|Birth name||Stephen Percy Harris|
|Born||12 March 1956|
Leytonstone, Essex, England
Stephen Percy Harris (born 12 March 1956) is an English musician who is the bassist, keyboardist, backing vocalist, primary songwriter and founder/leader of heavy metal band Iron Maiden. He has been the band's only constant member since their inception in 1975 and one of only two to have appeared on all of their albums, the other being guitarist Dave Murray.
Harris has a recognisable and popular style of bass playing, particularly the "gallop" which can be found on several Iron Maiden recordings, such as the singles "Run to the Hills" and "The Trooper". In addition to his role as the band's bass player, writer and backing vocalist, he has undertaken many other roles for the group, such as producing and co-producing their albums, directing and editing their live videos and performing studio keyboards and synthesizers. He has been cited as one of the greatest heavy metal bassists.
In 2012, Harris released his debut solo album, British Lion , which was followed by The Burning in 2020.
Harris was born at Whipps Cross University Hospital in London Borough of Waltham Forest and grew up in Leytonstone where he was aspiring to be a professional footballer.Scouted by Wally St Pier, Harris was asked to train for West Ham United. After gaining an interest in rock music in his early teens, he realised that he no longer desired to play football professionally. In particular, he was greatly influenced by the Beatles.
Initially Harris wanted to play drums,but did not have enough space for a drum kit in his house and so decided on the bass instead. Entirely self-taught, his first bass was a copy of a Fender Precision model which cost him £40 in 1971.
Just ten months after he bought his first bass, Harris joined a band, initially known as Influence and later Gypsy's Kiss, featuring Bob Verscoyle (lead vocals), Dave Smith (guitar) and drummer Paul Sears.After a short number of gigs at the Cart and Horses pub in Maryland Point, Stratford and the Bridgehouse in Canning Town, the band split up and Harris auditioned for a band called Smiler in February 1974. In this outfit, Harris began writing his own songs and worked with future Iron Maiden members Dennis Wilcock and Doug Sampson, but left the band after they refused to play his material, claiming it was too complicated.
Upon leaving Smiler, Harris went on to create Iron Maiden on Christmas Day 1975,with the band's name being inspired by the film The Man in the Iron Mask . Before Iron Maiden signed their contract with EMI in 1979, Harris worked as an architectural draughtsman in the East End of London until he was made redundant, at which point he undertook a job as a street sweeper.
Since their inception, Harris has been the band's principal composer and lyricist.His songwriting typically showcases his trademark galloping bass patterns, which features heavily in songs such as "The Trooper" and "Run to the Hills", and his progressive rock-influenced time changes. Recently, Harris' songs have become more progressive, and guitarist Adrian Smith has commented that Harris now prefers contributing "lyrics and melodies and arranging" to other member's songs over writing alone. Harris frequently writes lyrics about mythology, history or topics inspired from books and films, reflecting his interests and progressive rock influences.
In September 2012, Harris released his first solo album, British Lion .Originating with a band, named British Lion, which he managed and wrote with in the early 1990s, Harris kept in touch with its vocalist, Richard Taylor, and guitarist, Graham Leslie, and the album, consisting of 1970s influenced hard rock songs, was written and recorded over a number of years around Iron Maiden's tour schedule. Speaking to Kerrang! in September 2012, Harris stated that he considers the record to be "more of a side-project" than a solo album, as he is more "comfortable in a band environment."
In an interview with Classic Rock in August, Harris stated that he will be releasing more solo albums and hopes to tour with the band in the future.Harris has taken the outfit on two separate European club tours in 2013 and 2014, with an additional tour taking place in 2016. On 2 September 2016, Harris announced that he intends to issue a live album recorded at shows from across the three tours.
Their second album, titled The Burning, was released on 17 January 2020.
Harris' eldest daughter, Lauren,is a singer and classically trained actor who supported Iron Maiden with her solo outfit in 2006 and 2008. In 2008, she released a solo album, entitled Calm Before the Storm , and is currently a member of a band called Kingdom of I, after forming Six Hour Sundown. In addition, Harris' oldest son, George, plays guitar in a band, the Raven Age, who were the opening act on Iron Maiden's The Book of Souls World Tour in 2016, and also in the Legacy of the beast tour 2019. His second-oldest daughter, Kerry, works as a Production Assistant for Iron Maiden while his third-oldest daughter, Faye, is a fashion writer for HuffPost .
In 1993, Harris was divorced from his wife, Lorraine, whom he met 16 years previously.He later said this was "probably the toughest time I've ever faced," and the changes in his personal life are credited with inspiring the mood of the following Iron Maiden album, 1995's The X Factor . Harris has four children with Lorraine: Lauren, Kerry, Faye and George, and two children with current partner Emma: Stanley and Maisie.
Since the 1980s, Harris has owned a Grade II listed building in Sheering Essex, in the grounds of which he built his own recording and editing studio, "Barnyard".In November 2012, the nine-acre property was put on sale.
