For all the good press Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, ahem Dr. Bruce Dickinson, has gotten over the years, I just assumed he was a quiet guy and never said much mean about anyone. That is until an interviewer for the Guardian brought up the fact that metal is considered a lesser art form by some in the art community, which is apparently the button you need to press on Dickinson for him to go off about punks. Here we go, piece by piece.
"The closest the 'art establishment' ever came to embracing metal was punk. The reason they embraced punk was because it was rubbish and the reason they embraced rubbish was because they could control it. They could say: 'Oh yeah, we're punk so we can sneer at everybody. We can't play our fucking instruments, but that means we can make out that this whole thing is some enormous performance art.'"
Yeah, hipsters do that. Or whatever they were called at the time. I'm not sure they embraced it because it was rubbish though. It seems more like it was an insane countercultural thing that flew in the face of society back when it was pertinent. Metal wasn't exactly like that- it was more of an underground thing that sort of kept to it self ad gestated for a long, long time. Plus I'm not sure it's fair to say every punk band couldn't play their instruments.
"Half the kids that were in punk bands were laughing at the art establishment, going: 'What a fucking bunch of tosspots. Thanks very much, give us the money and we'll fuck off and stick it up our nose and shag birds.'"
That doesn't sound so bad. A paycheck's a paycheck and the artsy type apparently loved that kind of thing, according to Dickinson.
"But what they'd really love to be doing is being in a heavy metal band surrounded by porn stars."
Can that even be justified? I mean, think about the bands that were being surrounded by porn stars. I'm not sure those bands gave any more of a shit about the people who were signing their paychecks or the art community than punks did.
Maybe it's just me, but I feel like Dickinson gets unjustifiably pissed about metal's non-acceptance in the art community back then than he should. Thoughts?