Why Iron Maiden Won’t Perform Orchestral Shows
Bruce Dickinson said Iron Maiden had often been asked to perform alongside an orchestra, but that there were two main problems with the idea, meaning it was unlikely they’d ever make the attempt.
The topic came up during a Q&A session on the singer’s spoken-word tour in support of his memoir What Does This Button Do?
In 2015, drummer Nicko McBrain talked up the concept. But speaking to fans in Copenhagen on Sept. 8 (via Blabbermouth), Dickinson said, “It's been tried a lot by all kinds of people, many of whom I respect, and, to be really honest with you, I don't think it works. I think it might work for the odd specific song. For example, 'Empire of the Clouds,’ my thing, has kind of got orchestra all over it. But that's just one song, and that was written specifically with that kind of thing in mind. And I can see that working under certain circumstances, but that's only one song. And the problem with orchestras is what do you do with them when they're not in use? Which is actually quite a lot of songs, if they're going to be really proper rock ’n’ roll type songs.”
Even so, Dickinson revealed he had discussed becoming involved in an orchestral tour with late Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord. “[He] was a wonderful gentleman, and we were close friends,” Dickinson said. “We had all kinds of crazy plans, including me going out on tour with him, singing Deep Purple songs with an orchestra, which he was planning to do. That was one of the things we were planning to do. But it all got interrupted and canceled.”
In a separate recent interview, the singer discussed his approach to his book-tour shows. “One of my missions every day is to sign 1,000 books before each show, so everybody that turns up gets a signed book,” he said.
“The Q&A part of it, there's a little interval where people go off and drink non-alcoholic water or alcoholic water if they wish, and come back with a new attitude on life. They come back in and I kind of rearrange the cue cards almost into sort of an improv script. That's how I do the questions. That can go on for a while. It depends on how good the questions are. People can heckle or do whatever the hell they want. It's their show as much as it is my show."