Anthrax’ Charlie Benante Explains How Bruce Dickinson Was As A Pilot While They Were Touring With Iron Maiden

Anthrax drummer, Charlie Benante recalled the times while their band was touring with Iron Maiden as a part of The Book of Souls World Tour. He also appreciated Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson’s talent as a pilot on the twelfth episode of Tour Talk Podcast.

As you might remember, The Book of Souls World Tour started as a promotion of Iron Maiden’s sixteenth studio album, ‘The Book of Souls‘ which was released on September 4, 2015. The band began touring along with Anthrax, The Raven Rage, and Ghost on February 24, 2016. The concerts were drawn great attention and also became a live album entitled ‘The Book of Souls: Live Chapter.’

They traveled to 36 countries all around the world by using a specifically modified Boeing 747-400 which was known as Ed Force One. The airplane’s pilot was Iron Maiden’s vocalist, Bruce Dickinson. Apart from his successful professional musical career, Dickinson was also a pilot of Astraeus Airlines and had a pilot training company named Cardiff Aviation.

During his interview, Charlie Benante reflected his admiration for Iron Maiden’s career and projects. He stated that the band was so kind to everyone in the crew and touring with them was an amazing experience that he can never forget. Benante was fascinated by the Iron Maiden-themed plane so much. He also praised the skills of Dickinson as a pilot and he thought that he was flying the plane better than everyone.

Here’s what Charlie Benante told:

“There are so many aspects of it that are amazing. Being on tour with Maiden – huge – because I’ve loved them since their first album. Knowing bassist/bandleader Steve Harris since 1983, he’s the same exact person from then to now, the guy is just one of the greatest.

I would say that we kind of tried to model our band after Iron Maiden because if you’re going to copy any band – I don’t mean musically, I just mean the way they go about things, then that’s the blueprint, Iron Maiden – because they do everything the right way.

And they treat everybody like gold. So touring on their plane was amazing, and, of course, Bruce was the pilot, and there was another pilot too that would fly sometimes. But I preferred Bruce way better than the other pilot.

Bruce had smooth takeoffs, smooth landings, whenever there was a bit of turbulence, I asked him about this and Bruce actually went into an hour and a half conversation about how you can avoid turbulence.

You got to find other altitudes to take it – sometimes there are no comfortable routes to go, so sometimes you have to endure a bit of turbulence. But it was a really fascinating conversation about aviation.”

Benante continued:

“But like I said, Bruce flying the plane way better than the other pilot. So the way it worked out is we were in the front of the plane, which would be the first class, I guess.

Maiden was upstairs in the awesome class, and then behind us was management, some press people, and then crew, and stuff like that.

And then the gear was way in the back. It was a huge plane. But the greatest thing is when the flight attendants come over and they ask you what you want, and there’s an Iron Maiden napkin, an Iron Maiden cup…

And all I keep thinking was, ‘Can I get a couple of these to take with me?’ It was just magic. That whole tour was just amazing, down in South America.”

You can watch the interview below.