Dave & Adrian interview from Rock Hard (from JackKnife scans)

Jeffmetal

Ancient Mariner
Rock Hard: We did meet the last time in march 2009. You were still in Brazil for the last tour. Less than a year after, you are beginning a new tour and you're gonna release a new album. When did you manage to find time to write and record this new one (so quickly) ?

Adrian Smith: We spent 3 weeks in Paris in november and December 2009 to write new stuff. We made a pause at Xmas and then, we went to the Compass Point Studios in Bahamas to record the new album with the help of the producer Kevin Shirley. Yes, finally, it was made very quickly but we all get some holidays after the previous tour.
Dave Murray: (I changed the point of view from 'you' to 'we' because I don't feel concern, I don't do music tours ;-) : At the beginning, we appreciate those moments because we can rest and charge our batteries again, far from the road, but after some months, we miss playing guitars. So, we start writing again… Moreover, we went to the Compass Studios, where we recorded several albums in the 80s. We knew the place. The mood during the recording sessions were then very relax (peaceful) and I believe it has never been such easy in studio. Therefore we finished the recording a month earlier than expected. As you could have heard yesterday, this record is very proggy. It contains many informations, it is very deep and cannot be assimilate after one listening.
AS: Even if the first two songs "Satellite 15… The Final Frontier" and "El Dorado" are quite direct, the intro of the first one is unusual and not expected. It comes from one of my demos. I went fishing in rivers to envoy and think of nothing then I composed with a lot of dedication during a whole month in France. This intro that opens the new record was among the huge amount of ideas I recorded. I presented this idea to Steve before Bruce joined us and he was immediately enthusiast because he wanted to write a "space" song. This intro really inspired him. But if I come back to you question : writing and finalizing this new record needed time but we recorded it quickly.
DM: You have to understand that most of this record (about 90%) was written in Paris where we all meet to talk about our own ideas for three weeks. Then, during Xmas resting period, we had time to absorb and digest the new songs. Later, we have finish the writing of 2 or 3 songs in the studios. Normally, we use to act differently by entering the studio just after the rehearsals. I really appreciate this new way and you can feel, by listening at the record, a real energy because we were all fresh and available when we entered the studio. Ready and armed!


RH: Why Paris? To avoid paying taxes? (laughs)

DM: Non, for the wine (laughs)
AS: We already worked here in the past (They have recorded Brave New World in Paris in 1999) and we loved this cit. Paris is really beautiful and we enjoy visiting it when we have a day off. It is furthermore a rather central point when we have to meet because we don't all live in England. The only bad souvenir for me is when someone forced the hotel door the first day of the rehearsal to steal personal belongings.
DM: The robber even tried his clothes! (Laughs) This is what we have seen on the hotel' security videos. I also had a nocturne visitor in my room: a mouse which used to hide behind the fridge every evening in search for food to eat! (Laughs)


RH:From the Iron Maiden point of view, does the producer Kevin Shirley is the 2000s' Martin Birch? (sorry I am not sure how to translate this question but you would have understood ;-)

DM: Yes, this is a interesting comparison even if Shirley works with analog and digital signals whereas Martin, in the 80s, was only able to work working with analog signals. Kevin also use ProTools to save precious time. He is a modern producer but his roots are definitely linked to old-school production. He is very gift for obtaining the best of us, individually or together. He is also a good advisor. He is a 'button wizard'.
AS: Moreover Steve, as the co-producer, matchs perfectly with Kevin and he fully trusts him.


