"If you were after a girlfriend, by the time you’ve got ten minutes into A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers she’s usually jumped out the window." Bruce Dickinson on his prog heroes

Bruce Dickinson
(Image credit: BMG)

Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson has been discussing his love of progressive rock, in particular Van der Graaf Generator, Jethro Tull and Arthur Brown, showing it's not just Maiden founder Steve Harris who lives their prog in Iron Maiden. Although with the proliferation of lengthy epics on the band's most recent albums, that probably doesn't come as much of a surprise.

Dickinson is currently busy promoting his new solo album album, The Mandrake Project, his first since 2005's Tyranny Of Souls, which will be released on March 1 via BMG. 

Speaking to American online hard rock and heavy metal website Loudwire, Dickinson said, "The people that were influencing me; Arthur Brown, Alice Cooper - what I love about Alice, apart from being who he is is that he is absolutely open about who set him on that path: Arthur Brown.

"Artists who use lyrics and the storytelling. Ones who told big long stories. A guy called Peter Hammill from Van der Graaf Generator. Pawn Hearts -  I used to play that album to death. It’s only got three tracks on it. If you were in pursuit of a girlfriend, by the time you’ve got about ten minutes in to A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers she’s usually jumped out the window.

"Songs like that, and Ian Anderson. Aqualung was a big go-to. What a great record, great lyrics. He was a great storyteller. And he had a kind of folky tradition thing going on in the background. And folk songs tell stories. They’re the original rock’n’roll story tellers. Before there was prog rock there was folk music."

Dickinson will be signing physical copies of The Mandrake Project at five HMV stores in the UK on March 1, 2 and 3. The sessions will begin with a midnight signing at HMV Cardiff on March 1, and be followed by similar events in HMV stores in London, Birmingham Sheffield and Manchester.

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.