Iron Maiden released their first new song in more than six years, “The Writing On The Wall,” around a global video premiere on YouTube.
Written by guitarist Adrian Smith and frontman Bruce Dickinson and co-produced by Maiden bassist and founder-member Steve Harris, “The Writing On The Wall” was produced by Kevin (“The Caveman”) Shirley, who previously worked with the band onBrave New World in 2000 and A Matter of Life and Death (2006), several live releases, and their most recent 16th album The Book of Souls in 2015.
Visually, Dickinson had a concept for the video and enlisted the help of Pixar executives (and lifelong Maiden fans) Mark Andrews and Andrew Gordon, who have more than 50 years of animation experience between them. The duo, who have worked on Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Brave, Ratatouille, and Monsters Inc., teamed up with London-based animation studio BlinkInk, and its director Nicos Livesey, to work out the seven-plus minute film for “The Writing On The Wall.”
“We quickly found the expertise we wanted, and people were literally throwing themselves at me to work on a Maiden video,” says Livesey. “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.”
Showing Iron Maiden’s eponymous “leader” Eddie in 3D form for the first time, the film documents a repressed world that needs insurrection, and revival.
“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,” says Dickinson, “and this was reinforced with the addition of Nicos and his young BlinkInk team.”
The new song follows fan speculation that the band is working on a new album, after “Belshazzar’s Feast” posters appeared at the Download Pilot festival, and Dickinson wore the same art on a shirt during a SKY TV interview, then invited fans to a listening party of the band’s seventh album Seventh Song Of A Seventh Son on Twitter.
“I’m very proud of the way the video turned out, it’s more like a mini-film really,” says Dickinson. “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.”