A keen footballer,Harris played for amateur clubs as a child and was later scouted by Wally St Pier and asked to train for West Ham United, of whom he has been a fan since he was 9 years old. Although he had aspired to play professionally up to that point, Harris would eventually realise that "it wasn't really what [he] wanted to do." Nevertheless, Harris still plays football regularly with his own team, "Maidonians", and still supports West Ham, staying in contact with the club and having their crest on his most-used Precision Bass. Harris also plays tennis, and is a photographer.
Harris is often considered among the best and most influential heavy metal bassists.He is most known for his "galloping" playing style: usually an eighth note followed by two sixteenth notes at fast tempo (e.g., "The Trooper" and "Run to the Hills") or eighth note triplets, which he plays with two fingers, rather than using a plectrum. Before playing, Harris often chalks his fingers, to make these fast patterns easier to play, as shown on the bonus DVD for the A Matter of Life and Death album. Harris's playing is often unusually prominent in the mix on Iron Maiden's recordings; he generally uses a tone with a treble-heavy EQ and compression to accentuate the attack on the strings. Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers has commented that "Steve taught himself in a way that nobody can really copy it. People say it's like a lead guitar, but it's not. It gives the band a basis and it moves around quite a lot, but it's the tone that he has. Steve has a way of hearing things and a tone that isn't normally associated with a bass, it's more like a rhythm guitar."
Harris was influenced by the progressive rock bands of the 1970s, as well as early hard rock and heavy metal bands. His influences include Black Sabbath,Deep Purple, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Thin Lizzy, UFO, Uriah Heep, Wishbone Ash, and Yes. Speaking about the early Iron Maiden sound, Steve Harris described the band as using twin-guitar harmonies inspired by Wishbone Ash and Thin Lizzy, complex time and mood changes from Genesis and Jethro Tull, and the dark melodic elements of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin.
Since Iron Maiden's beginning to the present day, Harris plays a specially-painted Fender Precision Bass, featured on every Iron Maiden album, which has gone through a total of four colour changes since he began using it. Originally white, it was then changed to black prior to the band's first album,followed by blue sparkle and finally white with claret and blue pinstriping with the West Ham United F.C. crest. Harris has had his bass modified to include a mirrored scratchplate, Badass bridges and Seymour Duncan custom SPB-1 pickups and uses his own signature set of RotoSound flatwound strings. In 2009, Fender issued a signature Steve Harris Precision bass, featuring an alder body, a blue-sparkle finish, mirrored scratchplate, Seymour Duncan SPB-1 pickups and a Badass II bridge. In 2015, Fender released a revised model of the signature bass, which now features a maple body, a white finish with blue pinstripes and the West Ham crest, a Fender High Mass bridge and a Seymour Duncan SPB-4 Steve Harris signature pickup, with the pickup also being sold separately.
In 2005, Metal Hammer reported that he uses eight 4x12" Marshall cabinets with Trace Elliot amplifiers.He also uses four Sony WRT 27 wireless transmitters, allowing him to be as mobile as possible on stage. A diagram of Harris' 2000 bass rig is documented on GuitarGeek.com.
In addition to playing bass and writing music/lyrics for the band, Steve Harris has taken on numerous other roles, such as:
Although he performed keyboards on Seventh Son of a Seventh Son , along with guitarist Adrian Smith, in 1988,Harris only began regularly contributing keyboards to Iron Maiden's studio albums from Virtual XI onwards. Until Virtual XI, Michael Kenney, Harris' bass technician, had provided the keyboards from 1990's No Prayer for the Dying onwards, and still does so live and acts as a supervisor in the studio. Along with Smith and guitarist Dave Murray, Harris experimented with synthesizers on the Somewhere in Time and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son albums, using bass synth on Somewhere in Time, and performing "string synth" keyboards on Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.
Steve Harris is also known for playing an increasing role in mixing the band's albums and produced most of their 1990's output,with recording taking place at a studio he owned at the time, located in a barn on his property, named "Barnyard Studios". Since 2000's Brave New World, at Bruce Dickinson's insistence, the band did not record again at Barnyard, which Dickinson claims had limitations due to its size, and hired Kevin Shirley, with whom Harris co-produces.
Harris also directs and edits many of the band's live videos, beginning with Maiden England in 1989.Although not intending to himself, Harris edited the Rock in Rio DVD as he was unsatisfied with the results produced by the band's hired production crew. In undertaking the project, Harris had to teach himself how to use digital editing software with equipment he had installed in Barnyard Studios, and went on to edit Iron Maiden's next DVD, Death on the Road . On top of this, he has contributed to the production of thirteen of the band's music videos, with "Infinite Dreams", "Holy Smoke", "Tailgunner" and "Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter" being directed and edited by Harris alone.
#5: Steve Harris – Iron Maidens ever present backbone, as well as its musical guiding light (Er… sorry, Bruce)
I've always found it easier to play with my fingers; I never learned to play with a pick. I never thought about it as a "technique" – it was just the way I learned to play.
