Iron Maiden’s ‘Belshazzar’s Feast’ Tease Was Last-Minute Fix
Bruce Dickinson revealed that the Belshazzar’s Feast artwork used to tease the release of new Iron Maiden single “The Writing on the Wall” was a last-minute addition to the video after directors missed out on a key element.
The singer said the “rave poster” artwork, which became a central part of the band’s promo strategy, was a quick fix, placed at the start of the animated film to give the characters a reason to be in the desert.
In a new interview with Kerrang, Dickinson admitted that Maiden “haven’t done a video that’s worth talking about for a long time,” adding that he’d been inspired by Rammstein’s “Deutchland” promo. “That, to me, is a groundbreaking video,” he said. “That’s astonishing… I wrote a storyboard for the vid, tweaked it a little bit, and gave it a happy ending. Well, kind of a happy ending – Adam and Eve start again, but with Eddie going, ‘I’ll still get you in the end.’”
He continued: “There was always supposed to be an invite to the party, but we discovered they’d forgotten about it. The production company were like, ‘Well, it doesn’t have to be there, does it?’ Well, yes, it does. Without it, it doesn’t make any sense. Like, why is this bloke in the desert? I hate to be obvious, but you do need to know that – it’s the ‘once upon a time’ moment, it’s the ‘in a galaxy far, far away’ bit.”
Before Maiden revealed “The Writing on the Wall” and details of its associated album, Senjutsu, the poster became one of several hints in the teaser campaign. “The people who figured some of this stuff out, they should be immediately working for the government as codebreakers – they’re so good!” Dickinson said. He reflected: “The key to doing the surprising bit is not to try to surprise people. It’s when you try to be Iron Maiden, that’s when the danger appears… when you try and think it too much, then you’re in danger of backing yourself into a corner and recycling your own cliche.”
Watch Iron Maiden’s ‘The Writing on the Wall’ Video