Why Iron Maiden won't make bands pay for support slots

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No charge: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris says they’ll never make other bands pay to support them on tour – and he believes other successful acts should do the same.

He argues that it’s a great opportunity to help nurture the big names of the future, and it’s also a chance to give something back to the scene that made him a success.

In many situations, support bands will be required to “buy on” to a headline act’s tour, paying for the opportunity to appear before a bigger audience than they’d get themselves, with the aim of expanding their own following.

Harris tells Metal Journal (via Blabbermouth): “I hate it when people charge bands to play with them – I hate that. I’ve never done that and I will never do it.

“To me, it’s just wrong. A band should get at least some expenses to pay a gig, and they should’t have to pay to play. I’ve always been really against that. I’ve always tried to help people out.”

Asked why the NWOBHM giants continue to advocate rising-star musicians, he replies: “Well, because we can.

“Anybody who’s in a position Maiden is, any band that can potentially take another band on tour, you can help people. It doesn’t take much effort to do that.”

Harris believes it’s one way to repay the music scene for his “fantastic life and career,” adding: “I’ve worked very hard, but maybe I’ve had a bit of luck along the way. At the end of the day it’s nice to give something back.”

And his attitude extends to the members of his solo band British Lion, who commence a European tour next month. “They’re all talented guys,” he says. “They deserve some sort of recognition, and up till now they haven’t had that. They’re getting a little bit of recognition now, and quite rightly so. I love that.”

He enjoys watching the reaction of his colleagues when they visit a city they’ve never seen before, even though he may have played there himself many times previously.

“I see it in their eyes, how excited about it they are – it makes me fee good as well,” he reports. “It’s the same with other bands. If you help them, and they’re experiencing things for the first time, it’s nice to see.”

Iron Maiden will tour Europe and the UK in April and May next year.

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British Lion European tour 2016

Nov 03: Faro Moto Clube de Faro, Portugal
Nov 04: Seville Sala Custom, Spain
Nov 05: Granada Coliseo Ciudad Atarfe, Spain
Nov 07: Pamplona Sala Totem, Spain
Nov 08: Toulouse Metronum, France
Nov 09: Lyon CCO Villeurbanne, France
Nov 11: Milan Live Club, Italy
Nov 12: Solothurn Kofmehl, Switzerland
Nov 13: Lausanne Docks, Switzerland
Nov 14: Aschaffenburg Colos-Saal, Germany
Nov 15: Munich Technikum, Germany
Nov 17: Bratislava Majestic Music Club, Slovakia
Nov 18: Graz Orpheum, Austria
Nov 19: Zlin Winter Masters Of Rock, Czech Republic
Nov 20: Budapest Barba Negra, Hungary
Nov 22: Krakov Kwadrat, Poland
Nov 23: Gdansk Klub B90, Poland
Nov 25: Leipzig Hellraiser, Germany
Nov 26: Essen Turock, Germany
Nov 27: Hmaburg Markthalle, Germany
Nov 29: Zoetermeer Boerderij, Netherlands
Nov 30: Vosselaar Biebob, Belgium
Dec 02: Folkestone Quarterhouse, UK
Dec 03: Trecco Bay Planet Rockstock, UK
Dec 04: Dublin Button Factory, Ireland
Dec 05: Limerick Dolan’s Warehouse, Ireland
Dec 06: Belfast Limelight, UK

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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
Apr 29: 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
May 28: London O2 Arena, UK

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.