For nearly 50 years, English heavy metal titans Iron Maiden have cemented themselves as one of the greatest live acts in music history. Along with providing awesome theatrics to their shows, Iron Maiden also delivers captivating musical performances – performances frontman Bruce Dickinson says are “real” and involve no backing tracks.
In a new conversation with the Triple M radio station, the Maiden singer is asked how the band has been able to bring new material to their setlist without causing much ruckus among their fanbase.
In response, Dickinson says that the band is able to do so because their fans “actually like the music.” Elaborating on this, the singer goes on to say Iron Maiden are not “fashion icons,” and whereas other acts use backing tracks, Maiden refuses to use such technology.
Speaking about Iron Maiden’s performances, Dickinson shares the following (as transcribed by Blabbermouth):
“Well, yeah, that’s because they — that’s because, strangely, they actually like the music. [Laughs] Which is bizarre, isn’t it? I know that’s a really weird concept now — where people actually go to a show to listen to the music. But it’s because we’re not fashion icons or anything else like that. We’ve always been — how can I put it? We’re not like Michelin star chef-type grub; we’re meat and potatoes. And it’s straightforward, what people come to see is. I mean, the songs are not necessarily straightforward, but the attitude is. And we still play all the songs in the original key; we don’t drop, downtune and stuff like that. We still play everything too fast, because we’re all excited.
“We’ve never played to click tracks or like time code and everything else now, ’cause I see a lot of bands now, and I’m going, ‘Hang on a minute. Hey, you sang that without moving your lips.’ So there’s all this backing vocals being flown in left, right and center and everything. But we don’t do any of that. Everything is analog and real. So we are kind of old school in that respect. But I think that pays dividends ’cause the audience understand that reality is increasingly kind of rare now.”
What do you make of Dickinson’s comments about Iron Maiden? What is your take on backing tracks? Back in August, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian expressed more of an accepting attitude regarding the technology, saying he doesn’t “care what artists do or what bands do to make their show happen.”
Below you can listen to the full conversation involving Bruce Dickinson talking with Triple M.