Frontman Bruce Dickinson says experience has taught them how to harness the energy of their youth for maximum impact.
But that doesn’t mean the band, in their mid-50s, are trying to compete with younger outfits.
And the singer insists that while the band have never deliberately set out to be “rebellious or anti-authoritarian,” their music has always had a focused edge to it.
Dickinson tells NPR: “The band has almost entirely been about music and storytelling, and about expressing that explosive kind of energy that goes along with youth.
“Not trying to keep the energy, but trying to take it somewhere – as opposed to having it splurge out in a way that says, ‘I’m generally pissed off at everything and at authority in particular.’”
He recalls seeing many bands who took that line and were never heard of again, adding: ”The key was to harness the energy. I try and keep that energy pumped in there as long as possible, while acquiring more and more musical chops, skills and experience so I can make it more effective.”
Dickinson, who defeated cancer earlier this year, accepts it’s not possible for Maiden to write the way they did 20 years ago. But that’s not a problem since he has no desire to compete with younger artists – including his son Austin’s outfit As Lions.
He reflects: “You’ve done those kinds of songs back then, and now there are other bands that are having that same moment in their own way at that same point in their career. Let them carry the torch.
“It‘s like me going into competition with my kids. Why would I? Apart from the fact that I really like them, what’s the big deal? I’m doing my own thing.
“I’ve already been on that journey – now it’s up to them to go on their own journey through various stages of their life.”
Maiden will tour the world next year in support of 16th album The Book Of Souls. They’ve announced dates across the US, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, with more to be revealed in due course. The band are the multiple cover stars of the latest edition of Classic Rock, out now in print, digital and via TeamRock+.