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Iron Maiden rule out retirement saying it’s for ‘pottering about in the garden’

Steve Harris says that Iron Maiden don't have any plans to quit touring - in fact, they're doing all they can to carry on longer.

In this week’s cover interview with Kerrang! Magazine, Steve was asked whether, 42 years after forming Iron Maiden in Leyton, he ever thinks about the band’s retirement.

“Yeah, and I don’t like the idea of it at all!” Steve laughed. “I don’t like the word. I don’t like the sound. It’s not good. Retirement reminds me of pottering around in the garden, and I’ve never enjoyed doing that.

“I can’t really see a day where we don’t tour at all, unless we decide that that’s it among ourselves. Obviously, it’s got to happen at some point, but I don’t really want to think about it really, and if that happens, if I’m able I’ll still go do some gigs with British Lion, and I would still like to record.

“But we’re not getting any younger, and you’ve got to think in reality it’s got to end at some point, and hopefully that’s quite a way off yet. And I suppose for a bunch of old codgers, we are still doing that.”

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Steve also said that Bruce Dickinson’s successful battle against tongue cancer and Nicko McBrain’s recent sobriety has emboldened the band to carry on longer.

“I don’t think it’s ever possible to put a dent in (Bruce),” Steve said. “He’s like Action Man isn’t he?!

“And lo and behold after all these years Nicko’s given up drinking. He gave it up about 18 months ago now. Again, he’s better for it, and I think everyone’s thinking that they want to go on longer and are doing whatever they think is necessary to do that.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Bruce said that the opening shows on The Book of Souls World Tour back in February 2016 after recovering from cancer were a step into the unknown.

“I was pinching myself for the first few shows back, because none of us knew really how it was going to sound, my voice,” he said.

“I’d left it for 10 months or so, to let it rest and try and heal itself up. Unquestionably there were some things that had changed and it was difficult. You want to know what the deal is, and there were so many things that were uncertain, you just had to open your gob and see what came out. If a bag of spanners fell out you’d think ‘Oh sh**’.”

© Getty Images

Bruce also said he ploughed into taking his cancer head on with an “aggressive attitude” when he was first diagnosed.

“You can feel sorry for yourself, and I went through a phase of that, but I thought ‘There’s no point in assuming I’m going to get a bad result here,’” Bruce explained.

“I thought, ‘Let’s just get stuck into things as quickly as possible, and if it doesn’t work out then I’ll have to make another plan.' But I was very lucky. I was lucky that I didn’t lose a catastrophic amount of weight, as a lot of people do, unfortunately.

“I turned down things like feeding tubes. They wanted to put bloody pipes in me and holes in me. I went ‘Nah, I’m not going to do that. I will feed myself somehow.’ And I think a lot of the that willpower thing comes out in the recovery a bit.”

Iron Maiden opened the 2017 leg of their Book of Souls World Tour in Belgium last month. You can check out a report on the show, including a video of the first performance of ‘The Great Unknown’, here.

Iron Maiden's UK leg of The Book of Souls World Tour touches down at the following venues:

MAY 2017
Nottingham Motorpoint Arena – Thu 4th - SOLD OUT
Manchester Arena – Mon 8th
Sheffield Arena – Wed 10th
Leeds First Direct Arena – Thu 11th
Newcastle Metro Radio Arena – Sun 14th
Glasgow SSE Hydro – Tue 16th - SOLD OUT
Aberdeen GE Arena – Wed 17th
Liverpool Echo Arena – Sat 20th - SOLD OUT
Birmingham Barclaycard Arena – Sun 21st - SOLD OUT
Cardiff Motorpoint Arena – Wed 24th - SOLD OUT
London O2 Arena – Sat 27th - SOLD OUT
London O2 Arena – Sun 28th - SOLD OUT

Get your tickets at Planet Rock Tickets now!

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