Bruce Dickinson on How He Keeps His Vocals Strong

Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Ken Settle

There’s no denying that Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden has pristine vocals and one of the best set of pipes in metal. So, how does he keep his vocal cords healthy, year after year? Speaking with the “Do You Know Jack?” radio show and host Jack Antonio, Dickinson explained that while he doesn’t do anything specific, he does take special care of his pipes when it’s the gigging season.

“I just keep the same old regime that I always do, which is don’t abuse them,” Dickinson said on the show. “I think the thing about being a singer. It’s a bit like if you’ve been an athlete or anything where you use your body. You just become aware of it. You’re probably more aware of it then other people who have never done that.”

He continued, “It’s that awareness that builds up over the years, and that’s what kicks in when you want to ‘preserve your voice.’ I can go out down to the pub and there’s loud music and everybody’s going ‘Hey!’ and shouting at each other… I’ll go there and have a good shouting conversation with somebody knowing that the following morning, I’ll be, like, ‘Oh, wow. Goodness me. That really beat…my voice doing that.’ But I’m not going to be using my voice for singing or anything serious for a while. I’m relaxed with it and drink some water and go watch TV and stuff. By the next day it’s fine.”

But, Dickinson added that if you have to get a real performance out of your voice, “that’s a pretty stupid thing to do. Because then the next day is hard work, you can stress your voice, all kinds of stuff. It’s just an awareness of things. If you’re going to do a 100-meter sprint and you’re a 100-meter sprinter and you’re really good, the last thing you want to do is go out and play a heavy game of football the night before and get kicked in the leg or something. That’s kind of a dumb thing to do. But if you aren’t going to be racing the next day, it wouldn’t matter.”

Dickinson’s book — “What Does This Button Do?” — arrived in the U.S. in October via Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Publication date: December 30, 2017

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