When Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson recently Zoom chatted with Heavy Consequence about his current spoken word tour of North America, he also discussed Maiden’s latest album, Senjutsu, which was met with universal acclaim upon its release.
More than 40 years into their career, Iron Maiden haven’t lost a beat. Released on September 3rd, 2021, Senjutsu has been one of the band’s most heralded albums. In fact, it landed at No. 1 on our list of the Top 30 Metal & Hard Rock Albums of 2021.
We asked Dickinson what keeps Maiden at the top of the metal game after so many years. He told us, “We are a lot better players now — in many ways — than we were 20 years ago, certainly 25 years ago. Because we’re not thinking quite so much down the same tramlines. And because of that, it’s enabled us to do an album like Senjutsu.”
He also pointed to the timing of the recording, which primarily occurred before the pandemic. “It was pure good fortune that we recorded it when we did,” he remarked. “And perhaps because we were so relaxed and couldn’t see in our crystal ball what was coming up, and we knew we had to sit on the album no matter happened — because no point in putting it out until after we’d done The Legacy Tour.”
Dickinson went on to say, “I can’t put my finger on exactly one aspect of the album that made things just click. Because that’s not the way things are when you make what is a really amazing record…and I think it really is an amazing record, by the way. You have a vague awareness of it, that ‘This might be good,’ when you do it.”
As it turns out, Dickinson developed a sense of (to borrow the title of an earlier Maiden tune) déjà vu concerning Senjutsu. “The Number of the Beast, when we did that album — that is also a fairly popular album — we all had a vague awareness that, ‘Wow. This feels like it’s something special.’ And indeed it was. But exactly why? It’s hard to put your finger on.”
In addition to the new Maiden album and his spoken-word tour, the metal icon is plotting his first solo album in more than 15 years. “I’ve been working on it on and off since [2005’s] Tyranny of Souls. But between lockdowns and albums and Maiden tours and everything else, it’s like I’m looking for a clear space to actually nail it, and say, ‘OK. This is what it’s going to be’.”
Fans in North America will be able to experience material from Senjutsu performed live this fall, when Maiden continue their Legacy of the Beast Tour. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster. Plus, it’s not too late to see Dickinson on his current spoken-word tour, which runs through a March 30th show in Kitchener, Ontario. Pick up those tickets here.
Watch the video above to see Bruce Dickinson talk more about Senjutsu and his solo album, and stay tuned for more from our conversation with the Maiden frontman as we mark the 40th anniversary of The Number of the Beast.
Trouble viewing the video above? Watch on YouTube.