Steve Harris (Stephen Percy Harris, born 12 March 1956 in Leytonstone, London, England) is the bassist and founder of the legendary Heavy Metal band Iron Maiden since 1975. He is also the main song writer of the formation, and plays keyboard too.
Steve Harris got his first bass when he was seventeen. He started playing a Fender Precision copy and of course ended up playing the real thing soon after that. In these early years he played in different bands such as Influence, Gypsy's Kiss and Smiler.
After leaving Smiler with tons of ideas to write his own songs, he decided to create his own band, Iron Maiden, named after the unpopular torture instrument which he saw in the movie "The Man in the Iron Mask".
Steve Harris became the leader, founder and main songwriter of one of the most important, epic, heavy metal bands in history, which is still active over 35 years later.
Steve Harris influences are varied: Phil Lynott, John Deacon, Roger Waters, Dennis Dunaway, Genesis, Deep Purple and UFO to name a few.
On top of playing power chords depending on the track, Harris plays bass with two fingers, and is said to chalk his fingertips before the shows to allow for a faster rhythmic pace, which is often needed given the ever changing, complicate and fast paced nature of many tracks in Maiden's repertoire.
As a composer he is a prolific song writer inspired by different topics and deep matters such as mythology, history or ideas he gets from books and films.
Steve Harris uses Fender Precision basses, with both maple and rosewood necks. He has also used Fender Jazz models, and other brands such as Ibanez, Danelectro, Ovation, Guild and some unkknown models, probably made by some independent luthier.
His choice of strings are his signature RotoSound SH77 flatwound bass strings, which he changes on a daily basis!
His sound wouldn't be complete without his favourite choice of amps and cabs, he uses a custom made pre-amp clone of a Hi-Watt Solid State 200 amp and a C-Audio SR707 power amp which roars through Quantity 8 Marshall 4x12 JCM 800 bass series straight cabinets. He also likes to add a Vintage DBX 160 compressor in the chain.
Related GMC Lessons
1980: Iron Maiden
1982: The Number of the Beast
1983: Piece of Mind
1986: Somewhere in Time
1988: Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
1990: No Prayer for the Dying
1992: Fear of the Dark
1995: The X Factor
1998: Virtual XI
2000: Brave New World
2003: Dance of Death
2006: A Matter of Life and Death
2010: The Final Frontier