Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson Reveals the Musical Secret Behind ‘Run to the Hills’
Cover your eyes degenerate Iron Maiden fans! Our beloved heavy metal deity is wearing a suit! Okay, it's not that big of a deal, as Bruce Dickinson spoke at the IBM Smarter Business event in Stockholm, Sweden, on Oct. 10 to draw parallels between music and business. Dickinson's address included his own experiences as a successful musician and even revealed one of his super-secret compositional strategy behind the classic Maiden track 'Run to the Hills.'
Dickinson explained a strange day in his life to the crowd: the day he realized that people were referring to the vocalist as a "businessman." It's not too far of a leap, as Iron Maiden have put many of music's greatest sonic and materialistic products, but how does the term "businessman" sit with Dickinson?
"I've had some strange experiences in my life", begins Dickinson, "and one of the strangest was waking up one day and discovering that people called be a businessman, which is very odd."
Dickinson goes on to describe the role that creativity has played in the mind of history's greatest minds. "Leonardo DiVinci invents the helicopter … he imagined it and eventually it happened. Jules Verne invented the nuclear submarine, he just didn't know about nuclear reactors. He imagined it, and that inspired generations of people to invent things. Einstein, of course, who was the kid at school who would never amount to much because he was rubbish at physics and didn't pay any attention in class, said, 'Imagination is greater than knowledge.' If you can't imagine it, it will never happen."
As for composing the legendary 'Run to the Hills,' Dickinson revealed the inspiration for the song came from the analysis of a television musicologist. "The program was about why the song 'My Way' (Frank Sinatra), was the most popular recorded song in history," begins Dickinson. "The musicologist came along and said, 'It's all in the rising sixth.'" Referring to the sixth interval within a scale, Dickinson went on to give a vocal example of 'My Way' versus 'Run to the Hills.'
Check out highlights of Bruce Dickinson's IBM speech along with his vocal demonstration in the videos below.