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Bruce Dickinson and Janick Gers Interview
26/March/1999 - Bruce & Janick
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Source: Triple JJJ FM Radio - Costa Zoulio
Date: March 26th, 1999
Costa: When I spoke to you (Bruce) that last time just over a month ago, I asked you the question - "would you ever get back with Maiden?" and you said "well yeah I probably would if I was asked". What happened, tell me the story.
Bruce: Well, somebody asked me! (laughs). Obviously with all the rumours and everything flying around I wasn't exactly unprepared for somebody to say something at some point. We do share, Maiden and myself the same manager, Rod Smallwood, and he obviously knows whats going on in my head and whats going on in the Maiden guys as well. We had a chat one day and he said "look, Blaze is leaving the band, how do you feel about... if you wanted to come back?" And I was like well, "you go talk to Steve, I'd be up for it but we should all get together and have a chat".
Janick: I will if you will! (laughs)
Bruce: Yeah, and so we did. We all got together for a meeting down at Brighton, which is where Rod lives and had an afternoon down there, and afternoon turned into an evening down the pub and I mean by that time it was all over. It didn't take long you know to wander in and say..
Janick: I'll buy the rounds! (laughs)
Bruce: There wasn't a huge amount to discuss apart from "lets get on with it". I mean a few things like, Steve was concerned that I didn't want to like do it for five minutes and grab the money and run and I said "No, that’s not the intention". My concern was, we really have to make a great record. I mean I know we could go out and tour and it'd be a real big thing and people would be curious, but that’s novelty value and I'm not interested in that - none of us are. We want to make a great new studio record and Steve was actually the first one to say "I think we need to get a top line producer in to do it" and I was like "that’s my question answered really" about peoples commitment to making Maiden number one again, not just a kind of Kiss reunion thing or a Black Sabbath reunion thing, but as a real live band that’s gonna go out there and kick everybody's asses!
Costa: Well I think as far as the producer goes that would have to be a great start because the past couple of Maiden records I think have suffered a bit in as much as being a little bit introspective, maybe everyone being a bit too close to what was coming out.
Janick: I think that's constructive criticism, and that's something we've kind of looked at and we're putting right.
Bruce: The vibe within the band now, and people have been commenting on it, everybody's got this big fire in their eyes that we're gonna go out and really take the planet by storm. And that goes for the live set and for the album as well. There's a pretty fierce determination and we're not gonna let this opportunity slip. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, well for me it's twice in a lifetime. But I'm not gonna let this one go just like I didn't let it go when I joined and we did Number Of The Beast and those early records. I think we have the chance again to really knock people back and go "Jesus Christ! This is a heavy metal band, playing heavy metal music" and not playing apologetic pop music with electric guitars - but real fire breathing heavy metal stuff and people are gonna go out and buy it.
Costa: Well, it’s a long time since I can remember the metal community, people who buy and listen to metal records have been quite as excited as this anytime.
Janick: The reason for that is, it's right. It's just the right thing to do, Bruce coming back. Everything feels perfect, the six members, we've played together before - Donnington '92 when Adrian came up and we did Running Free together. It's just the right thing to do, it feels right, the adrenalin, the buzz, the excitement within the band is incredible. The idea is not just to do a "reunion", but we're getting back together, play the old stuff, we're gonna do about 20 gigs based on the Ed-Hunter computer game and the songs on their were picked out by the kids on the internet as the top 20 Maiden tracks and that’s gonna be more or less the songs we do on these 25 or so gigs. We're gonna come back from that and go in the studio with a top producer and we are gonna make an incredible album and we're gonna go out in the millennium with possibly the biggest ever Iron Maiden show and we're gonna take that right around the world and that's the intention we have.
Costa: Fantastic! Well what's it like Janick for you, to have two guitarists to play with on stage?
Janick: It's completely adds another dimension to the band and gives the band for a start a new song writing capability, it adds another string to the board in the guitar department. I think it's gonna be heavier, bigger, it's gonna be more textured than it's ever been and some of the songs we've done in the past there might be three or four guitars on the track and now we've got that other guitar we can use to texture things. I think it's great, it can only add to the band, It's definitely gonna be heavier!
Costa: Fantastic! Have you had any gigs or rehearsals at this stage?
Janick: Well we rehearsed it in the bar! (laughs) We haven't actually got to the musical instruments yet.
Bruce: Actually, we've done a couple of weeks of song writing, we've already got four or five ideas together, myself, Janick and Adrian. This is gonna continue throughout the whole year, we've got a whole month in May and we've got the whole of October so we're taking that very, very seriously. I think there's gonna be like most of these things, there's gonna be kind of like a honey-moon period when everything looks rosy, then we're gonna have to get down to some hard work which we're looking forward to that. Then there's gonna be the tour this summer, which you see the set-list and it's like your dream Iron Maiden set-list, it's unbelievable. We were tinkering around with it last night, It's gonna be a pretty big show, we've got split-screens and things coming down, we're gonna be showing little movies during the gig - not when we're running around (laughs) but inbetween you know. No 3D glasses though! (laughs) There's gonna be some pyro, so it's gonna be a real class show. We are holding a few things back for next year, because next year is gonna be a truly humongous show, it'll be the biggest Iron Maiden show there's ever been!
Costa: So, I guess in Australia we'll have to wait until the year 2000 will we?
Bruce: Yeah, afraid so.
Janick: Along with the U.K.
Bruce: A lot of places are having to wait until 2000. We don't want to go out and make this look like a big "Reunion Binge - you know lets go out play as many places, get the cash and we'll get around to making a dodgy album" - we don't wanna do that! The whole focus of what we're doing is geared up towards peaking after the album gets released and on the tour next year. We're gonna go out this tout, and I think its gonna be sell out shows in America and Europe and its gonna give people something to talk about for the new year. Then we're gonna hunka-down and you probably won't hear a whole lot from us from us for a few months because we're going to get on with what for me is in many ways the main event - which is making the best Iron Maiden album there's ever been! And whilst I think we can do it, I think it's gonna take a lot of inspiration and a lot of perspiration as well.
Costa: Well, good luck fellas! I'm sure you don't need too much luck, it's going to happen. Like I said before, I don't think I've heard quite as much excitement in the metal community ever! So there's a lot of people looking forward to it, a lot of people in Australia looking forward to seeing you guys. We're gonna have to wait a little while - I'm sure it's gonna be worth the wait!
Bruce: Yeah, we'll see you down in OZ!