"I did a lot of cover versions to try and improve my voice" – Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith tells us what he's been up to during lockdown

(Image credit: Getty)

We recently talked to Iron Maiden's Adrian Smith about tone, fishing and all manner of things in between as he promotes his new book, Monsters of River & Rock: My Life as Iron Maiden’s Compulsive Angler. 

During the chat he revealed some nuggets of info of what he's been doing musically during Maiden's downtime, and it turns out there could be two separate projects on the horizon from him.

“I write at home. I spent a lot of time working on my singing. I did a lot of cover versions to try and improve my voice. I’ve got my studio at home, and during lockdown it is great to be able to go in there… you can get lost in that world, in creating, and it is great. I have been in my studio and I have got my fishing, so that has kept me more than occupied.”

(Image credit: Press)

“It’s not a regimented regime," Smith said of his home practice schedule. "In fact, I haven’t played much guitar for a few months, but at the beginning of lockdown I was just doing cover versions of Bad Company and Hendrix, stuff like that, just to keep myself amused. 

"I’ve got the studio, so I’d just record it all. I may be putting those out at some point. I don’t know. I did some videos for my own amusement but some people might find them interesting.”

Even more interesting is the news he's been working with another musician and a whole album has been recorded.

"I have done a collaboration with another artist," Smith tell us. "He is a really good singer, a great guitar player, and I can’t name it at the moment! It’s not coming out just yet and I don’t want to reveal too much. But I have done an album."

Who could it be? Well a little listening to the rumour mill and digging around on social media reveals something… or we should say, someone…

And here is Smith performing Crossroads at Kotzen's birthday party earlier this year.

"I found an old Marshall that I used to use back in the '80s, a JCM800"

The Winery Dogs man and solo artist certainly fits Smith's description on the singing and guitar playing front. And Smith also reveals he's been digging out some old amps from Maiden history… with mixed results. 

“I’ve been digging a few amps out of the garage. I found an old Marshall that I used to use back in the '80s, a JCM800. I think it might have been late 80s, no bells and whistles on it at all – apart from a master volume – and I plugged that in and it sounded amazing. 

“And then it blew up unfortunately! Which is the trouble with old, vintage amps. [Laughs] But it sounds fantastic, a very natural sound like the old 70s rock bands, Free, Bad Company. It was the sort of amp those bands would use.”

For more on Adrian Smith talking tone and tench, check out the full interview on MusicRadar here.

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.