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‘I don’t blame Iron Maiden for getting rid of me’, says Paul Di’Anno

Iron Maiden
(Image credit: Virginia Turbett/Redferns)

Talking to the new issue of Classic Rock magazine, former Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno reflects back on his time fronting the British metal legends, and admits, “I don’t blame them for getting rid of me.”

By his own admission, as he reveals to Classic Rock’s Dave Ling, Di’Anno “didn’t know what the fuck I was doing” when Steve Harris’ band began work on their self-titled debut album with producer Will Malone in January 1980. But he recalls that the East London band felt “too much excitement to feel any pressure.”

“We knew that what we had was unique compared to every other band around, and we had spent the previous couple of years playing every shithole in the UK, also some decent venues as well,” says Di’Anno. “The only person who might have had any doubts was me. Though I was a cocky frontman, I was all mouth and no trousers.”

“What I do know, is that all the songs on that first album are fucking great. It’s such a shame that the production is complete dogshit.”

Di’anno woud exit Iron Maiden in 1981 after touring to promote the band’s second album, Killers, for which he co-wrote the title track with Steve Harris.

“By the time of Killers, the band was getting a bit more technical and losing some of that edge for me,” he later admitted. “I didn’t think that the songs had the same sort of attack, and then I started losing interest. I felt that I might be letting people down by voicing my doubts so I said nothing but then it all built up to the point where I was rubbing Steve up the wrong way.”

The singer insists that he bears no ill will towards Steve Harris for sacking him from the band.

“I don’t blame them for getting rid of me,” Di’Anno says. “The band was Steve’s baby, but I wish I’d been able to contribute more. After a while that got me down. In the end I couldn’t give a hundred per cent to Maiden any more, and it wasn’t fair to the band, the fans or myself.”

“The two albums I made with the band were pivotal [to the genre],” Di’Anno adds. “Later on in my life when I met Metallica, Pantera and Sepultura and they told me that those albums were what got them into music, it made me incredibly proud.”

For the full Iron Maiden feature, check out the new issue of Classic Rock, which hits the shops (and online) on April 29.