IRON MAIDEN's NICKO MCBRAIN Promises 'Lots Of Surprises' On 'Senjutsu' Album

September 1, 2021

BMG will release IRON MAIDEN's 17th studio album, "Senjutsu", the band's first in six years, on September 3. It was recorded in Paris with longstanding producer Kevin Shirley and co-produced by bassist Steve Harris. It was preceded on July 15 by an already highly acclaimed animated video for the first single "The Writing On The Wall" 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.

In a new interview with T95 The Rock Station, MAIDEN drummer Nicko McBrain stated about the making of "Senjutsu" (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We started recording in March — maybe February, actually — of 2019. We had a bit of time off between the 'Legacy Of The Beast' tour part one and part two, and we decided way back on 'The Book Of Souls' we were gonna do another record. 'Cause things are planned out by years for IRON MAIDEN, and Rod [Smallwood, MAIDEN manager] and Bruce and Steve sit and plan it out and run it by us all. And so, yeah, we penciled some time in. We weren't exactly sure what day we were gonna start, but we blocked off some time in Guillaume Tell studio in Paris. But, unfortunately, it was winter time, so yours truly wasn't happy to be there, I'll tell you that. I am a warm-weather Floridian; 31 years I've lived there.

"Anyway, so we went in [to record the LP]," he continued. "And, of course, then we did the 'Legacy' tour and we were planning on everything going ahead, and, of course, the rest is history; the world shut down. But in a way, it gave us a lot of time to plan the release of the album, but also to put out a phenomenal video that Bruce and the team worked on for 'The Writing On The Wall'. So, in a way, it kind of gave us a little bit of freedom in that respect, although that sort of stuff, the animation, is all done with computers and doesn't have to be done in an office and some bloke sitting and drawing. So, yeah, we were fortunate in that. And I've gotta tip my hat to Bruce Dickinson and the team for an absolutely splendid [video]. I mean, what a piece of film that is."

Regarding what fans can expect to hear on "Senjutsu", Nicko said: "The only way I can sum this record up is there's a little bit of everything in it. If you analyze certain sounds, certain ways the guitar sounds, certain vocal treatments, reverbs, little plate echoes and delays and stuff like that, different compressions on the drum set… Steve's bass tones change slightly. And there's a bit of everything. Say, from the early albums of MAIDEN through to the middle — 'Somewhere Back In Time', 'Seventh Son' — sound-wise, sonically and some of the flavors on the tracks within the writing of the tracks. I mean, Steve wrote three of these epic songs — I think there's over 30 minutes of songwriting on just three songs, and it was all penned by Harry. No one else came in with anything else. Steve went, 'I've got an idea for this melody.' Obviously, as it's created, then you have your artistic input. It's not like I had to play exactly the drum fill that Steve wants. He's got a sketch. But there's something for everybody. And there's a little bit of new stuff. I mean, listen to the beginning of 'The Writing On The Wall'. And there's a couple of other little gems and nuggets that will come to people, and they're gonna go, 'Oh, blimey, that sounds like so-and-so and so-and-so,' — more so older bands. So, yes, lots of surprises sonically."

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 bassist Steve Harris. With a running time of a little under 82 minutes, "Senjutsu", like their previous record "The Book Of Souls", will be a double CD/triple vinyl album.

"Senjutsu" will be released on the following formats and available to pre-order/pre-save at

* Standard 2CD Digipak
* Deluxe 2CD Book Format
* Deluxe heavyweight 180G Triple Black Vinyl
* Special Edition Triple Silver And Black Marble Vinyl (Details to follow)
* Special Edition Triple Red and Black Marble Vinyl (Details to follow)
* Super Deluxe Boxset featuring CD, Blu Ray and Exclusive Memorabilia
* Digital album [streaming and download]

"Senjutsu" marks MAIDEN's sixth album to be produced by Shirley, who has worked with MAIDEN for the past two decades.

In addition to MAIDEN, Shirley has collaborated with dozens of notable acts, including Joe Bonamassa, JOURNEY, DREAM THEATER and LED ZEPPELIN.

During the making of "The Book Of Souls", Dickinson was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor at the back of his tongue. He recorded all the vocals for the album with the tumor before undergoing treatment and making a full recovery in time for the LP's release in September 2015.

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