He May Be Britain's Biggest Heavy Metal Export
But his lack of fame at home in Chiswick suits Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson
His band brings in more overseas musical money than Coldplay, they’ve got a Brit award in the bag and a new film opening this month but Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickenson thinks the band’s greatest achievement is convincing the English that they no longer exist.
However, their lack of fame at home works out quite well. “Frankly, I like it that way,” Dickinson said in an interview for The Times. “I've lived in Chiswick for 20 years and I pay the council tax and the congestion charge and when I'm away I get texts from my sad old 50-year-old mate who runs the Feltham Recycling Centre saying they're missing me down the pub, ha ha. I go home, get my bike out, mooch around the shops and enjoy living in - how shall I put it? - a cool country. Because then we go out on tour and we can set fire to everything.”
Iron Maiden recently won a Brit Award for Best Live Act, from an awards body that has tended to ignore them, and last year sold out the 55,000-capacity Twickenham Stadium, their first UK stadium show. If that doesn’t impress their fans the fact that research exists claiming to show that heavy metal and classical music fans have the highest IQs among all listeners should.
In the interview Dickinson debunks “myths” about electric cars and biofuels; argues that shipping is far more polluting than flying, that algae technology is the way forward (“and it scrubs CO2 out of the atmosphere”) but that we will also have to get used to nuclear power, like the French. He has invested in a cargo airship that will lift 1,000 tonnes across the Atlantic and likes the idea of the band eventually doing an eco-friendly tour in one.
Although best known as Iron Maiden’s vocalist, Paul Bruce Dickinson also counts being an airline pilot, radio show host, fencer, DJ, historian, TV presenter, record producer, novelist, and songwriter amongst his talents. He joined the band in 1981 but quit in 1993 in order to pursue his solo career, being replaced by Blaze Bayley (of Wolfsbane fame). He rejoined Maiden in 1999 along with guitarist Adrian Smith.
He's ‘banned’ from attending his son's gigs because he gets put off when he sees his dad in the audience. Dickinson agreed to Austin's request saying he doesn't want to be a stage dad besides he knows what it's like. "I remember my dad coming to one of my first gigs and marching to the front in his suit and putting his elbows on the stage. Embarrassing."