IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson recently spoke to the BBC about the band's appearance at the U.K. edition of the Sonisphere festival, set to take place July 8-10 at Knebworth. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On sharing the stage with SLIPKNOT:
"Obviously we do what we do for two hours, and a lot of our stuff now is semi-theatrical and proggy. Whereas SLIPKNOT is theatrical but much more rrrraaaaahhhh!!!! The audience get a really good variation of stuff."
We're the headliners so we are doing our usual set. We've got ourselves some new toys for it, so there's one or two spectacular monsters and things like that, but I think everybody brings their toys out for a festival! I mean, SLIPKNOT have got some fabulous kit. I'm very jealous of their flames and fire! We haven't gone with any pyro at all on this tour. I think the next time we go out we will. We like to alternate it every other year because if you get the reputation that you've got to go and see a band because of the pyro and then you don't do the pyro people think, 'Oh, I won't bother then.'"
On the places in the world IRON MAIDEN has yet to play:
"There's a few places we haven't got round to playing yet, like Thailand and everybody always says, You've got to play China,' but the trouble with that is they censor everything left, right and center and put you in some little club or something daft. It would be terrific to play some of the places in the Middle East that we haven't got around to playing yet because we've got a lot of metal fans over there. It's a big underground metal thing in Iran and Iraq and there's also The Lebanon and even Morocco, where we have a big following."
On the possibility of playing Iraq:
"Well, I'm sure some of the guys in the band would be like, 'I'm not wearing bullet proof vests on-stage!' One of the big organizers of the Egypt protests was actually texting our manager Rod and sent a picture of him in the square with a MAIDEN shirt on! We were looking at doing Egypt on this tour and it was just too dodgy. We sent our tour guy down to meet the promoter and look at his ideas but it was obvious the guy did not have a clue so we thought, 'Let's not do that.' . . [The biggest obstacle is] getting the infrastructure together and knowing that it's reasonably secure and that you won't have issues with crowd security and people getting hurt, because it could turn into a real mess. You've got to have that confidence that organizers are capable of controlling what might happen if you get 30,000 people suddenly turn up and there's a barrier made of tissue paper and it all collapses. Suddenly the troops start wading in with batons and you've got some horrendous mess on your hands. We want to try to make it as safe an environment for people to go nuts in as possible so everyone walks out alive as opposed to the old DOORS song!"
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Photo below courtesy of Sonisphere Festivals