Iron Maiden's triumphant headlining slot at Download festival at the weekend was emphatic proof that the iconic English metal legends remain at the very peak of their game. But, presumably in a playful mood when he conducted the interview, vocalist Bruce Dickinson says that he would like to choose his stand-in, as and when the time comes that he no longer feels capable of committing 100% to Maiden's live performances.
”If tomorrow I don’t feel able to sing more than four songs a night, I’d like the guys to continue and I should be able to choose my replacement," the singer told the Daily Star's Wired column. "I would stick my head in from time to time and the other singer would do the rest.”
“When you look at Keith Richards, who suffers from arthritis, he’s not on top form every night but he’s supported by other guitarists. It’s The Rolling Stones. I don’t think it upsets anyone. In any case, everything I’ve said isn’t going to happen.”
However, Dickinson rubbished the idea that, in the future, Iron Maiden could continue to perform using avatars, in a similar style to Abba's hugely acclaimed Abba Voyage experience.
“That’s hell on earth," says the singer. "I really don’t understand the point of it."
Thankfully, the prospect of Maiden being unable to tour remains a long way off. Writing about the East London band's triumphant return to Donington Park at the weekend, Metal Hammer's Rich Hobson stated: "There’s a magic and majesty to seeing Iron Maiden back on the throne at the UK’s biggest rock and metal festival, the sheer exuberance and adoration pouring from the crowd to the sexagenarian gentlemen onstage testament to the fact that Iron Maiden are, doubtlessly, one of heavy metal’s most beloved and iconic bands."