BRUCE DICKINSON - "I'll Have To Kill You!"
by Tim Henderson
It's 1:30 AM U.K. time. Bruce Dickinson is nearly two hours late in calling to this side of the pond, to give BW&BK and HardRadio.com lessons on screaming his lungs out in South America as well as screaming alongside Steve Harris at an undisclosed location in Europe (rumoured to be Paris, France), rehearsing and now recording the forthcoming Iron Maiden reunion album. Before Dickinson's head hits his pillow, his head is abuzz from a long-winded Maiden band meeting, not that Bruce is ready, willing and able to disclose any information, with management ready to "cut his balls off if he says anything!"
At the moment Bruce is reveling over his latest solo release, Scream For Me Brazil, a live firestorm of his solo classics, culled mainly from his last two records Accident Of Birth and the glorious Chemical Wedding, featuring the much-talked-about reunion with his former axe in crime, Adrian Smith.
While the squabble between Bruce and his 'former' label CMC has been well documented, you can only sit in awe listening to this thing, drowning in a sea of Brazilian metalheads swooning at Bruce and Co.
"It was just one of those decisions that had to be made that it wasn't going to happen," sez Bruce, explaining his absence from North America, "unless I wanted to blow a hundred thousand dollars for nothing. So I figured, with a hundred thousand dollars, I'll make a new album!"
And South America is not a financial strain to an artist like Bruce Dickinson. In fact, Bruce is just one of many that has found strange success in the topsy-turvey economies of South America. And it's a blinder why a tour can't be sorted out in what is supposed to be the money-making mecca of the world.
"We do pretty well in South America in terms of ticket sales, so the shows paid for themselves. We'd go to South America, do the shows, come back again and we don't lose any money. It pays for all the rehearsals and everything. All we really had to pay for was the cost of hiring the mobile and the mixing on the truck. We mixed back in Los Angeles and Roy (Z - guitarist) did a fantastic job. I sat in on the mixes, but other than just offering philosophical advice about it, there were three ways of approaching it. One is to have the thing sound like a bathroom in which you are participating. It sounds like you're in the middle of the audience in which case the audience is way too loud, you can't hear the band and there's a whole mess of reverb. The second one is too have the thing as dry as a bone that it just sounds like it was recorded in a padded cell. And the third way, I said to Roy that 'I really want the album to be recorded as if you were the singer.' In other words, I mixed the album as I hear it standing on stage. So in between the songs, I hear the audience and when the audience gets loud during the songs, I hear the audience and the rest of the time I hear the band. So pretty much you're hearing the mix that I hear standing on the middle of the stage. So you're on stage with the band as opposed to standing in the middle of the crowd. I wanted to catch the excitement that we feel on stage and I felt the only way to do that was to mix it the way we hear it as musicians. We get the excitement from the audience and you can hear that coming over, but you can hear really clearly the interplay between everybody and the magic that's on stage. It's incredible."
Bruce Dickinson Page 2