IRON MAIDEN's BRUCE DICKINSON: We Don't Downtune Or Use Backing Tracks

October 16, 2023

In a new interview with Dave Gleeson of Australia's Triple M radio station, IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson was asked how he and his bandmates have been able to incorporate a lot of new material into their setlist, seemingly without much pushback from their fans. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, yeah, that's because they — that's because, strangely, they actually like the music. [Laughs] Which is bizarre, isn't it? I know that's a really weird concept now — where people actually go to a show to listen to the music. But it's because we're not fashion icons or anything else like that. We've always been — how can I put it? We're not like Michelin star chef-type grub; we're meat and potatoes. And it's straightforward, what people come to see is. I mean, the songs are not necessarily straightforward, but the attitude is. And we still play all the songs in the original key; we don't drop, downtune and stuff like that. We still play everything too fast, because we're all excited. We've never played to click tracks or like time code and everything else now, 'cause I see a lot of bands now, and I'm going, 'Hang on a minute. Hey, you sang that without moving your lips.' So there's all this backing vocals being flown in left, right and center and everything. But we don't do any of that. Everything is analog and real. So we are kind of old school in that respect. But I think that pays dividends 'cause the audience understand that reality is increasingly kind of rare now."

IRON MAIDEN recently completed the 2023 leg of "The Future Past" tour.

"The Future Past" features previously unperformed songs from MAIDEN's most recent studio album, "Senjutsu", along with a focus on 1986's "Somewhere In Time" LP, plus other classic cuts.

"Senjutsu" came out in September 2021. It marked MAIDEN's second consecutive double album behind 2015's "The Book Of Souls" which is the longest MAIDEN album, with a running time of 92 minutes.

IRON MAIDEN's first album in six years, "Senjutsu" was recorded in 2019 in Paris with longstanding producer Kevin Shirley and co-produced by bassist Steve Harris. It features three tracks whose running time exceeds 10 minutes each.

For "Senjutsu" — loosely translated as "tactics and strategy" — the band once again enlisted the services of Mark Wilkinson to create the spectacular Samurai-themed cover artwork, based on an idea by Harris.

"Senjutsu" bowed at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart, charting higher than even the band's early classics like "Powerslave" and "The Number Of The Beast". Nearly 90 percent of the LP's 64,000 equivalent album units earned came from pure album sales. The critically acclaimed double album debuted one place higher than 2015's "The Book Of Souls" and 2010's "The Final Frontier", which both peaked at No. 4.

"Senjutsu" was MAIDEN's 13th album to top in the Top 40 in the U.S.

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