British heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN today revealed their brand-new track "The Writing On The Wall" with an eagerly anticipated global YouTube video premiere. The song was written by MAIDEN guitarist Adrian Smith and lead singer Bruce Dickinson, produced by Kevin Shirley and co-produced by MAIDEN bassist and founder-member Steve Harris.
Dickinson initially had a concept for the video which came to fruition in collaboration with two award-winning former Pixar executives and long-standing MAIDEN fans Mark Andrews and Andrew Gordon. The pair have over 50 years of animation industry experience between them at the very top-level including work on "The Incredibles", "Ratatouille", "Brave", "Monsters Inc." and "Finding Nemo". With partners lining up to get involved with the project they chose BlinkInk, a London based animation studio celebrated for their work with a variety of global brands from Adidas to Coca-Cola and a number of high-profile music videos.
In BlinkInk director Nicos Livesey, another longtime MAIDEN fan and kindred spirit, they found a man who shared the collective vision for the track — resulting in the final film which features the very first glimpse of a stunning new incarnation of Eddie in spectacular 3D form.
Bruce comments: "I had a pretty clear idea of the concept to accompany the song and when I met Mark and Andrew, on Zoom, it quickly became clear we were all very much on the same wavelength, and this was reinforced with the addition of Nicos and his young BlinkInk team. Our weekly team Zoom meetings were then usually both highly creative and a lot of fun!
"I'm very proud of the way the video turned out. It's more like a mini-film, really. I knew it was going to work out as soon as Mark brought my treatment to life with his incredible storyboards. I thought we could make something very special together. I think we did and hope our fans will agree. In fact, it's pretty much created by MAIDEN fans!!"
Director Nicos Livesey takes up the story: "We quickly found the expertise we wanted, and people were literally throwing themselves at me to work on a MAIDEN video — we had more than 60 people in 13 countries from Brazil to France and Romania to the U.S.A. to add something to the clip and I'd say their love, passion and understanding of the band shines through every frame. They were a dream team for the producers and myself to manage."
The intricate and painstaking process of the making of the video can be read about in more detail here.
This announcement follows weeks of online speculation amongst MAIDEN fans and the rock and metal press after posters emblazoned with "Belshazzar's Feast" first appeared at the Download Pilot festival. Since then, fans have been avidly following clues and sightings from around the world, with many sites seemingly linked to MAIDEN's rich history, such as Long Beach Arena in Los Angles and The Cart & Horses in London as well as 22 Acacia Avenue.
Dickinson wore the same image on his shirt during a Sky TV news piece, further heightening speculation, before he formally invited everyone to "Belshazzar's Feast" following a Twitter listening party of MAIDEN's "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" album on Friday night.
IRON MAIDEN hadn't released any fresh music since 2015's "The Book Of Souls" LP, which was recorded in late 2014 in Paris, France with longtime producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley.
"The Book Of Souls" was the longest MAIDEN album, clocking in at 92 minutes, with lyrics heavily based in the themes of death, reincarnation, the soul and mortality.
Back in May 2019, Italian web site Maiden Concerts first speculated that IRON MAIDEN was putting the finishing touches on a new album. The site concluded that the LP was nearing completion after gathering social media evidence that all six members of the band, their wives and Shirley were in Paris at the same time. The producer even posted new pictures of Guillaume Tell Studios, where MAIDEN recorded "Brave New World" (2000) and "The Book Of Souls", saying he was finalizing a major project.
During MAIDEN's summer 2019 North American tour, Dickinson hinted at new material, telling the crowd at the group's Oakland, California concert: "New IRON MAIDEN songs — sooner than you think." At MAIDEN's Nashville show in August 2019, Dickinson said that fresh music from the band wasn't "beyond the bounds of possibility," adding that a new MAIDEN record was essentially a "certainty."
If the reports of a new MAIDEN album are true, it will mark the band's sixth to be produced by Shirley, who has worked with MAIDEN for the past two decades.
In addition to MAIDEN, Shirley has collaborated with dozens of notable acts, including Joe Bonamassa, JOURNEY, DREAM THEATER and LED ZEPPELIN.
During the making of "The Book Of Souls", Dickinson was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor at the back of his tongue. He recorded all the vocals for the album with the tumor before undergoing treatment and making a full recovery in time for the LP's release in September 2015.