Are Iron Maiden fans really just paying customers?

Brigantium

Grim Reaper
Staff member
I wouldn't put it all down to Eddie :p But it was a genius bit of marketing to adopt an instantly recognisable symbol so early in their career.

Incidentally, my Dad was convinced that Eddie was female and was *the* iron maiden. But then my Dad also thought Bruce Dickinson was Canadian.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I believe that everything they do with the packaging of the art is in service of the art
And I believe that everything we (the fans) do (and want) is in service of the art as well. Digesting that rare track that wasn't played for two decades. That track, that piece of art, some fans also want to hear that. Music is not only about success or playing the most sold song material. It is great to have heard so many songs live. If Maiden would have not played 80 different songs in all those years when I saw them, but only 20 or 30, I bet I would not like them as much.

Variation (covering more of the output) contributes to enjoyment. To mine at least. A fan can always have reasons to not like Maiden anymore. These are personal reasons.

Fans are not entitled (they cannot win a lawsuit) to make a band change their ways. But they do have the choice to do what they want. That includes complaining. I do that as well. Not per se because I pay. It is rather the art I care about.
 
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GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Interesting debate.

I have always found the sense of entitlement of some fans quite amusing: they feel that they own the band or the band members, they think they are their mates and that they should dictate what they do, etc.

As far as I am concerned, what Maiden owes me is a professional show when I have spent my hard-earned cash on a ticket (or more than one! :lol:). So far they have never failed to deliver an excellent show and I have only left the gig somewhat disappointed once (back in 1998).

Sure, I like some albums more than others, but at the end of the day it is their art and it is up to them to decide what to do. I do not like all works of art from artists that I like outside music the same...

Do they make a significant amount of money from this? Yes, but I would not say no to a payrise to continue doing something that I enjoy doing. Would you?
 
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Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I have always found the sense of entitlement of some fans quite amusing: they feel that they own the band or the band members, they think they are their mates and that they should dictate what they do, etc.
You (and some others) feel that they feel this.

People who feel like this suffer from imaginary interpretation. I haven't always found such sense of imaginary interpretation amusing. It comes across as not being very tolerant. As if they find it hard to stand an ounce of criticism. Criticism which is not even directed at them; it is directed at someone else (the band). If they can't stand criticism, too bad. They can't be entitled to do one iota about it. They do not own the other fans. They should not dictate what other fans do, etc.
 
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GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
You feel that they feel this.

You suffer from imaginary interpretation.
I have met too many Maiden fans that behave like that, so I am sorry to tell you that I do not suffer from any imaginary interpretation.

I hope you did not take my original post personally, as the comment was certainly did not aimed at you.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I have expanded the post. I used your style, only changed some bits. (and changed many
"you's" into "they's").
 
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GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
:lol:

This is really amusing. Nothing personal, as I have never met you in person, but if there is someone here who seems to have problems tolerating people with different opinions to his that is you!

Criticising the band is absolutely fine with me (I am the first one to mention that their output during the 90, and in particular in 1998 was incredibly lacklustre, to say the least!). However, what some people like others dislike. That is absolutely fine.

What I find quite funny is the whole sense of entitlement that some fans have, the whole thing of "They have to play this song because that is what I want". They play what they want to play. If someone does not like it, well, tough.

Last, but not least, I have yet to attend a gig in which Maiden play the setlist including the songs that I would have chosen...
 
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Forostar

Ancient Mariner
This is about fans criticizing Maiden, and other fans who criticize such fans.

Both categories are not entitled one flying fuck.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
This is about fans criticizing Maiden, and other fans who criticize such fans.

Both categories are not entitled one flying fuck.
Pot, kettle? :D

It seems we are going round in circles here. At the end of the day, all these debates would be easier face-to-face with a nice beer.

Hopefully we'll meet some day. In the meantime, we might need to continue arguing. :lol:
 
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Travis The Dragon

Rob Halford=Metal God/Bruce Dickinson=God Of Metal
No artist creates art simply to make money. I mean 100%, I-work-a-data-input-job-in-a-cubicle-and-I-hate-data-input-and-I-hate-my-company-but-this-pays-the-bills kind of way. Artists initially make art because they enjoy it/are drawn to it/are called to it/whatever and they put in hours and years of work to enhance that skill to a level that is good enough to make money. Now, once that art makes money does that turn anyone who enjoys that art into a consumer? Of course. But as others have already said, there is no fine, black and white line between being a fan and being a consumer. You pay the artist to make art because you enjoy that art, the artist earns money off of you to continue making more art.

Of course there is the topic of artistic integrity, musical changes to sell more albums, over-merchandising, etc. but those are all a means to an end at a certain point. Once you've reached a certain level of fame or fortune, the only way to progress and evolve and earn new consumers and new fans is to make more fame or fortune. It's the nature of the beast. You have to try new things for this process to work. Those things could be writing shorter songs, slapping your band name on a beer, or making a feature film.

I would argue that bands create fans and that those fans are inherently consumers of a product. Iron Maiden is a product and we, the fans, are consumers. But we are not "simply" consumers and Iron Maiden is not "simply" a producer of goods and/or services. I think Iron Maiden is probably the most successful, respectable band in the entire genre when it comes to drawing the line between fans and consumers. At the end of the day, Iron Maiden is a business and their goal is to make money, but if their goal was "simply" to make money, if they had zero care for what they feel the fans want (the flip side of what the fans believe they are owed), then they would be a joke like KISS or they would be oblivious/try too hard like Metallica.

Iron Maiden does more than any other artist of their size to make their fans not feel like consumers and I think that shows a great level of respect and reverence for their product. They care about what they put out there just as much as the fans do, even if what they put out there is solely meant to help Bruce buy another aircraft.
I couldn't have put it better myself.
 

Spambot

Educated Fool
I'd like to note that a lot of that comes down to expectations of "fans".

Which things do you consider Iron Maiden and which are just ornaments around it. For example, when a new album comes out, songs are the first and only thing that I look for. Somebody else is going focus on the cover art, somebody else is going to buy every possible release from every possible country, somebody is going to book hotels and flights based on rumors that they're going to tour that album. How far your perception reaches what "Iron Maiden" is will definitely affect your opinion are you a "fan of a buying customer".

Another example. I just bought "Legacy of the Beast" comic. Do I expect that I will get "piece of Iron Maiden" with it? No. I saw a couple of pages, googled the guys who drew it, liked their other work, so I ordered it. Will somebody else buy this just because he's a Maiden fan and this is part of their memorabilia without intention of reading it. Definitely.

So, when it comes down to moaning on setlists, albums, tours, dates and so on, I don't think it has to do anything with "Did I got my money's worth?" There are people that adore Iron Maiden and they haven't spent a single buck on them and still, that won't prevent them from commenting or feeling disappointed at some of the band's or managemant's moves.

I don't know if I managed to get my point across so I'll say it briefly: I think it boils down to what do you expect you are getting when you buy something that has Iron Maiden printed on it.
 

Saphrax

Nomad
Maiden market themselves well but I don’t think it’s ever compromised their musical integrity in the regard that they produce music that they made a sincere artistic effort in making.

Monetized art will always have an unavoidable consumer element underpinning it.

As far as fan identities, armchair setlisting, complaints etc — music fan (short for fanatic, isn’t it?) identity is a lot like sports fan identity in that there’s more of an emotional attachment to it compared to say fashion label or manufacturer logo customer brand loyalty.
 
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