Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson has been taking seemingly random shots at musicians lately, going after Metallica, Judas Priest and even punk rock as a genre during recent interviews. We’re unsure as to why Dickinson seems to have been on the attack as of late, but in response to Bruce’s punk rock bashing, iconic hardcore punk trailblazers Dead Kennedys have responded in kind.
Bruce Dickinson is an absurdly impressive individual. He’s one of the greatest heavy metal singers of all time, is an accomplished pilot, successful beer mogul, partner in the launch of the world’s longest aircraft and the dude even helps disabled individuals with flight lessons. Oh, and he’s going to fly a replica of the famous Red Baron fighter plane for an elaborate WWI battle recreation above the Sonisphere Festival skies.
Dickinson’s resume is one of a kind, but the singer’s accomplishments may be going to his head these days. We already reported on him declaring that Iron Maiden are a better band than Metallica, but Bruce recently condemned Judas Priest singer Rob Halford for apparently using a teleprompter to help remember lyrics during live shows. “People pay good money and you can’t even remember the sodding words,” exclaims Dickinson. “The daftest one I ever saw was [Judas Priest’s] ‘Breaking the Law.’”
The Iron Maiden legend’s latest target is punk rock as a genre. “The closest the ‘art establishment’ ever came to embracing metal was punk,” Dickinson tells the Guardian. “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—ing instruments, but that means we can make out that this whole thing is some enormous performance art.’”
Dickinson adds, “Half the kids that were in punk bands were laughing at the art establishment, going: ‘What a f—ing bunch of tosspots. Thanks very much, give us the money and we’ll f— off and stick it up our nose and shag birds.’”
Of course, the magic of punk rock is partially due to its power through simplicity. However, when examining the technical skills, compositional chops and raw power of punk rock, Dead Kennedys guitarist East Bay Ray is one of the all-time greats. Just listen to ‘Chemical Warfare,’ ‘Police Truck,’ ‘Too Drunk to F—’ or ‘Jesus Was a Terrorist’ to hear for yourself.
In response to Dickinson’s anti-punk statements, Dead Kennedys posted a short rebuttal:
I don’t think he has ever heard East Bay Ray play guitar.
Short, sweet and thought provoking, as evidenced in the 2000-plus comments contributed to the Dead Kennedys post by fans.