Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood has granted an interview with the Fan Club magazine, sharing his thoughts on the huge world tour that is now coming to an end.
Members of the official Iron Maiden Fan Club get to read the Fan Club magazine a few times a year. It’s admittedly not always interesting, and it’s bloody annoying that the club has removed the “online only” membership option, but sometimes there are decent interviews to read. Issue 96, demolishing forrests and hitting mailboxes around the globe just about now, features an end-of-tour interview with manager Rod Smallwood.
We’re not gonna give it all away for free, don’t want Rod and his lawyers knocking on our door, but here are a few of the main points Rod touches on during the chat:
Maiden make their plans far ahead of time, and the Maiden England World Tour was “in the pipeline for a few years”, according to the manager. He reiterates the Maiden modus operandi, alternating new album tours and History tours, and says “it was fairly obvious to most of the fans that the next stage would be the Maiden England tour, following the Somewhere Back In Time and Early Days tours.”
So, with this cycle ending, what’s up next?
(Continues below the picture!)
Rod says the 2012-13 tour has been a tremendous success, with Maiden revisiting places they haven’t been to in 20 years or more, like Charlotte and Salt Lake City in the US, and visiting places they have never been before, like Paraguay. Huge audiences have turned out for Maiden at every stop, and Rod also highlights this summer’s momentous Friends Arena concert in Stockholm as being “magic”.
As we already know, Iron Maiden will not be releasing a new album in 2014, with singer Bruce Dickinson suggesting that 2015 is the likely year for new music. Rod pretty much confirms this, saying that “at some stage, I guess we’ll be looking at another album”, which leaves open the question of what Maiden might do or not do in 2014.
“It’s fairly obvious, we’re nearer to the end of our career than the start,” the manager says, “and they want to do a bit of touring every year, every summer.” So that’s pretty solid confirmation that Iron Maiden will indeed be touring in 2014. Sounds like a summer tour is in the works, which fits rather well with Maiden’s preferred mode of touring these days.
Head on over to the official site if you want to become a Fan Club member and read interviews like this one for yourself!
47 thoughts on “Rod at the End of the Road: Maiden Back on Tour in 2014?”
Finally Maiden pick a lane ! If you’re going to be that nostalgia band you’ve always dissed and tour old classics every year don’t even bother going into a studio… I’m afraid that the result will be a “final frontier part 2” only with the band 5 years older… I mean seriously.. They could manage all this multiple projects in mid 00s but not nowadays…. Slow tempos live, sub par performances (not always but often for such a great live band nowadays), and a studio album which was a commercial success but completely fails to keep your attention in it’s entirety, and for the most part I’ve seen objective fans turn their backs on it and even some maiden fans completely dissapointed in what Maiden can do these days (as myself)… And don’t think of me as an occasional listener who only likes the golden era… My fav album by Maiden is Amolad.. But for me they’ve lost it a bit after the final leg of somewhere back in time tour in 2009.. Lot’s of projects to handle and a pretty sloppy (in my opinion) studio album.. I don’t like being dissappointed with my fav band of all time but I truly am..
I’m really sorry, but I don’t understand your vehemence. I’ve seen Maiden 3 times, first in 1984, the 2nd in 2000, and the last just a few weeks ago in Austin. All three shows from very different eras all had the same passion, energy, and theatrical elements as only Maiden could deliver. Being that they’re in their mid 50’s, this is really saying something.
This last tour was especially more theatrical than the others is because it was based off of their most theatrical release. “Seventh Son” is a concept album and they were right on target artistically to approach the live show in that fashion. They still played most of the staple classics, which made the current setlist simply powerful, captivating, and incredibly engaging.
One of the reasons why Maiden is the best is because they’re legitimate, tremendous composers and storytellers as well as showmen and rockers. Every project has its own flavor. You can’t compare them! “Powerslave” is a very different experience than “A Matter of Life and Death” and so forth. So, though it’s very understandable that one would have a difficult time connecting with this project or that one, (I personally didn’t care much for “Dance of Death”) I just can’t see where you would call any of their work “sloppy.” The tempo and key changes are so tight and flawless, Beethoven himself would rise from the dead to take notice.
