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Bruce Dickinson says his claim that ‘Iron Maiden are better than Metallica’ was ‘a really good windup’

Bruce Dickinson and James Hetfield (© PA Images)

Bruce Dickinson has opened up about his notorious ‘Iron Maiden are better than Metallica’ remarks he made in an interview several years ago.

Speaking to Rolling Stone to promote his excellent autobiography ‘What Does This Button Do?’, Bruce said the bold assertion wasn’t directed at Metallica specifically; instead it was just about “throwing down the gauntlet.”  

"Look, I'm acutely conscious that when you say things in print, people are going to pick up on things,” Bruce explained.

“The stuff about Metallica, quite frankly, was a really good windup. We have a great relationship with Metallica. It wasn't aimed at Metallica. It was aimed at the rest of the world to say, 'We're back and we mean it. We mean it so much that we're going to say something pretty outrageous, so why don't you come to the show and find out. We dare you.' It's throwing down the gauntlet, and I'm the lead singer. It's my job. It's what I do.”

He continued: “So is it arrogant? Uh, yeah. You're the lead singer of Iron Maiden, and you're going to be arrogant every now and again, because it kind of goes with the territory, yeah. Mick Jagger, is he arrogant? Yeah, probably – it's Mick Jagger, for f***'s sake. Do I make a distinction between me walking down the street and me onstage with Iron Maiden? Yeah.”

Lauded by critics, What Does This Button Do? was released in the UK on Tuesday 19th October.

On the week of its release last month, Bruce read daily excerpts from the book exclusively on Planet Rock. Then on Sunday 22nd October, he hosted a one-hour special, recounting tales of life in one of metal's biggest bands.

There’s also an in-depth and deeply personal issue with Bruce in Issue 4 of Planet Rock Magazine, which is out now!

Coming complete with a stunning embossed collectors' cover, the issue turns the spotlight on metal titans Metallica. In the 16-page cover story, Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett look back on their action-packed earliest visits to Europe and reveal exactly how they laid the foundations to become the biggest rock band in the world.

Beyond Metallica, the fourth issue of the world’s most electrifying rock magazine finds Ozzy Osbourne revisiting his life-saving Blizzard Of Ozz album and Inglorious taking us on the road as they seek to prove why they've been called the 'Best British Band since Led Zeppelin'. 

Heart/Roadcase Royale guitarist Nancy Wilson tells us about the musical "lighting bolt" that changed her life forever, and we tell the incredible story of Warrior Soul, the greatest 'lost' band of the 1990s, still making thrilling music that burns with righteous fury.

Nancy Wilson in Planet Rock Magazine issue 4

The issue also features Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Star Riders, Deep Purple, The Who, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Uriah Heep, AC/DC, Genesis, Halestorm and Van Halen, while our reviews section rates new albums from Robert Plant, Marilyn Manson, Europe, Von Hertzen Brothers and more, plus there's live action from Roger Waters, Alter Bridge and fast-rising Michigan teenagers Greta Van Fleet.

You’ll find all of this and much, much more in your new favourite magazine. Planet Rock Magazine… Where Rock Lives!

Order the issue online right here.

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