MUMBAI: "The changes in the music industry has not affected us adversely, because we always had a strong relationship with our fans," said lead vocalist of British heavy metal band 'Iron Maiden' Bruce Dickenson, who are here to open their world tour at the MMRDA Grounds, on Friday.
Dickenson said that being a live band, Iron Maiden has always had a direct and close relationship with their fans and have not been affected by the free downloads and MP3s that have bucked the global music industry.
"It would affect artists who have relationship with only their record labels and depend on record sales and not their fans. Two decades ago, the record companies had a monopoly over the music industry, but now there is more competition and democracy. May be, the music industry is heading back to the 20s and 30s, where music was played live without record companies," said Dickenson.
As for the bootleg recordings and merchandise of the band that are traded in the net, Dickenson said, "Again it depends on our relationship with our fans. We are aware that our unofficial recordings of our live shows are often downloaded on the net and some of them are pretty good."
"The fans also buy the official merchandise, which we make sure are quality stuff. However, what we do not believe is people who rip off our fans and the band with poor quality bootleg recordings and merchandise," said Dickenson.
On the relevance of the band after 30 years on the road, Dickenson said, "Though this tour is about having a retrospective look, we are not a nostalgia act. This tour is also for the young fans between 16-25 years who have never seen us. We are bigger and more successful than in the 80s. As for the new music, you can't slag off any person's music or taste."
Tipping the country's budding guitarists, Janick Jers says, "Practice, till you are good enough to express yourself and stick to your guns and don't compromise. It's not about making it big in the industry, but more about making a lot of noise."
Iron Maiden will proceed to Australia to play after 16 years, then head for the US and European leg of their 'Somewhere Back in Time' tour.