Iron Maiden won’t make any plans for their future until Bruce Dickinson’s health status is confirmed, says manager Rod Smallwood.
The iconic frontman recently completed a seven-week course of cancer treatment after a tumour was found on his tongue at the end of last year.
He’s now on the road to recovery – but Maiden have put the release of their 16th album on hold, and won’t take any further steps until at least the end of May.
Smallwood says: “Bruce has asked me to thank everyone for their tremendous support and kind wishes. He has been touched and encouraged by the genuine and affectionate response from our global family of fans.
“Radiology is cumulative – it continues to build in the body for around three weeks after treatment. So even though Bruce’s course is complete, he’s had a long period of considerable pain and discomfort.
“He is happily starting to recuperate. The pain will continue to abate and the swelling reduce for next couple of months, at which time he will be able to take an MRI scan. It is not until then that we’ll have full confirmation that the cancer has been completely destroyed.”
Smallwood says Dickinson’s recovery will continue for several months after that, suggesting the NWOBHM giants won’t be ready to play again until towards the end of 2015.
He adds: “The rest of the band are totally supportive, and Maiden’s plans will be determined by Bruce’s progress. Please continue your positive thoughts – they are very much appreciated.”
Drummer Nicko McBrain last week revealed the follow-up to 2010’s The Final Frontier had been completed, saying: “It was ready to go this year – and still is. We’re all just holding on… you never know when this might happen.”