Frontman Bruce Dickinson admitted he considered leaving IRON MAIDEN as early as around the “Powerslave” era (1984), telling Loudwire:
“I did think about that, yeah. I was just very, very mentally exhausted by the whole … grind, if you like, of grinding out 13 months on the road with so stable social life of any description really.
“People say, ‘Stop complaining – you’re a rock star and you make all this money.’ I said, ‘Yeah, actually, I am, but therefore if I decide to stop, it’s my choice.’
“So I did think about it. … I thought there were other things, perhaps, that I could do that earned much, much less money, but would give me the same or greater level of satisfaction.”
Explaining how he was attracted by ‘one-on-one” roles, Bruce continued:
“That’s what excites me about anything. It’s not the endlessly repetitive grind of doing it. ‘Off you go, there’s 300 shows.’
“I’m like, ‘Okay, so what exactly do I get out of each show, apart from lots of people going yeah-yeah-yeah?’ My brain’s not creaking and expanding – in fact, quite the contrary. After the first hundred or so … There’s more to life than just that.”
“At the end of ‘Powerslave,’ I just thought the balance was way out of kilter for me. We had six months off, and after six months I went, ‘You know what? Maybe I can start to see some sense of proportion here.’ But it was very difficult to see how going on tour for another year at that stage in my life would be of any help to me at all.”
Ultimately, Bruce did quit in 1993, only to return in 1999.