Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris has praised the band’s loyal fan base – and says he’s looking forward to seeing some familiar faces on their upcoming UK tour.
They announced the 11 dates as part of a wider European tour in September last year in support of their 16th studio album The Book Of Souls.
Harris calls the support shown by fans “incredible” and says they’d play even more shows if they could.
He exclusively tells the new issue of Metal Hammer: “They follow us all over the bloody place! They’re just normal people, so how they save up to pay for all these trips, I don’t know.
“But you get to know the faces and it’s great. I really look forward to seeing them. They all know who they are and they know we recognise them, too. The loyalty is incredible.”
Harris continues: “To be honest, it bugs me that we can’t tour everywhere more, not just the UK. It’s just one of those things.
“The more popular you become as a band, the more in demand you are everywhere, and that’s fantastic and a brilliant thing, but it means you can’t physically play everywhere as much as you’d like – otherwise you’d be on tour for two years solid.
“So these days it’s quality rather than quantity, but we’re very excited about the UK dates. Playing at home is always special.”
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Iron Maiden will have played more than 100 shows by the time The Book Of Souls tour wraps up – and Harris says he has mixed emotions about the mammoth run of dates coming to a close.
He says: “Ending a tour is a weird thing. You are glad it’s over because you’re knackered, to a certain degree, but you’re also sorry it’s over, because you were having such a good time.
“Then your body starts shutting down because you’ve been in adrenaline mode for so long. That’s why it’s important for us to play each year. If you leave it too long, things start rusting up, especially at our age!
“I do work a lot harder on my fitness now. You have to. But it’s good to chill out sometimes, too.”
The full interview with Harris is in the brand new edition of Metal Hammer which is on sale now.
The cover features a swarm of Maiden’s mascot Eddie and there’s a feature on The 50 Greatest Maiden Songs Ever, chosen by Metal Hammer staff, fans and bands including Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine.
The magazine also features While She Sleeps, Royal Thunder, Ghost Bath, Life Of Agony and more.
Iron Maiden Book Of Souls European tour 2017
Apr 22: Antwerp Sportpaleis, Belgium
Apr 24: Oberhausen Konig Pilsener Arena, Germany
Apr 28: Frankfurt Festhalle, Germany
May 02: Hamburg Barclaycard Arena, Germany
May 04: Nottingham, Motorpoint Arena, UK
May 06: Dublin 3arena, Ireland
May 08: Manchester Arena, UK
May 10: Sheffield Arena, UK
May 11: Leeds First Direct Arena, UK
May 14: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, UK
May 16: Glasgow SSE Hydro Arena, UK
May 17: Aberdeen AECC GE Oil & Gas Arena, UK
May 20: Liverpool Echo Arena, UK
May 21: Birmingham Barclaycard Arena, UK
May 24: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, UK
May 27: London O2 Arena, UK