Pre-tour I met the 'Maiden' man for a lengthy chat...
"Rock music, hard rock music, heavy metal is a perfectly valid form of music for anybody to listen to and it pisses me off when people try to put it in a box!"
Why did you decide to undertake a solo project?
"The reason I did it was because it felt right at the time. It just happened!"
How did you approach the project in contrast to your work with Maiden?
"Well, with Maiden there's always a certain amount of tension at the beginning because nobody knows who wants to write with who. So you go into the thing a bit blind! With my solo record I just sat down with Jannick and we wrote all the songs together. We just jammed together until we got a feel we were happy with, and took it from there. That's how most of the songs developed! Each song has its own little way that it was written, its own little vibe to it, its own little story - nothing complicated! It's the way I like to write! If something occurs naturally and it feels good then I'll not change it that much."
The lyrical content of the record seems a lot different to that on a Maiden album?
"Again with Maiden we felt a bit limited in some ways to what we could write things about. You couldn't write a song like Born in '58 and sing it with Maiden. It's too straight-forward and melodic and it's not melodramatic enough, given the fact that Maiden music is basically everyone playing at once, so the words have to fit in with what's going on around them! However, the words on the new Maiden album [No Prayer For the Dying] are a bit more topical and hard-hitting!"