavy interpretations on what are intended sometimes to be really tongue in cheek lyrics, I think it's very silly and they're missing the point. Quite often they haven't even gone into the song in any depth anyway. I wish these people would stop wasting their time and do something more constructive with their lives. There are many more pressing problems facing mankind, which they could busy themselves with other than wasting their time on rock groups who really don't have any hidden messages and aren't trying to preach anything to anybody except that they want to sell some records, play some music, and have a good time.
Official Website: IronMaiden.com
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