The IMOC (Iron Maiden Fan Club) has managed to gather up some pretty interesting questions from the IRON MAIDEN fanbase around the world for manager Rod Smallwood. After some time, Rod has finally found the time to answer the remaining 15 out of a massive 20 questions. A few excerpts follow:
Question: Since you're on the road a lot with the guys, how does that affect your family and the life with them? Must be tough being apart for such an amount of time. I admire you and your business skills!
Rod: "The travelling and being away from the family isn't too bad. We don't tour now for the long periods we used to. I always go to the first few shows to ensure everything is working fine and looks good production-wise. We sometimes make adjustments to the set we play and the production during these first few shows as you don't always know what really works until you see/hear it, so l like to be there to supervise and have an input into that. From there on l will go out to most of the major gigs but of course the way we now tour they are nearly all major gigs. But we do keep to a sensible schedule as we don't want to burn out — every show is so important. In Europe we often fly back after the show going to the airport straight off stage so if we have say two gigs in Europe together l would for example leave home around 2 the day of the first show and be home say 2 in the morning the day after so the kids don't really notice l am gone especially if they are at school."
Question: As the manager of IRON MAIDEN what was one of your proudest moments of the band?
Rod: "It's obviously great to have No. 1 albums but l always get a much bigger kick out of the live end. In all this probably the proudest moment is unusual as it could have been so negative. This was when the band defied all the bullshit of turning off our PA and the wankers who were planted at the front to throw stuff at us at Ozzfest San Bernardino last year. Through all the interruptions the band stood their ground and ploughed on through the set despite all the distractions. All the crap just made them more and more angry and determined and the performance was immense, one of our best ever. I was also proud of the fans, the huge crowd who were also immense giving us incredible support and singing on, especially in 'Hallowed' after the power was cut one of the times. They were a credit to metal fans everywhere and showed what they thought of the pathetic antics by many leaving. Despite the frustration and bullshit there was no violence or stupid behaviour. l think the kids respected the fact that MAIDEN didn't want that and didn't want anyone hurt.
"Besides this, the most memorable shows are often the really big ones where a sea of people are getting off on the music. Normally l am on the mixing desk at our shows but at the big shows l go on stage so l can see the audience. It always makes me very proud to see the joy and commitment of so many fans. So l guess the top 3 of all these shows would be Donington 1988, Rock in Rio 2001 and Ullevi Stadium Gothenburg last year."
Question: What do you think the best lineup for IRON MAIDEN was?
Rod: "For me, the current lineup has to be the best as the music really does work with three guitars and it gives us such a big live sound. Also the chemistry within the band is really very good, everyone gets on well and have a lot of respect for each other's talents. All the key lineups had something different to offer but to me the band are at the peak of their powers right now. l thought we had a terrific band right from the beginning but l would never have thought in the early Eighties that we would reach our best 20 years later. l think the new album really demonstrates this. Not many bands manage a creative tour de force on their 14th studio album so far into their careers. It shows how much the band really want to do this."
Read the rest of the questions and answers at MaidenNorway.com.