Iron Maiden have already played South America, the US and New Zealand on this tour, and your Download appearance is coming up soon. Where did you rehearse for The Book Of Souls tour?
Dave Murray: We actually have a soundproof studio in Miami. We normally go through the old stuff first, just to loosen up a bit, and then we’ll spend a lot of time on the new ones. With some of the new songs – fourteen minutes long, ten-minute songs – there’s a lot of things going on in them, so we spend a lot of time honing that and polishing them.
Has it been difficult nailing the new songs?
DM: When you’re playing live, Maiden’s not like a ‘computerised’ band – it’s a living, breathing thing, and things change every night. There’s lots of distractions and things going on. But basically we rehearse up until we feel okay. So we spent a few weeks doing that.
Is it difficult not to lose focus when you’re in the middle of a mad media circus?
DM: To me it will always revolve around the music. Obviously there are a lot of other things that are orbiting the band, from the beer [Maiden’s Trooper brand] to the game, but I think of it like a planet with all these little moons. You try to absorb it all.
How do you keep yourself sane on a long tour?
Janick Gers: I like to get out. I stick a hat on. Here or in Germany it’s hard. South America’s become very hard to get out in, and my love of touring is based around being able to go out. I love playing, but for the other twenty-two hours I don’t wanna sit in my hotel room. Today I took the back door and went out to the park. We saw all the bizarre stores and had a little wander around. I’ll get a Tube out as far as I can go and just walk back to where I started. You get to see everything, and to me that’s part of what touring’s about. I’m barely in the hotel room if I can get out. It’s hard here because if I have to go downstairs, I walk past the same kids who want another photograph and another autograph.
DM: All these places we’ve been to, from Jerusalem to Russia, it’s been quite a journey, but I think you try and keep yourself. If there’s a bit of free time I like to get out, play a bit of golf, or get out of the hotel and walk around whichever city you’re in. I like museums, and I go through copious amounts of books.
Are you reading anything interesting at the moment?
DM: I love Bill Bryson. I’ve read all his books.