BRUCE DICKINSON Recalls Saying IRON MAIDEN Is Better Than METALLICA: ‘You Can’t Say That!’

Bruce Dickinson James Hetfield

In a recent interview with Classic Rock, Bruce Dickinson recalled a bold statement he made in 1999 while trying to persuade Steve Harris to rejoin IRON MAIDEN. Dickinson remarked, “Of course we are better than METALLICA!” when discussing the potential of reuniting with the band.

In 1999, at the home of band manager Rod Smallwood, Bruce Dickinson, in a bold move, was striving to persuade Steve Harris to allow him to rejoin IRON MAIDEN following Blaze Bayley‘s dismissal.

Dickinson said while recalling the meeting: “Steve was very suspicious. He said: ‘Why do you wanna come back?’ I actually said, ‘I want to come back, Steve, because, in the words of my mates, “The world needs IRON MAIDEN” – and secondly, I think we can make amazing music.'”

When asked by the interviewer whether he believed that MAIDEN required Dickinson as much as Dickinson needed MAIDEN, the singer responded: “Probably. But there was no point in saying that, because it would have sounded like sour grapes.”

“What I said was: We will sweep away the past by doing an amazing future. Though the first words out of my gobby mouth were: Of course we are better than METALLICA! People said: ‘You can’t say that.’ I said: I just did. Then they started going: ‘Maybe he’s right.'”

“You’ve got to have that attitude, though,” he added. “It’s like Mick Jagger didn’t get to be Mick Jagger by sitting there going [apologetically]: ‘Oh, we’re quite good, you know, we’re almost as good as THE BEATLES.’ I also told them that we are not to just do ‘greatest hits’ albums, we are going to do a new album and it will be f**king great. And it was. Brave New World really delivered. So suddenly we’re off to the races again.”

Ultimately, both Dickinson and guitarist Adrian Smith rejoined IRON MAIDEN in 1999, leading to the release of the successful album Brave New World in 2000.