Bruce & Adrian

August 11, 1997

(Rock Brigade magazine)

Rock Brigade: How would you define the feeling of Accident of Birth?

Bruce Dickinson: Heaven and hell, that's all! You can see the bad and good side of everything. There is no other way to describe it. This is what I absorbed when I made the songs.

Adrian Smith: A lot of bands are obscure and negative. I like these things, but it's too much for a whole album. Accident of Birth makes you feel good, like rock 'n' roll itself. The lyrics have different aspects.

BD: The lyrics are about life, death, the end of the world, the universe, and time. Who will save us in the year 2000 if the prophecies are correct?

RB: This a typical heavy metal album. Playing together again, did you have any difficulties trying to be different from Iron Maiden's sound?

BD: Iron Maiden now is different from Maiden's sound. I don't want to say something bad, but their last album was very different from Piece of Mind or the other albums that I contributed to, and this is probably because Adrian and I are out. Because of this, when we play together it will sound a bit like Maiden.

AS: We contributed to Maiden's sound. It's impossible to escape from it.

RB: During the whole process of recording the album, were you worried that some songs would wind up sounding like Iron Maiden?

BD: No. If the song was really good, and had a good feeling, fuck Maiden! We would play it anyway.

RB: Comparing your bands after Maiden - Psycho Motel and Skunkworks - Accident of Birth is the heaviest album that you have made. How did you return to this style?

BD: I was in L.A. writing the songs with Roy Z. We wrote some really good metal songs, so I thought: "I will record a metal album." That was all. After that I called Adrian and said: "I'm making a metal album and I need another guitarist. Would you like to play with us?"

RB: Adrian, how did you feel about this invitation?

AS: Bruce was really excited about the new songs. When he played one of them for me I noticed that it was something new, and I had the same ideas. We did it for fun. There were some really great riffs. And the next thing we knew, the album was already done.

RB: Bruce, why did you choose Adrian? Everybody knows that you haven't played together for almost 10 years.

BD: That's nothing special, we never stopped seeing each other since the last time we played with Maiden.

AS: I still talk to the other guys from Maiden, and Dave is my best friend.

BD: Dave was in my house drinking and listening to Accident of Birth from 5pm to 4am. Dave liked the album very much.

RB: How do you compare the recording of this album with the last one you did together with Maiden?

AS: In terms of writing, we did the same things.

BD: It was like we never stopped playing and writing songs. We worked harder than we did in Maiden's time. We rehearsed for 3 weeks, which is a lot of time, and we worked 18 hours per day at the studios.

AS: With Maiden we'd rehearse only 1 week to record the album, and some things we recorded without rehearsing.

RB: Why did you choose the Tribe of Gypsies to play with you?

BD: They're nice guys and they're a band. I don't want studio musicians. What's important is the fact that they care about the album, it isn't only me and Adrian, there are other 3 guys who did incredible things.

RB: So, why call the band "Bruce Dickinson"?

BD: It didn't work when I tried with Skunkworks. Everybody said: "It's Bruce's band, the ex-singer of Maiden."

AS: Everybody can know the band as Bruce Dickinson, no problem with that. If the band had another name, everybody would need to know the musician's name anyway.

RB: Adrian, will you continue with Psycho Motel?

AS: Yes. We spent 9 months finding a new singer. I had found one when Bruce called me. When I finished Accident of Birth, I went to make the new Psycho Motel album. As soon as I get a break from Bruce's project, I'll do some shows with Psycho Motel.

RB: Bruce, do you intend to continue with Skunkworks in the near future?

BD: No. I broke up with Skunkworks last summer. They were really good musicians, but they had very different kinds of ideas, musically speaking.

RB: Is the new band a stable or unstable project?

BD: If the album is a success, obviously we will continue. I'm enjoying this new project very much and it's the best thing I've ever done. We will tour together and we'll play some Maiden songs.

RB: Which ones?

BD: "2 Minutes", "Flight of Icarus", and others that I wrote with Adrian.

AS: We want to do a big tour, and obviously we'll play the new songs too.

RB: Playing Maiden songs, aren't you afraid of being too nostalgic?

BD: No, because Accident of Birth is better than everything I have done with Maiden since 1986. I want the people coming to the shows, enjoying them, and buying the album.

AS: This album has its own sound. Of course there are some things like Maiden simply because we are in the band, but there is something special about this album.

RB: We talked a lot about Iron Maiden in this interview. Is there any chance that you would play as Maiden again with Steve, Dave and Nicko, reforming that classic lineup that we all love so much?

BD: It depends. Would it be fun doing some shows? Yes, it would. Would we play good songs? Yes, we would. But I don't know if it would work well in the context of doing another album. We would have to do something better than Accident of Birth, and that's difficult.

AS: It would be nice to do some shows, though I don't think I'd want to do another album. But I never say never.