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Bruce Dickinson

Interview: Bruce Dickinson

By Linda Serck and Catherine Turner
Find out how BBC Berkshire managed to make rock god Bruce Dickinson say the line: "I am not an aficionado of bunnies". Read our exclusive interview with the Iron Maiden frontman below.

What a coup for the Reading Festival. Iron Maiden have been at the forefront of world metal and is one of the greatest live bands around, headlining stadiums and major festivals all over the globe, and selling over 60 million albums in the process.
So did we approach the frontman and 'rock god' with the required amount of kow-towing respect? Well, let's just say it was a case of two blondes, Bruce and...a bunny?

He grabbed a pew and joined BBC Berkshire at the Reading Festival Launch Party with pint in hand, despite not giving any interviews for publications that evening. We couldn't miss this exclusive opportunity however, and the extremely affable and eloquent singer, also a BBC 6 Music presenter and pilot, readily chatted to us for a good half hour. And he couldn't have been more genuine - a lesson to be learnt by many image-conscious too-cool-for-school bands around today.  

"I don't like being recognised, I have no interest in being famous at all, I just do what I do."
A rather fame-shunning rock god

The last time Iron Maiden played at Reading was when they headlined in 1982, though Bruce did reveal he has been to the festival since. He says: "I've been to the Reading festival twice before - as a punter, though I stayed backstage in the hospitality tent!"

This year however he won't be hanging around supping beer by the sounds of things. He says: "I'll be arriving at the last possible minute and walking on stage raging and pillaging and then disappearing immediately afterwards."

So no pre-concert drinks or post-festival party for Bruce then. In fact, to gear up for the show it's not a bottle of whiskey that prepares him for the stage but a "flask of coffee". So what does he do to get the crowd going? "Well if it's the audience is a bit lagging we kick them in the nuts until they wake up!" comes the grinned response.
Literally and not just metaphorically we hope - there'll be a photographer at the front somewhere surely! "No!". Oh come Bruce you must have seen some tootsie action in your time. "One would wear out one's tootsies" he replies.

So the audience may not have to buy codpieces but they can expect to be dripping wet from moshing to Iron Maiden's more classic songs. Due to popular demand and to coincide with the release of the band's live DVD covering songs from the first four albums, they'll be performing tracks from Iron Maiden, Killers, Number Of The Beast and Piece Of Mind.

Despite being the headlining act on Sunday and evidently seen by many as a metal god, Bruce rather surprisingly shuns stardom. He says: "I don't like being recognised, I have no interest in being famous at all, I just do what I do. If I could be like Captain Kirk and beam myself up and then beam myself down, I would! I love performing on the stage but I don't like being famous - I just don't see the point, it just cheapens everything."

Catherine Turner, Bruce and Linda Serck
Catherine Turner, Bruce and Linda Serck

Is there not a glamorous element to being Bruce Dickinson? "I don't regard it as glamorous, I stopped regarding it as glamorous 23 years ago because that's when I fulfilled my life's ambitions. I dreamt for years about making albums and doing world tours - I'd fulfilled all my ambitions in one year and so I thought 'what do I do?' If it all just happens like this for the rest of my life it's going to be one endless Groundhog Day. I determined that I was not prepared to submit to this regime so I thought I had to do something about it."

Of course Bruce did end up quitting the band in 1993, rejoining in 1999 after releasing several solo albums and publishing a series of novels. 

He says: "Iron Maiden is an institution and I'm delighted that I'm involved in it but there was a time that I wasn't delighted so I quit. I enjoy making solo albums because over the years it's evolved into more of a genuine personal expression of story-telling and day dreams, and I work in a way that has more control."

So what does Bruce like to do when he's not on stage? "Well I fly aeroplanes, go down the pub, go to the gym, read  - I like military history, social history, occasionally arty books." Quite a different image you're portraying to the long-mulleted spandex-trousered metaller of old! "I only ever had one pair of Spandex trousers!"

So why on earth did you wear them? "I don't know, I guess it's just something that adolescents do, in your imagination you think that you'll be a hit if you display your k*** and b******s." And was it a hit? "Yep!".

