IRON MAIDEN ENDS WEEKS OF ONLINE SPECULATION TO REVEAL FIRST NEW MUSIC IN SIX YEARS WITH SPECTACULAR, STATE OF THE ART ANIMATED VIDEO: “THE WRITING ON THE WALL”
Iron Maiden today revealed their brand-new track, The Writing On The Wall, with an eagerly anticipated global YouTube video premiere. The song was written by Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith & lead singer Bruce Dickinson, produced by Kevin Shirley and co-produced by Maiden bassist and founder-member Steve Harris.
Bruce Dickinson initially had a concept for the video which came to fruition in collaboration with two Award-winning former Pixar executives and long-standing Maiden fans Mark Andrews & Andrew Gordon. The pair have over 50 years of animation industry experience between them at the very top-level including work on The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Brave, Monsters Inc & Finding Nemo. With partners lining up to get involved with the project they chose BlinkInk, a London based animation studio celebrated for their work with a variety of global brands from Adidas to Coca-Cola and a number of high-profile music videos.
In BlinkInk director Nicos Livesey, another long-time Maiden fan & kindred spirit, they found a man who shared the collective vision for the track – resulting in the final film which features the very first glimpse of a stunning new incarnation of Eddie in spectacular 3D form.
Bruce comments “I had a pretty clear idea of the concept to accompany the song and when I met Mark and Andrew, on Zoom, it quickly became clear we were all very much on the same wavelength, and this was reinforced with the addition of Nicos and his young BlinkInk team. Our weekly team Zoom meetings were then usually both highly creative and a lot of fun!
I’m very proud of the way the video turned out, it’s more like a mini-film really. I knew it was going to work out as soon as Mark brought my treatment to life with his incredible storyboards – I thought we could make something very special together. I think we did and hope our fans will agree. In fact it’s pretty much created by Maiden fans.”
Director, Nicos Livesey takes up the story: “We quickly found the expertise we wanted, and people were literally throwing themselves at me to work on a Maiden video – we had more than 60 people in 13 countries from Brazil to France, & Romania to the U.S.A. to add something to the clip and I’d say their love, passion and understanding of the band shines through every frame. They were a dream team for the producers and myself to manage.”
1.10 – Maiden rip Priest riff again: Am I the only one who hears ‘Beyond the Realms of Death?’
Mind you, that’s nothing considering the riff to ‘The Wicker Man’ was ‘Running Wild’…. in the most part.
I cannot put into words how much I don’t like Iron Maiden and have never understood their popularity. One good thing without question is Rod Smallwood, their manager.
I’ve heard Adrian Smith do stuff outside of Maiden and I thought that it was quite good, I’ve also heard Bruce’s stuff (admittedly, well over 20 years since I heard Tattooed Millionaire but thought it was good at the time when I heard it.)
Makes me wonder what Dickinson/Smith could do together away from the Maiden constraints.
Ooooo, my buddy, D.J.H, throwing down the Priest gauntlet. 🙂 🙂
I agree wholeheartedly with your Adrian Smith comment. I was actually very surprised when I heard how soulful his singing voice is, on all of the Smith/Kozten tracks that were posted, especially Scars. He sounds a bit like Joe Bonamassa, and I must admit, that S/K has made me view Smith in a whole new light. I have newfound respect, and admiration, for him as a singer, guitar player, and as a song writer.
Regarding Iron Maiden, I think my biggest issue with the band, is that every song sounds alike. I always know it’s them, even before Dickinson’s vocals are heard. It’s as if Steve Harris cannot write a bass line that doesn’t sound galloping…ever. I think it’s fine, if that is what you like, but I was never attracted to that sound. Obviously, AC/DC and Def Leppard, can also be cited as examples of sounding redundant (especially AC/DC), but since I LOVE those bands, and their sound, it isn’t off-putting to me.
Finally, I would like to end this post on positive note (no pun intended), so I will admit that Iron Maiden, hands down, have the best album covers. I also commend Dickinson for using his education background to write thought provoking lyrics on a plethora of subjects like, history and mythology (which I love). So, kudos to Maiden for those attributes.
Oh yes Dana – the Steve Harris baseline…..
And to think that this guy was influenced by people like Pete Way, Geddy Lee and Geezer Butler (and possibly Chris Squire from Yes).
Regarding the previously mentioned Rod Smallwood, who besides Maiden also managed W.A.S.P, tried to do a deal to become the manager of Saxon. Without wanting to sound biased, as I don’t like Maiden, but had he become the manager of Saxon, and they did what he told them to do (although Biff Byford is very strong minded and willed like Mr Smallwood seems to be), I have always said that Saxon would be the one playing the big arenas still to this day.
I just had to replay this for my fiancee, who loves Maiden. Now, since I did not view the video, re-hearing the entire song, I have admit that it does NOT have those typical Harris galloping bass lines, and is not bad.
However, I stand by my criticism of the video. Maybe, Maiden should have stuck with a performance clip?
Dana, I’ve listened to this song a few times and I’m enjoying it more with each listen. Yes, it doesn’t have those Harris galloping bass lines that I enjoy hearing, which I attribute to the fact that Harris didn’t write the song. Harris is my favorite metal bassist and l love listening to his style of playing. His style of playing is crucial to Maiden’s sound, which is primarily due to Harris being the principal songwriter for the band.
My only criticism is I wish Maiden didn’t play as many progressive passages, as their recent albums tend to be……
That is where we differ, I find those galloping bass lines redundant, and because they are so repetitive, they become uninspiring. I was never a bass fan, but someone like Billy Sheehan, who is an exceptional musician, makes me think differently. I even appreciate Tony Franklin’s playing on Blue Murder’s debut album.
I give Maiden credit for ditching the usual Harris formulaic music, and allowing others to contribute to the writing process, it is a nice change of pace. Regarding the band’s music going in a more progressive direction, I admit, I have no knowledge of that (as I am not a listener), but I am not a fan of prog rock, either.
UPDATE: According to the new Maiden press release The Writing On The Wall was co-writtten by Smith and Dickinson. So, good for Harris for changing up his writing style.
Spot on about Adrian Smith. I love the Smith/Kotzen CD.
Came across that story on Facebook that said Adrian Smith was considered for Def Leppard.
Could you imagine that? Now knowing he’s a competent singer as well, what a great fit that would’ve been. Maybe the Lepps would have had a harder edge instead of what we got with Vivian.
Very interesting info, MM. I would have never pictured Vivian Campbell in the band, nor did I know that he had a good voice, either. There are some hidden gems out there, that are far more than talented, than we even realize.