BRUCE DICKINSON Says IRON MAIDEN Performs All Of Its Songs In The Original Key: 'We Don't Detune, Like Some Other People Do'
October 30, 2019
During his October 27 spoke-word appearance in Vienna, Austria, IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson talked about his vocal warm-up technique and his insistence on performing the band's songs in their original key.
He said (see video below): "People ask me, 'How do you warm up your voice before a show?' And, actually, I do about five minutes — that's all. Before that, if we're just starting a tour, I do a bit more than that. Once we are into it and we're [playing shows] three or four times a week, usually, I know my voice and I can get into it within five minutes — boom! — right from the first song, which is 'Aces High'. So it's [points finger to the venue's ceiling to indicate high notes], followed by 'Where Eagles Dare', which is [points to the ceiling again]. So, we start off with some pretty high songs, and stuff like that, and then it calms down a bit, and then it gets super difficult at the end, where you get 'Hallowed [Be Thy Name]' and 'Run To The Hills' and things like that. So it's quite a tough set to sing.
"We do all of our songs in MAIDEN, we do all of them in the original key," he continued. "We don't detune, like some other people do. We don't do any of that. I suppose if one day we have to, we have to, but we don't have to do it now, and I think the songs sound better as a result of it. They're meant to be played in that key."
Back in 2017, Dickinson told NME that the treatment for his head and neck cancer more than two years earlier had an unexpected effect on his singing voice. He said: "Obviously, the first thing you're a bit paranoid about when you first start, and it was pretty ropey at first in rehearsals, because it wasn't the voice so much [as] it was the actual shape of my tongue and my throat and some of the muscles had probably been cooked a bit by the radiation. My voice was quite wobbly and weak at first, but only in certain areas. But, ironically, the really top notes were probably clearer than they were before. How strange is that?"
IRON MAIDEN recently completed the North American leg of its "Legacy Of The Beast" tour. The concept for the trek was inspired by MAIDEN's mobile game and comic book of the same name. The stage set design featured a number of different but interlocking "worlds" with a setlist covering a large selection of 1980s material with a handful of surprises from later albums to add diversity.