Bruce Dickinson explains his decision to leave Iron Maiden in 1993

Bruce D
(Image credit: Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall)

Bruce Dickinson explained the reasoning behind his decision to leave Iron Maiden in 1993 during the Q&A segment of his March 23 spoken word show in Montreal, Canada.

As he does every night during his solo shows, Dickinson fielded questions from his audience at the show at MTelus, and read aloud one query which asked, 'What made you take the decision to quit Maiden in 1993'?

In response, Dickson admitted, "Honestly, I was as surprised as anybody else."

"I don't think people really believed that at the time, because it was hard for people to take it. But you have to have a change around in your life sometimes. And I just thought that if I stayed with Maiden forever, all I would learn about was what it was like to be in Maiden. And in order to learn what it was like outside MAIDEN, you have to leave.

"Because, unless you left, nobody would take anything that you did seriously: it would always be, like, 'Awww, bless him. He's doing a solo record... it's not very important really. Let him have his fun and then he can go back to being in Iron Maiden.' And I hated that, right. So I thought, 'Well, fuck it. I'll just leave'."

Dickinson admitted that, at the time, there were those who questioned his judgement, asking what he was going to do if his proposed solo career didn't work out.

"And I said, Better [to take a chance] now and do something else with your life than sit there somewhere in fantasy world and end up just grumpy."

Watch the segment below, filmed by Jimmy Kay for The Metal Voice:

Dickinson, of course, returned to the Maiden fold in 1999.

Discussing the band's longterm future on the Full Metal Jackie US radio show recently, (as transcribed by Blabbermouth) the singer insisted the English metal legends weren't looking to hang up their instruments any time soon, and that they remain as excited about being in Iron Maiden as ever.

"We're not planning to retire at all, really," he stated. "I think we'll probably drop dead onstage. I can think of worse places to drop dead. But no, we're not planning on retiring. We're all still firing away [with] loads of energy and loads of enthusiasm, so I can't wait to get back together [with the other guys to start rehearsing for the upcoming tour]."

Maiden headline the Download festival in June.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.