RH: Adrian, you have taken part in the writing of six songs, one more compared to the previous. In few years, you will finally being able to co-write all the song of an Iron Maiden album ! (Laughs)

AS: No, I don't think so ! (Laugh) But I really love composing music, I think it is what I prefer to do as a musician. I love the idea to paint on a white board, adding several layers of colors to finally create something unique. I write songs like a painter. I really love that! Steve listens all the stuff we have and decides to keep what he likes. Everything should pass thought Steve. Today, he seems to focus on lyrics and melodies. In the 80s, he used to write alone more than half of the songs on our records, from the first to the last note (Laugh). I knew exactly which harmony accent he wanted and we had to play precisely according his wish. He did not really changed, but on The Final Frontier, he only wrote one song alone.
DM: He is finally more relax and open-minded nowadays. I think the liberty we have now can be heard on the albums. Even if he stays an incredible perfectionist, Steve is not in the constant search of the perfect interpretation nowadays and doesn't mind if some interpretations are not precisely correct, something I am very happy because I think our record are less 'clinical', more open (I hope you all understand the idea behind because I am sure it is not correct in English…). In the Final Frontier, we are consequently exploring news musical territories where we never dared to go before. It is really refreshing, like this intro we talked earlier. It will surely surprise many of our fans. And I hope it will please them.
AS: In the past, we were a bit proggy, especially during the last 10 years. I don't know if it is voluntarily made or not. Only Steve can tell since, as said earlier, he has the last word and choose the stuff to keep. He certainly has a vision and improve it with Kevin when there are mixing.
DM: Yes, that's definitely Steve that progressively gives the final touch of the album according to what we propose and what he writes during the writing sessions. One should not forget he is also the co-producer and follows the creation process from A to Z. He is always in the studio, overview the mixing, the mastering… (laughs). Everybody is involved but Steve keeps an eye on everything, including the production of our shows. And it was always the case… During the early days, he immediately took the control on everything, it allowed the band to keep it direction and not changing. We are still true with ourselves and we never sell our souls. We always did what we believed in and I think our fans are happy with that. It looks like we follow a script.
AS: We don't cheat, "what you see is what you get"… Steve being always in the studio, I admit I am not always happy when it is my time to record my tracks (Dave Murray is laughing (chuckles). But those frictions are healthy. You need up and down in all things… Because I am not someone who leaves when I think I am right. Like Steve… Moreover, always agreeing would be really boring! And the band is strong enough to absorb this. Even if there are tensions, mostly in studio, we all want to do things right for the band.
DM: Oh, there were some hitches but nothing, yes nothings, was broken! (Laughs)


RH: In this new record, we sometimes think about Rush when we hear some parts…

AS: Yes, yes, it is possible.
DM: Some things (musical sequences) can pop up unconsciously but we never try to copy other bands.


RH: Don't you feel frustrated by playing only one new song in the tour that starts in 3 days?

DM: No, not really. It is just a matter of timing. We love touring during the summer and we will play some festivals in Europe after those North American dates. So, everything arrived quickly after the recording and we did not have a lot of time to learn and rehearse the new songs. It will come, next year probably…


RH: Your audience is continuously renewing and now they go and see your concert en famille. What does that inspire you?

DM: it’s purely incredible! Now, we probably reach something like 4 generations of fans and it’s not unusual to see teenagers at the front rows who know by heart all our lyrics!
AS: In the States, our audience is older, but in Europe, in Scandinavia, I can’t believe to see how young some are! They probably attend their first Iron Maiden gig, because they want to see a real show. It is also true that no one else offers what we do in terms of production, lights, performance… And there’s Eddie. It’s an audio and visual experience, a true show, and theatrical.
DM: In the 70s, I did my musical education by attending to loads of concerts. Bands had Marshall, the drummer played on a carpet… And I thought it was fantastic! But now kids want to attend something visually more punchy, to be dazzled. To get their money’s worth. And with Maiden, they’re spoilt on that point!

Thanx for grrreg for the translation and kyllian68 for the last question!!! :edmetal:
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Thanks.

If I may ask (to anyone):
Some parts I still don't understand

E.g. I was interested in this part, but what does it mean?

Jeffmetal said:
AS: In the past, we were a bit porgy, especially during the last 10 years. I don't no if it is voluntary made or not. Only Steve can tell since, as said earlier, he has the last word and choose the stuff to keep. He certainly has a vision and improve it with Kevin when there are mixing.

