Bruce Speaks: New Album and New Tour

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What can we expect from the upcoming Iron Maiden world tour? And how is Bruce doing in the run-up to Maiden’s gigantic 2016?

Kim Kelly of Noisey has conducted a brilliant interview with the one and only Bruce Dickinson. As you all know, this metal singer is doing inhuman amounts of interviews per day right now, but Kim makes this one a genuinly interesting interview for Maiden fans.

Make sure you check it out right here, and let us just bring you a few highlights in the following paragraphs.

WHAT WILL MAIDEN PLAY?
Bruce says they will play three or four or five songs off the new album, but he says they will definitely not play his own epic Empire Of The Clouds. According to Bruce, it would take too much instrumentation and it would dominate the set in a way that is not right for a Maiden show. He says a performance of this song should have a different setting.

As for the older stuff? Bruce says they are retiring one or two of the regulars: “We’ll bring one of the other classics back that’ll have people going, ‘Oh my god, they never play that song!’ “ Get speculating, Maiden fans! What the hell is Bruce talking about?

HOW IS THE VOICE?
Following a serious cancer diagnosis, and successful treatment, we’re all happy to see Bruce doing well. But surely a treatment for throat and neck tumors must have taken its toll on his voice? Indeed, Bruce does not deny it when asked if he’s nervous about the upcoming tour and the piloting of the jumbo.

“I’m not worried about [the flying], the only issue that I’ve got is getting the old voice back in shape, and having a really good long run-up, but I’m doing a bit of vocal rehab, you know?” As getting back to singing Bruce-style on stage with Maiden is nothing short of extreme sports. “It’s still healing up and the doctor said it should all go back to normal, but I might have to do a bit of work on some of the muscles around the throat to retrain them. So the voice is working okay, as you can hear me talking right now, but for singing, it’s a different set of muscles.”

MAIDEN RETIRING?
Nah. Don’t expect them to want to. “You know, I just talked to the other guys, and I think that if everything’s working OK, I don’t see any reason why we should want to throw in the towel. I’m having too much fun.” What else do we want to hear? Nothing else.

WHEN DOES BRUCE FEEL GREAT?
This is a genuinly cool question, one of those rare instances of an interviewer asking a question that us nerds will not know the answer to already. Kim asked if there was one split second during a show when Bruce felt “the absolute best”. Make sure you read all of this great interview, from where Bruce’s answer is taken:

“[Long pause] That’s interesting. There’s always at least one song in the set which is an absolute motherfucker to sing. Usually because of just where it is in the set—and on the last tour it was ‘Aces High’, because it’s a difficult song to sing anyway—it’s very vocally demanding. And of course where do we put the song? Answer? In the encores, right at the end of the show. So when you’ve been belting it out for the entire show, then you come back out, and boom, ‘Aces High’, it’s very vocally demanding. So if I get to the end of ‘Aces High’ and I’ve managed to hit all the notes, and it was all put to bed and squared away, I’m a very happy bunny. I‘m going to give myself an extra pat on the back, and go away and drink a little beer to celebrate. Dodged another one. Dodged another bullet.”

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37 thoughts on “Bruce Speaks: New Album and New Tour

  1. If he really means a song they’ve never played live , I think it’s gonna be prodigal son .. Cause in a recent interview at a hard rock cafe in new york I think , when he was asked what his favorite songs where from the dianno era were he mentioned Killers, murders and Prodigal son.. and in the latter his voice sounded very suggestive … I think …

    • I don’t think he meant literally “never”, I think he (at best) is talking about a song they haven’t played in a long while.

      • Heaven Can Wait should surely be featured on this tour. The occasion is too profound to miss. But it does not sound like this is what Bruce is talking about.

    • I would put my money on Killers more than Prodigal Son. Although they did rehearse Prodigal Son for the early days tour, I just don’t think I can quite bring myself to believe that they will ever play something that they’ve *never* played before.

