Paranoia over the possibility of their forthcoming album, Senjutsu, leaking onto the internet ahead of its September release date meant Iron Maiden didn’t let themselves listen to the album for almost two years, according to frontman Bruce Dickinson.
Speaking exclusively to Metal Hammer for our cover story on the British metal legends and their forthcoming seventeenth studio album, recorded back in the spring of 2019 in Paris with trusted producer Kevin Shirley, the singer reveals that Senjutsu was “locked up in a vault’ for the best part of two years, such was the fear that it might leak online.
“At the ending of the recording, everybody else had fucked off home, so it was basically me, Steve [Harris] and Kevin in the studio,” Bruce recalls. “We played it back a couple of times, said, ‘Yeah, that’s alright then!’ and then that was the last time I heard it or nearly two years. All of us! Nobody in the band had a copy! Steve in particular was so paranoid that someone would leak it onto the internet, and probably with some justification, it was locked up in a vault.”
Dickinson continues, “The next time I heard the album was when we were mixing the Mexico live stuff [2020’s live album, Nights Of The Dead]. I went round to Steve’s, and I said, ‘You haven’t got a copy of the album, have you?’ and he said, ‘I think it’s on my laptop!’ And he had only played it a couple of times. He hadn’t heard it for ages either, so we said, ‘Fuck it, put it on the big speakers!’ That was when I was thinking, ‘Shit a brick, this is good!’”
Senjutsu will be released on September 3 via Parlophone Records. Two songs from the 10-track album have already been released, The Writing On The Wall, and Stratego.
“Senjutsu hasn’t been so long in the making, just long in the waiting!” Dickinson tells Hammer’s Dom Lawson. “I’m really chuffed with this one.”
For more exclusive insights into the making of Senjutsu from Dickinson and Maiden guitarist Janick Gers, pick up the new issue of Metal Hammer, which is on-sale now (opens in new tab). The issue also features new interviews with Alien Weaponry, Employed To Serve, Carcass, Health, Dordeduh, Between The Buried And Me and much, much more.