During the question-and-answer portion of his March 1 spoken-word show at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, California, IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson was asked how his technique of hitting the high notes has changed over the years as his voice has aged. He responded (as transcribed by Phoosi.com): “Well, I’m not sure it has changed that much. When your voice is very young — I discovered my voice, when I was young, as being quite tinny; it didn’t have a lot of [depth] to it. And your voice, it thickens a bit as you get older. And obviously talking for two and a half hours doesn’t help. But when you get to hitting high notes… My high end… When I was in the early days — SAMSON and stuff like that — I used to go into my little falsetto thing, but that got blown out of the water when I did [MAIDEN‘s] ‘The Number Of The Beast’ [album], because I pushed up into my high register, which is not like a cash register; it’s a bit that actually happens in your voice. But it is a kind of high register. As my publisher said — he was a South African gentleman called Ralph Simon, and he worked with Zomba Music. And Ralph, he managed other producers, so he managed Martin Birch and they also managed the guy that did all the DEF LEPPARD albums [‘Mutt’ Lange]. So, anyway, he would chat to me about this stuff, and when we would do the MAIDEN things, like we’d do ‘Run To The Hills’, he’d come up [to me and say], [adopts South African accent] ‘You have this thing that Mutt does with all of his bands. It’s the high frequency thing that makes the Americans go raving mad. You’ve got that high octave. When you go into it, like ‘Run To The Hills’, and when you sing, ‘Run to the hills, run for your life,’ it makes the Americans go raving mad; they can’t help themselves.’ So I took that advice. I thought, I’d just go to that high octave that makes the Americans go raving mad.”
Dickinson‘s two-month North American spoken-word tour kicked off on January 17 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and will run through the end of March.
Bruce‘s spoken-word show is split into two parts. The first section sees him take a humorous and often satirical look at the world from his own very personal perspective, treating the audience to private insights into his drive and ambition, peppered with plenty of MAIDEN anecdotes, and a myriad of other experiences encompassing not just the giddy heights but also the extreme lows, as told first-hand in his inimitable anarchic style, punctuated with photographs, videos and sometimes even erupting into song a cappella, to illustrate a point. The final section of the evening is devoted entirely to the aforementioned question-and-answer session, with the opportunity to pose questions on any subject whatsoever. As Bruce‘s answers are all completely improvised — the more left-field and quirky the question, the more interesting and compelling the response is likely to be.
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