Such adulation will have led to strange encounters with groupies and fans. After commenting that men under 30 are "unguided missiles" he continues to tell us about the oddest thing a fan wanted him to sign: "I was asked to sign a bunny, a real one!"
Really? BBC Berkshire exclaims. What colour? "White. All bunnies are white aren't they?" Err no, I think you'll find some are tawny brown. "Well I'm not an aficionado of bunny rabbits!"

Glad to hear it Bruce, you stick to being a rock god.

last updated: 22/03/05
Have Your Say
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Paulo Henrique Viveiros
Bruce, you are the best singer of the world!

rena alessanda
I'm your big fan. I loved You 1.0000000 kisses

I just admire him... One of the most talented and intelligent stars ever. Great storyteller, sense of humour and down earthed. Great person.


Tati Viana

great to see bruce dickinson perfom a one off with the vanuatu military band. awesome. you are welcome back in port vila anytime dude.

iron maiden roooooocccckkkks run to the hills

Hi I love Iron Maiden you guys rock and rule metal as it is

Karen from Belfast
Bruce is such a legend, Not only is he one of the most iconic men in rock, he is also an accomplished fencer, published author and full-time pilot! He also appears to be a real gentleman with a real brain. Love him!

nash miller
bruce is definatly the greatest singer,full of life and energy...could'nt miss the concert for the world....(Edd Fest,india,bangalore)....cant wait for the next visit.....keep rocking

finally Maiden in Romania...thank you Bruce for this once in a lifetime chance.

hi dude bruce is the best im gonna go and see there tour soon and i cant wait i hope could get his autogarph!

Jeff from BH Brazil
Maiden in Brazil march 02!yeeeeehhhhhh!!!!!!

John Davis
Bruce is the best best vocalist that ever lived and the coolest personal life to as a pilot and a fencer.come to Dayton, Ohio is what maiden or his solo work should do

Javier Diaz
bruce is the best lead vocal of the world ...We are really glad in Chile because Iron Maiden will play in Santiago on march of this year..... so I will be there .... Long live ti Iron Maiden and Brucey....

Bruce you Best.Iron Maiden in my black soul FOREVER

acilio simoes
Bruce,s voice is a combination of raw emotion,power and range.Then god comes in and gives his voice a depth wich soars into a realm that is synonimous with everything best described as..Grandeur! The rest of maiden are absolute genius.Overwhelmingly the best musical band of all time.I sincerly doubt that will ever change now or for eternity.Truly i say to maiden;Thank-you from all my heart.HALLOWED BE THY NAME!

bruce's stooge
come to india..

paul collyer
met Bruce while i was on tour with Sabbat supporting Udo Dirkschneider about 20 years ago,lovely chap and as down to earth as he sounds in the interview.....TOP MAN!

Just keep rocking guys! Don't you stop! You are the best! And come to Serbia again,we haven't seen enough!

O Iron eh fodahhhh! vcs tem q vir pro brasil, porra! e a gente merece isso pq nos somos a plateia mais foda do mundo... ninguem supera a soh procurar a respeito dos fatidicos festivais no rio...UP THE IRONS!

Maiden rules....its the one band whose every single song make us think/dream...."...But if they do stop to think..."

iron maiden rules and no one can top them

State owned Property
Up the Irons!!! You R my favorite Band!

They (Iron Maiden) should be knights from the british empire, yeah!!!

I love Brucey with all my heart, the only thing that I have in my life is Iron Maiden!Every time when I see Bruce's photos, I'd like to cry. It's so hard to live with this pain!Don't you think, that you are the greatest Maiden fans, cause I am!!!

i am 13 and am the greatest maiden fan ever , croatia prayes every day that you come...croatia is waiting...

Iron Maiden rule. Gers and Dickingson are living Gods. Run and rock out the hills Maiden!

HAIL MAIDEN !!!!Bow down to the gods XD

Happy Birthday Bruce :)

ash b
man! this guy is a legend! i always wake up 2 the sound of maiden! keep rocking till you die BRUCE!!!

