Bruce Dickinson To Steve Harris: ‘I Could Lose My Front Teeth While Trying To Sing Your Lyrics’

Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson sat down with Classic Rock for a new interview, where he discussed The Mandrake Project, lyrics and Steve Harris.

When the interviewer said in Iron Maiden it looked like the frontman needed to adapt to Steve Harris’ lyrics and riffs, the rocker responded with an unexpected response after stating that he does not understand why Harris writes ‘bloody difficult words’ —that he could lose his front teeth trying to sing Harris’ lyrics:

“I tried to explain to him early on: ‘Look, Steve, I’m going to lose my front teeth trying to sing this.’ But Steve has compromised over the years. I never thought I’d be able to sing Alexander The Great [from 1986’s Somewhere In Time] when I first heard it, but that worked out fine.”

Harris and Dickinson’s Relationship

The conflicts in Iron Maiden arose when Dickinson’s ideas for the sixth album were rejected. Harris openly criticized Dickinson’s material, claiming it was not good. Post-‘Fear of the Dark Tour,’ Dickinson left but fulfilled 1993 tour commitments. Tensions soared with bandmates, particularly Harris, expressing a desire to harm Dickinson. The main dispute centered on Harris’s belief that Dickinson deliberately underperformed. Despite Dickinson attributing his performance to atmosphere, personal conflicts led to his departure on August 28, 1993.

Harris Is In Charge Of The Band

In an earlier interview, Dickinson delved into the distinctive experience of collaborating with his longtime guitarist and producer Roy Z, drawing contrasts with the dynamic of working alongside Harris and the rest of the members of Maiden. Stating that Harris is ‘very specific about stuff,’ he said:

“It’s not that Maiden albums aren’t fun, but we don’t get to play like children. Steve is very specific about stuff: things have to be done this way. It’s the way we’ve always worked and it’s obviously worked very well. Whereas me and Roy, we’re like kids in a sandbox going, ‘Hey, look at this, Zee, I can put this toy up my nose!’ It’s just energising.”

You can see the live performance of ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’ below.