RouteNote’s Richard Searby-Bates had an experience working with Bruce Dickinson and offers his advice on getting involved in the industry.

Bruce Dickinson, the legendary metal singer, is not one to tire easily. A prolific catalogue of music extends back through his life from his time in Iron Maiden to his illustrious solo career, and the man shows no sign of stopping yet. As is clear with the triumph of his latest single Rain On The Graves.

RouteNote’s very own Richard Searby-Bates joined Bruce and the team in the production of the cinematic video to Dickinson’s latest song. Lending his know-how to the band, Rich’s instrument tech knowledge saw him working alongside one of rock’s greatest heroes.

Now we get to share his experiences working with an icon and the journey he has taken in the music industry to get to a place where he can brush shoulders with some of the music world’s biggest figures.

“When Bruce Dickinson arrived on set you could feel the atmosphere become energised. He is ‘The Real Deal’ and you could instantly see why he is who he is, along with why he is so iconic and successful. Bruce’s talent was on show immediately, comfortably settling into his role straight away, showing his acting skills and sometimes singing along with the monitor system,” writes Rich.

Rich and Bruce on set

Speaking on how he got picked to come along and help out, Rich says: ” The ‘Rain on the graves’ video shoot filmed on location in Cornwall and required a host of talent to create the aesthetic behind the video and song. I was retained to source and provide several vintage pieces of equipment for the shoot. My previous expertise as a Guitar Tech and Tour Manager means I specialise in unusual and sometimes vintage equipment.

“Bruce had created a very specific Aesthetic along with director Ryan Mackfall. This required me to source a 1960s Semi-Acoustic Electric Guitar with a very specific look. They also needed a vintage Double Bass, a 1950s Accordian (Which went unfortunately unused) and a Vintage Style Microphone.”

The House Band of Hell

“The brief for musicians Roy Z Ramirez, Tanya O’Callaghan, Mistheria and Dave Moreno was to become ‘The House Band Of Hell’. For this look I sourced a 1960s JG Julio Giulietti Guitar in Cherry, along with a Hungarian Bowl Back Double Bass from the 1800s. Bruce uses a Shure 55SH Vintage Styled Microphone. The drums are Vintage Ludwig and The Organ is an Antique Piece from the ‘Shiver Me Timbers’.”

Talking of his experiences working with professionals on a serious production, Rich reveals: “On the day of the shoot the band worked hard, putting 100% into many different takes and angles, I took up the slack from the crew helping to sound engineer the monitoring system. Assisting with wardrobe adjustments, resetting the stage between takes, assisting the band members by taking care of instruments, providing hydration, etc.”

The extra effort to get involved and go beyond your station he explains to be a crucial element to getting where he is today. Rich explains: “I find the same rules apply in any situation like this within the music industry. Find yourself a job role, but be well prepared to help in any role you can. If you know a little bit about what everyone is doing, you can be invaluable. Know when to appear, but more importantly know when to disappear and let the band take over.”

Bruce gives his all on set

How would he sum up the experience? “When he did sing, even in that environment, you couldn’t help but smile, because you knew you were hearing the iconic voice of Iron Maiden, and he sounded brilliant.”

We are lucky enough at RouteNote to be a team made up of musicians and music lovers from all walks of life, bringing together different skills and experiences. Rich adds: “The range and wealth of experience here at Routenote often extends itself beyond the parameters of Distribution. The Routenote family are musicians and creatives just like our users and clients, with a history of experience within the industry.”

Rain On The Graves is out now on YouTube and streaming services, directed by Ryan Mackfall and achieved with the Crashburn Media team. Rain On The Graves is the second single from Bruce Dickinson’s upcoming album The Mandrake Project. You can pre-order and pre-save the album here.

Bruce Dickinson will be touring in support of the album this year. A graphic novel will also be released as a companion to the album.