IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris spoke to Kerrang! magazine about his plan to release the second studio album from his BRITISH LION side project. Asked if BRITISH LION has been road-testing a couple of new songs on its recent tours for the upcoming disc, Harris said: "To be honest with you, we just didn't have enough material [on 2012's self-titled debut to fill a headlining set]. We had to do that stuff. In an ideal world, we probably wouldn't have done. It's weird, though, really, because years ago I had an idea that you couldn't really do now because of the Internet and that. Back in the day, I thought maybe you could have released a MAIDEN album with all-new live material. That would have been possible, maybe. But now you couldn't because obviously no matter where you go in a band, you can't get away with anything, because people film it on their cameras on their phones. It is what it is; it's a different thing now.
"I know some people have probably checked out YouTube footage of the new songs. I still don't think it's going to be as good a version as what we put on the proper album. Hopefully people will still want it. Of course, there'll be other songs as well. It's nice, like you said, road-testing them — I think it makes them better. The way we're playing the songs now is a lot better than the first album was."
Harris also talked about the evolution of the BRITISH LION sound. He said: "The band's been evolving anyway and the songs have been evolving with it, or vice versa. We're finding our feet as a band, finding more of a sense of what we are. Without analyzing it too much, I think the [new] songs are really probably going, if anything, maybe in a heavier direction perhaps. I mean, 'Spitfire', to me, sounds like really heavy THIN LIZZY. But others might think something different about it. But they're really good songs, really powerful songs, and they certainly stand up against any of the other songs, really. And some of the ones we have got up our sleeves are just as good."
BRITISH LION is recording shows on its current European tour for an upcoming live album, tentatively due next year. "We've been talking about a live album for a while," Harris told Kerrang! "We recorded the last couple of tours, and obviously we'll record stuff from this tour and get as much stuff as we can to get a good cross-section of stuff and then we'll definitely put a live album out, because I think it's important."
The band previously debuted two new songs, "Spitfire" and "Bible Black", during its summer 2015 tour.
BRITISH LION's debut album sold around 3,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 3 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.
"British Lion" was released in the U.S. on September 25, 2012 via Universal Music Enterprises (UMe). Mixed by Kevin Shirley — whose credits include IRON MAIDEN as well as Led ZEPPELIN, JOURNEY and RUSH, among many others — the CD features Harris alongside singer Richard Taylor, guitarists Graham Leslie and David Hawkins and drummer Simon Dawson.