Bruce Dickinson is primarily known for his tenure with iron Maiden that spans over more than three decades aside from being a successful solo musician. The rocker is often appreciated for his wide-ranging operatic vocal style and energetic stage presence during live performances.
In addition to his music, Dickinson is well known for his career as a commercial pilot and founding his aircraft maintenance and pilot training company Cardiff Aviation in 2012. The musician previously captained Iron Maiden’s converted charter airplane, Ed Force One, during their world tours.
Although he clearly loves both being Iron Maiden’s frontman and managing his business ventures, there was a period when the rocker left his band and focused on his solo career. Fortunately for the fans, Dickinson returned to Iron Maiden but not for the reason you may think it is. Let’s take a look.
Bruce Dickinson Spent 6 Years Away From Iron Maiden
By the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the new decade, there was growing tension between band members regarding their music. Being fed up with the stress, Bruce Dickinson decided to leave Iron Maiden to concentrate on his solo career following the Fear of the Dark Tour.
However, they had already booked another tour in 1993, and Bruce had to stick with Iron Maiden for the next months. Dickinson received negative comments from his bandmates throughout the tour as they accused the singer of not putting on a great performance.
The Maiden frontman denied these accusations and said he would never deliberately sabotage a live performance. Eventually, he performed on his last show with the band on 28 August 1993, which was filmed and released as a live video the following year with the title ‘Raising Hell.’
Bruce Dickinson Returned To Iron Maiden For Their Fans
While being away from the band for six years, he focused on his solo career and released five studio albums. Then, Bruce Dickinson was approached by manager Rod Smallwood who convinced the signer to rejoin the band. Although both sides were skeptical about this reunion due to the previous tensions, it immediately dissipated, and they started working together again.
During an interview, the Iron Maiden singer revealed the reason behind his decision to rejoin the band. Apparently, the frontman opened up about the possibility of his return to the band to his solo bandmates when he was only thinking about it. They fully supported the rocker since they thought the world needed Iron Maiden.
After hearing what the fans need, Bruce Dickinson had an epiphany and admitted that he never thought about his fans when he left Iron Maiden. Realizing that the world actually needs the band, he changed his mindset and focused on that motto when he first hit the stage with his former band after six years.
In his own words, Dickinson said:
“When I told the rest of the guys in my solo band, they all immediately said, ‘Well, you’ve gotta go back.’ And I said, ‘You know this means I can’t play with you guys the same anymore because my feet aren’t gonna touch the floor, right?’ And they went, ‘Nah man, you’ve gotta do it. The world needs Iron Maiden!’ And I thought, ‘Fuck. I never thought of it like that. But you’re right – the world does need Maiden. Bring it on!
When I went on stage for that first show, it was in the back of my head: the world needs Iron Maiden, and here we are. Boom! And you get that feeling underneath you, that you can move mountains. I felt a lot more confident about who I was and how I was performing. I’d learned a lot in that intervening period.”
While it may be disappointing for his bandmates to hear that Dickinson’s primary motivation was his fans, everybody is happy now, as he has been working with Iron Maiden for the past 22 years. The band even released their brand new studio album, ‘Senjutsu‘ on 3 September 2021 and are counting the days for the promotion tour.