Cinthia L.
Facinating interview!!Quite enjoyed it!

Susanne from Sweden
You are my true God!I have loved you for 25 years and you only get better,its amazing!You save my day;everyday.I'm in a lot of pain because of a whiplash,and your voice are helping me to survive.I love you!

Please, come in Romania!!!

We all must be reasonable.I admire Bruce very much and Maiden are the best band in the world.They raised my quality level of music

I live for Iron Maiden,I cry for him and I die for him.I love this group.Please come in Montenegro

petronella dube

We are waiting for ya!In Bulgaria!I bet it will be unforgetable experience and there's no doubt!Love ya!:*IRON MAIDEN FOREVER!

I live for Iron Maiden. Please come again in Romania, at one of the footbal stadion. We love you, Bruce.

gord gray
i like to know if maiden is planning a canadian 2007 tour.if so let you know,you should hear all the maiden being played around some of cdn army bases i've been posted to.KEEP ON ROCKIN

Bruce is god.HAIL maiden

Hello.Im from Croatia,small country in Adriatic Sea.If you find time,plz come again in Zagreb or Split,i missed you last time you were there on death on road tour,i will die from sorrow if i dont see you live before you retire.I thank BBC for making this possible.Iron Maiden is Best band that has ever existed,THE greatest influence in metal music and one of the coolest persons on entire planet Mr.Bruce Dickinson - a great singer,songwriter,airplane pilot,fencer,historian and a rock god.I salute you.

Nick Zivkovic
Truly the god of metal!

stuart munro
iron maiden hv been one of my inspirations and bruce dickinson iis an awesome performer....i would also like to say that,being a bassist,steve harris is one of my all time hero and his up front,forceful bass playing has driven me to improve my playing...thanx maiden for the glory days!!!!

Kevin (from little Gibraltar)
Iron Maiden are who they are today thanks to Bruce returning to Maiden in 1999, along with Adrian Smith, the band's best guitarist! Bruce's solo projects were excellent, and his attitude towards what he does, his appreciation to his fans, his passion of what he does makes him the best. He is the example to follow!

I want to see Iron Maiden in Romania, will my dream come true ?! :)

maiden are really good! I have a really good time whenever i hear them! Yay!

pradeep alexander
i was right in front at the maiden concert at b'lore... oh all my dreams came true...but i feel iam still dreaming that i actually saw them, dream of mirrors ! ! ! ! may be !

Thank you Sir, wishing we've given you a reason to come back to India. Once again Sir, Thank you for your music and spirit, witnessed it frim the front row

Arjun Jassal
My dream of watching maiden live finally came true! Up the irons!

Shaleen Bhartnagar (Delhi, India)
Dear Hon'ble Sir Mr. Bruce Dickinson, (Can BBC send this message to Iron maiden) I am die-hard fan from Delhi and i am dying to attend your once in a life time Rockshow to be held in Banglore, India on 7 March 2007. But i don't have means to go to other city via flight but i can request you to kindly come to Delhi once in your life-time so that i can attend your show in my life-span (i.e. before i die, i want to see you performing you). With love and respect for your talents & music depth, Shaleen bhatnagar

noel masih
I am eagerly waiting to see iron maiden live in India. I am a big fan of iron maiden since a long time. To see iron maiden was my dream and on 17th of March the dream will come true. Long live iron maiden.

Music is my Religion and Iron Maiden is my GOD. maiden comin to bangalore is a dream come true for thousands of fans like me.cant wait to see them live. Up the IRONS HAIL MAIDEN

Lloyd Monteiro
Hey, Am a big Maiden fan, waited all my life to see you live in Bangalore, India. There were rumors since 96 and now finally you are there and i am in seattle, US. I hope to catch you guys once in my lifetime. You guys rock and am sure you will be amazed by the crowds in bangalore,India.

