LE FIGARO. – Why have you been attracted by the heavy metal rather than punk rock?
BRUCE DICKINSON. – The “punk” existed only in the eyes of the media. This movement was invented in the same way as was the new wave of british heavy metal in order to sell magazines. It didn’t mean much. Many musicians punk was simply because they were not good enough to do heavy metal, what heavy metal bands do to be deprived not of their mind. All that changed when the Clash arrived. They had everything from punk, but were “songwriters” and committed artists with a dimension of power in their sound.
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do You have an example of other musicians of that dimension in mind?
Leonard Cohen! He was a great storyteller also. It was the illustration of the vast space that the world of music can cover. He did not have a traditional voice, but it was a singer exceptional. Her voice is the song, the story. This is something that I have put in the time to integrate and to apply it to myself. Anyone who can use her voice to play it. Less to tell a story.
Which groups have you enjoyed during your childhood?
Deep Purple has been my first revelation. And then, I am interested in the groups of progressive rock with Van der Graaf Generator. They had songs about lighthouse keepers become crazy [ A Plague of Light Housekeeper , ED.], I bottait.
You have joined Iron Maiden, along the way. How have you felt in the middle of a group to international fame?
The drummer of Iron Maiden, Clive Burr, had played with me in Samson, my previous group. He had joined a year before me. I knew them all a little to have crossed several times in London, but not as much as Clive. If I were to use an image, I would say that it was as if I had been recruited as a striker in a football team from the second division. I had walked out of a club of the lesser-known League 2 at FC Barcelona. It was crazy!
You grant a place extremely important to the sport of fencing in your life. Your equipment goes with you when you go on tour. This helps you to stay healthy in body and mind?
Exactly. And then, there is a philosophy that I love in this discipline. It is a combat sport, just as boxing or tennis. In all of these sports, there has been a war that plays out in the head of each of the players. And it is a clash of psychological. OK, it must be in good physical condition to play, but made a deal with two players of the same level: the difference is in the head. For me, this is it is fascinating in the sport of fencing.
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You are a pilot of the line. You shine both in the air and on stage…
I think that there are similarities between my job as a pilot and singer. When I get wild in front of hundreds of thousands of people, everyone is aware of what I am doing. When I pilot a plane, and that there are 400 people on board, no one sees me. People just want to get to your destination and enjoy their holiday. There was only me and the person sitting to my side that know what we have to accomplish. There is a complicity different from that between the singer and his audience. We may have found the solution to a mountain of problems – to have avoided a crash, for example. In the end, no one knows except my co-pilot. So goes the life!
You’ve survived cancer by 2015. What have you learned about yourself in the face of the disease?
This is a very difficult question. I certainly have learned things, but I can’t tell you what exactly. The people who ask this question are expecting necessarily to hear that this experience has changed your life. It was the horror for a year and a half, that’s how it changed my life. I don’t know if this experience has made me more calm, more mad, more determined. In any case, it has made me conscious of existence.
Of all your albums, which one is your favourite? Or rather, which one resembles you the most?
I would say 60% of My Chemical Wedding and the rest for the Tyranny of Souls .
What is it’ Accident of Birth , which seems to have a special place in your heart?
I made this album with the guys of the “barrio”. They were all mexican-americans. They are fans of Maiden and metal. It is amazing what they are good. Give them guitars, congas, or any other instrument, you’ll see. The exotic, that is my dada. I love folk music, irish traditional music. If we had had time, I would have put violins irish in Empire of the Clouds . It just takes time and it costs very expensive to bring all these musicians on tour. Well, you know… If you don’t sell tickets, you are dead!
* Bruce Dickinson will be present at the Fnac Lyon Bellecour Thursday, January 17 from 14h to 16h on hand to sign his autobiography, what is this button, which appeared in Talent editions .