As for commercial success, their brand will always sell itself. But, I’m not sure I’ve heard anyone call “Final Frontier” or any project other than “Beast,” “Piece,” or “Powerslave” a real mainstream commercial success. Yet, they’re so beloved around the world because they don’t need to be.
I think you are so fuckin’ wrong ! We should see those final years of Maiden as a blessing from them to us, rather than to blame them for not doing what we would like. we should see the full half of the glass.
Some fans react very negatively to this. I don’t. Maiden make new albums more often than any other band of their size and age, so the nostalgia band label doesn’t really work when every other tour is a new album tour.
If we take a look at their way of working over the past decade, it was pretty much a given that they wouldn’t enter the studio in early 2014 when the tour ends in October 2013. Shows in the summer of 2014 is in keeping with their mode of operation. A new studio album has already been confirmed by both Bruce and Rod, which fans who dislike the History tours should be happy about.
Sub-par live performances? The performances in 2013 have been great in my opinion. Stockholm was awesome, and both Donington and Rock In Rio have been really good. Bruce even comes close to nailing Aces High now. The slower tempos are on purpose, and probably has a lot to do with what Adrian wants if we’re to judge by his words in the Maiden England docu. I think it gives them a stronger groove.
Although I agree with you that the performances have been great (I witnessed really terrific gigs in Lisbon, Donington and Zagreb), the band is sounding a bit tired in the South American leg (judging from bootlegs). Bruce sounded a bit too rough in Rock in Rio (he complained about having a cold in the encore and has been showing the effects of this in the last few gigs).
I hope the live release we get from this tour comes from the Donington or Stockholm gigs. Rock in Rio was good, but not as great as it could have been and, to make matters worse, they did not have their own moving lighting rig.
Bruce having a cold? That’s it! The ever-present explanation for a sub-par Bruce Dickinson vocal performance!! 😀
Well, I heard him say it, probably was the case, but I’m not convinced it wasn’t just an idea in talking up the Trooper ale, which could “cure anything…” Anyway, I thought he sounded great that night, except from 2 or 3 notes in the first half of the set. On the rest of the US/SA tour he’s also done his best Aces High since 2009, in my opinion.
To be fair to the guy he even coughed… You should check ‘The trooper’ from Curitiba to see that he was indeed ill…
He did not sound bad in Rio, but he sounded better earlier in the tour, which is why it would make more sense to release a gig from the European leg for posterity.
This could be great news! We may get the best of both worlds- Maiden touring every year (they’re not young anymore, so it makes sense to take advantage of such opportunities while they’re still feasible), and putting out one last studio album!
However, all this hinges on them doing it RIGHT, which is why I’m hesitant to give a strong opinion just yet. If they choose their setlists with a little more care and variation, and take a bit more time to write and record the new album (making sure it’s perfect and will stand the test of time), then I think Maiden’s last few years of life are going to be absolutely EPIC.
On the other hand, if we get another Trooper/RTTH/NOTB/2 Minutes/Running Free/FOTD/Wasted Years/CIPWM lazy hits tour and a rushed, mediocre album like TFF, well… I guess time will tell! This is exciting news for sure, though!
What’s FOTD? I’m an Iron Maiden fan, too, but I have never heard of them having a song whose name would have those initials.
Fear Of The Dark.
Since there won’t be time to pull together another installment of the History of Maiden ahead of the next tour, and clearly there won’t be a new album, this (potential) tour provides Maiden with the opportunity to truly give us something different. By that I mean dusting off some little played classics (Die With Your Boots On, Children of the Damned, Prowler) and actually throw in a few surprises (Murders in the Rue Morgue, Different World, To Tame a Land) without a focus on album or era. Unfortunately, “Adam” is probably right in that they will plays the same songs, yet again, with nary a surprise on the list.
Considering this will be a summer tour, it will predominantly comprise festivals, so they will be even more inclined to rely on “the hits.” The best possible outcome would be a true career-spanning “greatest hits” tour, which actually has not been done. I think the set will end up looking something like this:
Final Frontier/El Dorado/Wrathchild/2 Minutes/Dance of Death/Trooper/Wasted Years/Wicker Man/Blood Brothers/Phantom/Evil That Men Do/Fear of the Dark/Iron Maiden/666/Hallowed/Run to the Hills
Not a bad set!
