PAUL DI'ANNO: 'I've Been Really Ill The Last Couple Of Months With Infection After Infection'

June 20, 2024

In a new interview with Canada's The Metal Voice, former IRON MAIDEN frontman Paul Di'Anno, who has been performing in a wheelchair as a result of serious health problems for most of the past decade, discussed the progress of his treatment, nearly two years after he underwent major knee surgery in Croatia. He said in part (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "The fault [for the slow progress] is mine, because we keep breaking off, going to tour. And sometimes we've got to do that, because the fucking bills are astronomical, for medical care and that. It's actually cheaper doing it [the treatment] privately over here [in Croatia], because you won't get nothing done in England. So anyway, so you've gotta do what you can, but we've taken these couple of months off to get me going, I think for my sanity's sake as well, because I've been suicidal over this over the last few years. It's just too much. I'm not one of those people who should be sitting around all fucking day."

After interviewer Jimmy Kay suggested that going on tour is "probably better" for Paul's health than sitting at home, Di'Anno clarified: "It's bad for my health. It's not good for me, because I'm not getting the physio done or the lymphatic drainage I need. Or you can sometimes, but not all the time. It's very difficult. And, obviously, transferring from A to B, to airplanes and onto buses and that. But playing live does you a lot of good [mentally]."

Elaborating on his state of mind while trying to get to the point in his recovery where he can walk on his own again, Paul said: "Yeah, I spend a lot of time in isolation, especially where I live, 'cause I live out in the countryside and I don't get many people come to visit. And I've been really ill the last couple of months with infection after infection after infection, 'cause I caught pneumonia last year in Mexico. I was over there doing physio after I finished a tour."

Di'Anno went on to say that his 2015 battle with sepsis resulted in long-term alterations in his immune function, creating a cycle where his weakened immune system struggles to ward off new threats, leading to a greater risk of recurrent infections. "Somebody sneezes on me, I'll probably go down with [a severe illness]," he said. "But that's what you get from a sepsis. It just weakens your system."

Di'Anno recorded two classic albums with IRON MAIDEN — a self-titled effort in 1980 and "Killers" in 1981 — before being fired and replaced by Bruce Dickinson. He went on to front a number of other bands, including KILLERS and BATTLEZONE, and released several solo records.

In December 2022, Di'Anno spent time in Split, Croatia recording an album with his new project called WARHORSE. The band was formed earlier that year by Di'Anno and two guitarists/authors, Hrvoje Madiraca and Ante "Pupi" Pupačić. The resulting LP will be made available in July 2024 under the PAUL DI'ANNO'S WARHORSE banner.

WARHORSE previously recorded three songs, two of which — "Stop The War" and "The Doubt Within" — were released in May 2022 as a special DVD single along with Paul's video message to all fans who bought the single and thus helped raise funds for his knee operation.

The WARHORSE single marked Di'Anno's first music release after a seven-year hiatus due to severe health issues.

Di'Anno, who finally underwent his knee surgery in September 2022, played the first show since the operation on October 1, 2022 at the Keep It True Rising II festival in Würzburg, Germany.

In May 2022, Di'Anno came face to face with MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris for the first time in three decades before the band's concert in Croatia.

Harris, whose group kicked off the 2022 leg of its "Legacy Of The Beast" world tour at the 22,000-capacity Arena Zagreb, came out before the show to greet a wheelchair-bound Di'Anno and chat with him for a few minutes.

After his friendly meeting with Harris, Di'Anno stuck around long enough to watch some of MAIDEN's performance before leaving near the end of the set to avoid a huge traffic jam after the show.

Also in May 2022, Paul played his first full solo concert in seven years at the Bikers Beer Factory in Zagreb. The show was filmed and parts of it will be included in a documentary about Di'Anno, which is being directed by Wes Orshoski, co-director and producer of the acclaimed 2010 film "Lemmy" about the MOTÖRHEAD icon.

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