One week before Bruce Dickinson celebrates the release of his latest solo album, The Mandrake Project, he joined Chuck Armstrong on Loudwire Nights to dive deep into the project.

"For me, it's a really special record," he said on Friday night's show (Feb. 23).

"I've done some records which I'm particularly proud of — The Chemical Wedding being one of them — and this one is really something different, different than anything I've ever done with any band ever. I can't stress how cool I think the record is."

Dickinson admitted that eight out of the 10 songs on The Mandrake Project were written a decade ago. Needless to say, after his throat cancer diagnosis and being locked down during the COVID-10 pandemic, Dickinson is excited for the world to hear his new album.

"I can't wait for it to get out," he said. "The album kind of spins between different worlds and I quite like that it's varied, it's eclectic — but it hangs together as a kind of musical story."

How Bruce Dickinson Writes For Iron Maiden Compared to His Solo Music

Dickinson covered a lot of ground during the conversation, including diving deep into how and why he got involved in the world of comic books for The Mandrake Project. Near the end of the chat, though, he and Chuck discussed his songwriting process.

Specifically, Chuck was curious if Dickinson tried to keep songs and ideas for Iron Maiden separate from his solo career.

"I don't differentiate," he quickly answered. "If I'm trying to write something, you try and do the right thing by what the riff is, what the song is, what the chord sequence is."

READ MORE: Ace Frehley Says New Solo Album Is 'One of the Best Records I've Ever Recorded'

The legendary singer explained that when he writes songs and music, he likes to think in terms of atmospherics rather than "technical musical stuff."

"I'll write a riff and it will suggest to me an atmosphere or an emotional feeling," he said, "and then I'll write the words on the basis of that."

What Else Did Bruce Dickinson Discuss on Loudwire Nights?

  • How Kurt Sutter influenced and encouraged him to bring The Mandrake Project into the world of comic books: "He was kind of like my Siskel — he gave me two thumbs up."
  • Why he is hesitant to discuss the direct follow-up to The Mandrake Project: "There's always that possibility, but I'm keeping that option hedged because people could turn around and go, 'Yeah, we think this sucks.'"
  • Why he pays attention to his gut feelings when it comes to his music and projects: "Are we trying too hard? Are we trying to shoehorn this into a little package it doesn't really want to be in? That's why I love the fact that we're developing the comic [for The Mandrake Project]. It means the album doesn't have to have that straitjacket applied to it."

Listen to the Full Interview in the Podcast Player Below

Bruce Dickinson joined Loudwire Nights on Friday, Feb. 23; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station and listen to interviews on-demand. Stream songs from The Mandrake Project here and check out Bruce Dickinson's tour plans for 2024.

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