Well, to be honest, that’s a combination of the last 2 tours, so I think it looks quite boring…
how bout a greatest hits setlist like
01. The Wicker Man
03. Coming Home
04. The Trooper
06. Wasted Years
07. The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg
09. Children Of The Damned
10. Fear Of The Dark
12. The Sign of The Cross
13. Iron Maiden
14. Hallowed Be Thy Name
15. No Prayer For The Dying
16. The Clairvoyant
Sept. 28: Metal Wani has just reported, confirming that Maiden is doing an album in 2014 from the older quotes by Bruce, Dave, and Adrian. How awkward…
He has “recently informed” a Swedish website of this? No quote, no link to any actual info. Maiden writing and recording a new album between end of tour in October and start of another tour next summer? Nope.
SakaRaka7, If they would label it “greatest hits” they should include Flight Of Icarus and Bring Your Daughter…To The Slaughter, two of the very few legitimate hits Maiden ever had. Paschendale, Benjamin Breeg, Killers, Sign Of The Cross, and No Prayer For The Dying would be pretty strange inclusions in such a concept. (I love the songs, though.)
The only thing they really need to do is utilize the forthcoming Donington 1992 DVD even more than now (most of those songs are already in the set), go deeper into Maiden England, and tweak the current set thus:
OUT: 2 Minutes To Midnight, Aces High, Running Free, Fear Of The Dark, one more song.
IN: Infinite Dreams, Killers, Tailgunner, Bring Your Daughter…To The Slaughter, Flight Of Icarus.
We all know that the days of Maiden rehearsing and including more than 3 previously unplayed (by this line-up) numbers are long gone, but they actually rehearsed Infinite Dreams last year, so this would make it just 2 they haven’t yet been into – Tailgunner and Icarus.
May be out there in the dark to many but what about a history tour of Somewhere in Time? I think we got screwed in 2008 when they only did Wasted years and Heaven Can Wait. Why not pull out the synthesized bass and Dave can pull out his synth strat.. They have ignored basically everything on the album since 87 except the 2 previously mentioned songs. I would kill to hear CSIT, TLOTLDR, SIASL, SOM or epically Alexander the Great. We never got a live album, concert video or anything and statistically, SIT is their best selling album in the USA and Canada.
Somewhere In Time was the best-selling Maiden album in North America at some point in the mid-90s. It might still be. But there is just about no chance of them revisiting it. As you say, they have only dug out Wasted Years and Heaven Can Wait for the tours that have covered the era. Not even Stranger In A Strange Land, a fairly well-received single that Steve admits to liking very much. That’s two songs between the 2008-09 and 2012-13 retro tours. Seems like a nail in SIT’s coffin, to be honest.
When it comes to SIT, it seems that Wasted Years and Heaven Can Wait is as much as we can expect. It’s well known that Bruce doesn’t like the album very much, and even that it’s not among Steve’s favorites. In that perspective it’s logical that the album is somewhat underplayed. What is MUCH harder to understand, imo, is the way they underplay a record that everyone in the band thinks is among their very best ever – Piece Of Mind. They rarely play anything but The Trooper off it, and after the 1999 reunion they have never dug out Still Life, To Tame A Land, or even Flight Of Icarus – one of their biggest ever hits. Both The Early Days and Somewhere Back In Time would be perfect for Icarus, and Maiden England would be great for Still Life. Not to mention Infinite Dreams, another exclusion from one of Bruce/Steve/Adrian’s fave albums.
Hey, Revelations was played live in 2003, 2005 and 2008. Had they told us in 1998 they would be playing it live in three different tours we would have thought they were pulling out leg!
Prior to Bruce rejoining? I would have said they were out of their minds! 😀
But had they told us in 1998 that they would reunite with Bruce and Adrian and eventually do 3 History tours dedicated to the 80s, without ever touching on Flight Of Icarus… See my point? When fans talk about SIT being underplayed, well, in terms of underplayed albums Piece Of Mind is actually WAY up the list, particularly considering that it’s one of the ultimate classics AND ALSO one that the band themselves love, unlike SIT.
