Poll: To produce or not to produce?

If a miracle happens and fans are allowed to vote, which option would you choose:

  • The Band continues to work with Kevin Shirley.

    Votes: 11 28.9%
  • The Band waives the services of Kevin Shirley. Available: Roy Z, Andy Sneap, Fredrik Nordstrröm.

    Votes: 27 71.1%

  • Total voters


General of the Dark Army
Staff member
Tbh I find most Priest recordings sound like they were recorded decades ago. Firepower definitely doesn't.
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Ancient Mariner
This is kinda funny - We turn the Priest thread into a Maiden thread and are about to turn a Maiden thread into a Priest thread.


Love in anger
I'll leave it to Jer and Muchacha, thank you very much.
I would much rather have my dog produce the album than have Steve Harris do it again.

Shirley would surely do better than my dog, though he’s been extremely uneven. Brave New World sounded great, minus some vocal harmony choices. The Book Of Souls sounded pretty good, minus Bruce’s cancer straining, and AMOLAD sounded OK, but underproduced. Dance Of Death sounded muddy and had terrible vocal harmonies in multiple songs, and The Final Frontier had ridiculously dry-sounding vocals.

Roy Z.’s production is OK, but a little muddy in the mids.

Sneap’s production has sounded great on everything of his that I’ve heard. I’d take him in a heartbeat. Screw this “replicate the live sound” shit, let’s get the best possible studio recording that we can, since it’s what we’re going to listen to the most.


Love in anger
Shirley is the best guy for the job. He knows the band as musical personalities and is able to make really good sounding albums with minimal processing (see Counterparts by Rush).
Kevin Shirley engineered Counterparts, but Peter Collins was the producer.


Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
To be fair, it’s a similar situation in Maiden. Shirley is the engineer but production decisions are made by Maiden. The raw sound on Counterparts is also attributed to Shirley.


Ancient Mariner
Steve is the reason Maiden's albums sound like they do. Kevin Shirley's The Final Frontier diaries made it pretty clear.

"Steve came in at the end of the day and thought it sounded a bit roomy, so I'll do a drier mix tomorrow."

"Adrian came by The Cave for a listen - he thought the tracks sounded good but "a little too much like the band in the studio". He thought more reverb to make them sound more "majestic" and "epic". Steve disagreed strongly. Honestly, they are both right. The thing I personally like about the dry, honest mixes, is that it sets them apart from any other Classic Rock or Metal band. They're not really metal anyway, in the present day sense of the genre, but they're more of a hard progressive rock band. "

"Adrian came in and said it all sounded good - and said he was 95% happy with the album mixes and we should look at them and tweak them slightly - I am perfectly happy to reassess any of the mixes, as daunting as the prospect of revisiting everything is, changing sonics etc., but Steve and I are quite happy with it and neither of us can really afford the extra time it would take to remix, so Steve jumped in and basically said we're going to be done this weekend and we are not remixing the entire album. Adrian ultimately understood but wasn't thrilled about it! "

"Mixed Starblind today. Adrian came by to hear it - and was desirous of more reverb on some things - it's a little bit of a continuous internal battle, and is essentially just a different way to hear things. Def Leppard on one hand, something garagey on the other. Extra reverb was not added to anything. Adrian left happy and understanding, I thought!!! "

And this one to me sounds like a horrendous decision by Steve

We've had the album mastered three times, and have ultimately decided to go with my flat mixes over any of the mastering versions. I think the mastering place did a great job, but Steve, while liking these versions, feels that the integrity of the original mixes has been compromised somewhat and so it's coming out flat. No equalization, no compression, just as it was when Steve heard the MP3s of the mixes and just as it left my studio.

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
It’d be interesting to see Maiden’s take on an album with Firepower-esque production, but at the same time I’m fine with what they’ve built up over the last twenty years. BNW and TBOS sound great, the first finding a nice mix between studio punch and that “live factor” Steve wants, and the latter has a hell of a lot of groove to it that makes it feel pretty epic in scale. The rest aren’t as good, but aside from DOD the production isn’t terrible. My biggest concern is the material. So long as the songs are good and the production isn’t full on shit, I’ll be a happy customer.

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Adrian's frustrations with the way TFF came out is well-established. I feel like it could've resulted in another musical differences ragequit by Adrian if they were younger.


Ancient Mariner
People keep blaming Steve for any and all production woes, but I'm definitely not interested in letting Kevin "the drums sound good if he tunes 'em right, what's an EQ or mic placement?" Shirley off the hook that easily. Adrian has complained about his style of doing everything as fast as possible too, like not being able to try out different sounds while doing the solos because he just wants it done or keeping bad takes because they "add character". Steve of course shares much of the blame for the mixing stage issues (of which there are many), but Kevin isn't entirely innocent either.

Basically, my argument is that Shirley and Iron Maiden are a bad match. Shirley enables Harris' bad mixing preferences and his desire for a "live" sound, resulting in everything lacking definition and being lost in a sea of droning mid noise, while Harris doesn't care that Shirley fails to do much of production side work with regards to things like mic placement, EQing drums and guitars so that they sound good and sit well in the mix and doing enough takes to get things done right.

Shirley insists he's all about that 70s rock vibe, playing live, warts and all, but then immediately goes around, fixes drum takes in ProTools, puts together solos from multiple takes and has Bruce record on a MIDI keyboard when an actual fucking grand piano is readily available for recording. Steve insists he's all about that live feel, but the performances on the later Maiden records sound lifeless and limp, and the mix is far worse than it is live. They bring out each others' worst qualities, and it's a wonder Rock in Rio sounded as good as it did.


clap hands
Steve Harris is always going to pull the strings in the studio, especially now that he has three decades of "producer" credits on his resume. Maiden needs an engineer who can take all of Steve's "recording ideas" (i.e. live in a room, minimal overdubs, etc.), polish them, mix them, fucking master them like all other albums by any band with more than $10 to their name, and finalize them for publication without Steve's input. Based on Sneap's previous work, I think he'd do well.

If we wanted Maiden to sound like every other metal band, we'd hire Jens Bogren (who still does fine work and would be better than Kevin "Let Steve Do Whatever He Wants" Shirley).

Niall Kielt

Ancient Mariner
Adrian should really just pay for extra studio time an do the albums his way and release them separately or save them for post retirement bonus discs or some shit. Surely Shirley should, too.

Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
Roy Z is a good arranger, not so much a good producer in my opinion. The way Tyranny of Souls was produced is, in my opinion, particularly disappointing.

Never got the Shirley hate.
My main gripe with him is that he is too lenient in letting Steve Harris tweak the buttons. The vocals have never sounded good, for example, since he has been at the helm, which was not the case for Aerosmith, Silverchair or Dream Theater.

Bob Ezrin would be my choice but it involves his getting along with Steve, which is not a given.


Pica Serdica
Protest against COVID-19 measures, 5G, and, presumably, Magnus producing the next Iron Maiden album, in Sofia today.
View attachment 11934
^Keep calm and read this, assholes:
Here's a philosophical question btw, slightly modifying and of course hijacking the thread into "Protest or not protest?", a change of four letters (not those four letters) only: If a bunch of idiots protests against the government saying the government is a bunch of idiots (which I wholeheartedly agree with), but I find the protesting bunch of idiots somewhat more unpleasant and dangerous than the ruling bunch of idiots, should I join the protest or not?
I went to the pub

Niall Kielt

Ancient Mariner
Quality quarantining from ye there, Magnus. At least if you had have went to the protest you might have infected some tool rather than a fellow Soup Dragon