Bruce Dickinson Explains Why Iron Maiden Fans Are So Loyal
While all bands have unique fanbases, some just have an incredibly loyal, cult-like following — such as Iron Maiden, and Bruce Dickinson has offered his take on why he thinks their fans are so dedicated to them.
"I can't speak for every individual Iron Maiden fan, obviously, and I can't imagine what each of them is individually thinking and what kind of nuance they get out of what we do. Because I think people get different things out of different parts of what we do," Dickinson said during an episode of Anders Botters' Tiny TV.
The frontman further elaborated that different fans gravitate toward different characteristics of the band — some prefer their rhythmic material, some really love Adrian Smith's guitar parts and others are most attracted to his own singing.
"You've got all kinds of shades of opinion, but they all congregate around a central core, which is, 'Yeah, it's Iron Maiden, stupid.' That's it," he added.
One of Iron Maiden's many strengths, Dickinson pointed out, is that they are "commercially independent," and don't modify their sound or style to satisfy the desires of any external parties, such as the radio and record labels.
"Everything we do is developed internally, and therefore even if we screw up, at least we screwed up for the right reasons," he continued. "It's important because what that means is people trust you.
"Because it's like, 'Some albums are better than others.' Fine — I'm gonna let other people comment on that, because I've got my opinions, other people have other opinions. And we know that — we're not stupid. But nevertheless, we don't go in there trying to make a rubbish album. We make the best album we can do that's in front of our face on the day, on the week, in the month of that period of our lives."
As a result, Dickinson believes that fans see Iron Maiden albums as a "document for their life" as well.
"To put it superficially, I would say that Iron Maiden fans are a little bit like plywood — we get a new layer every year, and they all just stick together, so eventually we get a table that's, like, ten feet thick... And, of course, we've got people that started in 1983, '84, and we've got people that started in the year 2000, 2005, 2015 — generations and generations."
Therefore, fans who just got into Maiden with their 2021 release Senjutsu will have an entire, decades-long discography to delve into.
Watch the full two-part interview below.