October 3, 2007

Cameron Adams of Australia's Herald Sun recently conducted an interview with IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

On working at Astraeus Airlines as a full-time pilot:

"Most of my holidays are planned around going on tour with IRON MAIDEN. We do a lot of charter work, taking oil workers to some pretty unforgiving places."

"People can come up to me after we've landed, but obviously with security they can't just come up to the front. I can't be flying a plane while I'm signing autographs. Even minor distractions can have a fairly embarrassing knock-on effect."

"I thought you had to be a rocket scientist to fly, but nothing could be further from the truth.

"When I first flew a plane it was such a revelation. One thing led to another and I went down the slippery slope to becoming a commercial pilot. There was never the intention when I started — I just thought I'd fly to the occasional show.

"There are similarities between the two. On stage, you have to hold it all together while all hell's breaking loose. Flying a big jetliner is more of an internal headspace, though take-offs and landings can get pretty exciting."

On being more than happy to let his music become famous, not himself:

"I'll court fame if it's useful, to sell a record. But the whole concept of fame is pretty daft, really. Being famous for being famous I find nauseating. I have managed to miss watching any reality TV. I can't tell you who's on 'Big Brother'."

On whether he has been asked to appear in "Osbournes"-style documentaries or reality TV.

"There have been offers. They've mainly come to me, being the singer and what have you, and being able to string a few words together. They think 'OK, he's bound to want to do it'. I was offered 'Celebrity Big Brother', or some crap like that.

"I wouldn't mind doing something on reality TV that was fun, like if the History Channel wanted to get me to fly a Spitfire. I'd do that."

On his legendary run-in with Sharon Osbourne at Ozzfest 2005:

"In my world that wasn't weird. She's famous for being famous. That's her world. People were saying 'Sharon Osbourne is upset with you'. That's fine with me. It was probably an issue in her world, not in mine."

On rumors that MÖTLEY CRÜE's Nikki Sixx had been spreading about Dickinson's wife:

"MÖTLEY CRÜE — again, famous for being famous. You hear, oh, 'MÖTLEY CRÜE are bad boys who did this and this'. Big deal. I mean, badly behaved boys? This is not new. I don't see what the big deal is. Go to any rugby club. The Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson sex video, it was almost like the circus freak, 'come and see the hideous deformed man'. I'd rather it be about the music."

On focusing on the music:

"There are no bands like IRON MAIDEN around now. That's why MAIDEN hasn't just prevailed but grown. We've gained three generations of fans since our original fans — all by word of mouth. The amount of media we've had —- we're not seen as cool, but all the bands that had all the attention have gone and we're still here. The fans get it.

"Especially now with the Internet. It's a matter of 'I like that song, I'll get it'. It's instant. The cultural battle is on — music is back to being about bands people actually like, rather than bands the media tell them to like."

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