IRON MAIDEN - "The Book Of Souls Is The New Millennium Number Of The Beast"
September 10, 2015, 6 years ago
Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain recently spoke to Ronan McGreevy of The Irish Times about his band's brand new album, The Book Of Souls. An excerpt follows:
Iron Maiden have been around for nearly 40 years and yet this is the longest album of your career to date. How did Book of Souls come about?
"We talked about doing an album three years ago when we were all at the bar drinking. We were all looking at each other and we were saying to each other, 'will we do another record. The Final Frontier (previous album) was a cracker.' We knew we were going to do another album. It has taken five years since the last one, or has it? The years seem to get shorter as you get older. It’s in our DNA. Our fans still support Iron Maiden. I suppose, you know, we could go fart in a paper bag and most people would go, 'cor, that’s a bit alright. It’s not bad, is it?' (He laughs), but we don’t. We go and make these great albums and this is the best one yet. This is our 16th studio album. I look it and I go, ‘wow, this is the culmination of everything.’ This is early Maiden, this is progressive Maiden. The end of 'If Eternity Should Fail' has all this weird stuff on it. It takes me back to the 1970s to bands that were psychedelic."
Do you really believe this is the best Iron Maiden album ever? Is it better than Number Of The Beast for instance?
"I think this is the new millennium Number Of The Beast. That was one of our best albums and the follow up to that (Piece Of Mind) was probably the best of the lot of them. Brave New World (2000 album) was phenomenal, I loved A Matter Of Life And Death (2006), but, having said that, this album is the culmination. It has something for everybody. Take 'Speed Of Light', for instance. It is the old Maiden. That intro is a testimony to Deep Purple and the title track, 'Book Of Souls', is fucking immense – if you’ll excuse my French – but I think this is the best album we’ve ever made."
To read the interview in its entirety, click here.
Iron Maiden’s recently released new video for "Speed Of Light" racked up over 3.2 million views in just three days, and is now pushing the 4 million mark. Written by guitarist Adrian Smith and vocalist Bruce Dickinson, "Speed Of Light" is taken from their new double album The Book Of Souls, due for global release on September 4th through BMG in North America. New behind-the-scenes footage on the video can be seen below.
The video was produced and directed by Llexi Leon with animation and visual effects by The Brewery Production Company. A huge Iron Maiden fan, this is Llexi Leon’s first music video. Creator of the cult comic book series Eternal Descent – an IP that digitally animated a cast list of metal and hard rock luminaries, Leon has further expanded into the video gaming industry. He chose to collaborate with The Brewery who’s previous film credits include 2010’s punk-rock inspired Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll with Andy Serkis, 2012’s music festival themed Spike Island with Emilia Clarke & more recently were providing VFX for the Sky Atlantic biopic on Ian Fleming.
The video is an homage to four decades of video gaming juxta-posed alongside Iron Maiden’s 40 years of incredible visual canon centring on their talisman, Eddie, as he travels through space and time to complete his Herculean task.
“Speed Of Light” video:
The Book Of Souls was recorded in Paris with their longstanding producer Kevin “Caveman” Shirley in late 2014, with the finishing touches added earlier this year. However, the band decided to delay its release so that vocalist Bruce Dickinson, who was recently given the all-clear from a tumour, would have time to recuperate sufficiently to join in the preparations for the album’s launch.
The stunning cover art was created by Mark Wilkinson who has worked with the band previously, and because this 11 track album has a total running time of 92 minutes, it is Iron Maiden’s first ever double studio album. There’s a broader split on the song-writing compared to previous Maiden records, with bassist and founder member Steve Harris contributing to seven of the tracks; six of them with Maiden’s guitarists and one sole composition. This is also the first time since 1984’s Powerslave that an Iron Maiden studio album also features two tracks written solely by Bruce Dickinson, one of which is the longest song Maiden has ever recorded! And also two Dickinson/Smith collaborations.
Steve comments: “We approached this album in a different way to how we’ve recorded previously. A lot of the songs were actually written while we were there in the studio and we rehearsed and recorded them straight away while they were still fresh, and I think that immediacy really shows in the songs, they have almost a live feel to them I think. I’m very proud of The Book Of Souls, we all are, and we can’t wait for our fans to hear it, and especially to take it out on the road next year!”
Bruce continues: “We’re really excited about The Book Of Souls and had a fantastic time creating it. We started working on the album in late summer 2014 and recorded it at Guillame Tell Studios in Paris, where we’d done the Brave New World album back in 2000 so the studio holds special memories for all of us. We were delighted to discover the same magical vibe is still alive and very much kicking there! So we immediately felt at home and the ideas just started flowing. By the time we’d finished we all agreed that each track was such an integral part of the whole body of work that if it needed to be a double album, then double its going to be!”