EXCLUSIVE: Neil Murray has revealed that he worked with Iron Maiden’s Adrian Smith following the guitarist’s exit from the band in the early 1990s. The bassist, who is about to hit the road with his band Snakecharmer, made the revelation whilst speaking to eonmusic.
Murray, a veteran player whose CV includes stints with Black Sabbath, Whitesnake and Gary Moore, says that he was called upon to rehearse and demo four tracks with former Maiden man, but that following the completion of the sessions which took place over four days in the early 1990s, it went no further.
Adrian Smith left Iron Maiden in January 1990, following differences of opinion with band leader Steve Harris over the direction of the ‘No Prayer For The Dying’ album, and despite a brief appearance with the band at Donington ‘Monsters Of Rock’ festival in 1992, he would not surface again on record until 1995, when he formed Psycho Motel. Although Adrian put together live act The Untouchables in between times, it is widely believed that he retired from the music industry during the first half of the decade.
However, eonmusic can now reveal that as early as March 1991, Smith was looking at putting a new band together, which led to Neil Murray being asked to participate. Completing the line-up for the sessions was a drummer with another Iron Maiden connection; Fabio Del Rio, who had played on Bruce Dickinson’s ‘Tattooed Millionaire’ album the previous year.
Speaking about the recordings, Neil said; “It’s one of these rather short lived things where you do a session for somebody. It was really playing on demos for him.”
Despite the one-off nature of the sessions, Neil’s diaries reveal that the three-piece got together on three occasions; for a rehearsal on 11th March at Ritz Studios in Putney, London - which featured Smith taking on both guitar and vocal duties - and again over the following two days, for a recording session proper at Battery Studios in London.
A further session was booked for 16th March at Battery Studios for vocals and overdubs. Neil also revealed that his former Whitesnake band mate Bernie Marsden was involved at this stage; “probably in the role of ‘producer’”, whist also crediting Marsden with getting him the gig in the first place.
The band recorded four tracks; ‘So Much Love’, ‘Judgement Day’ (a song which Smith carried over into The Untouchables), ‘Break These Chains’ and ‘Singin’ The Blues’, which Neil hinted continued along a similar AOR vibe to that of Adrian’s 1989 A.S.a.P. album. None of these tracks however, have ever received an official release.
Looking back over the period and the songs that were produced, Neil says; “I don’t really know whatever happened to them. It was just a case of; go up to the studio for a couple of days, put down a few tracks, and that’s the last you hear of it, really”
Adrian Smith re-joined Iron Maiden in 1999, and has been firmly in place ever since. The band have just kicked off the UK leg of their ‘The Book Of Souls’ tour.
Neil Murray hits the road with Snakecharmer this weekend, with dates all across the UK in May. The full list of shows can be seen below. The band’s appropriately titled second album ‘Second Skin’ is released on 12th May, via Frontiers Records.
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Check out for eonmusic's interview with Neil Murray where he discusses Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Snakecharmer and more, HERE.
Snakecharmer 2017 UK Dates.
5th May – Cardiff, The Globe
7th May – Bingley, Arts Centre
10th May - Hull, Fruit
12th May – Sheffield, The Plug
13th May - Tavistock, The Wharf
14th May - London, O2 Academy Islington
18th May - Glasgow, O2 ABC2
19th May – Newcastle, O2 Academy
20th May - Alva, Masonic Hall
24th May – Preston, Guildhall
25th May – Milton Keynes, The Stables
26th May – Frome, Cheese & Grain
27th May – Holmfirth, Picturedrome