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Eddie's back

Iconic Brit Heavy Metal band, Iron Maiden is back with an album after five years. As their first double studio album, The Book of Souls, releases today, guitarist Janick Gers talks shop

One of the big daddies of Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden’s Rock ballads continue to entrance fans beyond generations. Their first concert in India, held in Bangalore in 2007 remains one of the biggest international acts ever seen in the country and with the launch of their latest album, The Book of Souls, the Maiden fever is all set to grip Metal fans again.

Guitarists Janick Gers (left) and Steve Harris (right) during their 2007 performance in Bangalore. Pic/AFP
Guitarists Janick Gers (left) and Steve Harris (right) during their 2007 performance in Bangalore. Pic/AFP

It has been five years since Iron Maiden released their last album, The Final Frontier. Naturally, The Book of Souls, the 16th studio album of the band, has been in news for various reasons. It is their first double studio album, and features their longest song till date, Empire of the Clouds, that clocks 18 minutes.

Adrian Smith, Dave Murray, Bruce Dickinson, Steve Harris, Nicko Mcbrain and Janick Gers of Iron Maiden pose for photographers during a press conference in Mumbai in January 2008. Pic/AFP
Adrian Smith, Dave Murray, Bruce Dickinson, Steve Harris, Nicko Mcbrain and Janick Gers of Iron Maiden pose for photographers during a press conference in Mumbai in January 2008. Pic/AFP

“The band has been around for a long time. And when we get together, there are so many ideas. We try to push boundaries and cover different avenues every time. The album isn’t a stretch; there are several different themes and melodies,” shares Janick Gers, one of the band’s guitarists, while reasoning how the album evolved into a long one.

The band has been around since 1975 and since then has undergone many changes in their line-up. One of the many exits and returns the band saw was that of the lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson, who is said to have one of the most powerful Heavy Metal voices of all time.

Dickinson recently underwent therapy to treat a cancerous tumour, because of which the band’s tour for the album had to be postponed till 2016. “The vocals for the album were done before the cancer was detected. His voice sounded normal and none of us had a clue about it.

When the results of the test were revealed, it was a shock for everybody. He is better now and we will tour starting January,” reveals Gers. Like Dickinson’s recent health scare, the band has seen several ups and downs in their career.

“Every album is a standpoint of where we are in our careers at that time. Hence, there are constant changes, though we will always sound Iron Maiden. It is the same with this album too,” he tells us over the phone. They will also release a vinyl version of the album internationally.

The Book of Souls, Iron Maiden, Sony Music, `599, available at leading music stores and e-stores
The Book of Souls, Iron Maiden, Sony Music, `599, available at leading music stores and e-stores

“The Internet helps younger bands to get their music online but it can be intrusive. There are plenty of downloads, but we still do vinyls,” Gers explains. Ask him if we will see them in India, Gers tells us, “We would love to come to India. Though logistically, it is not possible right now,” we can only hope.

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