Πάνω από Maiden, Metallica, Sabbath δεν παίζει κανείς (εκτός κι αν οι ίδιοι το επιλέξουν για να αποτίσουν φόρο τιμής σε κάποια μπάντα -βλ. Stones, AC/DC κλπ). Αυτά, για να είστε όλοι ικανοποιημένοι.
Δεν είναι θέμα μεγέθους, εισιτηρίων κοκ, αλλά θέμα μαρκετινγκ.
Το έχει πει ο Smallwood, το έχει πει ο Ulrich, το έχει πει ο Dickinson. Έχουν παίξει σε ίδιο φεστιβάλ διαφορετικές μέρες αρκετές φορές πάντως.
Το ότι μετράτε ποιος την έχει πιο μεγάλη ενώ οι ίδιες οι μπάντες πάνε και τσεκάρουν οι μεν τους δε είναι εντυπωσιακό
Steffan Chirazi: This has been the heavy metal weekend, right? Tell everyone what’s been going on in Toronto this weekend.
James Hetfield: Not much, just every band in the world being here at the same time! We were basing in Toronto and there were a lot of bands in town, some of which I guess were staying at our hotel. Not only Lars Ulrich from Metallica [laughs], but Dwight Yoakam, Tom Petty, Iron Maiden, Queen – they were all in town. And it’s really cool when there’s days off and we get to go and watch someone else do their craft. There was Ghost as well, another band we got to see. So yeah, lots of stuff going on besides the usual movies and stuff [for the record, War for the Planet of The Apes was also seen].
SC: But you’ve been paying a little bit of homage, right?
JH: Well, obviously hanging out with the Maiden guys always brings back great memories. I mean, it’s just weird to remember, you know, 1981 possibly? Hanging out in Hollywood, California, driving around with Ron McGovney, me and Lars in the back seat, and seeing Steve Harris walk down the street and us, you know, dorky, shy metal heads shouting, “Hey, Steve!” And he actually turns around and starts walking towards us with a, “Okay, who said that?” thing. And we’re like, “Hi, how are you? We like the album, arrrgghhhhhh!” That was our first brush with somebody kinda cool and famous, so that always stuck with me. Yeah, Steve Harris, super down to earth, really cool guy. And nothing has changed. I mean, he was also at the show that we did in Québec City, he showed up in our tuning room. We’re standing there playing; all of a sudden it was, “Wow, okay. Oh, shit, I can’t play!” Heh-heh! He looks the same, probably had the same clothes on…maybe not the striped spandex heh-heh, but super cool guy hanging out, side of the stage. Our set time was at least five minutes faster, Lars was so nervous, “Oh, my God, Steve Harris is watching me!” I was even a bit, “Does this part sound too much like Iron Maiden?”
SC: Did you throw a little bit of extra “snarl” in knowing he was looking?
JH: At Lars? Yes, heh-heh-heh! A lot of times it’s really cool when other musicians are hanging out watching you do what you do. It takes you to another level. You gotta kinda go to “Olympic medal metal,” you go to Olympic mode. You step it up, like, “I have to impress my father” or “my idol” or something. And you know, after usually halfway through the show, you figure, “Okay, he’s gone and he’s moved on to the next thing,” or “He’s off drinking the after show beer” or whatever. But no! For the whole show Steve was standing there, the whole show to the very end. And not only was he there the whole time, he got in the vehicles with us, came to the hotel with us, just such an all right dude and super cool guy. Then we got to go see them a couple days later. And likewise, [Maiden was] super hospitable there. And then with Queen, same deal.
Obviously there’s no Freddie Mercury but you know, Queen has been a huge inspiration in the early days for me guitar-wise, especially Brian May. And getting to watch them do what they do without their front man. They did a great job, and it’s certainly criminal to not tour and play these songs for people no matter who the singer is, and Adam Lambert actually did a really good job. But just watching Brian May. There was a moment in the show during “Bohemian Rhapsody,” it was like this rock and roll dream I was looking at. I was right at the sound desk looking out at him on this long ramp. He popped out of the middle just before his solo. There’s smoke. There’s a light behind him and [with] his white hair, there was this big white aura around him, and he rises up out of the stage, he’s doing the solo, and he’s in this giant silver cape, you know, from like the ’70s! And Kirk and I just looked at each other, like, “Holy shit, this is awesome!!!” Total fanboys at that point. You know, Brian was ripping the solo and all that. They were spectacular. And then after the show we hung with Brian and Roger [Taylor], both extremely humble, great guys. Brian says, “Hey, you ever get those moments onstage where you’re playing and you kinda think, ‘Well, I’m doing really good, this is really great, probably the best I’ve ever played,’ and then all of a sudden it’s ‘oh, my God, I screwed up,’” and he says, “I’m wondering if Kirk likes what I’m playing?” And Kirk and I look at each other again like, huh? Yeah. Brian May’s just said that. So, he is a super down to earth regular guy. And I met his tech too, we were all hanging out. It was Brian’s turning 70 – seventieth birthday, so as soon as it hit midnight it’s like, “Okay, it’s your birthday!” And I start singing “Happy Birthday” and he kinda got red!