Every band (even one as tight as The Beatles) needs to take some time away from each other to focus on solo projects. In one revealing episode of Get Back, guitarist George Harrison suggests that it wouldn’t be such a bad idea if he wrote a solo record while playing guitar with the band. Fate, however, had other ideas, and Harrison’s debut emerged from the ashes of the band.
Other acts have been more tactful and decided that it would be to everyone’s benefit if the band members take time out from their day jobs. During a respite from Genesis, Phil Collins finished Face Value, which gave him the chance to steer his own career and contribute to the prog-rock band. Jonny Greenwood might not enjoy the lucrative trajectory Radiohead does, but his extracurricular work includes a series of acclaimed soundtrack pieces.
This brings us to Iron Maiden, England’s longest-standing heavy metal band. Frontman Bruce Dickinson has announced that he too will be releasing a solo album, and one that should sound very different to the turbo-charged rock anthems his band spearheads.
“When I get to the end of the one-man show thing at the end of March, then the idea is I’ve got about three weeks cooling my heels somewhere, ” Dickinson reveals. “I’ll lie down in a darkened room for a couple of days and recover from the tour and then put my singing head on and go and have a chat with Roy, because we’ve already got a bunch of material, but we need to organise it a little bit.”
“Obviously, I’m gonna be going out on tour with Maiden [later in the year], but we made ‘Tyranny Of Souls’ that way, ” Dickinson elaborated. “‘Tyranny Of Souls’ was done not exactly remotely – well, kind of remotely in that I wasn’t physically present when some of the backing tracks were done but he sent me the backtracks and I listened to them and went, ‘These are cool.’ And some of them I wrote the words to the backtracks, and the tunes and everything.”
Dickinson is set to tour America with a spoken word tour in January. As of the time of print, the tour seems to be going ahead.