BRUCE DICKINSON On His Upcoming Solo Tour: 'We'll Let The Music Do The Talking'

February 29, 2024

In a new interview with Patrick of the WSOU 89.5 FM radio station, IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson spoke about what fans can expect from his upcoming tour in support of his new solo album "The Mandrake Project". He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Look at the size of the venues that we're doing. I suppose the average size of venue we're doing headlining is probably about just over 2,000, 2,300, something like that. So some of them are like 5,000, some of them are like 1,800. And so that means it's either a theater stage or a big club venue-type stage. So we're bringing a screen with us, and, of course, we've got a lot of video content. So we've got a lot of stuff that we did — backgrounds and things like that. Band-wise, it's gonna look quite different, the stage layout to the MAIDEN layout. There's no scenery. There's no monsters. There's just the five of us and music and the screen. And we'll let the music do the talking."

"The Mandrake Project" will arrive on March 1 via BMG.

Earlier this month, Bruce revealed the addition of two new guitarists to his solo touring band. Swedish-born guitarist, songwriter and multi-platinum-credited producer Philip Näslund and Swiss session and touring guitarist Chris Declercq (who incidentally played on Dickinson's current single, "Rain On The Graves") will accompany previously announced members Dave Moreno (drums),Mistheria (keyboards) and Tanya O'Callaghan (bass). Bruce's longtime guitarist and collaborator Roy "Z" Ramirez will not be part of the touring lineup.

The first chance to see the six-piece live will now be at The Observatory in Orange County, California on April 15.

Roy played guitar on Dickinson's 1994 album "Balls To Picasso" and went on to produce, co-write and perform multiple instruments on Bruce's subsequent three solo albums, "Accident At Birth" (1997),"The Chemical Wedding" (1998) and "Tyranny Of Souls" (2005).

O'Callaghan is an Irish musician who joined WHITESNAKE in 2021 and toured with the David Coverdale-fronted outfit the following year. She also hit the road with Dickinson last year as part of a performance of Jon Lord's "Concerto For Group And Orchestra" on nearly a dozen dates in Europe and South America.

Californian drummer Moreno previously played on "Tyranny Of Souls" and has worked with BODY COUNT, Jizzy Pearl, Dizzy Reed and Steve Stevens, among others.

Italian keyboard wizard Mistheria has collaborated with an array of artists live and in the studio, including Rob Rock, Mike Portnoy, Jeff Scott Soto and Joel Hoekstra.

Bruce and Roy recorded "The Mandrake Project" largely at Los Angeles's Doom Room, with Roy doubling up as both guitarist and bassist. The recording lineup for "The Mandrake Project" was rounded out by Mistheria and Moreno, both of whom also featured on Bruce's last solo studio album, "Tyranny Of Souls", in 2005.

Dickinson made his recording debut with IRON MAIDEN on the "Number Of The Beast" album in 1982. He quit the band in 1993 in order to pursue his solo career and was replaced by Blaze Bayley, who had previously been the lead singer of the metal band WOLFSBANE. After releasing two traditional metal albums with former MAIDEN guitarist Adrian Smith, Dickinson rejoined the band in 1999 along with Smith. Since then, Dickinson has only released one more solo album (the aforementioned "Tyranny Of Souls") but has previously said that his solo career is not over.

In a recent interview with "Loudwire Nights", Dickinson talked about his hectic recording and touring schedule after coming out of a two-year pandemic. He said: "We all got locked up for three years, so in that time, it gives you a lot of things — perspective, a chance to let ideas breathe, and a chance to discriminate against what's truly important and what's really not important. Now, of course, the world is back and we are just crazy busy.

"This year is gonna be nuts for me, which I don't have a problem with," he continued. "As long as my legs stay attached to the rest of my body, I'm gonna be okay. Don't go swimming with sharks. I've got basically 90 shows this year, just under, between the solo tour, which goes up to 21 of July, and then the MAIDEN tour that starts at the beginning of September and goes right the way through to just two weeks before Christmas. So that's full-on. There's like a three-week break in the middle, but that's it, during which time we'll be doing absolutely nothing — lying down somewhere going, 'Okay.' Recharge the batteries and off we go for round two. But it's really exciting, the intensity of it all."

The 65-year-old singer, who is also releasing "The Mandrake Project" 12-issue comic book series, added: And, yeah, it's not over. I mean, the comic's gonna go on for three years, just under. And in terms of music, obviously 'The Mandrake Project', the album is done, out March the 1st, and then we'll see how people take to it. But I'm going to be writing music in two or three weeks, I hope, with Roy again, because we've got more stuff we wanna do. So, yeah, there'll be another album, because we already have 10 or 12 different ideas for it."

Photo credit: John McMurtrie

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