Iron Maiden's Adrian Smith had mixed feelings about their iconic mascot Eddie: "I thought, 'Is this overshadowing the band?'"

Eddie on stage, and Adrian Smith posing at a press event
(Image credit: Getty)

When you think of Iron Maiden, there are a few things that inevitably, immediately come to mind. Steve Harris' galloping bass lines. Those unmistakeable twin guitar harmonies. Bruce Dickinson leaping around the stage like a man possessed. And, of course, Eddie: Maiden's long-serving, ever-evolving mascot who has been a mainstay of both their artwork and their live shows almost as long as they've existed.

Imagine Metal Hammer's surprise, then, upon finding that one of Maiden's members hasn't always been the biggest fan of heavy metal's favourite undead icon. Upon speaking to guitarist Adrian Smith in the latest issue, it's revealed that Smith once had serious apprehensions about the amount of attention Eddie was potentially taking away from the band themselves.

“I had mixed feelings about Eddie over the years,” he admits. “I thought, ‘Is this overshadowing the band? It’s a big puppet, is it a bit questionable?’ We’ve had a few really dodgy Eddies over the years where I’ve thought, ‘Oh my god...’”

Fortunately - and, we suspect, as the live, on-stage Eddies got better and better as time went on - Smith eventually came round to Eddie's place in Iron Maiden's world. Now, he's keen to sing the praises of Maiden's current, critically acclaimed Future Past show - Eddies very much included.

“With this new show, we’ve found a great balance,” he notes. “It’s got a modern edge with the screens, and the Eddies look really good. The walk-ons look great!” He adds that the show's traditional, set-ending 'big Eddie' "looks powerful”. 

Elsewhere in the interview, Smith explains that the Future Past tour is packing a particularly demanding setlist for he and his bandmates. "It’s a complex set," he says. "Coming out and opening with Caught Somewhere In Time [from 1986's Somewhere In Time, played for the first time since 1987 on this tour] is a real handful. It’s difficult to settle yourself down in front of an audience that just wants you to go mad all the time.”

You can read more from Metal Hammer's exclusive Iron Maiden interview by picking up their new issue. Maiden are currently making their way through the UK on the Future Past tour, including two dates at London's O2 Arena this coming weekend. The full list of Future Past European dates can be seen below.

Metal Hammer Iron Maiden issue 376

(Image credit: Future)

May 30: Prague O2 Arena, Czech Republic
May 31: Prague O2 Arena, Czech Republic
Jun 03: Tampere Nokia Arena, Finland
Jun 04: Tampere Nokia Arena, Finland
Jun 07: Bergen Koengen, Norway
Jun 09: Solvesborg Sweden Rock Festival, Sweden
Jun 11: Leipzig Quarterback Immobilien Arena, Germany
Jun 13: Krakow Tauron Arena, Poland
Jun 14: Krakow Tauron Arena, Poland
Jun 17: Clisson Hellfest, France
Jun 19: Zurich Hallenstadion, Switzerland
Jun 21: Hannover Zag Arena, Germany
Jun 24: Dublin 3 Arena, Ireland
Jun 26: Glasgow OVO Hydro, UK
Jun 28: Leeds, First Direct Arena, UK
Jun 30: Manchester AO Arena, UK
Jul 03: Nottingham Motorpoint Arena, UK
Jul 04: Birmingham Utilita Arena, UK
Jul 07: London O2 Arena, UK
Jul 08: London O2 Arena, UK
Jul 11: Amsterdam Ziggo Dome, Holland
Jul 13: Antwerp Sportpaleis, Belgium
Jul 15: Milan, The Return of The Gods Festival, Italy
Jul 18: Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain
Jul 20: Estadio Enrique Roca, Murcia, Spain
Jul 22: Bizkaia Arena Bec! Bilbao, Spain
Jul 25 Dortmund Westfalenhalle, Germany
Jul 26 Dortmund Westfalenhalle, Germany
Jul 29: Frankfurt,Festhalle, Germany
Jul 31: Munich Olympiahalle, Germany
Aug 01: Munich Olympiahalle, Germany
Aug 02: Wacken Open Air, Germany

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 has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.