Michael Kenney set up the keys and Steve poked away at them, hunting for the melodies running around his head like a chicken pecking the ground.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Steve Harris .|
Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The band's discography has grown to 40 albums, including 16 studio albums, 13 live albums, four EPs, and seven compilations. They have also released 45 singles and 20 video albums. Two electronic games have been released with Iron Maiden soundtracks, and the band's music features in number of other video games.
Maiden England is a live video by the band Iron Maiden during their Seventh Son of a Seventh Son world tour, which was dubbed Seventh Tour of a Seventh Tour.
Janick Robert Gers is an English musician and one of the three guitarists in Iron Maiden. He was also previously a member of the bands Gillan and White Spirit.
Iron Maiden is the debut studio album by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was released on 14 April 1980 in the United Kingdom by EMI Records and in the United States by Harvest and Capitol Records. The North American version included the song "Sanctuary", released in the UK as a non-album single. In 1998, along with the rest of the band's pre-1995 releases, Iron Maiden was remastered with "Sanctuary" added in all territories. However, 2014 vinyl reissues, 2015 digital releases and 2018 CD reissues use the original track listing across the globe. It is the band's only album to feature guitarist Dennis Stratton.
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is the seventh studio album by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was released on 11 April 1988 in the United Kingdom by EMI Records and in the United States by Capitol Records. Like The Number of the Beast (1982) and later Fear of the Dark (1992), The Final Frontier (2010), and The Book of Souls (2015), the album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart. The lead single "Can I Play with Madness" was also a commercial success, peaking at No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart.
Fear of the Dark is the ninth studio album released by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Released on 11 May 1992, it was their third studio release to top the UK albums chart, and the last to feature Bruce Dickinson as the group's lead vocalist until his return in 1999.
Adrian Frederick "H" Smith is an English guitarist, best known as a member of British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, for whom he writes songs and performs live backing vocals on some tracks.
No Prayer for the Dying is the eighth studio album by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It is their first album to feature Janick Gers on guitar, who replaced Adrian Smith. This marks their first line-up change since 1982; Smith left the band during the pre-production phase, unhappy with the musical direction it was taking, and only having contributed to one song, "Hooks in You". Gers previously worked with singer Bruce Dickinson on his first solo-album, Tattooed Millionaire, and had also worked with Ian Gillan, former Marillion singer Fish, and new wave of British heavy metal band, White Spirit.
Virtual XI is the eleventh studio album by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, released on 23 March 1998. It is the band's second and final album with Blaze Bayley on vocals.
Rock in Rio is a live album and video by English heavy metal band Iron Maiden, recorded at the Rock in Rio festival, Brazil in 2001 on the last night of the Brave New World Tour. The band played to approximately 250,000 people; the second largest crowd of their career and with the relatively recent return of lead singer Bruce Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith to the band, they recorded their fifth live release.
"Running Free" is the debut single by Iron Maiden, released on 8 February 1980 on the 7" 45 rpm vinyl record format. It was written by Steve Harris and Paul Di'Anno. The song appears as the third track on the band's debut album Iron Maiden. In 1985, a live version of the song was released as the first single from Live After Death. In 1990, the original single was reissued on CD and 12" vinyl as part of The First Ten Years box, in which it was combined with the band's next single, "Sanctuary". The 1985 live single was also released as part of this box set, combined with 1985's "Run to the Hills".
"Run to the Hills" is a song by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It was released as their sixth single and the first from the band's third studio album, The Number of the Beast (1982). It is their first single with Bruce Dickinson as vocalist. Credited solely to the band's bassist, Steve Harris, although significant contributions were made by Dickinson, it remains one of their most popular songs, with VH1 ranking it No. 27 on their list of the 40 Greatest Metal Songs and No. 14 on their list of the Greatest Hard Rock Songs.
"Sanctuary" is the second single released by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. The single was released on 23 May 1980. Although originally issued as a non-album single, the song was added to the later US release of their debut studio record, Iron Maiden (1980). When the album was re-released in 1998, the song was added in all territories. In 1990, it was reissued on CD and 12" vinyl in The First Ten Years box set, in which it was combined with their first single, "Running Free".
"Fear of the Dark" is a song by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Written by Steve Harris, the band's bass player and primary songwriter, it serves as the title track to Iron Maiden's 1992 album Fear of the Dark.
"The Number of the Beast" is a song by the English heavy metal band Iron Maiden. It is Iron Maiden's seventh single release, and the second single from their 1982 studio album of the same name. It was reissued in 2005 and also prior to that in 1990 in The First Ten Years box set on CD and 12" vinyl, in which it was combined with the previous single, "Run to the Hills".
British Lion is the debut solo album from Steve Harris, best known as the bassist and primary songwriter for the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. The album was announced on 18 July 2012 and released on 24 September.
David Michael Murray is an English guitarist and songwriter, best known as a member of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden since 1976. He joined Iron Maiden early in its history, and is the second-longest serving member of the band after founder Steve Harris. Murray and Harris are the only members of Iron Maiden to have appeared on all of the band's releases.
British Lion are an English hard rock and heavy metal band formed by Steve Harris, best known as the bassist for Iron Maiden.