BRUCE DICKINSON: 'We Don't Want To Look Like Our Own Version Of An IRON MAIDEN Cover Band'

Jason Nahrung of Australia's The Courier-Mail recently conducted an interview with IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

On next year's Somewhere Back in Time world tour, which revisits the heavy metal grandeur of IRON MAIDEN's 1984-5 Powerslave tour:

"We're not trying to rewrite the tour. It won't be 'Live After Death' word for word. I won't be wearing my jocks on the outside of my Spandex. We'll be re-creating the cool bits, but the main thing is the music. We don't want to look like our own version of an IRON MAIDEN cover band."

On the band's enduring popularity:

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"MAIDEN is a unique band. You could say we're one of the last of the originals. If anything, the fan base has regenerated. There's a whole new generation — two new generations — of kids turning up. We played Sweden and filled 50,000-seat soccer stadiums. We never filled a soccer stadium in the mid-'80s. You look now and the first 50 rows are 16-year-olds. On our last tour we were able to play a new album (the 80-minute 'A Matter of Life and Death') in its entirety, and still sell out a worldwide tour of arenas. The fans are attracted to us because we are still an active musical force."

On IRON MAIDEN being a more relaxed outfit than it used to be:

"Fifteen to 20 years ago we were under the gun, doing loads of touring. We were frazzled. People couldn't give it their best. It was like a sports team, someone was always injured. Now we know it's better to take three months off than to do a bad job. Our performance has improved, the reliability of the performance has improved as well."

On Ancient Egypt seeming a natural backdrop for a tour from one of the most flamboyant of bands:

"As for Egypt, you could overrate the pudding on that one. We were interested in it in the mid '80s, and (the songs) 'Revelations' and 'Powerslave' take imagery from that era, but it's such a fabulous era to plunder. There's an outrageousness about Egypt and there's an outrageousness about heavy metal bands. Making these enormous stone pyramids for everyone to look at seems like heavy metal madness. They were over the top in monument construction — minimalists they were not. That strikes a chord — we're hardly BAUHAUS in our aspirations."

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