BRUCE DICKINSON continued
Shockwaves: I admire the fact that you are humble and that you don't act like the music business owes you anything.
Bruce: When I left Maiden I was a bit fatalistic about things. I thought maybe it was time to fade away and disappear gracefully. But in reality, the ones who chose that are the audience and not me. Because nobody owes you a living, and just because I was in a big band once, really doesn't mean shit about what you're going to do tomorrow. In this industry, you just have to deliver the goods.
Shockwaves: Not that I really care, because your latest CD frankly beats the hell out of the last Iron Maiden record, but has there been any contact between you and Steve Harris about an Iron Maiden reunion?
Bruce: God! I must get asked this question ten times a day. As far as this minute, up to today, Steve and I have had no contact whatsoever about a reunion. Speaking from a technical point, there would be no problem with me singing the songs. In fact, I could probably sing them better now then I could then. But my big question would be, why? It's not going to be better than it was back in 1984. It could become a problem, things like "Is it a temporary reunion or a permanent reunion?" In my opinion, with Accident of Birth, I have probably made the best metal record of my life, maybe with the exception of Number of the Beast.. The advantage that Number of the Beast had was the time it came out, it had this huge impact. But as a pure record goes, Accident of Birth is just as good, and I am singing just as good. So from an artistic standpoint, I see no reason why I would want to go back with Iron Maiden; I don't think I could make records with Steve producing.
Shockwaves: So there would be a problem with you two bumping heads in the studio?
Bruce: Yeah. Steve is very set in his ways. I don't want this sounding like some personal attack, because it is not. But we make records now in so many different ways that I think I would find it impossible to make a record with Steve producing. And that is just a fact of life. I love him as a guy, and I have a lot of respect for him, but I disagree about a lot of the ways he does things, but I do have to respect him for sticking to his version of reality. I quit the band, so it's really none of my business anyway. I have made a point of not talking about the band since I left. And I don't want to comment about their new singer, Blaze, because I just think that is uncool.
Shockwaves: Tell our readers one of the funniest tales, or the worst experience, from your latest tour...anything Spinal Tappish?
Bruce: I think one of the gigs we did in Worcester, MA at a place called Sir Morgan's Cove stands out in my mind as possibly the cheesiest, tackiest place I have ever played. It was also the tiniest place on the entire tour that we played. Sir Morgan's Cove was this "Piratical Themed" bar in the worst part of town. (Note: When Bruce uses the word "Piratical," he is describing the decor as being "Pirate" like...cool word, huh?) The bar held a total of maybe 300 people, the stage was slightly larger than the size of a postage stamp, with lots of inflatable skeletons hanging from the roof. Plus a few stuffed parrots hanging around for good measure, that I'm sure were left over from Sir Morgan. The P.A. system was so incredibly inadequate that we had to turn our side fill monitors around to face the crowd because they were louder than the entire rig that was provided. I also recall Adrian smacking his head into something on stage.
Shockwaves: Has it been hard downsizing from arenas to small clubs and theaters?
Bruce: Lets say that I have an extensive knowledge of every toilet in the world by now (referring to run-down clubs) because we have played them all! I'm used to improvising, just using what is available. But I will admit, it is a relief when you get to a venue that has a stage with no gaping holes in it, and has a decent P.A. with a real monitor system, and no land mines! All the little things that make life easier.
Shockwaves: I remember when you first quit Maiden, you were quoted as saying, "I may just take a break from music and devote myself to fencing." Are you still big into fencing?
Bruce: I really haven't had any time to do anything like that. I optimistically bring my fencing kit with me on the road, hoping to squeeze in some time, but naturally it just sits in the bag and never gets touched (laughs).
Shockwaves: Tell me, Bruce...when you barbecue outdoors, what type of grill do you prefer: gas grill, or a Webber with charcoal?
Bruce: Well, I am a chicken s**t, I use gas...
Bruce: You're right! Laziness! But really, barbecuing in England is different because you never can tell about the weather, really...you just want to leap outside and POOF! set fire to the s**t immediately, because you never know when you are going to get rained on. This is exciting...barbecuing tips from Bruce Dickinson!
Shockwaves: Well Bruce, any last comments to our readers?
Bruce: We just want to get out there and play, just like we did with Iron Maiden...word of mouth will soon spread, and when the next album comes out, we will go out and do it all over again.
And with that, I concluded my interview with Bruce Dickinson. Before typing out this interview, I took a few minutes to contemplate all the songs and vocal melodies that Bruce had sung throughout the years that were forever branded in my mind: "Number of the Beast," "Children of the Damned," "Aces High," "Two Minutes to Midnight"...my God, this man is truly a brilliant singer and an amazing entertainer.... how could he possibly use a Gas grill? (sigh).
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