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Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson explains why less bands are reaching arena-level

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Iron Maiden stands as a colossal force in the rock music scene, a band whose sheer magnitude makes them a prime headliner for any promoter with the budget and ambition to draw in massive crowds. However, the landscape of modern music is witnessing a scarcity of groups attaining the arena-level status that Iron Maiden effortlessly commands.

In a recent interview with Swedish radio station Bandit Rock, frontman Bruce Dickinson delved into the reasons behind this scarcity, recounting a conversation with a frustrated Brazilian promoter struggling to find headlining acts. Dickinson pointed a finger at “big corporations,” asserting that they have seized control, shaping a landscape where they prioritize promoting established headliners but neglect the bands that cultivate the drama, fanbase, and dedication needed to ascend to that elite level.

Dickinson emphasized that becoming a headliner is not an overnight journey. It involves performing at numerous venues, cultivating a dedicated following, and gradually making the leap from small gigs to arenas, ultimately headlining festivals. Reflecting on Iron Maiden’s trajectory, he contrasted it with the current state of the music industry, highlighting a perceived decline in the vibrancy of upstart bands that could surprise audiences.

The singer attributed this shift to a change in how promoters operate, suggesting a departure from the practice of building bands. He expressed a sense that the music scene was once more vibrant, fostering the emergence of new, unexpected talents.

Furthermore, Dickinson identified the diminishing number of small venues as an ongoing challenge. According to him, this scarcity hampers the grassroots experience of attending live gigs, where individuals can be captivated by the energy of a performance, transcending the digital screen experience.

Amidst these observations, Dickinson shared news of his ongoing solo endeavors. Working on a new album titled “The Mandrake Project” since 2014, the Iron Maiden frontman is set to release his first solo record since 2005’s “Tyranny of Souls” in 2024. In the face of the challenges confronting the rock music scene, Dickinson’s continued dedication to artistic expression serves as a testament to his enduring passion for music.

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