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Dennis Statton recalls introducing guitar harmonies to Iron Maiden prior to release of debut album

Dennis Statton recalls introducing guitar harmonies to Iron Maiden prior to release of debut album

Dennis Statton recalls introducing guitar harmonies to Iron Maiden prior to release of debut albumDennis Statton recalls introducing guitar harmonies to Iron Maiden prior to release of debut album

Dennis Statton recalls introducing guitar harmonies to Iron Maiden prior to release of debut album

Former Iron Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton was recently interviewed by Jimmy Kay and Alan Dixon for Canada’s The Metal Voice. Stratton was promoting Lionheart‘s new album The Grace of A Dragonfly, which was just released on March 15, 2024 via Metalville Records.

In terms of the musical differences between his time with Iron Maiden and his current band Lionheart, Stratton indicated (as provided by The Metal Voice with slight edits): “I was in the band ‘Remus Down Boulevard‘ before Iron Maiden, which was a twin harmony guitar band that followed Wishbone Ash all over the world and all over the country. We had harmony guitars and harmony vocals. Dave Murray and Steve Harris used to come down and watch me play at our residency in West Ham. That’s why when they signed the deal in ’79 to EMI (with Iron Maiden), they offered me the job, I didn’t go down for an audition. They sent me a telegram. Basically they said here are the Soundhouse tapes, we want you to let us know what you can do and I went great. So they offered me the job straight away but my impression was to go home to listen to the Soundhouse tapes and listen to the songs that they had recorded or demoed already which were very punky, very single guitar rhythm, single guitar solo and very raw.

Basically I said to Steve, ‘Listen, I come from a harmony guitar band’. I sat down with Dave and I said, “Dave, would you be into this?’ And he went, ‘I’m open to any suggestions’. Dave was so easy to get on with and Steve loved it. The first lot of songs we laid into, I started putting the harmony guitar parts into some of the riffs which they liked. We also started doing some harmony vocals with Paul [Di’Anno] in the rehearsal studio and that’s how the harmony guitar style got introduced to Iron Maiden. But remembering that most songs from the first two Iron Maiden albums were already written so all I had to [do was] make them bigger and make the production bigger by adding these harmony details and adding the harmony vocals. Not to change the sound of Iron Maiden but to make the songs more interesting. Songs like, “Running Free”, “Phantom of The Opera”, all the harmony little riffs that you hear were just little bits to polish the song up a bit more so it wasn’t to change the sound of Iron Maiden.”

You can listen to the interview with Dennis Stratton on The Metal Voice below:

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