John Powell of JAM! Showbiz recently conducted an interview with IRON MAIDEN guitarist Adrian Smith. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
On IRON MAIDEN's musical catalogue being littered with songs exploring the glory and the horror of war:
"In Britain, you grow up with the backdrop of war and also all the terrible things that happened in Northern Ireland. I grew up watching that on television. It is a big part of your psyche here."
On the lyrical inspiration behind "A Matter of Life and Death":
"Expressions and words just come into your head when you hear a piece of music when you are writing. The themes just sort of suggest themselves and sometimes almost write themselves too. The music we came up with was quite powerful. We just needed some big themes and so with all the stuff that is going on in the world today, it seemed relevant."
On the songs themselves not being preachy in tone:
"First and foremost, music is an art and you don't want to be preaching at people. 'A Matter of Life and Death' is observation and comment set to music. It is probably the only good thing about getting older. You gain a bit more of a wider view of things and you get more philosophical, which is great for lyric writing."
On leaving the band in 1990 to pursue a solo career:
"I think at the time, I felt a bit stifled. I had been in the band since I was quite young and grew up in the band. It reached a point where I couldn't grow any more. In a band, you need a 110 per cent commitment and enthusiasm. I needed a break as well. I had a young family and I wanted to spend time with them. I basically spent nine to ten years on the road. I was a little burned out."
On Eddie, the demonic, skeletal mascot, which has become as synonymous with the band as their melodic, symphonic sound:
"I don't even think we could do a show without him now. He is a big part of the band. We are all about music but Eddie bridges the gap between the band and the fans. I think a lot of kids are fascinated with the Eddie character. They are drawn into that then they listen to the music and become fans. That is what a good logo is all about. It draws attention to the band and then it is up to the music to hook people or not."
Read the entire interview at this location.