Bruce Dickinson Slams Judas Priest for Using an Autocue

"People pay good money and you can't even remember the sodding words," says Dickinson.

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Bruce Dickinson appears to be on the warpath. Having previously berated Metallica for headlining the "too middle-class" Glastonbury festival, the Iron Maiden front man is now taking aim at another metal giant - Judas Priest. In an interview with Frank Turner for the Guardian, the singer criticized Priest for needing an autocue to sing their 1980 anthem, "Breaking The Law":

"We still don't have an Autocue. Yay! I never realised that people were using Autocues. What the f--k is that all about? People pay good money and you can't even remember the sodding words. The daftest one I ever saw was [Judas Priest's] 'Breaking the Law.' It's on the f--king Autocue. 'Breaking the law, breaking the law/Breaking the law, breaking the law/Breaking the law, breaking the law/Breaking the law' - guess what? - 'breaking the law.' It's ludicrous."

In the interview, Dickinson also had some harsh words to say about the "cultural snobbery" surrounding heavy metal, claiming that the art establishment embraced punk over metal because punk was rubbish:

"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 f--king instruments, but that means we can make out that this whole thing is some enormous performance art.' Half the kids that were in punk bands were laughing at the art establishment, going: 'What a f--king bunch of tosspots. Thanks very much, give us the money and we'll f--k off and stick it up our nose and shag birds.' But what they'd really love to be doing is being in a heavy metal band surrounded by porn stars."

Iron Maiden are set to co-headline Sonisphere with Metallica and The Prodigy from July 4th-6th.

