“I had a couple of solos mapped out, but for the most part I just go for it... I think that you lose all the soul if you think about it too much”: Roy Z on keeping things simple and song-serving with Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford's solo bands

Roy Z
(Image credit: William Hames)

Before hooking up with Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson in 1994 for Balls to Picasso, SoCal native Roy Ramirez – aka Roy Z – was known for his bands Seventh Thunder, Gypsy Moreno, and Royal Flush. His time with the group Tribe of Gypsies, though, would prove especially important. 

Through a chance meeting with Dickinson in 1993, Roy Z and his bandmates became his backing band as he embarked on a solo career after leaving Iron Maiden.

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.