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Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson says punk musicians “can’t play their fucking instruments”

by Wyatt Marshall

Iron Maiden at Austin’s 360 Amphitheatre in 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)

Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson had some choice words about punk music in an interview with The Guardian a few days back. In a Q&A with Frank Turner (who definitely has some punk roots), Dickinson compares punk and metal in relation to the cultural mainstream and the “art establishment,” then goes on to imply punk musicians were a bunch of no-talent hacks (because apparently it’s still 1980). Here’s an excerpt:

The closest the “art establishment” ever came to embracing metal was punk. The reason they embraced punk was because it was rubbish and the reason they embraced rubbish was because they could control it. They could say: “Oh yeah, we’re punk so we can sneer at everybody. We can’t play our fucking instruments, but that means we can make out that this whole thing is some enormous performance art.” Half the kids that were in punk bands were laughing at the art establishment, going: “What a fucking bunch of tosspots. Thanks very much, give us the money and we’ll fuck off and stick it up our nose and shag birds.” But what they’d really love to be doing is being in a heavy metal band surrounded by porn stars.”

Burn.

Not to say there was any animosity between Dickinson and Turner. Turner is a self-professed big fan of Iron Maiden and the two will be playing the same stage at the Sonisphere festival, where noted pilot Dickinson will pilot a vintage World War I airplane–the model used by The Red Baron–in a simulated dogfight above the audience before Iron Maiden plays. There are some other memorable quotes, including some words of wisdom about fame:

I’m not interested in being famous. Fame is the excrement of creativity, it’s the shit that comes out the back end, it’s a by-product of it.I’m not interested in being famous. Fame is the excrement of creativity, it’s the shit that comes out the back end, it’s a by-product of it.

And a funny story about Maiden’s legendary Rock in Rio show:

At Rock in Rio, the first time we played it in ’84, I was playing this nice guitar and the monitors just were not to my liking. It was only 500,000 people at the biggest rock gig in the world ever, we’d had three days of madness down there, proper Beatlemania, and we run onstage and I’m thinking: “Fucking hell, it sounds like shit!” I run over to the monitor desk and I’m yelling at the guy: “Your monitors suck, you cunt!” and I smashed the guitar in half over the top of his monitor desk to make the point, which didn’t really solve anything. First of all I’d destroyed a perfectly good guitar, and the monitors were still shit. So I go back onstage in front of 500,000 people and kick the monitors off the front of the stage, so now there are no monitors. Worse than bad monitors is no monitors.

Read the whole interview at The Guardian.

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