The hype machine is heating up, at long last. Interviews and reviews that rave about the upcoming Iron Maiden album have been allowed to hit the web. The Quietus carry an interview with two of the three amigos.
It’s all mad gushing, as you would expect when management lets anything at all come out prior to the album’s release. You can check out the complete Quietus interview right here, but these are some bits and pieces of what Adrian Smith and Janick Gers have to say about the new album:
Writing in the studio?
“I think Bruce and I had one session which produced ‘Speed Of Light’ and ‘Death Or Glory’. Steve and I got together in the studio and I played him a load of stuff I had and got busy writing lyrics for that. I actually did a lot of writing on my own. We hadn’t actually played together as a band before we went into the studio in Paris.”
“Bruce and I hadn’t actually written anything – just the two of us – for some years. So I had it in my mind to do some shorter songs. We used to do stuff like ‘Two Minutes To Midnight’ back in the day.”
“Some of the albums we’ve done in the past were a little bit under polished for me, to be honest. I like power and heaviness but I also like a little bit of delay on the vocals, stuff like that […] I have to twist Kevin’s arm and sometimes we bump heads a little bit, but I’m really happy with the way that this album sounds. It’s the right blend of the rawness of the performance but with a bit of polish…and that was probably because I was bending his ear about it every five minutes [LAUGHS].”
How is Shirley doing?
“He’s very much like Martin Birch in that he captures the sound of how we are in the studio. […] Martin Birch did it – he did it with Wishbone Ash, he did it with Deep Purple, he did it with Fleetwood Mac in the early days. But then you have other producers like ‘Mutt’ Lange – a fantastic producer – but they create the sound; they make the ‘Mutt Lange sound’. And that would never work for us. Kevin is the polar opposite of that approach.”
How about that 18 minute epic that singer Bruce Dickinson wrote, the album closer Empire Of The Clouds?
“Bruce was working on it for ages, all the way through the session. We’d be working on the other songs and he’d be sitting in this soundproof glass box with his piano like Beethoven, his ear on the piano; working on his masterpiece [LAUGHS].”
How cool is the three-guitar set-up?
“If I’d gone when Adrian came back in, then it would have been taking the band backwards to what it was like at Seventh Son; and if I’d stayed and he’d not come back, then it would have been like going back to Fear Of The Dark, so when he came back it completely changed it – we felt we could do anything; I could play the melody with the vocal – like on ‘The Red And The Black’ on this album – and then Davey could be crashing the chords; there could be clean chords; all sorts.”
“If I write a song I’ll usually play the solo in it and then Davey or Jan will do the other solo – usually Davey – and then again if Jan writes a song Davey will play the solo – so Davey gets to play everything [LAUGHS].”
And how cool is touring?
“I love the process of touring. I want every gig to be the best it can possibly, but I also love seeing the architecture and seeing the art; that’s what it’s about for me. I’ll tie my hair back, put a hat on, put an apple and a bottle of water in a backpack and I’m happy for the rest of the day. I want to experience life.”
Check out The Quietus for the entire interview!
Thanks to Adam Hansen for the heads up.
2 thoughts on “Gers and Smith talk THE BOOK OF SOULS”
I love this bit about Bruce’s vocals:
“tQ: I wanted to ask about Bruce’s voice. I can’t think of another singer who gets better and better with age – most voices degenerate with age to some degree – but his vocal performances on this record are absolutely astonishing.
AS: It’s just his attitude really. He’ll never lower the fence, he’ll always just keep running until he can jump over it. He’ll keep battering it and battering it. I’ve suggested changing keys to songs on occasion but he’d rather just keep it up and go for the notes and he can still absolutely do it. It’s amazing, really.”
Great piece! I guess that seals it when it comes to the question of tuning down. 😉