September 26, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 17  

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Iron Maiden say good-bye to the touring life

By Myles DeRosse
Gazette Staff

Gazette file photo
THE ORIGINAL COCK ROCK ATTITUDE. The guys in Iron Maiden plan to park their tour buses permanently after the current tour winds up.

Backstage at the Molson Amphitheatre, Janick Gers of the legendary heavy metal act Iron Maiden is looking calm and collected an hour before going onstage.

"We're playing a retrospective set, not a hits set," Gers says about the show to come. "They're songs we haven't really done for a while. Some songs we haven't played since 1984."

Iron Maiden was on tour this summer trying to reignite the Maiden flame before the release of their twelfth studio album, Dance of Death.

"We never try to be Iron Maiden," Gers insists. "But when you put the album on, it's immediately identifiable as Iron Maiden. I think that's because we are not a contrived band. The sound you get is who we are."

In order to make sure the recorded sound is actually who they are, Iron Maiden recorded Dance of Death together as a complete band live in the studio.

"That is what The Beatles did and what Zeppelin did," Gers explains, "That is the way I like to hear music. I think a lot of music nowadays is sterile. It's all perfect timing. I like to hear music move and breathe. On Dance of Death the music does move; you will hear the air and the breath between the playing," Gers admits.

With Bruce Dickinson back as the frontman, Maiden's previous release Brave New World was quite successful. The band has high hopes for their current release as well.

"We are very excited about [the new album]," Gers says on behalf of the band. "It's quite a diverse album. There are some really different things on there - we traveled a few different avenues."

But where do these avenues come from and what is the inspiration for a band that has been playing together for almost 25 years?

"I think whatever you do in life, whatever you see, wherever you go, wherever you tour, you take things with you and regurgitate them when you write six months later," Gers explains on his philosophy for writing music. "All an album is really, is a point in time where you are. You're actually writing where you are at that moment; once it's gone it's gone. Six months later you are somewhere else. Your mind is somewhere else. Your body is someone else. It's organic, it grows. And hopefully you grow along with it."

Although Maiden may be writing to convey a sense of who they are right now, they are still trying to better the Iron Maiden sound.

"You have got to be silly going in to make an album and not try to top the last one," Gers laughs. "You have to make it interesting for yourself. You are always trying to top yourself, but you can't always do it. I think every Iron Maiden album stands up on it's own. I'm proud of everything we have done."

Although Maiden fans should be excited for Dance of Death, the release also marks the end of one of Maiden's most well-known traits: their never-ending tour schedule. Maiden has reported that after the Dance of Death tour going on now, they will have no more major tours.

"We want to keep the quality up," Gers explains. "If you are touring for two and a half years, about half way through it you are going to feel a bit jaded perhaps. I don't want to feel like that. I want to go out and make every gig special."




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