I have to agree that not playing ‘Flight of Icarus’ live is surprising, particularly considering that Bruce was nailing it live when he was playing the song as a solo artist.
The danger with all the History tours and any farewell-greatest-hits tour is that the band look like a cabaret act. I’ve seen the band loads since ’88 and the best, most vital gigs, are always those supporting a new album with a few standards and the odd surprise. The band is fresh and enthusiastic with the new material (as are longtime fans), the newer/occasional punters get the classics and the hardcore get a treat. AMOLAD at Donington and Brixton was great like this, five album tracks, a load of classics and a surprise Children of the Damned.
So, I’d love them to finish their career like this. New album and a longer set with a couple of surprises. Please no more cabaret!
A lot of people like to use the word “cabaret” to describe Maiden these days. Personally I don’t understand the meaning of the word in relation to something like Somewhere Back In Time or Maiden England. Metallica can go on new-album-tours with only 1 or 2 new tracks in the set, but people will not call their act “cabaret”. And they only do an album every five or six years. It’s very rough to call a Maiden set “cabaret” when they dig out obscure oldies (plenty in 2005) or long-missing greats like Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, Moonchild, The Prisoner, Afraid To Shoot Strangers and Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (2008 and 2012). And they NEVER do two such tours in a row, they make a decade-long effort to please all kinds of fans alternately. But they sometimes do a short-ish tour previous to starting a new album, which is most likely what we’re looking at next year.
Cabaret, from Wikipedia: “Cabaret is a form of entertainment featuring music, comedy, song, dance, recitation or drama. It is mainly distinguished by the performance venue (also called a cabaret), such as in a restaurant, pub or nightclub with a stage for performances. The audience usually sits at tables, often dining or drinking. Performances are usually introduced by a master of ceremonies or MC (sometimes spelled emcee in the U.S.). The entertainment is often (but not always) oriented towards adult audiences.”
Maiden featuring tracks only from a certain period in their catalog does not constitute any kind of definition of “cabaret”, so the use of the word in this context comes down to rhetoric.
If anything, the current set could be criticised for being too close to a general “greatest hits” package, exemplified by the presence of tracks like 2 Minutes To Midnight and The Trooper, in place of specifically Maiden England tunes like Infinite Dreams and Killers.
OK, cabaret was a bit strong! I love the band, but I just feel that everything sounds a lot more vital when there is new material mixed with the old. I’ve loved hearing old songs again since 2005, and I think the three guitar line up is the best sounding of their entire career. But are all the bands’ hearts really into playing entire sets of stuff that is twenty/thirty years old? Does Janick really wake up each day thinking “Can’t wait to play to a crowd going mental for material that I had nothing to do with?”.
There has always been a real thrill to hearing unexpected old gems tucked away amongst new material, from Still Life when I first saw them in ’88 to Children of the Damned a few tours ago. I also love the stuff the band has produced since the reunion, and would love to hear, say, Ghost of the Navigator, Paschendale or Brighter Than a Thousand Suns alongside NOTB, RTTH, etc and new material.
I think I’m saying, if they could just produce a new album every couple of years and play age-defying three hour shows with new songs, old songs and everything in between, then I’d be very happy!
Spot on mate.
Neither Bruce nor Nicko could do three hours on stage, unfortunately. 😉
Well, I really think the band loves doing both sorts of shows. According to Janick in FC magazine 94, he particularly loves doing Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son on this tour. Speaking for myself, I’d see it as a wasted opportunity if this line-up of the band didn’t revisit Live After Death and Maiden England. So I guess the way they’ve done it, alternating History tours and new album tours, we both get pretty much what we want, right?
It’s an interesting point you bring up about the band’s vitality. The way I see it they were at their most uncompromisingly vital in the 2000-2010 period. Early Days was exclusively oldies from pre-84, but performances like the Ullevi show must rank among their most vital ever. Right after that they performed all of a new album in concert. And then they did the monumental SBIT show. All these tours have some of their strongest ever performances, in my opinion. After that? Well, they’re doing great, but personally I thought the Final Frontier 2011 set was a little uninspired, despite being a new album tour and following on from the truly uncompromising 2010 set, and they stop a little short of making the 2012-13 set truly outstanding. (As in making it more special by distancing it further from SBIT … Taken on its own, it’s a fantastic set, just a little too repetitive in the History tour context, imo.)
