In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson has talked about his controversial claim that Maiden is bigger than Metallica.

If you are a metalhead, you know that one of the most significant conflicts of our community is which is the best metal band ever: Iron Maiden or Metallica. The Metallica front has always been in quite a silence about that, but Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has a specific opinion about it.

In 2011, Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson talked in an interview with Metal Hammer and said that Iron Maiden is bigger than Metallica, and there’s no doubt about it. He said:

“I got into trouble for saying that we’re better than Metallica… and it’s true. They might be bigger than us, and they might sell more tickets than us, and they might get more gold-plated middle-class bourgeoisie turning up to their shows, but they’re not Maiden. I did say it’s a bit of a windup. I thought, ‘If I’m going to turn into an a*shole, I might as well, you know, go for it.'”

Today, Bruce recalled his claim during an interview with Rolling Stone and clarified what he meant. Here’s what he said:

“Look, I’m acutely conscious that when you say things in print, people are going to pick up on things. The stuff about Metallica, quite frankly, was a 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.”

If you want to see the source of the statement, click here.