Bruce Dickinson says he thought about leaving Iron Maiden following the release of 1984 album Powerslave.
The band embarked on a gruelling run of dates across the world in support of the record on their World Slavery Tour, which was documented in Maiden’s classic 1985 album Live After Death.
But after the tour was over, Dickinson gave serious thought to walking away from the music industry due to the grind of life on the road.
In a video interview with Loudwire, Dickinson says: “I did think about that, yeah. I was just very, very mentally exhausted by the whole grind, if you like – of grinding out 13 months on the road with no stable social life of any description.
“People say, ‘Stop complaining – you’re a rock star and you make all this money.’ I said, ‘Yeah, actually, I am, but therefore if I decide to stop, it’s my choice.’
“So I did think about it. I thought there were other things that I could do that earned much less money but would give me the same or greater level of satisfaction.
“I did quite seriously think about becoming a full-time fencing coach.”
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Dickinson says he wanted to strike the right balance between touring and his personal life and adds: “We had six months off and after that, I went, ‘You know what, maybe I can start to see some sense of proportion here.’
“But it was very difficult to see how going on tour for another year at that stage in my life would be of any help to me at all, apart from making loads of money.”
Dickinson did quit Maiden in 1993 but returned to the fold in 1999, with the band launching the studio album Brave New World in 2000.
Watch the full video interview below.
The vocalist, who recently released his autobiography What Does This Button Do?, will appear on the BBC’s University Challenge Christmas special on New Year’s Day.
Iron Maiden will head out on The Legacy Of The Beast tour in 2018.
Iron Maiden Legacy Of The Beast 2018 UK and European tour dates
May 26: Tallinn Saku Arena,Estonia
May 28: Helsinki Hartwall Arena, Finland
Jun 01: Stockholm Tele2 Arena, Sweden
Jun 03: Trondheim Rocks Dahls Arena, Norway
Jun 05: Copenhagen Royal Arena, Denmark
Jun 07: Solvesborg Sweden Rock Festival, Sweden
Jun 09: Munich Rockavaria, Königsplatz, Germany
Jun 10: Hannover Expo Plaza, Germany
Jun 13: Berlin Waldbuhne, Germany
Jun 16: Florence Firenze Rocks, Italy
Jun 17: Nickelsdorf Novarock Festival, Austria
Jun 20: Prague Letnany Airport, Czech Republic
Jun 22: Dessel Graspop, Belgium
Jun 24: Clisson Hellfest, France
Jun 26: Geneva Arena, Switzerland
Jun 28: Sopron Volt Festival, Hungary
Jun 30: Freiburg Messegelaende, Germany
Jul 01: Arnhem Gelredome, Netherlands
Jul 05: Paris AccorsHotel Arena, France
Jul 09: Milan San Siro Ippodromo, Italy
Jul 10: Zurich Hallenstadion, Switzerland
Jul 13: Lisbon Altice Arena, Portugal
Jul 14: Madrid Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, Spain
Jul 17: Trieste Piazza Della Unita D’Italia, Italy
Jul 20: Athens Rockwave Festival, Greece
Jul 22: Plovdiv Hills Of Rock, Bulgaria
Jul 24: Zagreb Arena, Croatia
Jul 27: Krakow Tauron Arena, Poland
Jul 31: Newcastle Radio Arena, UK
Aug 02: Belfast SSE Arena, UK
Aug 04: Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, UK
Aug 06: Manchester Arena, UK
Aug 07: Birmingham Genting Arena, UK
Aug 10: London O2 Arena, UK