We were porgy?

What's that?

If what is voluntary made?

Anyone?
 
por·gy  (pôrg)
n. pl. porgy or por·gies
1. Any of various deep-bodied marine food fishes of the family Sparidae, especially a common species Pagrus pagrus of Mediterranean and Atlantic waters.
2. Any of several fishes similar to the porgy.

I guess they were a bit fish?  :huh:

That's the only definition I could find. Perhaps someone else know if it has a different meaning elsewhere.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Uhh yeah...   :)

I guess we have to accept that the translator was considerably better in the original language.

But it's better than nothing, no prob! Still I am mighty curious about that part.
 

LogJam

Invader
Translation:

AS: In the past, we were a bit proggy (progressive), especially during the last 10 years. I don't know if that was intentional or not. Only Steve can tell since, as said earlier, he has the last word and chooses the stuff to keep. He certainly has a vision and improves it with Kevin when they are mixing.
 

JackKnife

A Vivid example of masculine pulchritude
Jeffmetal, you did a great body of work!!! :)

LogJam said:
Translation:

AS: In the past, we were a bit proggy (progressive), especially during the last 10 years. I don't know if that was intentional or not. Only Steve can tell since, as said earlier, he has the last word and chooses the stuff to keep. He certainly has a vision and improves it with Kevin when they are mixing.

You're right, Adrian said "Dans le passé, nous avons toujours été quelques peu progressifs..." which means "in the past we have always been somewhat progressive...".

HallowedBeMyName said:
por·gy  (pôrg)
n. pl. porgy or por·gies
1. Any of various deep-bodied marine food fishes of the family Sparidae, especially a common species Pagrus pagrus of Mediterranean and Atlantic waters.
2. Any of several fishes similar to the porgy.

I guess they were a bit fish?  :huh:

That's the only definition I could find. Perhaps someone else know if it has a different meaning elsewhere.

I can't resist! This is an opportunity to say a few words of one very interesting family of sea fishes: the Sparidae.
In English they are often referred to as Sea Breams. This family is commercially important and features some very well-known genus such as Diplodus or Sparus.
The genus Pagrus is represented by 3 species in the North-eastern Atlantic and in the Mediterranean amongst which P. pagrus is the most common. I attach a key to species of the genus Pagrus that I scanned from the (very good) book "Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean volume II Unesco, 1986".




Below is the detailed ID of Pagrus pagrus aka the common sea bream. I must also point out that this species is very good e.g. grilled.
Note the importance of teeth in the process of species identification...


There are (obviously) many more species around the world and if someone is interested I can provide more information including scans from of marvellous book I bought in South Africa some years ago.
Sorry for such a digression but ... I love fishes.................. :wub:
 
Thanks Jeffmetal this interview is fantastic!!

Thanks too for confirming Adrian meant "progressive".  For a while there I though he was referring to the 1935 Gershwin opera "Porgy & Bess", which is an opera about an African American cripple living on the streets of Charleston, South Carolina.  I couldn't quite comprehend how the band had felt as though they had been living with severe leg injuries in slums in the Deep South for the past decade...

I love it how H came up with the some inspired ideas while fishing.  Very cool and laidback, very H.  Maybe he was fishing for porgy (or sea bream).
 
JackKnife said:
Unlikely since H is a freshwater fisher... :)

I recall an image of Adrian casting a line into the ocean somewhere in Brazil during his interview in the bonus footage for Rock In Rio....maybe he caught a porgy then?  He also nearly slipped off a rock.
 

Jeffmetal

Ancient Mariner
Now, I understand why the tour will restart only next year - the complexity of the songs must have really time spared for them to memorize their parts individually, then synchronize the chosen songs together, on rehearsals. This band really don't fuck around, don't cheat! :edmetal:
 
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