Listen to Stone Sour's cover of Iron Maiden Running Free

In 2015,. Stone Sour released their covers EP Straight Outta Burbank exclusively on vinyl for Record Store Day. One of the tracks they covered was Iron Maiden's classic 1980 song Running Free - and we asked frontman Corey Taylor why they'd tackled a metal classic.

Wanna know how much Corey loves Maiden? Here he is singing Running Free while WEARING IRON MAIDEN HEADPHONES!

So Corey, what led you to covering this particular song?
“Well if you’re going to cover something then you want to make sure you go for the best. It’s no secret that I’m a huge Iron Maiden fan because… I mean… it’s fucking Maiden, man! They’ve got so many great songs and I think they’ve got two vocalists that really led the charge you know. Not to put anything down that they did with Blaze, but growing up it was Dianno and Dickinson for me. So it was just a case of figuring out which tune we wanted to do and Running Free just had the spirit of what we were looking for. You know, it’s kick ass, it’s driving, it’s got the great Maiden guitar breaks that makes them such a special band. So, once we settled on that song and really got into it, we were really stoked.”

Good to see someone giving some love to the Paul Di’Anno era too. Have you ever had the chance to meet him?
“I’ve never met Paul, I’ve met Bruce several times and I’ve met a handful of the other guys. But I’ve never met Paul and he’s one of the people that I would love to meet, I’ve heard only good things… but I don’t even know what the fuck I would say! You know, just go ‘Uuuuh! Uuuuuh!… You’re awesome!’ just blurt out the most obvious thing and walk away and feel like an asshole later.”

How highly do you rate those era albums?
“Well they were such a cool amalgam of what was and what was to be. You can really feel that they sprung out of the ashes of the punk scene, but what they were doing was really different and technical. It’s such a great amalgam of that punk spirit and the kind of heavy metal that they were really championing at that time. Those albums sound incredible too, they’re so raw and so rugged, you can’t help but get right into it straight away.”

What are the similarities between your career and the way Maiden have done about the business?
“Well the great thing about Maiden is that they just don’t give a fuck. That’s really inspiring to me, the whole ‘You’re either with us! Or you’re against us!’ And even now when they go out on tour, you’ll get the set they want to play. I know a lot of fans get bummed out at the ‘Too much new stuff!’ kind of thing. But I’m always like ‘Come on dude! This is why we love them in the first place!’ Because you never know what you’re going to get. I definitely think I get that from them, that balance of giving the audience what they want but, at the same time, satisfy yourself and your own creative endeavours.”

Stone Sour’s Straight Outta Burbank EP is out exclusively on vinyl for Record Store Day on 27 November, via Roadrunner Records.

Plus Iron Maiden’s Ed Phones are coming VERY SOON. They’re awesome. More info here.

Iron Maiden headphones are on the way

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.