by Ryan Meehan
Iron Maiden’s second album “Killers” changed the way that the world looked at heavy metal music from the second it was released in February of 1981. What followed was a one-hundred-and-eighteen date world tour which featured US slots in which the band opened up for Judas Priest, and was a raucous display of rock n’ roll debauchery which would end up being the band’s final tour with original lead vocalist Paul Di’Anno. The first two Iron Maiden albums were seminal in continuing what Priest had initially established with what would come to be known as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Upon his departure from the band, Di’Anno continued to pursue music as his life’s work over the next thirty five years with projects like Nomad, Killers, and Praying Mantis. He lived the lifestyle of excess with every bit of the intensity displayed by his metal peers, and that’s just one of the reasons we are honored to have the rock n’ roll legend that is Paul Di’Anno as our guest today in 10 questions.
RM: What was the first record that you can remember hearing which made you really want to get into singing rock n’ roll music? Was there a certain note or set of notes you remember singing along with on that album which convinced you that you had what it took to become a rock or metal singer?
PD’A: The first record was my mum’s stuff: Elvis, The Beatles, The Kinks and other 60’s stuff but the first real thing that moved me I guess was “Ride a White Swan” by T. Rex. But Slade and Sweet really got it going. Then came the greatest thing I ever heard – The Ramones, along with Bowie and I knew this would be my life…for better or worse!
RM: How did you initially come to meet the other original members of Iron Maiden? In the beginning, why did you think that you worked so well with those guys? What was the cause of their decision to part ways with you; and if you could go back in time and make any adjustments to the working relationship you had with them, would you? Why or why not?
PD’A: I met Steve through a friend at high school, tried out, blah blah blah I’m in the band. The decision was mutual, I was not happy about music direction and band politics. No the page has turned, I do my thing they do theirs…but you never know…
RM: What was your initial reaction to hearing Bruce as the vocalist of a band you had been a part of? Were you familiar with him before he joined?
PD’A: I saw Bruce with Samson – an ok band – and Bruce is a good singer, but we are worlds apart. I’m way more powerful and aggressive nowadays!!!
RM: How long did it take you to compile the list of passages which eventually became your autobiography? What was the most difficult portion of that book to put to paper and why?
PD’A: Ages!!! Dealing with my mistakes and errors, but that is how I have always learned – The Hard Way!!!!
RM: At the time of your arrest, how many grams of coke were you doing per day? What kind of withdrawal symptoms did you experience during your incarceration; and what were some of the positive thoughts you continued to hang on to while being locked up in a facility full of such negative energy?
PD’A: If you take cocaine it doesn’t mean you’re addicted, and I had no withdrawal at all. I was bored living in hell!!! Having to deal with the fuckwits that live that empty soul destroying chasing fame life and needing to be someone, that was more negative than prison. I got good angry songs and issues dealt with. It was better than therapy!!!
RM: Out of all of the music you’ve recorded over the past fifteen years, which set of songs are you the most proud of? Why do you think those particular tracks were so rewarding to you as a musician?
PD’A: Killers’ “Murder One” is just a great album, then Nomad, but my latest Architects of Chaoz – The League of Shadows was released recently I’m most proud of, as this is a real band and we are doing fantastic for a first album!!! Just listen to it and see what I mean.
RM: How would you best describe the music that you are currently working on? How does it compare to the work you’ve previously done with any of the projects you’ve been involved with?
PD’A: As I said, we are metal…Brutal, but with melody and I have two awesome guitar players!!! We all sing and we kick arse!
RM: If you had to pick one trend that exists in modern heavy metal today that irritates you to no end, what would that be; and why does it piss you off so much?
PD’A: No comment…We all do stuff that people don’t like but as long as you are happy and the fans are – Happy Days!!!
RM: What is the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself as an artist in the three and a half plus decades that you’ve been doing this? Do you think yourself at twenty-two years of age would have been able to comprehend and process that realization had you grown up in the digital age that the industry currently finds itself a part of?
PD’A: I’ve never grown up haha!!! and I like recording…especially new recordings but also its nice to go back to old school too, I would love to do one more album recorded old school with a real 2016 Paul Di’Anno feel.
RM: What’s up next for you in 2016 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
PD’A: I have several big shows coming up. The next one is Nagoya, Japan on 13/3. After that I hope to get my knee replacement done, and then record the 2nd Architect’s of Chaoz CD and take it on the road. Happy Days!!!!
Official Website: http://www.pauldianno.com/
Paul Di’Anno on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/diannothebeast
Paul Di’Anno on Twitter: https://twitter.com/paul_dianno
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