IRON MAIDEN's NICKO MCBRAIN Picks THE BEATLES' RINGO STARR As His 'Rock God'

September 5, 2021

IRON MAIDEN drummer Nicko McBrain was the featured guest on BBC's "The Rock Show With Johnnie Walker" during the "Rock God" segment. Nicko picked THE BEATLES' Ringo Starr and stated about his choice: "I've chosen Ringo because he was the very first drummer that really influenced me in my genre of music. I started off listening to Dave Brubeck when I heard Joe Morello playing, but Ringo was my first hero. In fact, when I was 12 years old — in fact, I was 11 — I had a poster of Ringo in my bedroom. He was looking over the left side of his drum set over his hi-hats, and I every night would go to sleep thinking, 'That is the man. That is the guy I wanna be like.' And he really did kick off my drumming career. One other thing is I got to meet him three years ago when he played down here in Fort Lauderdale — the first time after all of those years that I got to meet my hero."

McBrain previously discussed his introduction to drumming in a 2012 interview with Drum! magazine. He said at the time: "Once I saw Joe Morello, I told my dad, 'I'm gonna be a drummer. I'm gonna be the best drummer in the world.' But I didn't go into jazz. I was 11 years old when THE BEATLES came out, and then I was, like, 'Holy shit! I want to be Ringo Starr!' I was very vulnerable to what was going on [in London]. I was inspired by Ringo, Charlie Watts, Keith Moon … When LED ZEPPELIN came out, John Bonham was a major influence on me, and I thought, 'That's what I'm going to be playing.'"

Five years ago, McBrain told Music Radar about his drumming style: "Originally when I was growing up, it was THE [ROLLING] STONES, THE ANIMALS, people like that. Brian Bennett, Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts were my influences. It was simple poppy stuff. And then THE WHO came along and John Bonham and my whole life changed. I was into big band and funky grooves, I loved to play funk. My style was based around that, that music of the '60s when I was growing up and learning to play. Then I played in blues bands and I started getting heavier, I always played hard. I learnt my trade and I loved these funk grooves. As my life progressed and I played with other bands like STREETWALKERS, a lot of those tracks were melodic rock tracks, but there was a lot of funk in them. A lot of the influence there was from the guitar player Bobby Tench. When I got into MAIDEN, the next progression of having played with Pat [Travers] and people like that meant that I was still playing with those influences, and I brought that into MAIDEN."

IRON MAIDEN's new album, "Senjutsu", was released on September 3 via BMG. It was recorded in Paris with longstanding producer Kevin Shirley and co-produced by bassist Steve Harris. The video for the LP's first single, "The Writing On The Wall", was made by BlinkInk based on a concept by singer Bruce Dickinson with two former Pixar executives. It followed a month-long teaser campaign and global "treasure hunt" for clues about the track title and concept.

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