IRON MAIDEN's BRUCE DICKINSON: Audiences Turn Up To Concerts Expecting To Be Told What To Do
September 30, 2015
"Nights With Alice Cooper" producer Katherine Turman recently conducted an interview with IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson about the band's new album, "The Book Of Souls". You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow below (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how he would describe "The Book Of Souls":
"I think it's a wonderful journey; I really do think that. It takes you on a journey, but it's not linear, it's not story driven. It's a collection of personalities, with these songs — sometimes more than songs. I mean, they're musical events more than just songs. And that's what it is. Now, because you've gotta come up with a concept for the stage show, you've gotta hang your hat on something. We're always looking for how we're gonna do an Eddie and things like that. That tends to be the conceptual bit, and that's where 'The Book Of Souls', the title, came in. And we discussed that. Steve [Harris, IRON MAIDEN bassist] and I talked about it. I've got a suspicion it was in Helsinki, and we were hanging out before the show for quite a long time, and that's when we were talking about the opening track on the record, 'If Eternity Should Fail', written for a solo album, demoed for a solo album, given to Steve. He loved it. He said, 'Oh, I really love that song.' And there was another track he wanted for the album as well called 'Nightmares', but, unfortunately, that one was a co-write between myself and [Dickinson's longtime collaboratior] Roy Z, and he said, 'Oh, we can't have that.' So I was, like, 'Okay. Fair enough.'"
On performing on stage:
"I feel like that sometimes on stage, that you are an intermediary between one world and another — the audience are in one world, the band are in their world, and as the singer, frontman, whatever, your job is to kind of bring the two worlds together, but not get them tangled up. Keep it under control without people realizing that, actually, they're in a safe place. Keep the audience in a safe place, but let everybody feel out of control. And so that's the way I feel often on stage.
"Standing there looking beautiful is not performing. Performing comes from engaging. And it's hard work; you've gotta work to do that. Audiences are brutal — I mean, they will eat you alive — because they all paid good money to be entertained, and they turn up expecting to be told what to do. They may disagree with that, but actually they do. They turn up to a show, and they go, 'I came here to be…' you know. 'This is gonna be good. This is gonna be good. What do I do now?' And the band guide them; you guide them, you guide them, you guide them to a great place, where they go, 'Wow! What a great experience. Wasn't that cool? And we did this. And we all sang, and we all chanted.' But if the guy comes up on stage and goes, 'I'm gonna stare at my shoes and it's all about me,' they're gonna kill you. 'Cause it's not all about you, dude — it's about the music, and it's about them; it's about the audience."
MAIDEN's sixteenth — and first-ever double — studio album, "The Book Of Souls", was released worldwide on September 4 through Parlophone Records (BMG in the U.S.A). The CD was recorded in Paris, France with producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley in late 2014, with the finishing touches added earlier this year.
IRON MAIDEN announced in May that touring plans to support the album wouldn't happen until 2016 to allow Dickinson time to fully recuperate after his successful cancer treatment.
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