BRUCE DICKINSON 1/00 Interview
By Bob Nalbandian
This interview with Bruce Dickinson took place last January, at the Sony/Portrait Records office in Los Angeles while Maiden were doing pre-press for their latest Portrait release Brave New World. This was months before the new CD had been released so I was allowed to hear only four songs from the record before being treated to a half-hour chat with Bruce. This interview also took place before Maiden had confirmed the summer tour with Queensryche and Rob Halford.
BN: The first track, and single, "The Wickerman"...great song. Although, I must admit, when I first heard the opening riff I thought it was Maiden doing "Running Wild" by Judas Priest!
BRUCE: Oh God! Everybody's saying that. I didn't think about it at all, and, in actual fact, I'm not all that familiar with the song "Running Wild" by Judas Priest, so when Adrian played the riff, I thought, 'wow, what a cool riff!"
BN: What inspired Iron Maiden to hire Kevin Shirley (Aerosmith, Black Crowes...) as producer for your new CD Brave New World?
BRUCE: We had a list of about three or four producers we were interested in and Kevin seemed to be the most laid back, and he basically came up with great stuff. He recorded us live, which we never, ever had done. We recorded at William Tell studios in Paris. The reason was because the internal layout of the studio was really suitable for recording live. So, we had our three guitarists in one room playing live, me in a vocal room, and the drums in the middle room, which used to be a huge cinema. Steve was next to Nicko, so we all had eye contact with one and other. Plus Kevin has his own monitoring system that he brings with him, which enables each member of the band to have his own 8-channel mixer.
BN: Iron Maiden started their career on EMI/Capitol, then you signed with Epic/Sony. (Maiden also recorded two albums on CMC without Bruce). Now, Maiden is back with Sony Music on the revamped Portrait label, headed by John Kalodner. How has it been working with John, and the fact that you're back on Sony?
BRUCE: The relationship between John Kalodner and Maiden is brilliant. We never had an A&R guy before, certainly not one that's ever been allowed to talk with the band. When we had meetings with John, everybody respects his opinion. John has also worked a lot in the past with Kevin (Shirley). John didn't want to f**k around with the Iron Maiden sound, he didn't want to make us sound like Aerosmith or write AOR type songs. He signed us because he wanted the Maiden legend back to full strength.
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