But the nostalgia/cabaret label doesn’t really work with Maiden. We have confirmation that they are going to do their 5th new album since reforming in 1999. In the same time-frame, Metallica will have released a maximum of 3 studio albums, while KISS and Black Sabbath/Heaven And Hell will have done 2 each. In other words, Maiden are probably THE most active band of their age and size when it comes to recording and performing new material.
Great points, Christer! However, I think the cabaret title that some of us are affixing to Maiden’s recent activities is somewhat justified. Though, yes, technically they haven’t reached that low at this point, the combination of high expectations from fans (due to Maiden’s fantastic attention to detail on previous setlists and tours) plus the fact that the most recent tour was SO similar to ’08 (and 2011 for that matter, over half the setlist!) DO invite a bit of criticism that is all too fair.
If Maiden have such a fantastic back catalogue that is so varied and well-recieved, then how come they rely on the same 10ish tired classics to represent that entire, complex, artistically fruitful period of their artistic careers, glossing over many tunes from favorite albums of theirs for more of the same?
I’ll go along with this criticism from the point of the 2011 leg for The Final Frontier and onwards. I think you’re absolutely right that the selection of classic material in 2011 was very uninspired, and obviously a lot of fans expect more from the Maiden England concept. That’s all fair criticisms in my opinion.
Nostalgia (or maybe laziness) is a little closer to the mark than cabaret, anyway. But with the band heading towards their 5th record in the past 14 years, they produce and perform more new music than any other band of their size and age. So in the context of what everyone else on their level does, Maiden still rule. Personally, I only feel a little let down by them stepping down the inclusion of rare material since 2011. Seems the 2003-2008 period was the golden age for this.
Like I said earlier, we all feel that Somewhere In Time is underplayed, but seriously – what about Piece Of Mind?! That’s an album everyone in the band agrees is among their very best, and yet only The Trooper makes a regular appearance. I can’t quite get my head around the fact that Maiden will have gone through their second golden age without ever performing Flight Of Icarus…
2Mins mentioned a 3-hour set… if Maiden could pull of something akin to Rush’s “Evening With” shows, where there is an intermission in the middle, that would be pretty fantastic! Lord knows there are thousands of people who’d give their right arm to see something like that.
1. Where Eagles Dare
2. Flight of Icarus
5. Children of the Damned
7. Man On The Edge
8. Stranger In A Strange Land
9. The Trooper
10. To Tame A Land
12. Hallowed Be Thy Name
1. Caught Somewhere In Time
2. Wasted Years
4. Infinite Dreams
5. The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
7. 2 Minutes to Midnight
8. Alexander The Great 😉
9. Brave New World
10. Fear of the Dark
11. Iron Maiden
12. The Number of the Beast
13. The Evil That Men Do
14. Run To The Hills
…all the hits, and plenty of other stuff! Everyone wins! 😀
Jeez, even if Bruce and Nicko survived that, I’m not sure that I would. Completely orgasmic, even if you take out the never-gonna-happen ATG. 😉
Hahaha, NEVER! Nicko said as recently as 2011 that he wants to try ATG live.
Adam H, that is a glorious setlist! Make a couple of subs to get some TFF stuff in, maybe Sanctuary and Futureal out, El Dorado and Coming Home in, and you’ve got the perfect final tour imo. Warm up with a 20 minute docu film (similar to Metallica in 1990 if memory serves), then Dr Dr, intro tape and Baddeda-baddeda Baddeda-baddeda-off we go! Keep the lights dimmed during the intermission with a medley of all the intro tapes of past tours while we grab a beer… Ahhh… I can dream!
