"The Book of Souls" - Official pre-release thread (CONTAINS ALBUM SPOILERS)

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The Drifter

Maiden Forever
Also wanted to say that I really dig SOL, it's an awesome song for a live show! Bruce's performance is incredible, I think the high note "stars" sounds great, in my point of view reaching a note like that without an effort would actually sound more strange...

Can't wait for the new album.


Priest of the Holy Wristband
My amateurish translation, hope you can understand me
Author Andy Gaggioli
2015 was going to be the big Maiden return when their singer Bruce Dickinson ,announced us that he had throat cancer. Though all the fans trembled, the band returns September the 4th with all their strength with the epic ‘The Book Of Souls’. Magnéto.

First of all, how are you? After all you've been through these last months, it's an obligatory question!
Yeah, everything's all right. Still moving and jumping left to right. The healing process it's going to take a while. Certain parts within myself need time. The places of my "muqueuse"(the kind of slime(?) in the throat) must regenerate because they were grilled by radiation. But everything's going good because I've finished the treatment some months ago only. There will surely be big steps amelioration from now towards the end of the year.

This experience has surely touched you a lot as a human being and as a singer. Do you feel you've changed?
Speaking the truth, no. At the end of the treatment, only two things can happen: First, that you get rid of cancer and the second... That you don't get to (laughter). Therefore people tend to get anxious over this second option. Right now, I have to focus in the healing. I want and I'm going to work as before. I am kind of in good shape, my organism wasn't too affected, I've only lost a little of weight. In that which concerns me, I must be careful when singing because that stimules several parts of my body that are healing, therefore I'm not going to sing, not yet. I've tried a little, my lungs weren't affected, the notes are still there. I must simply wait and let my body regenerate. My doctor told me: It's ridiculous, you shouldn't move from left to right like that (laughter). This experience may have made me more impatient towards people that make me lose time. The time in my disposition could be short, well I hope that it isn't that short (laughter), but I think that if I must stay calm, it will be my choice and not someone else's.

Your time is preciouss!
Exactly, and it wasn't until now that I realised. There's a lot of people that want me to do a lot of thing but I'm doing only what I want to, not what they expect or want from me!

And that should be possible without a sickness as cause!
Yes, but sometimes it must happen something like this for you to realise.

Your next album "The Book of Souls" debuts September 4. It's probably the longest album of your career: 11 songs in 90 minutes! How did you get so much exploitable material?
We started to record and write at the same time, and we continued until we said: "'Tis enough! We stop! We have nearly 100 minutes, it's enough guys!" (laughter). There were even some ideas left aside!

In an interview for "The Final Frontier", Steve announced that you were continuing towards this very progressive direction. Listening to "The Book of Souls", I have the impression that you passed to a superior level: Songs very long, a lot of timing changes and arrangements that recall the 70's prog-rock a little.
I grew up with that, same for Steve.

A song like "Speed Of Light" sounds more like hard rock from this 70's period thatn the heavy metal we were acustomed to listening since then.
Yeah, that sounds a lot like Deep Purple, a little like in their "Burn" period.

Should we expectate that you continue in this direction in the futur?
Honestly, I don't know what to tell you, I don't know. I would've never imagined before writing a song of 18 minutes.

In your career you've never been afraid of writing very epic long songs, for example the superb "Rime of the Ancient Mariner". In this album you have three song more than 10 minutes including "Empire of the Clouds" that's 18!
I can assure you one thing, I don't think we'll play Empire of the Clouds live (laughter). If we do, it would almost be in a parallel project.

À propos de ce morceau, c’est très rare que tu écrives seul un titre pour un album de Maiden. De quoi parle-t-il? Speaking of this song, it's not very rare for you to write alone a title for a Maiden Album. What is it about?
It tells the true story of R101, the biggest dirigible in the world, October the 5ht 1930. It crashed the same day. It's almost like a flying Titanic. It's a very well-known accident in England. When the Hindenbur exploded, everyone thought that it was the biggest tragedy involving a dirigible, but this one was bigger. This song, it's the story of its last day.

There's a lot of arrangements classiques with the piano, wind instruments and chords. Did you compose all these parts alone?
So I did.

It's impressive! Everyione knows you're a very good composer but I didn't know you had this talent in classic music.

But it isn't classic, it's only... music. It's only melodies assembled to tell a story. I adore the orchestral pieces in rock music, specially the harmonic chords, the violins, the flute, the oboe... This kind of instruments. I wrote this song in piano and I also recorded it for this album. It was kind of stressing because I'm a bad pianist, sufficiently good to assemble the melodies and the acords, but surely not a real competent musician.

Composing a song like this, is it difficult to stay focused? Isn't there a risk of reworking the song multiple times, adjusting and elevating parts without never getting to end?
The most important thing in a long song, at least for me, it's doing pauses while its composition. I wrote a part, then I left it for one or two days. After I returned to it, I listened to what I had composed and imagined what could come next. I was telling a story, therefore I had to insert the necessary elemnts for its narration. Ok, the dirigible is in a storm, well I need something that sounds like a storm and after imagining what happened during this storm, what the people inside the dirigible were doing or saying. You work like that until the song is complete.

Tu l’as donc composé pas à pas ou avais-tu déjà une idée de la trame principale ? Then you composed it step-by-step or did you already had an idea of the principal plot?
No, I composed it step-by-step. I imagine that it's a little like painting over a huge canvas. You begin with little steps and then the day after, when you want to begin again, you make a backstep to see the general image to see what need to be added. Then, you return to your oeuvre every day to add more dettails. It happened a little like that for "Empire of The Clouds".

