IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson spoke to Corus Radio about “Tears Of A Clown”, one of the songs on the band’s new album, “The Book of Souls”, which pays tribute to late comedian Robin Williams. He said (see video below): “Steve [Harris, IRON MAIDEN bassist] wrote the song, or Steve wrote the words to the song, and so we were recording it. He didn’t tell anybody what it was about, and I had no idea when I was singing the song that it was about Robin Williams. So I finished doing the tune, and I went up to him and I said, ‘These words are really cool. What’s the genesis of the tune?’ And he said, ‘Robin Williams.’ And I went, ‘Wow!’ And it surprised the hell out of me, because it was so specific.”
He continued: “It’s unusual for Steve to be so direct about a subject matter. Like when he does something like ‘Rime Of The Ancient Mariner’ — okay, it’s an epic poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, yeah , fine. But to be so specific and direct about a recent tragic event and write a song about that guy, I was really surprised. It was kind of… It’s not really appropriate to say ‘pleasantly surprised,’ but it felt really good that he’d written in that way, because I think, in some way, he maybe felt some kind of affinity to the sense of isolation and things like that that Robin Williams maybe felt. There’s some speculation in there, in the song, about exactly what it feels like, but you get the impression that some of those things are maybe quite close to home with Steve himself. So, yeah, that was… I was, like, ‘Hmmm. Okay.'”
Robin Williams committed suicide on August 11, 2014 after a long history of depression and health issues.
MAIDEN’s sixteenth — and first-ever double — studio album, “The Book Of Souls”, was released worldwide on September 4 through Parlophone Records (BMG in the U.S.A).