Well,i'm a BIG fan of Iron Maiden,i'm from Croatia,i hope they will come in my country.I have been listening them for years,and i never got and never be bored of their music.I wish i could see them live.Bye. :)

hay bruce's u'r die heart fan n i am eagerly waiting 4 u'r next album.....!!!!! {Wish i could perform wit ya}

bruce..gr8 2 hear u makin it to blore..apart from songs from matter of life and death..please do play "no more lies"..we all love dat song..and response from the cowd is gona b amazing jus like fear of the dark and the otha stuff..waiting for 17th..hope its morrow..maiden rules..\m/

hello ,brucE ! i live in Newzealand, but iwas born in india ! im a big maiden fan ! you are a legend :) ,im gona miss the gig in bangalore ! PLEASE COME TO NEWZELAND ! LIKE PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE .. THANK YOU !

Ricardo Dennis
"Da gods of rock"

Having entertained me for the last 25 years as front man of my favourite band i should like to return the compliment, if ever you're near Coventry drop me a line at my address above and i'll buy you a pint.........or two. cheers mate!

Hello, I am from Spain and the one and only i want to say to Bruce is thank you, thank you to me me happy for these 15 years i am listening Iron Maiden. I am 32

dark mathematician girl
Bruce,do you really exist? Musician,pilot,fencer... And your wonderfull song "The tears of the dragon"... See ya in Belgrade!

hi bruce i am from colombia and i dont speak emglish but the only thing that i know is that your have the best band of the word

firoze munshi

if i had one last wish...''i'd want IRON MAIDEN .....LIVE!!!! Bangalore eagerly awaits maiden....!!!

plz come to bombay..bruce u r cmin to bangalore on 17th march..n on 18 th march roger water is comin to bombay.plz come to bombay @20...plzzzzzzzz

hey bruce u coming to india or wat???? man we guys are waiting like crazy in bangalore. da crowd wont let u down,please come fast to bangalore.YOU ROCK!!!

HEY BRUCE PLease come to bangalore

mr greg jeffrey
bruce dickingson is the best metal singer in the wolrd ever put real feelings in his music and a good show man what ever his dose

Bruce,are you comimng to SERBIA or what?

Great Alexander
We are very very glad that we have a gig for this tour in Athens!!! Let me tell you that this show is going to be absolutely fantastic! Please guys play Alexander the Great! See you... I'll be in the first line. Chris- crazy Maiden maniac from Greece!!!

You are good !! .... Keep it up !! ....... Please come to India !!

Plz come to India

plz plz plz come to india....i assure u, 'We Deserve It'

Hey Bruce ur the greatest..Long live Iron Maiden...Please please come to Bangalore,India..

i love you bruce!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ur my GOD

Bruce, hi the minute i heard your voice i fell in a trance, you are really amazing.Your army of gutarists and drummer are the best rock group of all time,legendary even.keep on rocken our music world,please come to Oregon or somwhere close.I love you Bruce hope to see you soon

Iron Maiden,please come to Croatia,we love u!!!:)

Raghu -India
In simple words....the greatest band ever n ever will be...... Please come to Bangalore in India

Joseph John Agents Detroit Michigan
Please Make Live after Death on DVD in the Us. Where is the Head Master Martin Berch?

I went on the BruceAir flight to Iceland last year and he along with Niko where absolute gentleman. What other band wud do such a thing for the fans and serve them drinks!!! Long rock on the Maiden. Cu all on the life and death tour 07/08!!! up the irons!!!!

Eddie's left nut
Bruce is a legend, born to sing, sing to live.

bruce is truly a metal god.the depth in his voice melts everything.long live bruce!!

When Will Iron Maiden Come 2 India in 2006-2007???

