Birch, who passed away on 9th August, produced a run of Iron Maiden albums that began with 'Killers' in 1981, and culminated with 1992's 'Fear of the Dark'.
Said Adrian; "Well, firstly, it was very sad when he passed away. I was shocked, really, I mean, he was quite young still. He was only 71".
The guitarist went on to detail his first encounter with Martin, with whom he first worked with during the 1981 'Killers' session. Said Smith; "Martin obviously did a lot of great bands; before us he did Purple and Sabbath. He was great, but he was a bit intimidating at first, because he had this big reputation".
Adrian continued; "I’d never been in the studio to do a proper album before; I mean, I could hardly eat in the week leading up to going in the studio. But he had an air of authority about him because of his reputation".
Smith also detailed Birch's martial arts prowess, which, he said, the producer would demonstrate at the most inopportune moments; "He also – as he reminded us on many occasion – he was a karate black belt, and there’s a few stories about that in the book; if he had a few drinks after a [recording] session, he’d start doing his karate routine and practising his kicks and his chops in the studio; you’d see all the roadies scurrying around moving the guitars out of the way in case he kicked the headstock off a vintage Les Paul or something!"
Finally, Adrian summed up his approach to recording; "Martin never got involved in arranging music". he said; "He was a very, you know; ‘let the band shine’, and sit back and show the band in the best light possible; record it perfectly, don’t use too many tricks".
'Monsters of River & Rock' the ultimate fishing-fantasy armchair read, and is also the story of a rock star in a fast-moving world who seeks peace and tranquillity at the water’s edge – wherever he is.
Read eonmusic's interview with Adrian Smith here from Tuesday 18th August, where he chats about 'Monsters of River & Rock, songwriting, studio sessions, 'Somewhere in Time', A.S.a.P and more.