Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson dropped a whole lot of knowledge during a recent interview with folk singer-songwriter Frank Turner. The singer raged against the modern obsession with fame, the segregation and insular tendencies of music genres, and bands who use Autocue systems.
Turner interviewed the stentorian-voiced heavy metal frontman for The Guardian at the Copenhell festival, at one point asking Dickinson if the New Wave of British Heavy Metal legends still have a bucket list. “I can’t be bothered to have those big, self-congratulatory moments,” Dickinson replied.
“People say, ‘What’s it like standing onstage in front of quarter of a million people?’ I say, ‘I really can’t tell you, actually because I’m too busy.’ You have no time to stand there and go, ‘Let me just stop thinking about the song, stop performing and let me look at all these people looking at me…”
“‘Okay, thank you very much!’ I see these wankers onstage at places like fucking Glastonbury wandering around as if they had a mirror attached to themselves, gurning for the fucking cameras and paying no attention whatsoever to that kid in the front row,” the frontman explained to Turner.
“I’m not interested in being famous,” Dickinson proclaimed. “Fame is the excrement of creativity, it’s the shit that comes out the back end, it’s a by-product of it. People think it’s the excrement that you should be eating. It’s not. It’s the creativity and the audience and being there in the moment.”
He then addressed issues raised earlier this year after Triple J came under fire for an alleged “sound bias.” Dickinson said genre segregation did not exist in the ’60s and ’70s. “Then, as magazines and radio stations proliferated and they started to compete, so they started to segment their audiences to sell themselves. In doing that, of course, the bands started imitating media life.”
“Bands started crafting their music, thinking, ‘I’ll do this because that’s the sort of thing Radio 1 will play, I’ll do this because that’s the kind of thing that that journalist likes.’ And it’s just shit,” he said. The singer also lashed out at bands who use Autocues to remember the lyrics to their songs.
“The daftest one I ever saw was [Judas Priest‘s] Breaking The Law,” he explained. “It’s on the fucking Autocue. ‘Breaking the law, breaking the law / Breaking the law, breaking the law / Breaking the law, breaking the law / Breaking the law‘ — guess what? – ‘breaking the law.’ It’s ludicrous.”
Watch: Iron Maiden at Rock am Ring 2014