Bruce Dickinson Opens Up About Cancer Battle And How It Changed His Perspective
via Bruce Dickinson / Youtube
In a recent interview with Sweden’s SVT, iconic IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson shared insights about his upcoming solo album, “The Mandrake Project,” slated for release on March 1 via BMG. The album, a collaboration with longtime co-writer and producer Roy “Z” Ramirez, was predominantly recorded at Los Angeles’s Doom Room, featuring Roy Z handling guitar and bass duties. Joining the recording lineup were keyboard maestro Mistheria and drummer Dave Moreno, both of whom also contributed to Bruce’s previous solo studio album, “Tyranny Of Souls,” released in 2005.
Delving into the lyrical concept of “The Mandrake Project”
Dickinson revealed to SVT:
“There’s a lot of kind of — not exactly — yeah, kind of like meditation on life and death in there, probably ’cause I had a little bit of a too close encounter with it when I had cancer. I didn’t think that changed my view of life and death. People asked me that question after I got better from it, and I was, like, ‘No, no. Easy-peasy. No, no, no. [Laughs] And, yeah — no, it did, but not in a bad way. Every day is, like, great. ‘Wow.’ So I try and live in that space.”
Dickinson, who battled throat cancer in late 2014, further discussed his recovery during a Q&A session at his January 2022 spoken-word show in Orlando, Florida. When asked about advice for those embarking on their cancer battles, he shared:
“Here’s the way I dealt with it… And people will deal with it in different ways. I embraced the treatment. So I went along to see the big radiation machine and I said, ‘Okay, how does this work then? What does it do? And how much are you giving me and where? And how are you making a difference between this one and this one and this one? And you can do what with it? Wow, that’s really cool. That’s amazing. It’s insane, the technology.'”
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Continuing on the topic
Dickinson emphasized the importance of embracing the treatment and highlighted the advancements in cancer therapies, offering hope to those facing the diagnosis. Dickinson shared personal experiences, saying:
“I only really talk about it when I come to do these shows ’cause people want to know. I quite enjoy talking about it because you kind of demystify it a little bit for people. It’s a scary thing.”
“The Mandrake Project” is not only an album but also an immersive experience for fans. Z2 is releasing 666 signed bundles of “Bruce Dickinson’s The Mandrake Project,” featuring exclusive items like a foil collector’s card, felt trading card pouch, issue No. 1 of the comic series, a first printing certificate of authenticity, and a Bill Sienkiewicz-illustrated art print. The set is available for $100 USD at Z2comics.com.
“Early in the process of writing my new album, the idea of a companion comic book began to take shape in my mind,” says Dickinson. “So I approached Z2 who were recommended to me by Kurt Sutter (‘Sons Of Anarchy’, ‘The Shield’) and Sacha Gervasi (‘My Dinner With Hervé’, ‘Anvil! The Story Of Anvil’). I then found out that my management were already working with Z2 on the ‘Piece Of Mind’ MAIDEN graphic novel which I contributed the ‘Revelations’ story to! I then pitched them with a fully formed concept and written storyline which they immediately understood and enthusiastically started fleshing out plans and ideas with me! I knew right then that they would be the perfect creative team to help bring my own ideas to fruition…and here they are!”
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Editor-in-chief Rantz A. Hoseley contextualizes the series:
Z2‘s model has always rested firmly in the graphic novel space, but when we sat down with Bruce and discussed the story of ‘The Mandrake Project,’ and the experience that he wanted the readers to have with it, we realized two very important things: first, that this was a story that we had to be a part of. It reminded us of reading the iconic titles from Vertigo. The second realization was that ‘The Mandrake Project’ had to be released as a comic series and, as anyone in comics knows, releasing a series is a different animal.”
“Since Rantz and I come from the same comic shop trenches,” adds Z2 president Josh Bernstein, “we made sure that our comic retailers feel supported and that they have great partners in Z2 and Bruce Dickinson. It’s our hope that the efforts of making the free pullbox preview available to stores, giving retailers the PDF of the first issue before they order, clearly conveying the release schedule and plans for the next two years, as well as making the first issue returnable, make it clear that we place immense value on comic shops in measuring the success of Bruce Dickinson‘s ‘The Mandrake Project’.”
Bruce Dickinson’s highly anticipated studio album, “The Mandrake Project,” is set to release on March 1, 2024, via BMG. Comprising ten inventive, expansive, and absorbing tracks, this album is poised to be one of the defining rock releases of 2024. Collaborating with his long-term co-writer and producer Roy “Z” Ramirez, Bruce Dickinson has crafted a sonically heavy and musically textured masterpiece, showcasing some of the finest vocal performances of his illustrious career. More than just an album, “The Mandrake Project” unfolds as a dark, adult narrative, exploring themes of power, abuse, and the struggle for identity within the realms of scientific and occult genius.
To complement the immersive musical experience, fans can embark on a parallel journey with “Bruce Dickinson’s The Mandrake Project” #1, a comic series commencing on January 17, 2024. The debut issue, measuring 9.35″ x 9:35″ and spanning 36 pages, comes with a cardstock cover and is available for $10. Enclosed in a sealed bag, it includes a first-printing certificate of authenticity. This inaugural release marks the beginning of a 12-issue run, scheduled to unfold quarterly over the next three years, with annual trade paperbacks set to be released each fall. The series promises to enthrall audiences with its entwined narrative, offering a compelling visual counterpart to the musical odyssey of “The Mandrake Project.”