BRUCE DICKINSON Reflects On Aborted THE THREE TREMORS Project With ROB HALFORD And GEOFF TATE
March 5, 2022
During the question-and-answer portion of his March 1 spoken-word show at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, California, IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson reflected on how the title track of his 2005 solo album, "Tyranny Of Souls", was composed specifically for the proposed THE THREE TREMORS project, also featuring JUDAS PRIEST's Rob Halford and QUEENSRŸCHE's Geoff Tate.
He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We were gonna do this thing with three metal singers — myself, Ronnie James Dio and Rob Halford. However, for reasons that [didn't make much sense] — managerial bullshit or whatever — there was some opposition, not from me, to having Ronnie there, which I thought was crazy. So the suggestion was that we would have Geoff Tate instead. So Roy [Bruce's longtime collaborator Roy 'Z' Ramirez] and I wrote a tune. We thought we'd have a go at writing an album that would be sung by three singers. We only got as far as one song, and that song was 'Tyranny Of Souls'. And the idea was that had we done the project, the chorus would have been all three singers [singing together], but the beginning of it would have been kind of one line me, one line Geoff, one line Rob, and so on, through the song. And each line would have been written so it would suit the delivery, it would suit the vocal characteristic of whoever was singing it. So it was quite a tall order. It [would have been] quite difficult to do. I thought, 'Shit, it's gonna be pretty difficult to do a whole album of this stuff.' And of course, we never did. But 'Tyranny Of Souls', the demo of it was designed to illustrate how that would have worked."
Five years ago, Dickinson told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" that he was reluctant to pursue THE THREE TREMORS project if Dio wasn't involved. "I was, like, 'I am not gonna do this without Ronnie,'" he recalled. "And Rod [Smallwood, IRON MAIDEN's longtime manager] was, like, 'I don't wanna use Ronnie. He's too old.' I said, 'What do you mean too old? Are you kidding me?' I said, 'He's a legend.' He said, 'No. We should use Geoff Tate.' And then we had a meeting with Geoff Tate, and then I said, 'No. It's not gonna work.' And so that was that."
According to Dickinson, concert promoters showed great interest in booking THE THREE TREMORS before a single note had even been recorded. "I could see the money in their eyes, thinking, 'Oh, this would be great. We could sell this every which way all over the place as a package,'" Dickinson said. "And I went, 'Yeah, you could, but what are we actually gonna do? There's gonna be three of us on stage. What are we gonna do that's actually different that's really cool?'"
Before Dickinson's proposed collaboration with Halford and Tate was officially scrapped, the name THE THREE TREMORS was changed to TRINITY because "we figured they would sue our ass if we called it THE THREE TREMORS," Bruce explained in an interview several years ago.
Dickinson previously said that he and Roy wrote "about three songs" for THE THREE TREMORS during a session in Los Angeles before he "realized it was going to take us a lot longer than three weeks to write a project with three singers that would work."
He explained: "We wanted to make each song designed to be sung by three different characters as an integral part of the song, not something like, 'You sing the first verse, I'll sing the second verse, and he'll sing the chorus.' That would be a crap way to do it."
Dickinson added: "It's a bloody difficult thing to do, to try to make a song with three different voices to get the full benefit out of it. And it takes longer than three weeks, and we didn't have longer than that to do it, so I canned it in the end.
"It's a great idea; everybody loves the idea… We had marketing people salivating about the idea of a TRINITY project," he said. "But the bottom line is, the thing that is gonna sink it is if the music sucks. So I thought we should can the idea for now since we don't have time to do it. Rob was in the studio doing his album ['Crucible'] and Geoff was writing a new QUEENSRŸCHE album, so that was it. It is an interesting idea, and I'm sure the live show would be really interesting."
In 2000, Tate and Dickinson joined Halford onstage at the latter's concert in London for a rendition of "One You Love To Hate" (see video below),a song written by Halford, Dickinson and Ramirez that was featured on Halford's "Resurrection" album.
Dickinson's two-month North American spoken-word tour kicked off on January 17 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and will run through the end of March.
Bruce's spoken-word show is split into two parts. The first section sees him take a humorous and often satirical look at the world from his own very personal perspective, treating the audience to private insights into his drive and ambition, peppered with plenty of MAIDEN anecdotes, and a myriad of other experiences encompassing not just the giddy heights but also the extreme lows, as told first-hand in his inimitable anarchic style, punctuated with photographs, videos and sometimes even erupting into song a cappella, to illustrate a point. The final section of the evening is devoted entirely to the aforementioned question-and-answer session, with the opportunity to pose questions on any subject whatsoever. As Bruce's answers are all completely improvised — the more left-field and quirky the question, the more interesting and compelling the response is likely to be.