Bruce is the best singer ever. His voice is totally awsome.

mirjana dickinson
brucie, thank you... thanks God because He sent YOU to heal tired and broken hearts... I love you and I always will... you are my idol, you mean everything to me... SCREAM FOR ME.... I will always scream for you... my only inspiration, my only hope... it's so difficult to be on same planet as you and not to hear your voice live! brucie, just know I'm happy that I discovered your beauy...

rock god

Iron Marija Dickinsonsss junkie
well Bruce is AWESOME ,, my idol and ispiration ,, kick back from the edge, amazing man,, sooo funny and bloody genius ,, best voice ever,, looking awesome,, aaah he is best in EVERYTHING

Nicky from Serbia
Hello Bruce!!! People in Serbia are dying to hear Iron Maiden live in Belgrade. You should come on your next tour. LONG LIVE IRON MAIDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

alad_dickinson :)
bruce dickinson i love you for ever...... te amo !!! eres el amor de mi vida,junto con maiden ustedes son lo mas lindo de este mundo lejos la mejor banda del mundo!!!! los amo maiden y ati brucesito !!!:) up the irons!! scream for my chile!!!

annika from finland
bruce i think you`re the greatest vocals ever! and i mean it two.oh and i`m a big fan of yours and please come to visit finland!!!! :)

bruce thanks for your voice

just a fan of Bruce...
I wander,if Bruce believes in God? The right, or wrong way...

Please dont forget there are Americans who love you. And some of us are even respectable!

Sunny - India
Bruce please Come to India...I am a Maiden fan and wanna see you live in India.

Bruce u r the God of heavy metal.i live with u n maiden all the time.plz visit our country Bangladesh once.there r a lot of Maiden n ur fans n freaks here!!!

floyd correia
Bruce ur great as iron maiden is god of metal plz come to INDIA ur fans r egerly waiting so plz come to INDIA

why do yuo want that then????
i think bruce is very funny and is such a great laugh

mr greg jeffrey iron maiden fan
i all ways like bruce dickingson onley singer got real feeling i dont blame him leaveing iron maiden all of su will get in to a trap some point of are lifes

tyler smith
i allways thought that Bruce Dickinson and more than one pair of Spandex?In the vidoes that i have he has a different pair every time enless they are really leather? BRUCE DICKINSON IS A ROCK GOD!!!!!!!!!! BIGGER THAN OZZY SINGING OFF A TELEPROMPTER...

I'm a big fan of Bruce-so much so that I am doing a History A level simply because he did it at university.

Bruce!!! I love you. Iam from Venezuela. please come to see us soon.we need you!!!

Saurabh Joshi
Bruce..U are the best singer in the world and plz. come to INDIA. A lot of fans are waiting for your Live Show In India.

Alan - Brasil
Iron Maiden e a melhor de todas a bandas de heavy metal. Bruce Dikinson possui a mais poderosa voz do metal, ele é o Deus do Heavy Metal. Up The Irons!!

Iron Maiden, is the best banda of the world!!! Bruce is the king of singers!!Up the irons!!!

i went to dublin to see iron maiden on 31st august 2005 and they were amazing there is no band like maiden and never will be i just hope i will be as great as them!!

Funky Monk
Bruce looks like my history teacher....

A. Subramani
I have never seen iron Maiden live :( Bruce fly down to India. There won't be a controversy during the trooper I assure you :) Maiden, Priest and Slayer rule in India.


marcin from poland
i love iron maiden and bruce up the irons!!!

Amo a iron maiden,y pienso que bruce junto a sus compañeros de banda son los dioses del metal sin darle chance a ninguna otra banda!!! tengo 28 años y soy fanatico de ellos desde los 11...gracias a Dios los he podido ver 3 veces en vivo,en el estadio Velez Sarfield!!! ellos son lo mas grande...sin lugar a dudas!!! desde la ARGENTINA les mandamos a todos los fans de maiden nuestro grito...UP THE IRONS!!!!

What can I say... Bruce is great ;] of course Iron Maiden isn`t worse ;] Bruce, Poland salute You! Up The Irons!

Maidened Polish Fan
Maidened POLAND (since 1984) salutes the greatest rock band ever!!!! Thanks for THE show in Chorzów!!!!

mo young
i saw maiden in 2003, they sounded brill, i'm glad the dvd release has been delayed especially in the US after the way they were treated on stage,i'm glad to be british...

scream for us bruce upu the irons

Bruce's a metal god... mr. Halford is just a priest to Bruce :D Love him & thank him for great concerts in Poland ;]

He's awesome - on stage and in normal life as well!

