Original IRON MAIDEN vocalist Paul Di'Anno gave an in-depth interview to Classic Rock Revisited Editor Jeb Wright about MAIDEN's past going all the way back to the band's club gigs. In true Di'Anno style, the answers are honest and to the point. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow:
Classic Rock Revisited: "The Early Days" DVD is now out. Your interview is very cool. You admit Bruce is a better singer for the band. Have you watched the entire documentary? What was it like catching up with some of the ‘members who were almost in MAIDEN?
Paul Di'Anno: "Well I never actually caught up with anyone during the filming/interviewing of the DVD. In fact, I had my manager instruct the film crew that I would not film my parts anywhere near that wanker Dennis Stratton, as I have already had more than my fair share of having to be around that tosser to last me a fucking lifetime; thank you. I have viewed the entire DVD and it was a great trip down memory lane. It was great to see how some of the past MAIDEN associates are now fairing. I think the DVD was a great idea, very well put together and an obvious must for the collection of any MAIDEN fans out there.
"Yeah, I did admit that Bruce is a better singer for MAIDEN than me. I still do think that but only related only to the MAIDEN albums that were made after my first two initial MAIDEN classic albums. My feeling is that I could never have stamped my mark properly on the MAIDEN albums that came after 'Iron Maiden' and 'Killers' because Bruce's voice is much better suited to that material than my voice ever could be. However, that aside, I am not actually comparing our voices against each other either, as I feel as much as I could not sing Bruce's period of MAIDEN songs, Bruce definitely does not have — and never did have — the voice to replace me on the first two classic albums either.
"My voice is, and always will be, mega aggressive and that is what helped make those first two classic albums what they are. On the other hand, Bruce's high-pitched, and sometimes operatic voice, is what has helped give the later albums their different character. I will say this though: Bruce sounds incredible on many later MAIDEN tracks such as 'The Trooper', 'Number Of The Beast' and 'Two Minutes to Midnight' but let’s face it — without meaning to sound arrogant here, just saying what everyone knows — when Bruce tries to emulate me on classics such as 'Remember Tomorrow', 'Running Free', 'Wrathchild', 'Killers' or anything from the first two MAIDEN albums, he just does not have the tools for the job as the aggression just isn't there. Your voice can often explain a lot about your background, and I think my voice shows the kind of rough, lower-class background I came from. Bruce's voice kind of gives an impression of a public schoolboy background."
Classic Rock Revisited: Why do you want to castrate Dennis Stratton? Also, why was he axed from the band after the first album?
Paul Di'Anno: "Firstly, he is a total prick — let me just get that out of the way as he was, and still is, a shit pop guitarist who actually hates metal, who happened to get very lucky to get into MAIDEN. As soon as I met the arsehole I knew that this tosser was not the man for the job. He's an arrogant, ninth-rate guitarist who has this knack of pissing off the whole fucking planet with his stupid ideas. He kept trying to get MAIDEN to be the next EAGLES with four-part harmonies and all that shit. Of course MAIDEN were not that kind of band. I guess they realized, eventually, that strap-on, being Mr. Pop and Mr. Fucking Know It All, was definitely not a metal person, but a fucking pop pussy and a total big-mouthed wanker too who was now in the wrong place at the wrong time. Obviously, Steve [Harris, MAIDEN bassist] had to lose the poor old donkey as soon as possible.
"During the KISS tour in Spain he had a big bust up with Steve and Rod [Smallwood, manager] because he refused to wear metal-type clothes. He called the metal clothes 'the cunt kit.' He wanted to wear red spandex trousers and frilly shirts like a big fucking women's blouse! The fucking ironical thing is many years after MAIDEN, I had to work with that cunt again — twice for fuck's sake — because I was broke and needed the bloody money. Firstly, I had to tour Japan with him in 1990 — and even fucking worse — playing with fucking PRAYING fucking MANTIS, who are another set of total no-hope wanking losers.
"The tour was a fucking abortion, especially as I totally refused to rehearse for the tour with that tosser and the other tossers. So I took the money and ran after the tour was thankfully finished. To my fucking horror, a live album — total crap — was released from that tour. We all make fucking big mistakes in life, eh? Then, my fucking manager has this bright idea of me working again with wanking Strap-On doing two albums together! Again, I needed the money but this time I only attended the studio when shitface Strap-On was not there. Now he is back to his true roots playing in East London pubs every weekend playing fucking ROBBIE WILLIAMS and OASIS. What a fucking waste of good oxygen on that tosser, eh! He's a telephone engineer during the daytime and he could at least do the world a favor and now throw his guitar in the sea and stick to telephones!"
Read Paul Di'Anno's entire interview with Classic Rock Revisited at this location.