Bruce Dickinson Describes Iron Maiden Concerts as “Magical Ritual”

by Patria
Bruce Dickinson

Bruce Dickinson, the frontman of legendary heavy metal band Iron Maiden, has described their concerts as “a magical ritual” that is “almost shamanic.” In a recent interview with The Quietus, Dickinson elaborated on his unique approach to performing, emphasizing his role in manipulating the energy and spirits of the audience during their shows.

“An Iron Maiden show is a magic ritual,” Dickinson explained. “That’s absolutely what is going on. I look at what I’m doing—the way I behave, my placement on the stage at a certain point in the set—as almost shamanic. What you are doing is playing with the audience’s energy, raising it, lowering it, reflecting it back.”

Performing at such an intense level is not for the fainthearted. Dickinson continued, “I regard myself when I’m onstage as being essentially transparent. That’s the only way I can deal with the level of intensity that’s happening—removing myself from the equation and letting the song take over. Sometimes, if I throw a fit at someone in the audience, it’s because they’ve behaved in a way that’s broken the spell. That’s infuriating because you were so in that moment of actual non-existence. It looks like you’re there, but actually you’re not. You’ve vanished into the music and the show—that’s what propels you, that’s what you’ve become.”

In addition to his musical career, Bruce Dickinson has recently taken on the role of Patron of The Blake Cottage Trust, which aims to preserve the heritage of the visionary artist and poet William Blake. Dickinson, who released his latest solo album, “The Mandrake Project,” in March and is currently touring, has long been inspired by Blake and has referenced him frequently in his work.

The 65-year-old rocker is helping the charity raise funds to carry out essential repairs on Blake’s cottage in Felpham, Sussex. In the music video for his solo single, “Rain On The Graves,” Dickinson uncovers a replica of Blake’s grave, which is being auctioned to raise money for the restoration project.

“He’s an artist to whom you should aspire,” Dickinson said of Blake. “There’s a purity to what he does that is untrammelled by commerciality or anything like that. He was unpredictable, he was cranky, he was difficult to deal with. He’s uncompromising, he’s rude, he’s bellicose. But he’s incredibly powerful. He matters.”

In a statement, Dickinson expressed his commitment to the project: “William Blake has given me so much over the years, and I want to repay the debt by helping to restore the Cottage. Despite his impact on the world, there is no centre for Blake, nowhere people can visit to see the place where he actually lived and worked during a key part of his life. I want to change this.”

The year 2027 marks the 200th anniversary of Blake’s death, and there are plans to open the Cottage to the public as a centre for artists, writers, and visionaries. The first step in the restoration project is to repair the roof, estimated to cost £80,000, with the total restoration projected at £1.5 million.

A press release noted that Dickinson will be at the forefront of the fundraising campaign, launching an auction of memorabilia from both Iron Maiden and his solo career through the Iron Maiden Fanclub.

Blake’s most famous works include “Songs of Innocence” (1789) and “Songs of Experience” (1794), which continue to inspire artists today, including U2, who named their 2014 and 2017 albums after Blake’s poetry collections.

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