"Poland, we salute You" We thanks you Bruce

Up the Irons !!

mark loughton
Maiden rock its as simple as that, in fact they rock more now than most the art grad bands kicking around at the mo

Bruce is great! we love you guy!

Coolest guy EVER

Bruce, you are a true pirat. You've sailed the seas and now trying to conquer the air! Good luck sir Bruce! MAIDEN forever!!!

Having been Maidened before,all i can say is that i'm extremly enviuose of all those attending the Reading and Leeds Fests. You're verry, verry luckky people!

Screaming bird from Russia
Bruce is nice person!:) He's famous, but it doesn't matter for him! He's trying to do too many different things in his life and I really admired of that! That's really amazing! I don't have any idols, but sincerely would like to be like Bruce!:)

kiro maiden
hell yeahh Bruce from Bulgaria!very special thanx for your last masterpiece!it's great!

bruce u rock good luck for leeds and reading also up the irons they rock the world!!!!!!!!!!!


The Swiss Clanswoman (16 years old)
jow so! IRON MAIDEN 4-ever! die when you don't like metal! bruce is the best singer! nicko is my idol cause i play drums! i've got all maiden albums! UP THE IRONS!

ishan joseph
bruce pls don't leave iron maiden for the plans like me

Bruce is the best singer on the world !!! :) I love him and Iron Maiden , too . They are great !!! :D

i love bruce he's wonderfull and i love iron maiden too biss kisses bruce a little frenchy who loves you

Bruce Dickinson and his band are just the best musicians on the world :) I love bruce ;) I love IRON MAIDEN!! UP THE IRONS!!! :D

i love brucey!!!!! he's the best singer in the world! everyone in Chile loves him!!!

ika dickinson
I from brazil...sorry my good....I have everything,all albun...of bruce dickinson......tank's in my life alwas good...bruce

Will see Bruce and the Boys tomorrow in Denver!!!!!

Peter J Marcroft
He's right about fame, there is nothing worse than wtching washed out losers going 'look at me!' or trying some cheap trick to get it all again, come and sit at my table in the pub sometime Bruce, we'll talk about radio and all the interesting things that aren't about you being famous

Hallowed be thy name Brucie! We love you *drools*

South African Maiden Fanatic
A great light-harted interview. Absolute enjoyment Thank-you

Wooo go bruce! And ive been watching you ... i know that you have more than one pair of spandex trousers! Love ya brucey!

Spanear Tomato Puree
I hope Maiden at Reading will finally earn them respect from theor homeland. Their music is intricate, intelligent, powerful and timeless.

Syed Alum
Bruce is, along with Rob Halford from Judas Priest one of THE Metal Gods! can't wait for Maiden's next album

Paul Dickinson
One word to describe bruce: Metal God (After Mr.Halford ofcourse)

Bruce Dickinson is God !!! Nice interview also !

Marcio Dickinson
Bruce Dickinson =Alexander, The Great of Heavy Metal

Bruce is the best singer of the world, he is very professional in everything that he do. we love him in arggentina.

Bruce is the best singer ever... I love Him sooooooooo much!!!

He is one of the greatest metal singers ever, i rckon he should be commended for it

Alex Haskett
Desperated high school girl, Yeah he's married and has two sons i believe....Anyways cool interview peeps

Brucey D fan
Gotta say I'm pleased that Bruce has managed to keep down to earth... But he should be proud that he is an inspiration to people who just want to write music...

Desperated high school girl
I really love Bruce! But I'm not sure if he's marryed... Mabe I'm to young for him and I'm from Greece and I want to know the truth : Is he marryed? I can handle the answer...

Mustang Mary
I thought that interview was great ! And interviewing a fellow BBC'er, Great Fun ! Thanks !

I just love Bruce =) He is important for the fans!

"you think that you'll be a hit if you display your k*** and b******s." And was it a hit? "Yep!"." Magnificent!

I love Bruce!

You had a chance to talk to Bruce Dickinson and what should you ask? Really! What a waste of time!!

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