IRON MAIDEN - Maiden's Man Of Mad Motion Speaks Page 4
by Martin Popoff

Are his ideas kind of conventional and/or pessimistic, or is he kind of a conspiracy theory guy?

"You'd have to read the lyrics yourself and read into them what you get. I'm very sensitive about explaining what lyrics mean. Because there's a lot of poetic license to lyrics. I used to hang out with Ian Gillan and I used to ask him about lyrics and I'd get the answer I didn't want, really. I made my own mind up about what the lyrics meant to me, and it didn't mean that to him, but that didn't mean to me that's what it didn't mean. It means what it means to you. The same when John Lennon wrote that stuff about Paul McCartney, slagging him off and whatnot, and years later Lennon said, 'You know what? It wasn't about Paul. When I look at it and read it, it was about me.' And I think that's the thing with lyrics, you can write something, and you think you know what you're writing about, and someone else views it totally different and understands it possibly more than you did when you wrote it. So I never delve too deeply into that. I get feelings from it, which is more important to me."

The aforementioned Benjamin Breeg track is a highlight of the album. After one (of too many?) long builds on the record, the band kick into a monolith of a riff and then uplift to a more conventional but Maiden-magical chorus, both bits of which draw a link to the band's NWOBHM roots - after all, it is really Maiden, Motorhead and Saxon who are left to bring those values forward, if anybody who was there is going to bother.

"Well," sighs Janick, "we figured we wouldn't get any airplay anyhow... I mean, we're not a band that gets airplay. In fact, they would go out of their way to avoid playing us, even if we had a number one single. So worrying about whether they could play it on the radio went out the window. We just figured, let's just put this song out, with this great riff that sort of states where we are. It's a hard-edged song, and the content was pretty incredible, the Benjamin Breeg idea, and it has a great lyric, and the fantastic riff, and we figured we'd put that out as a taster for the album. That's where that came from. We weren't looking at it from a commercial point of view. It was this was what Iron Maiden was about. It was just basically what you're going to get, a taster for the new album; it just worked fantastically well."

"Nicko has such amazing chops," notes Gers, asked about Nicko's distinct swelling, welling-up, style, notable on Breeg come fill time. "He has all that jazz stuff happening. A lot of drummers nowadays, they don't have the chops of the old guys. You look at Ian Paice and Keith Moon, these guys come from the big-band era, where there's a lot of emphasis on style and swing. And he has all those chops, he can do all that stuff. A lot of these bands you get around now, the drummers are not really exposed to that kind of playing, the stuff that went on in the early '60s. I think Nicko loved all that stuff like Buddy Rich and people like that, and I think a lot of new drummers tend to not have that swing; it's a more metronomic thing. And to me, it's more about feel rather than being taught to be metronomically in time. Because that movement gives you breath. So from that point if you, Nicko is very special too.

IRON MAIDEN - Maiden's Man Of Mad Motion Speaks Page 5