With Iron Maiden‘s newest studio album, The Book of Souls, a new fan favorite has emerged in the form of the 18-minute “Empire of the Clouds.” Hailed as a “masterpiece” by bassist Steve Harris and countless Maiden fans, many have been wondering if we’ll hear the song live. During our recent interview with vocalist Bruce Dickinson, he answered the question and even plotted to turn “Empire” into a full-blown theatrical performance.
In a recent interview, drummer Nicko McBrain spoke about wanting Iron Maiden to perform with an orchestra. “I think [“Empire Of The Clouds”] will probably be performed somewhere along the line, whether it’s in an Iron Maiden formula, or whether it’ll be Bruce doing something with that song with someone else, perhaps,” said McBrain. “But I don’t think we can really see playing that one live, ’cause there’s so much going on.”
Dickinson echoed Nicko’s statement, confirming that “Empire of the Clouds” won’t be featured on Iron Maiden’s upcoming world tour. “It is such an overwhelming song to do for everybody,” Bruce says. “That, just is going to be too unwieldy in the context of a big, hairy rock and roll show.”
But never one to shy away from a challenge, Bruce is interested in turning “Empire of the Clouds” into an even bigger spectacle. “I’d love to actually do a one-off — or who knows what it might turn into — a project with an orchestra and a narrative and a couple of actors to tell the story in between the pieces and film it and extend it to 35-40 minutes.”
How amazing would that be?! Check out the full video of Bruce Dickinson sharing his vision of an “Empire of the Clouds” production above!
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