What was the reaction of the rest of the band when you presented them this song?
I imagine that they prayed to not play it live (laughter)! Reccording was a challenge because the others had to play following the piano, all the way around the first third of the song. There wasn't any rythm. I recorded the piano parts and they based their parts on it.

You've been working with Kevin Shirley as a producer for 15 years now. What do you like the most about him and what has been his contribution during the production of the album?
Il est très doué pour ça. Speaking about "Empire of the Clouds", Kevin is a great fan of this song, he instantly knew it was going to get huge. Kevin is capable of producing a very good song and he gets to recreate over the tape our vision of the songs.

You don't change producers often! You were faithfl to Martin Birch for 12 years and now to Kevin for 15. Is it about trust, musical competence and technique or simply, you don't want to change a winning team?
In one side yes, there's this fact of being a good team and in the other, if we see the changes made compared to precedent albums, Kevin has been capable of adapting to these changes with us. In my opinion, it would be very difficult to being a new album and trusting a new producer. It's a very intimate relationship.

In our age and day, many metal bands are competing to see who has the most agressive and most heavy sound but you, you haven't been affraid of presenting a nearly vintage sound! Haven't you ever considered having a more aggresive sound, a little like the sound you have in your solo albums?
You know, Maiden has a very strong musical identity, why change and be like all the other bands?

Discography industry is in its lowest levels in history, is recording new albums still important?
Writing new material is very important. Without that, we'd be a sort of "Iron Maiden cover band" or a "karaoke band" of our band without being able to play new songs. It's obvious that we could tour endlessly with "greatest hits" but, why should the public come to our concerts without having nothing new to listen? They could just follow a tribute band! The reason people is still interested for your band, it's because you propose new things.

You're undoubtedly a fascinating character. You're a succesful singer, composer, plain pilot, you've been a high level esgrimeur, you've written books, you produce beer... How do you handle to have so much success in everything you do?
Si quelque chose ne marche pas, il faut être capable d’accepter que peut-être, ce n’est pas une chose faite pour toi et se concentrer sur quelque chose de nouveau.(Laughter) I don't know if I've accomplished that succes in everything I do, but I try to do my best. I'm good in certain domains and less in others, therefore I try to work with other people capable of filling my lacunes. In the aerial company cadre, I have a very good partner and together we achieve great wor. To be succesful, one must be perseverant but specially realist.

After all of that, are there any objectives that you'd like to achieve with Maiden, as an artist or as a person?
With Maiden, I wouldn't be against hitting numer 1 in American Billboard! (laughter)

Great job. Thanks

The Nomad

My god that Janick interview. Guy really doesn't have the ability to explain stuff articulately. I had no idea what he was trying to explain on various questions.


General of the Dark Army
Staff member
A 10 in metal hammer. Managed to get the physical copy. However my wifi is shite at the hotel I'm staying at. If no one uploads b4 this evening I'll upload all the articles when I get back to my laptop this evening.

Still not in the shop here, which was a surprise. I'll look again tomorrow.


Can I play with Agnes
A 10 in Metal Hammer is good... right guys? Or is every maiden album a 10 to the reviewer? How much did TFF get?

The Nomad

...This is also evident in his soloing and never playing the same solo twice :p
Seriously man, just like Janick says in the interview "Your playing channels your personality" or something to that extent, not his exact words but that's the gest.
He is a messy incoherent human being ;P
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Ancient Mariner

"Carpe Diem"


Ancient Mariner
Seriously man, just like Janick says in the interview "You're playing channels your personality" or something to that extent, not his exact words but that's the gest.
He is a messy incoherent human being ;P

Incoherent is not to understand it that Jan said. His interviews are always fantastic.


Black-and-white leopard
Seriously man, just like Janick says in the interview "You're playing channels your personality" or something to that extent, not his exact words but that's the gest.
He is a messy incoherent human being ;P
I have read one interview with Jan lately and that's the one in Glide magazine. So assuming you're talking about that same interview, I couldn't disagree more. First of all, if a sentence like "You're playing channels your personality" appears in the interview, that's not Janick's fault. It's the journalist's fault, the editor's fault, etc. If Janick says "Your playing channels your personality", he can't be held responsible for the way that's printed. That's a perfectly legitimate sentence, both grammatically and in terms of the meaning it carries.
Secondly, I find interviews with Janick, both video and printed stuff, very intriguing and insightful. The fact that he's witty and doesn't resort to the usual cliches one would expect from musicians doesn't make him incoherent. Quite the opposite - he's well-educated, has a university degree, and always has a slightly different point of view to present. I for one deeply respect this.


Ancient Mariner
Obvioulsy one's personality gets channeled in what one does. Be music, painting, movies, cooking.

Maybe with time, it might be understood 'cos it's so obvious.

Black Bart

Ancient Mariner
Seriously man, just like Janick says in the interview "You're playing channels your personality" or something to that extent, not his exact words but that's the gest.
He is a messy incoherent human being ;P
Well, the blame should be laid on the one who transcripted the interview. If that person had spoken good English (and/ or had been professional enough to read the whole article again before posting it), they would have written "Your playing channels your personality", which is pretty clear, I guess, though the phrasing is a bit far-fetched for saying that "how you play reflects your personality and your current mood".

Besides, saying Janick is not articulate is quite surprising, graduating in sociology not being that accessible to people who cannot express themselves.:nonono:
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