Quick answer: no, no they’re not. H0wever, in the wake of the last track on their double-album, The Book of Souls, it’s not out of the realm of impossibility that Bruce Dickinson could wind up on the great white way. “Empire of the Clouds,” a Dickinson-penned song, is the longest song in the band’s history. Weighing in at over 18 minutes, it would stand to reason that with the song’s epic length, the track would be written about an epic topic. Indeed, the song written by the aviation-happy singer is about a 1930 airship disaster of an R101 zeppelin, which at the time, was the world’s largest aircraft. Dickinson recently caught up with Loudwire, who asked him if Maiden would be playing the song on their tour. Due to the orchestral elements and the song’s length, he didn’t foresee that happening. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll never see the song performed live:
“It is such an overwhelming song to do for everybody,” Bruce says. “That, just is going to be too unwieldy in the context of a big, hairy rock and roll show. I’d love to actually do a one-off — or who knows what it might turn into — a project with an orchestra and a narrative and a couple of actors to tell the story in between the pieces and film it and extend it to 35-40 minutes.”
There’s no Maiden or Bruce fan alive that wouldn’t be interested in seeing that. In fact, maybe he should collaborate with some lyricists and playwrights and actually craft an Empire of the Clouds production. In the right hands, it could be amazing, and it’d be a lot less goofy than U2 writing about Spider Man. You can check out more of the interview below.