      What could Bruce be talking about? Here’s my thoughts:

      Flight of Icarus – certainly fits his description of a classic that is never played. Bruce and Adrian played it on Bruce’s solo tours, and it was at least aired on three tours in the 80s. I think this is a good bet.

      Stranger in a Strange Land – Again, I think it fits the description, and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility as it has been played before Somewhere on Tour and and Ed Hunter.

      I want to add Infinite Dreams, but I think the hint would be stronger if it was this strong, as he knows the fans wanted to see this on the Maiden England tour.

      • Yeah, bringing Infinite Dreams in now would be completely bizarre… And it was also bizarre to not include Icarus on either the Early Days tour or Somewhere Back In Time… I’d welcome it back, as well as Stranger.

  2. Great interview! Kim always does excellent work!

    As for Bruce’s words on the set, I think they should be taken with a grain of salt. He’s not known for being entirely accurate when it comes to this stuff. He’s said “3, 4, or 5” new songs all at different points on this press cycle… I have a feeling we’ll get hallowed back in, and may a few reunion era songs, and probably more like 5-6 new songs.

    Don’t get me wrong, Still Life, Stranger, Children of the Damned or Infinite Dreams would be awesome, but the cynical side of my brain can’t ignore their propensity for predictability in live sets, especially in recent years.

    • Speaking of setlists, here’s my latest fanboy pie-in-the-sky wet dream creation 😀

      1. If Eternity Should Fail
      2. Speed of Light
      3. The Great Unknown
      4. Wicker Man
      5. Still Life
      6. Trooper
      7. When The River Runs Deep
      8. Clansman
      9. Tears of a Clown
      10. TROBB
      11. Book of Souls
      12. Fear of the Dark
      13. Iron Maiden

      14. Death or Glory
      15. NOTB
      16. Hallowed

  3. If Eternity Should Fail
    Speed Of Light
    Wrathchild
    The Trooper
    The Red And The Black
    The Great Unknown
    Afraid To Shoot Strangers
    Flight Of Icarus
    Phantom Of The Opera
    Tears Of A Clown
    The Book Of Souls
    2 Minutes To Midnight
    Fear Of The Dark
    Iron Maiden
    The Number Of The Beast
    Heaven Can Wait
    Sanctuary

    Conservative guess with one wild card, Icarus. If they don’t play Heaven Can Wait on this tour, we might have an addition to this list. I’m not a big fan of the song, but at this point it is surely a no-brainer?

    • They might have a go at killers too…. It’s been mentioned in the press and is not too vocally demanding, and it’s rare in the setlists… Once again I really hope the great unknown isn’t played live though…

      • I don’t think there’s a big chance Unknown will get played, but personally I really like the song.

      • Killers should have been in the Early Days set in place of Another Life, but I would welcome it back anytime.

  4. I saw MAIDEN for the first time 4th june 1983
    And one song i will have back on the set is To Tame A Land (or Dune if you like)
    It has never ever been played again after The World Piece Tour 83

  5. I really hope he means that they wont play the trooper and number of the beast. hbtn and fear of the dark i could live without hearing as well. not that the songs are bad, just that i have heard them live too many times. would be cool if they played judas be my guide or something like mother russia. just for the suprise of it. the best would be if they could do different sets from night to night so one could see a few dates around scandinavia. if eternity should fail was a good one, and you can hear that it was written for a bruce solo album. d-dropped and everything. sounds fresh. death or glory is a pretty nice one too, but it would deserve a better chorus after the brilliant bridge.

    • Well, they have never played a song that wasn’t part of the set on the original tour. So that would mean no Judas. But I really like that song, personally. To be realistic, though … the history tours have been the occasions for picking up rarely played songs. And when they couldn’t muster more than 3 rare ones on the Maiden England tour, I won’t get my hopes up for a new album tour in terms of rare songs.