83 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ozzy uses an Autocue for almost 20 years... But considering his drug abuse, we should be lucky he remembers his name
    I'm surprised he can still read the words. Eventually they'll probably have to start putting little pictures on it. Like a photo of witches gathered at black masses or something....
    Ozzy uses it mostly for new songs though, not on his or Sabbath's most recognizable tunes like Priest apparently do.
    When I saw Sabbath last year he could only step away from his autocue for the real big songs, like Paranoid and Iron Man. The others (not just new ones), he'd try to walk away from his mic stand, then a few seconds later he'd come stumbling back, muttering words.
    I wrote "mostly", but it's obvious he relies on autocue very often. Funny enough, at least on the "Live... Gathered In Their Masses" gig there's an impression that he used it only for the "13" songs, more than likely some nice video editing.
    Yeah, I noticed the same when I saw them: he'd start to turn away from the mic stand - like he wanted to go interact with the crowd, then seem to realize that wasn't a good idea, and turn back.
    Apparently Bruce Springsteen uses an autocue too, but that's just because he has so many songs that he can't remember some of his older tunes.
    Ye he took acid every day for two years, being able to speak at all after that is an achievement!
    Acid stays in your system no more than half an hour.
    For a kickoff you clearly have never taken it or even googled it despite being at a computer (you moron)and its not how long it is in your system (which is way more than half an hour since it takes longer than that to take effect), its psychosis and psychotic episodes that can be triggered any point onwards, which is why you cant be a pilot if you have ever taken acid (look it up if you don't believe me!) Don't chat sh*t on the internet to try make yourself seem smart, 'cause it can really backfire!
    I agree with blackone666, you need to chill out, l0ld4v3 was clearly just misinformed, the way you responded was completely uncalled for.
    Saw Sabbath on the latest tour, Vip right up at stage and Ozzy wasnt using Autocue for much on any of the old Sabbath stuff. Eyes never left the crowd or really looked at his monitors. Guy doesnt leave his mic stand much probably because he cant exactly move fast and run across the stage and get back in time
    "Give us the money and we'll f--k off and stick it up our nose and shag birds." I wish this could have been my senior quote.
    Looks like Bruce is having a bad week..
    Bruce, have you been hanging out with Dave Mustaine? That boy is a bad influence on you, y'know.
    Everyone forgets lyrics, its no big deal to have a cheat sheet of some sort. At least Bruce forgets lyrics with style.
    "Santa Claus, play guitar! Oh my god... help me out... I've forgot where I am!" He never forgot the lyrics, he just wanted to show off his mad improv skillz!
    I take back what I said. He has every right to feel superior to people who use autocues, this is gold.
    Bruce, I hate to break it to you, but Judas Priest is just a bunch of old dudes now. It's not their fault they're losing their memory.
    Bruce is a crusty old man these days. Can't give an interview without jabbing at someone for some petty reason.
    Oh, relax Bruce. There's nothing wrong with a reminder. Look at how many times Hetfield stumbles on his lyrics live. If the singer needs a little reminder sometimes here and there to make the live experience a little more magical for the fan, so be it. Is Bruce going to "slam" classical musicians for having sheet music in front of them?
    I don't think it's such a big deal, i'd rather see a band that sings the right words, even if it means they need an auto-cue.
    Doesn't really bother me, but I guess it depends. Springsteen uses one, but he's also 64 and pulls random songs from the crowd at shows that last over 3 hours. I for one am terrible at remembering lyrics to anything
    Guns N' Chains
    Bruce has finally let himself go and is no longer keeping things to himself. Haha. Sounds like the ole' champ needs a little vacation/relaxation time.
    Bruce- you sing for my favorite metal band of all time, but perhaps a long solo flight to clear the mind and some Trooper ale afterwards might make thee a little less cranky? Just a thought....
    " In an interview with Frank Turner " Ah! always makes me happy when two of my favorite musicians collide.
    link no1
    Are UG running low on articles involving Geoff Tate, Dave Mustaine and Courtney Love?
    When he's about 7 years older he can bitch about Rob using an autocue. It's easy to forget these days, but Rob had some serious drug issues before he originally quit Priest, too.
    I was there at the Epitaph. Didn't notice Rob mixing the words; if he ever did, he sure didn't miss telling us, sincerely, how much he loved us loyal fans. He also didn't miss coming out for encore a few times, and rocking well into the night, after midnight. Bruce on the other hand did not forget his words when I recently saw him (however silly and verbose Maiden's lyrics), but he 1) couldn't sing; and 2) didn't bother with 2nd encore despite the 20000 audience. Rob left me well satisfied, Bruce - well fed-up. Keep wanking dude.
    Never could shake off the felling that Bruce thinks too much of himself and his band. I never had mad respect for him, but these days, it is dropping fast.
    he's like ben stiller's character from Dodgeball, always so full of himself and talking down to everyone and anyone in his way. first it's "Ozzy sucks!", then it's "Metallica sucks", now it's "punk rock sucks" and "Judas Priest sucks!" here's a novel idea: IRON MAIDEN SUCKS!!!! they haven't had a good song since the 80s, they need THREE f*cking guitarists, every album sounds the same and bruce's voice is f*cking annoying!
    Lol that's a pretty hilarious comparison. Thanks for the laugh.
    Bruce doesn't need an autocue with those boring setlists Iron Maiden tours with =')
    Dickinson the new mustaine? Probably not actually, I think UG are taking stuff out of context here. But that's UG for ya. Also, loads of bands use autocues.... Springsteen, the cure, stones the list goes on.
    Dammit my 2nd fav band of all time (priest) being slammed by my 3rd fav (maiden). This is like when two of your friends don't get along and it just gets awkward and your caught in the middle
    Is true you don't expect your doctor reading the procedure when performing a surgery on you....right? If you can’t perform as you used to.. retire!
    Bruce is great - he´s got a lot of lyrics...When the Wild Wind Blows...any Maiden song is hard to remember from beginning to the end and can do that
    Whatever it takes to put on the best possible show is fine with me. We've had singers keep lyric sheets on the drum riser. He never really looked at them. I just think that he liked knowing that the lyrics were there...just in case. I always tried to reduce the possibility of any screw ups when i went onstage.
    Oh just stop with the "slams" headlines.
    I agree. It was never really funny in the first place. I'm completely lost as to why there are so many comments using the word slam trying to be funny and completely failing.
    Priest formed in 1969, Maiden in 1975. Let's see if they're still going as strong as ever in six years time, then they'll be allowed to make comments like this.
    I don't think that Bruce was aiming this at Judas Priest themselves, but rather a band who were performing a cover of Breaking The Law, and were using an autocue. Nice work on the context there UG.
    Couldn't agree with him more. He is absolutly right, from Meta at Glaston to Punk bands getting away with sucking. His take on Metal and its social credibility, could hardly be more accurate and his beratement of autocue, is spot on. Wish they weren't stooping to opening for Metallica (who should be opening for Maiden and all you fanbois can suck me if you think otherwise, but alas we must endure the pop metal musings of a sober Hetfield.
    axl had autocue all through gnr stadium gigs. they all ****in do it
    Rob Halford has more passion in his left pinkie than Dickinson has in his entire body. I love both bands, but come on Bruce.