Nicko is in a band with Steve Harris and Bruce Dickinson. So that AIN’T gonna happen. 😉
Oh ye of little faith! 😉 http://www.metalsetlists.com/showthread.php?p=411651
Hehehe, so you bemoan Maiden’s lack of adventurous digs into the back catalog, but keep up hope that they’ll dish out Alexander The Great!? 😀
Well, Nicko also mentioned Infinite Dreams a while back when asked something similar. They tried, but it didn’t happen. But at least we know they’ve given ATG a go in rehearsal, even though it is not clear if it was a serious setlist contender at whatever point that happened. Personally, I can’t see Infinite Dreams or ATG making appearances now that both SBIT and Maiden England are over and done with…
I’ve seen people quote Steve as saying he doesn’t want to perform ATG, but I’m not sure how accurate that is. Well, I guess it’s pretty accurate so far in terms of what has and hasn’t been in the sets, but you know what I mean.
Christer, when Maiden did the Ed Force One leg in 2008 Metal Hammer did a feature on some of the gigs. Steve, Bruce and some other people from Maiden entourage went to see the Iron Maidens in Mexico the day before one of the Maiden gigs. The female tribute band played ‘Alexander the great’ and the journalist asked Steve, who was impressed, if that made him want to play the song. His reply was “Not really”, or words to that effect. 😉
In conclusion let’s all hope they put real effort in whatever they decide to do in their future projects. If it’s a tour they should make it with the ambition and flare of tours like “edhuntour” or “early days”. If it’s a history dvd they should make it in a “death on the road” type packaging, with indepth interviews and revelations like on “early days” dvd and lots of real rare content. (unlike 12 wasted years that’s been on youtube since at least 2006-2007). And finally if it’s a final album, they should really take their time and not rush the writing – recording process like in TFF. It’s not like they s##have to prove us something… I mean there are rumors that Bruce was ill when they recorded mother of mercy (sure sounds like). And also if the songs they come up with are under 7 minutes, there’s nothing wrong with it.. :P. And they should all have their minds 100% into the making of the new album (this goes for Bruce mainly), since he didn’t contribute in any of the “good” songs in TFF, and he’s the one involved in multiple projects mainly.. And of cource if they don’t feel like it they shouldn’t go into the studio at all.. On one hand we don’t want them to end on an album like TFF but on the other I don’t think we need a Final Frontier part 2.
Also a little better stage set in their tours to come wouldn’t be a bad idea either… 😉 (in my opinion everything looks better in the original seventhtour than in this maiden england, except of eddie in Iron Maiden)
I would say ‘El Dorado’, ‘Starblind’ and ”Coming home’ are three of the best tracks off “The final frontier”, so in my humble opinion Bruce did indeed contribute a lot to a rather good album (at least to one that was a massive improvement over their 90s albums…).
Whenever people don’t like how Bruce sounds, they make up rumors that he was ill at the time of performing. Such rumors never fail to materialize! 😀 Personally, I think Bruce sounds great on Mother Of Mercy, but I understand why some people have an issue with the editing.
The production of The Final Frontier was rushed? The recording of the album took about as long as Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son. TFF took longer than any pre-84 Maiden record, and shorter than The X Factor, so what to make of it? Anyone remember how rushed the writing of Rime Of The Ancient Mariner was? If people are unhappy with the albums, I think it’s time to face the fact that it has to do with something other than how much time was spent on them. 😉
Like Ghost, I also personally think that El Dorado and Coming Home are GREAT, actually two of the best tracks of Maiden’s post-2000 period, so I’m not gonna blame Bruce in the songwriting department.
Having said that, I think there are some crap songs on TFF, and would certainly not mind SHORTER SONGS next time. 🙂
And I agree with you about the stage set, SakaRaka7.
GhostofCain, right you are! That’s the article that gets quoted most often when it comes to Steve and ATG. Well, he can’t really have been too fond of it when it’s the only ever Maiden epic that didn’t get performed live in its time…
I’ll never give up, I have one deluded fantasy about Maiden and that’s it! lol 😀
So, Nicko says at the end of this article that the idea of a Maiden “fest” has been kicked around… hhmmmmmm…. short summer tours, eh? Interesting. http://www.pe.com/iguide/music/music-headlines/20130910-devore-iron-maiden-stages-the-battle-of-san-bernardino.ece
Well, they’ve done short-ish summer tours often enough, really. 1999, 2003, 2005, 2010, now most likely 2014. Can’t see much of a difference between that and something like Ozzfest, but it’s a cool idea. And thank you for the link, Adam! It goes right into a news/rumors piece, obviously. 😉
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