IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris spoke to Japan's Daily Yomiuri about the possibility of the band one day finally bringing down the curtain on what has been a glorious career.
"We have all talked about it and we are aware that you can't go on forever," he admitted. "But it's something that you can't put a time on it. You just have to do it when everyone feels that's it and we don't feel like that yet.
"We don't want to make the mistake that a few bands have made and say, 'That's it' and two years later think, 'I'm a bit bored now, let's do it again.'
"Once that's it, it should really be it."
MAIDEN's most recent studio album, "Dance of Death", has been hailed as one of the band's strongest to date — the album's centerpiece, eight-minute epic "Paschendale" is a bombastic microcosm of all that has made the band one of the icons of heavy metal.
"You've just got to keep doing what you do," said Harris of MAIDEN's enduring legacy. "I think we have always been stubborn like that. We've never bowed to pressure from other people. In fact we have gone so far as to tell them to piss off at times. And that's how it should be.
"A band shouldn't be bombarded into doing things they don't think is right for them. And whenever we have debated because we haven't been sure, it's usually wrong. You go with your gut instinct and nine times out of 10 you're right.
"We just make the albums we want to make. You could argue now that we are all fairly comfortable so we don't have to do any of the bullshit stuff. It's gone full circle in some sense.
"In the early days we did exactly what we wanted to do. We always have done. But the situation is now you could argue even more so and that's been the main philosophy. As to why we're still selling — I'd like to think it's because we're good."