IRON MAIDEN Drummer NICKO McBRAIN Talks Senjutsu Album - "Lots Of Surprises; There's Something For Everybody"

September 2, 2021, a year ago

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IRON MAIDEN Drummer NICKO McBRAIN Talks Senjutsu Album - "Lots Of Surprises; There's Something For Everybody"

Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain spoke with Meatball at T95 The Rock Station about the band's upcoming 17th studio album, Senjutsu, promising "lots of surprises" sonically on the record. Check out the interview below.

McBrain: "The only way I can sum this record up is there's a little bit of everything in it. If you analyze certain sounds, certain ways the guitar sounds, certain vocal treatments, reverbs, little plate echoes and delays and stuff like that, different compressions on the drum set… Steve's (Harris) bass tones change slightly and there's a bit of everything. Say, from the early albums of Maiden through to the middle -  Somewhere Back In Time, Seventh Son... - sound-wise, and some of the flavors on the tracks within the writing of the tracks. 

Steve wrote three of these epic songs - I think there's over 30 minutes of songwriting on just three songs - and it was all penned by Harry. No one else came in with anything else. Steve went, 'I've got an idea for this melody.' Obviously, as it's created, then you have your artistic input. It's not like I had to play exactly the drum fill that Steve wants, but there's something for everybody and there's a little bit of new stuff. There's a couple of other little gems and nuggets that will come to people, and they're gonna go, 'Oh, blimey, that sounds like so-and-so and so-and-so...'"

For Senjutsu - loosely translated as ‘tactics & strategy,’ the band once again enlisted the services of Mark Wilkinson to create the spectacular Samurai themed cover artwork, based on an idea by Steve Harris. With a running time of a little under 82 minutes, Senjutsu, like their previous record The Book Of Souls, will be a double CD/Triple vinyl album.

Steve says: “We chose to record at Guillaume Tell Studio in France again as the place has such a relaxed vibe. The setup there is perfect for our needs; the building used to be a cinema and has a really high ceiling so there’s a great acoustic sound. We recorded this album in the same way we did The Book Of Souls in that we’d write a song, rehearse it and then put it down together straight away while it was all fresh in our minds. There’s some very complex songs on this album which took a lot of hard work to get them exactly as we wanted them to sound, so the process was at times very challenging, but Kevin is great at capturing the essence of the band and I think it was worth the effort!  I’m very proud of the result and can’t wait for fans to hear it.”

Bruce Dickinson continues: “We’re all really excited about this album. We recorded it back in early 2019 during a break in the Legacy tour so we could maximize our touring yet still have a long set up period before release to prepare great album art and something special as a video. Of course the pandemic delayed things more - so much for the best laid plans – or should that be ‘strategies’!?  The songs are very varied, and some of them are quite long. There’s also one or two songs which sound pretty different to our usual style, and I think Maiden fans will be surprised -  in a good way, I hope!"

Senjutsu will be released on the following formats and is available to pre-order/pre-save at

- Standard 2CD Digipak
- Deluxe 2CD Book Format
- Deluxe heavyweight 180G Triple Black Vinyl
- Special Edition Triple Silver And Black Marble Vinyl (Details to follow)
- Special Edition Triple Red and Black Marble Vinyl (Details to follow)
- Super Deluxe Boxset featuring CD, Blu Ray and Exclusive Memorabilia
- Digital album [streaming and download]


"Senjutsu" (8:20) - Smith/Harris
"Stratego" (4:59) - Gers/Harris
"The Writing On The Wall" (6:13) - Smith/Dickinson
"Lost In A Lost World" (9:31) - Harris
"Days Of Future Past" (4:03) - Smith/Dickinson
"The Time Machine" (7:09) - Gers/Harris
"Darkest Hour" (7:20) - Smith/Dickinson
"Death Of The Celts" (10:20) - Harris
"The Parchment" (12:39) - Harris
"Hell On Earth" (11:19) - Harris


"The Writing On The Wall" video:

"The Writing On The Wall" (SFX Version)

Senjutsu - In The Studio videos:

Featured Audio

U.D.O. – “Wilder Life” (AFM)

U.D.O. – “Wilder Life” (AFM)

Featured Video

IRON KINGDOM - "Queen Of The Crystal Throne"

IRON KINGDOM - "Queen Of The Crystal Throne"

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