IRON MAIDEN's BRUCE DICKINSON Says Heavy Metal Singers Can 'Learn An Awful Lot' From Screaming Babies
January 3, 2018
During a recent appearance on the "BBC Breakfast" British morning television news program, IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson spoke about how heavy metal vocalists and babies instinctively protect their voices when making loud noises. "There's a chapter [in my autobiography] about vocal technique and about how it all works, the voice works and things — just on a mechanical basis," he said (see video below). "And I make the point that you can learn an awful lot from babies. I mean, the racket that comes out of that tiny little thing. And it goes on forever — they don't lose their voice, do they, ever? Babies have got no fear of just letting rip with all their diaphragm and everything. And they've got these tiny little lungs. My God, they make an amazing noise. So you think about that, and you think when people say, 'Oh, I can't sing.' Oh, yes, you can — you've just forgotten how to do it."
A 2017 study carried out by Krzysztof Izdebski of the Pacific Voice And Speech Foundation found that when most people shout or scream, their vocal cords collide, which can cause hypervascularization, ulceration, bleeding or swelling. According to Izdebski, however, the typical growls of extreme metal don't actually cause the vocal folds to collide, which means that no damaging nodules will form from the friction. It's the same technique that small children use to scream and wail for hours on end without causing permanent damage.
Izdebski said that his research has given him a newfound respect for heavy metal vocalists. "These guys produce really very specific tasks and very specific melodies that are then supported by instruments," he added. "And it's not just kind of going on stage and screaming and doing sort of random stuff. They really compose this stuff."
Dickinson's autobiography, "What Does This Button Do?", in November landed at No. 10 on the New York Times "Hardcover Nonfiction" best sellers list. It was released in the U.S. on October 31 via Dey Street Books (formerly It Books),an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Following the massively successful global tour of 2016-17 in support of its 16th studio album, "The Book Of Souls", IRON MAIDEN will take to the road again in 2018 with a series of arena and festival shows in Europe on the "Legacy Of The Beast" world tour, opening in Tallinn, Estonia on May 26 and finishing at the O2 Arena, London on August 10.