    • 3 easy reasons about the setlist not changing every night..
      1. It was actually a question Bruce answered to a fan at a live interview podcast, basically laughing at the suggestion and saying: “Oh god, it’s tough enough learning the ones we actually play it’s impossible to learn many more”
      2. The stage set, lighting etc are all programmed according to specific songs and would be nearly impossible to change every night.
      3. The fans would complain …. A lot .. It’d be a losing battle for the band to satisfy everyone (as it already is), as one country’s fans would complain not listening to the one song or the other.. etc..

      • Spot on, mostly. Except the lighting cues would not be a problem. You program each song, let’s say a total of 25 tunes, and then you line up whichever 17 for a particular night when the band decides. Happens all the time with big bands like Metallica. The big production pieces, like Iron Maiden, will be in the same spot every night anyway.

        #3 is what I’ve always thought about this. Just imagine if they played Flight Of Icarus the gig before yours, and dropped it the night you saw them. I think it’s wise of the band to rather risk complaints from people who see 10 gigs every tour.

  6. I just finished the first disc, great listen so far. I’m looking forward to them playing The Red And The Black live. All Maiden songs with soccer chants are awesome!

    As to what the one they might dust off will be, there are a few they could pick from, and most of them would be a good choice. Again, this will be my first ever time seeing them, so I’d be just fine hearing the live staples that everyone else might be sick of. You think they might play Sign of the Cross? Best song from the Blaze era. The Rock in Rio version was epic. I bet Bruce could still bust it out, he won’t have to hit any really big high notes for it.

    • I think there’s a chance they’ll play both The Red And The Black and The Book Of Souls, and that would probably exclude any other 10 minute plus track.

  7. Personally, I wouldn’t be upset if they dropped ‘2 Minutes to Midnight’ and ‘Can I Play with Madness’ in favour of a couple of lesser played numbers. I’d like to see ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ and ‘Where Eagles Dare’ back in.

  8. Of the new album, I really hope the Red & the Black gets played. Of songs that haven’t been in the set for a long time; I would give my left nut for Prowler & Sign of the Cross, but I’m not sure that they will play any Blaze era song again 😦

    • Let’s hope his voice will be up for some Hallowed. I don’t personally need to hear it again, but a lot of people were upset at the omission on the Maiden England tour.

      • he has mentioned that his highs are all there and are not a problem …. he said that only the mid range “easy stuff” needs a bit of work cause the neck muscles are not used to the tumor missing 😛 he said that the transition from some As to Os ore Es are sounding a bit like yodeling while singing in mid and low range .. he said high stuff like the trooper are sounding fine when he had a go at them … We’ll see … My hopes are up cause it’s Bruce we’re talking about.. He might even sound better without a “golf ball” in his tongue and a “strawberry” in his neck, when he heals up properly 🙂

  9. Could it be “Bring Your Daughter…To The Slaughter”? It’s not a really classic one, but it could be a way to do a tribute to “No Prayer For The Dying” (forgive me, Adrian..it’s just a bet!), that was skipped in the progression of the History Tours. Besides that, it’s a song that works well on stage.

  10. Reserved my tickets for the Gothenburg show today Yay!

    This is my best guess at the setlist, with fantasy alternatives in brackets:

    Intro
    1. If Eternity Should Fail
    2. Speed Of Light
    3. Wrathchild
    4. Killers
    5. The Trooper
    6. The Red And The Black (Dream Of Mirrors)
    7. Can I Play With Madness? (Rainmaker)
    8. The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg
    9. Coming Home
    10. The Book Of Souls
    11. Heaven Can Wait (Sea Of Madness)
    12. Tears Of A Clown
    13. Fear Of The Dark
    14. Iron Maiden

    Encores
    15. The Number Of The Beast
    16. Flight Of Icarus
    17. Hallowed Be Thy Name

    • Good setlist but some of the songs i don’t think they do it anyway , but it’s a very good setlist . I want ot hear some of my favourite songs like : Out of the Silent Planet , Rainmaker , Judgement of Heaven , The Wicker Man , These Colours Dont Run and When Two World Collide . It would be epic !!!

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