April 27, 2024

During an appearance on the "The Rich Roll Podcast", Tanya O'Callaghan, who is currently playing bass in Bruce Dickinson's solo band, spoke about what it has been like to share the stage with the IRON MAIDEN singer. She said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Bruce is fascinating. He's a total polymath. He really is a fascinating person. He's an airline pilot. He flew MAIDEN on the plane. He's a commercial pilot. It's hard enough to travel and go and play a show. I can't even imagine having to fly your band. He's also a champion fencer. He's an avid reader and entrepreneur. He's a fascinating person and obviously a legendary singer. He's just a great guy. He's a great guy to work with."

She continued: "We did a tour last year doing the music of DEEP PURPLE with an 82-piece symphony orchestra, which is where we met and got along like house and fire. He's just good people. And then now he's decided to go and do his first solo tour in, I think, 18 or 19 years, because he's obviously been busy doing MAIDEN and life happening between all that. I think it was interesting for him to see what the feedback would be when he brought out a new [solo] album. And the MAIDEN fans, it's like the church of MAIDEN — they're so supportive. So [his] entire [solo] tour is almost sold out, which is really cool to see for him, because it's scary for any artist to put your own work out. But I can't even imagine when you're from such a big band."

Asked by interviewer Rich Roll how old Bruce is, Tanya said: "Uh, God, Bruce will murder me if I say this wrong. I don't know. I think he's in his early 60s, I guess. It's actually quite hard to guess. I don't know. But he's so childlike, it's great. Him, and his wife Leana is amazing as well, and they've got that very youthful — still happy to travel. He just loves playing, which is really nice to see, because a lot of artists kind of get burnt out and they get a bit sick of it all, but Bruce wants to be on the road. I mean, we're shoving this tour in between MAIDEN tours."

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.

In addition to Dickinson and WHITESNAKE, Tanya has toured, recorded and written with legends such as Maynard James Keenan (TOOL, A PERFECT CIRCLE),Dee Snider (TWISTED SISTER),Steven Adler (GUNS N' ROSES),Nuno Bettencourt (EXTREME),THE RIVERDANCE, Orianthi, Michael Angelo Batio, Kevin Godley, Sharon Corr (THE CORRS) and David Grey, to name a few. She is also a speaker, writer and lifelong advocate and activist for animal, human, social and environmental issues.

The rest of Dickinson's solo touring band consists of Dave Moreno (drums) and Mistheria (keyboards),alongside the group's latest additions, Swedish guitarist, songwriter and multi-platinum-credited producer Philip Näslund and Swiss session and touring guitarist Chris Declercq (who played on Dickinson's "Rain On The Graves" single). Bruce's longtime guitarist and collaborator Roy "Z" Ramirez is not part of the touring lineup.

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).

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.

Dickinson's latest solo album, "The Mandrake Project", arrived on March 1 via BMG.

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 previous solo studio album, "Tyranny Of Souls", in 2005.

Photo credit: John McMurtrie

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