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Chatting with former Iron Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton (Includes interview)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

“It’s a great honor for me to get included in the nominations for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was very surprised to see it. I got a message from the Lionheart website saying that I’ve been included in the nominations. It’s a big thing for me, whether or not we get inducted. Just to get nominated is a huge honor.”

Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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Presently, he is a band member of Lionheart, where he plays guitar. “There is always new music coming through with Lionheart,” he said. “We’ve had a really good run with Second Nature and the last album. The record company is really happy. We will be re-releasing Second Nature worldwide, instead of just in Europe. We think that it’s such a good album and so does our management.”

“We are slowly starting to work on our next album,” he added about Lionheart.

Aside from Stratton, Lionheart is made up of Steve Mann, Rocky Newton, Clive Edwards, and Lee Small.

Music Inspirations

Regarding his music inspirations, Stratton said, “I’ve always been involved with bands with harmony guitars and harmony vocals. I’ve listened to Toto, Foreigner, and Journey especially with the big harmony choruses. I’ve always been into the harmony guitars throughout my entire career, which I took into Iron Maiden for the first album. It’s one of those things that just comes naturally.”

“As you move with the times, you have to listen to new music and new bands that are coming up but you don’t actually get any influence from them. You need to move with the times sometimes. Lionheart does that by trying different things on different songs. The way we write just comes naturally,” he added.

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Digital Age

On being an artist in the digital age, he said, “I’m a bit of a caveman. I don’t have Internet or a computer. I have a laptop, which I use for writing. I’m not very IT literate. I live on a farm and there are no phone lines, only mobile. The guys in Lionheart are so far up the ladder when it comes to technology.”

“Basically, I am very lucky and I am very spoiled,” he admitted. I work at home doing all my guitar parts and doing all my writing and putting my parts down, and then I can go to a digital studio. I go there and the files (on the solos and the harmonies) are sent over by Steve, and Lee would come in with the writing, and that’s how we work. I am very lucky to have these people around me. It’s very hard for me in the digital age to try and keep up with the youngsters.”

Advice for up-and-coming artists

For young and aspiring artists, he encouraged them to “keep going, keep practicing and listen to a lot of other bands. Always keep your ears open, and listen to plenty of rock. You’ll hear lots of different bands with different styles. Go and put YouTube clips on and don’t stop making YouTube clips because that’s how you get noticed these days. Keep practicing and keep going.”

On the key to longevity in the music business, he underscored that “you need to keep going and believe in yourself.” “We believe what we do in Lionheart is special whether or not we get a break or not we need to start at the bottom of the ladder again because there are a lot of bands that are higher up the ladder than us,” he said.

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“You need to keep going,” he said. The YouTube clips do work, management and record companies will look at those. Believing in yourself is essential for longevity in the music business.”

“Now with COVID, stay where you are, keep safe and keep going on your laptop and put the music out there,” he added.

Defining Success

On his definition of the word success, he said, “Through my career, I have been quite successful. It’s all about believing in yourself and keep going. You need a lucky break in the music business to get you up that ladder or to get you noticed. The Internet does a lot for you now. I’ve achieved most of the things that I wanted to do: working with a big band and touring the world, and we will do that once COVID finishes.”

“I am lucky that I can still carry on work through my reputation and knowing people in the business,” he said.

Appreciation for fans

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“To anyone who has ever listened to me or any of the bands I’ve played with, know that without you, we can’t do it. You are the most important part of a band. The fans behind Iron Maiden are so so sincere. Thank you for the support and your backing. Without that, I wouldn’t be able to do my job. Please stay safe and God bless everyone. Let’s be patient and music will come back,” he concluded.

Fans and listeners can vote for Iron Maiden in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fan vote by clicking here.

To learn more about iconic rocker Dennis Stratton and his music, check out his official website, and follow him on Instagram.

For more information on Lionheart, visit their Facebook page and their homepage.


Stratton (@dennis.stratton)

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