Former Iron Maiden Member Takes Credit For Signature Sound

Michael Angulia | 11-25-2019

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Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden is known for their harmonizing guitar sound and former guitarist Dennis Stratton says that he was the one to first suggest the band employ that technique to obtain a bigger sound.

Stratton joined the band prior to the recording of their self-titled debut and replaced with Adrian Smith prior to the making of the band's sophomore album "Killers".

In a recent interview with The Metal Voice, Stratton looked back on how he joined the band and said that he was the one who suggested that they harmonize the guitar parts.

He said, "When Iron Maiden signed to EMI, there was only three of them in the band, they didn't have a band, there was no band because they got rid of their drummer and they got rid of the other guitarist because they weren't good enough.

"So basically when they signed to EMI, they also signed a big deal with Rod Smallwood and they need another guitarist with singing abilities and who does second guitar and who's got recording and touring experience.

"So I go down and see them, they gave me the Soundhouse tapes and when I got home I'm listening. I realize it's only one guitar. It sounds like a kid's band that's just starting up. It was punky.

"I'm used to working with two guitars and three vocals. So they asked me, 'Would I join the band?' I say 'Yes.' I learnt the songs and went down to the studio without a drummer and we played 'Prowler', 'Wrathchild' wherever it was.

"So then I say to Dave Murray, 'I'm used to playing with two guitars in harmonies. I know you play on your own. You're a solo guitarist. Let's do harmonies. We need to make it sound bigger.' So, he said 'Great.'

"So I spoke to Steve. I said 'Steve, do you mind?' He said 'No.' So I went home and started working on 'Phantom of The Opera' and I worked on 'Running Free' and I worked on the harmony guitar stuff I've been doing since I started playing and we went back to the studio.

"We started running through the songs and they sounded twice the size. Then I told my buddy Clive Burr, 'I joined Iron Maiden and they are looking for a drummer. Are you interested?' He said 'Yes.' So that day, the band went from a three piece into a five piece." Check out the full interview below:

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