Rock Sound catches up with the Iron Maiden drummer to talk about the band’s new documentary Flight 666.
Iron Maiden's new documentary Flight 666 opens at cinemas nationwide on April 21st, Iron Maiden Day! Rock Sound caught up with drummer Nicko McBrain for a natter about the film, the band and the ongoing resurgence of heavy metal...
Explain to us about this whole ‘Flight 666’ shebang…
''It’s a fly on the wall documentary of us on the world tour taking from each city that we played in. They only had six cameras so there was no chance of redoing things!''
What will people take home from watching this film?
''People would be able to look at it and go “Fuck me that’s good music, I understand what they’re all about and what it takes to get to get this show and this piece of history around the world”, you know?''
Do you reckon it will ‘turn’ a few people to the ways of the Irons?
''It is history, and so I think people from all kinds of walks of life will look at this and if they’re not fans they possibly will be at the end of it, or they’ll at least understand it, and they’ll have a complete attitude for it, regardless of whether they listen to the band or go buy a record or come see us live. There will be, I think, a lot of people that will give [us] the time of day more so having seen the film.''
So what we see on film is just as it went down on tour?
''We’ve got no airs and graces; you see it, and that’s what it’s all about. I’m sure there are people that have egos bigger than their fame, and they are therefore untouchable and they are complete wankers! I love this film because it does portray all the guys in my band, and that’s what they are – everyone is exactly like you see.''
There seems to be a hunger for metal documentaries at the moment. Why is that?
''Erm, I really couldn’t say mate, I think it’s just the way the cycle of the industry’s gone! Maiden have been flying the British flag for 25 plus years – the metal flag as well - and I just think it’s that time again. I’ve always personally thought that musical cycles go round in about a ten-year period, like fashion. Some of the retro 60s stuff came up 10 years ago; you just think “Ay?! These fucking trousers were around in the 60s!” And that goes in cycles. I don’t know whether for sure that’s true, but it seems that way. And metal - I know it’s not the right way to say it – is fashionable. To be metal is to be cool now, nobody’s turned around and gone “Let’s make a documentary about metal because it’s the fashionable thing to do”, it’s just come around that way.''
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So you think people are just starting to catch on that metal is big again?
People have been recognising it, they’ve been going “Hey this is cool, this has been going around for 30 years, these guys can really do it!” It’s really difficult to put your finger on why it’s fashionable and why it’s come back around; I think it’s just the natural progression of the industry, and the fact that we’ve never ever gone away has become a bit more popular and brought us back to the front of what people want to hear. With Iron Maiden, we’ve done so many wonderful things over the last five years, especially since Bruce has come back in the band with Adrian Smith, that this band has gone from strength to strength. We’ve always been cutting edge, and I think people in the industry are starting to go “Quick let’s take a leaf out of Maiden’s book! Let’s go out and do something with this.”