Why are Iron Maiden so big in Mexico?

Bruce Dickinson Iron Maiden live singing
\"Scream for me Mexicooooooooooo!\" (Image credit: Getty)

Iron Maiden kicked off their gigantic Book Of Souls world tour in Mexico, but just why are Maiden so beloved in Central America? We talk to their manager Rod Smallwood to find out!

Why do Iron Maiden come to Mexico so often?

“We have been to Mexico five times in the last eight years! We do enjoy coming here – the audience is just unbelievable, and it’s always been a pleasure coming here, and we’ve always been made to feel very welcome. Monterrey was great, and Mexico City is completely berserk.”

As the Flight 666 movie showed, these audiences have been a big part of the 21st-century Maiden ‘renaissance’…

“I think ‘renaissance’ is a bollocks word, really, though the band is much bigger than we were. I think Flight 666 showed a different dimension, to the world in general, of what Maiden are about. I mean, some people still think that we’re playing to old people everywhere, like some of our contemporaries sadly are, but Maiden have always had a different spirit in terms of their audience.”

You’re like a celebrity out here!

“Ha! My daughter came to a show, and she said, ‘I do like walking behind you, Daddy, I feel so important.’ Ha ha ha! You sit at the desk and everybody around you’s taking pictures! The band love it. I love the fans, but it does get a bit embarrassing sometimes.”

The production is pretty incredible this year.

“What we tried to do with this show is add elements of the Mayan [theme] and do something quite remarkably theatrical. Some of the perspectives on the drapes are fabulous! We just try to do the best we can and better than before!”

We spent five whirlwind days with Iron Maiden in Mexico, which you can read about in full in the latest issue of Metal Hammer or on TeamRock+ below. They’re also headlining the Sunday of this year’s Download festival.

I Spent Five Days In Mexico With Iron Maiden

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.