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Steve Harris: “It’s Quality, Not Quantity With Iron Maiden Now”


The members of Iron Maiden might be getting older but their passion for music and performance hasn’t waned. For some of the members, like bassist Steve Harris, that passion has only grown, which is why he has a hard rock side project called British Lion, he explained in a new interview (via Blabbermouth).

“Well, I mean, what else am I gonna do on a day off? You know what I mean? I love playing football and stuff, and playing with British Lion, it’s an hour, and it’s actually a lot less stress than playing with Maiden, because it’s different material. And it’s a challenge. But with Maiden, it’s a little bit more stressful, at the beginning of a tour, anyway. It’s a lot more pressure, with a new tour like we’re doing.’

He added that he couldn’t have started the band years ago because of Iron Maiden’s heavy touring schedule, so he takes the opportunity to do so now instead.

“I started British Lion 11 years ago; I’ve been playing with them [for] 11 years. But before that, I wouldn’t have been able to do it, ’cause Maiden was too busy. In the last 10 years, Maiden not been so busy; we’ve not been touring as long. So, basically, it enabled me to have a bit of time to do something else.”

The fact that Harris started a new band in his 50s and has continued playing small clubs with that band for 11 years while also knocking out festivals and arena tours with Iron Maiden is pretty damn impressive, but so is the stamina each member has in general. Still, Harris acknowledges that the stamina comes more easily for him than singer Bruce Dickinson, which has forced Iron Maiden to slow down a touch.

“Yeah, I still enjoy playing, so, yeah, I play as much as I can. I’ll be happy to play four or five nights a week, but you can’t do it — for singers, you can’t do it. It was tough for Bruce back in the day, let alone now. I think he’s singing better than ever, but it’s quality, not quantity with Maiden now.”

Quality over quantity is a great mantra to have—and one that Iron Maiden have generally abided by—but, man, I wish they would’ve considered that before making Senjutsu an hour and 20 minutes long. Earlier this year, Harris noted that Iron Maiden may be slowly approaching the end of the band as we know it.

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