Bruce Dickinson remembered auditioning for IRON MAIDEN way back in the day, telling Loudwire:
“They’ve been working an awful lot, they’d been under a lot of stress and pressure and everything. And clearly, the relationship with Paul [Di’Anno] had kind of broken down.
“And that was a real problem, because when you got the lead singer and it’s not working right then that gets everybody in a bit of a bad position all the way around the block.
“So I just went in there and thought, ‘I think we should have some fun!’ So we sang a lot of songs and we sang a lot of songs that we all knew mutually, just for a bit of fun. And everybody seemed to cheer up. So I thought, ‘Well, this is a good start!'”
“We just went into a rehearsal room and we never recorded anything there, we just played. I just sang over backing tapes that they already had. They were live tracks.
“And in the great Rod Smallwood tradition of never letting anything go to waste he promptly put it out as an EP shortly thereafter – claiming it was me. And in fact there’s one bit… I think there’s a song ‘Remember Tomorrow’ where Paul, who’s the original vocalist on it, is doing some ad-libs into the crowd and it’s obviously his voice.
“And because it’s on the audience microphones, there’s not a lot you can do about it. So I had to go and grunt and go, ‘Are you doin’ alright?!’ Or something like that, to try and cover it up. It’s not done very well
“I enjoyed the hell out of it and that was it. They said, ‘Okay, you’re hired.’ Then we went and got drunk to celebrate.”
Asked if he was confident he’d get the gig before the audition, Dickinson replied:
“I made the assumption which was kind of precocious. But I guess I wouldn’t have got the job if I wasn’t that way inclined to begin with. You’re gonna be fronting a major heavy metal band which is already No. 1 and doing and things like that. Actually, not stadiums back then but I get your point.
“You didn’t need to have the tea leaves ready to go and figure out what was probably gonna go on. And I wanted to make sure that I was exactly the sort of guy he wanted. And I made the assumption that one of the reasons they wanted a completely different type of singer was they wanted a completely different type of singer in every respect.
“So I made it quite clear that I had opinions. [Laughs] If you don’t like them then you can argue about them, but you’re gonna have to tolerate the fact that I will come up with ideas and opinions and things that you might not agree with.”
Remembering the recording process of his first studio record with Maiden – 1982’s “The Number of the Beast” – Bruce said:
“We were on a high throughout that entire proces of writing and recording of ‘The Number of the Beast.’ We were all super jolly. Everybody was just delighted. There was no stress around that album at all. Or if it was I don’t think any of us felt it because we were just having so much fun.”
“That was when Martin [Birch] got into my head – which he’s very good at doing as a producer, one of the reasons why he’s suck a great producer. He said ‘I did the same thing with Ronnie Dio.’ Ronnie came in with ‘Heaven and Hell’ and thought ‘I can knock these couple of lines out in a few seconds.’ Of course, Ronnie is an amazing singer. So I said ‘What lines were those?’
“And he said ‘The first two lines of ‘Heaven and Hell.’ ‘Sing me a song you’re a singer.’ He said ‘Now go sing those two lines like you’re summing up your entire life in the first two lines of the song.’ And that took some time. I was throwing furniture around the studio, going ‘WHAT EXACTLY IS THAT YOU WANT?!’
“And it happened. And when you have a moment like that – what I call a ‘lightbulb moment’ – you go ‘Oooohhh, I get it. I think…’ You then transfer that to things you do subsequently.”