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Bruce Dickinson Interview
Author: Unkwown
Date: 30-September-1990
Category: Interviews
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Bruce Dickinson discussing "No Prayer For The Dying"


The title came from a porno movie, about anal sex, then I thought, well I can't write the lyrics about that! So I write it about real tail gunners. I had some words which began 'Trace your way back fifty years, to the glow of Dresden, blood and tears'. I know we shouldn't mention the war but it's about the attitude of bombing people. It was real death in the skies back then. But there aren't any tail gunners on planes anymore, it's all done by computers using missiles. At least it used to be man-on-man, but now it's machine-on-machine. Who uses bullets anymore?

Holy Smoke
This is about TV preachers and all the various lies they tell and I just had this big image of all those ovens in the death camps with the preachers' feet sticking out and holy smoke going up.

No Prayer For The Dying
This song has Steve's lyrics and for me it has the best vocal on the album - the one I like best, even though it's like just two lines. It's one of the best 'quiet beginning' type songs I've ever done with Maiden and I really like the melody line.

Public Enema Number One
It's actually about... green hypocrites. It's about a big guy with his fast car, and he's leaving the city in a cloud of smoke leaving the children crying in fear. He's got a one way ticket out of here. Fine, see ya. because he can afford it, he's left everyone else behind and in the cities there is over crowding, guns and riots and it seems like everything is gonna snap. The politicians just lie to save their own skins, gamble that they are gonna do the right thing, and they give the press scape goats all the time. The whole thing is based on a cross between New York and LA and I just hope the kids of today have more brains than the frazzled remains of the Sixties and the Seventies generations... California dreaming as the earth dies screaming! That's what it's about, people talking about the environment and not doing anything.

Fates Warning
Steve's words again. This is about feeling secure when everyone's life can hang by a thread. You can go anytime and who knows why or how?

The Assassin
Here we are trying to get into the head of a hired killer. He doesn't do it for money, but because he likes it and he's cool, calculating, cold and sadistic. These are Steve's lyrics again.

Run Silent, Run Deep
These are some words I wrote for the 'Somewhere In Time' album. That particular song never made it but I kept the words, and when Steve came up with something, I said: 'You know what will fit brilliantly there - these words'. It's a song about submarines, actually the first song about submarines. 'Dive, Dive, Dive' came later. This is a slightly more serious version. The title comes from one of my favourite war movies. We do use a lot of film and book titles because they always inspire good material for us. But then books crop up a lot on films! This is about the dog eat dog, no mercy world of life and death at sea during the Second World War, and it was as rough for the guys below as it was for the guys up top. They both engaged in this evil struggle without any mercy. And the sea didn't have any mercy.

Hooks In You
Is a slightly tounge in cheek thing. Me and Paddy went to look at a house to buy and it was lived in by three gay guys. We looked around and it had all these beams, and one of the guys was obviously into S&M and leather and stuff, and in one room there were these enourmous industrial hooks screwed into the beams. My mind boggled at what they could be used for. I went home and wrote 'Hooks In You' with the line 'All the hooks in the ceiling, that well h8ng feeling'. I couldn't write it about gay guys, but what if - you went round to the house of Mr. and Mrs. Average you found all these hooks in the ceiling. What do THEY get up? (Did Bruce buy the house?) No we didn't! At the end of the song the guy thinks his wife has been unfaithful and sets her in concrete in the foundations.

Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter
Here I tried to sum up what I thought 'Nightmare On Elm Street' movies are really about, and it's all about adolescent fear of period pains. That's what I think it is - deep down. When a young girl first gets her period she bleeds and it happens at night, and so she is afraid to go to sleep and it's a very terrifying time for her, sexually as well, and 'Nightmare On Elm Street' targets that fear. The real slaughter in the Freddie movies is when she loses her virginity. That is the rather nasty thought behind it all, but that's what makes those kind of movies frightening.

Mother Russia
Is about the tragedy of a great land which has an incredible history of being over run and people being massacred, for centuries, and this song says wouldn't it be great if Russia could finally get itself together now and live in peace.

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