Iron Maiden have been an institution in metal for three decades now — longer than most of their fans have been alive — but if bassist Steve Harris is to be believed, the band’s tenure as one of our genre of choice’s premiere acts may be coming to a conclusion sooner rather than later.

In a new interview with The Quietus, Harris is asked “Is there any reason why you can’t keep on doing this for another ten years?”, and his response is basically, “Uh, yeah I can think of a reason why we can’t keep doing for another ten years”:

“I don’t know about ten years but I think we’ve certainly got another five years in us but it’s hard to say. As you get older it gets doubly hard to keep yourself fit and in shape. We do work really hard on doing that. It’s important to us. We’d be selling ourselves and everyone else short if we didn’t, so we do look after ourselves. [But] It does get tougher.”

Of course, no one should freak out about this assertion yet; Harris is still five years younger than Rob Halford and almost ten years younger than Ozzy, and it’s pretty clear that neither of those dudes is considering retirement anytime soon. Sure, neither of them are as athletic as Bruce Dickinson, but Dickinson is sixteen years younger than Ronnie James Dio was, and Dio was a captivating performer with a fantastic voice his entire career, even without running around and leaping off of things.

And while I think it would be INCREDIBLY ill-advised, there’s always the possibility than even if Harris decided it was time to put his bass in storage, the other members of Maiden would continue without him, the way Judas Priest has continued even without K.K. Downing. Also: Harris could change his mind! Walking away from millions of dollars and scores of adoring fans is probably not the easiest task in the world.

All of that being said… I am never ever opposed to great bands calling it a day while they still have their dignity. Even if I haven’t loved every album that Iron Maiden have released, the vast majority of their discography is top-notch, they still put on one hell of a live show, and have proven that a band doesn’t have to lose its spark as the years pass (this is one of the reasons I’m so hard on the Metallicas of the world — age and success are not valid excuses for blowing goats). So if Maiden wanna go out before Bruce Dickinson has to resort to Ozzy-style frog leaps and the band’s trio of guitarists make Mick Mars look mobile, I would actually commend them.


Thanks to the reader who calls himself “Eddie’s Balls.” Nice handle, dude.

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