ADRIAN SMITH: 'If There's One Thing That IRON MAIDEN Will Never Do, That's Funk'

September 12, 2021

IRON MAIDEN guitarist Adrian Smith spoke to Iron Hayden of Australia's Triple M Hard N Heavy about "The Writing On The Wall", the first single from the band's latest album, "Senjutsu". According to Smith, the track "has almost got a folky/country feel to it. We haven't done that before. That'll surprise a few people."

After Hayden expressed his surprised at the mention of a "country" influence in relation to a MAIDEN song, Adrian said: "To me, it was more English folk. And if you look at the old English folk music, it probably came over to America hundreds of years ago, mixed up with Cajun, mixed up with blues, and then you have what you call American country music. To me, if you go right back to roots, it's more folky, I feel."

Smith then clarified: "Folky — not funky. If there's one thing that IRON MAIDEN will never do, that's funk. As much as I love it, but I don't think we'll ever do that. I can't imagine Steve [Harris, MAIDEN bassist] slapping the bass… And Nicko [McBrain, MAIDEN drummer] is the most incredible funk drummer you've ever heard. He can do anything."

Singer Bruce Dickinson initially had a concept for "The Writing On The Wall" video, which came to fruition in collaboration with two award-winning former Pixar executives and long-standing MAIDEN fans Mark Andrews and Andrew Gordon. The pair have over 50 years of animation industry experience between them at the very top-level including work on "The Incredibles", "Ratatouille", "Brave", "Monsters Inc." and "Finding Nemo". With partners lining up to get involved with the project they chose BlinkInk, a London based animation studio celebrated for their work with a variety of global brands from Adidas to Coca-Cola and a number of high-profile music videos.

In BlinkInk director Nicos Livesey, another longtime MAIDEN fan and kindred spirit, they found a man who shared the collective vision for the track — resulting in the final film which features the very first glimpse of a stunning new incarnation of Eddie in spectacular 3D form

Dickinson told Forbes that he found it "interesting" that the meaning behind "The Writing On The Wall" video "has been claimed by everybody from the woke-left to the alt-right and all shades of opinion in between. 'This is about the end times!' We've got biblical people going 'Oh, yeah, this is all about Jesus Christ and he's coming back to save us all,' and other people are saying, 'Oh no, it's the evil empire.' 'This is all about Trump.' 'Oh, this is all about Biden.' 'Oh, this is all about vaccine.'

"Honestly, it's incredible, people are putting their own interpretations, their own spin on it," he said. "You only have to look at those top comments to find out how fractured people's psychologies are. This is not a political issue; I think it's a psychological issue. There's a collective schizophrenia in the world and the Internet is feeding it and fueling it."

"Senjutsu" was released on September 3 via BMG. IRON MAIDEN's first LP in six years was recorded in Paris with longstanding producer Kevin Shirley and co-produced by Harris.

For "Senjutsu" — loosely translated as "tactics and strategy" — the band once again enlisted the services of Mark Wilkinson to create the spectacular Samurai themed cover artwork, based on an idea by Harris. With a running time of a little under 82 minutes, "Senjutsu", like their previous record "The Book Of Souls", is a double CD/triple vinyl album.

"Senjutsu" marks MAIDEN's sixth album to be produced by Shirley, who has worked with MAIDEN for the past two decades.

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