He’d torn his Achilles tendon while recording was underway in 2019, but it didn’t stop him continuing work on the LP, which arrives on Sept. 3.
“I did the last couple of tracks of recording on crutches, in a boot – one of those big boots you have to wear to immobilize your leg,” Dickinson told Kerrang! “I bust it at the end of April. Thirty-six hours later I was on the slab having it stitched back together. And then 24 hours after the operation, I was in the studio, singing, with my leg the size of a fucking balloon.”
He noted that “it was a month in a boot. I took it off, and then I had another two weeks of rehab. Then I had four months to try to learn to walk again before the tour. That tour of America and South America, all those big shows, I couldn’t walk properly, so I just faked it. Nobody figured it out. I was running around, but I was running around differently. I learned to move without using my calf muscles, which is difficult, but I couldn’t do it anything conventional. So I couldn’t jump and I couldn’t run, and walking quickly was an issue. But if you walked like a crab, it was all right!”
Dickinson said Maiden didn’t have a clear plan when they started work on the follow-up to 2016’s The Book of Souls. “We had no clue, absolutely no idea, what the album was,” he explained. “We had a few ideas. We went into the studio and tried them out, and when they worked, we just recorded straightaway. So while we were rehearsing, everything was being recorded – the tape was rolling the whole time.
“Steve [Harris] would literally lock himself away for two or three days, and we’d all turn up and play pinball. And then he’d say, ‘I think I’ve got one, chaps. Oi! Everybody in the studio!’ Boom. The stuff I wrote with Adrian [Smith] was a bit more conventional – we’d stand around and play guitar and sing and do that until we thought we had something. Then we’d rehearse it and put it straight down.”
Iron Maiden Albums Ranked Worst to Best
When ranking Iron Maiden albums, perhaps the most striking thing is that they succeeded despite changing lead singers on three separate occasions.