Iron Maiden's 1980 debut was described by the critics as having somewhat of a punk influence. But singer Bruce Dickinson, who was not in the band at the time, thinks otherwise. In a new interview, he said that the reaction had more to do with the quality of Will Malone's production than any love they had for the Sex Pistols or the Damned.

Speaking to Spin, he was asked about the "punky flavor" of the two records they made with Paul Di'Anno as the lead vocalist. "If you look at all the old Steve Harris interviews — he hates punk rock," he said. "The first Maiden album sounded punky because it sounded like a sack of s---. He hates that record. The first singer gave it a little bit of that kind of vibe, but the punk thing was nailed to the band by the press. The band absolutely hated it, because there was no way on God’s green Earth Maiden were ever, even remotely, a punk band."

Lest anybody think he's taking an unnecessary shot at Di'Anno, he did heap praise on their second album, their first effort with Martin Birch, who would produce every Iron Maiden album until 1992's Fear of the Dark.

"As soon as Killers came out, which was a proper sounding record, it was obvious," Dickinson continued. "Where’s the punk thing on Killers? You’ve got 'Murders in the Rue Morgue' which basically could have been off of Deep Purple’s In Rock, you’ve got 'Prodigal Son,' a proggy, sweet little ballad, you’ve got 'Twilight Zone,' all this kind of stuff — where’s the punk thing? Don’t get it."

Given a clean bill of health after a cancer battle and with The Book of Souls now available, Dickinson and Iron Maiden are getting ready to go back out on the road. Earlier this week they announced the first confirmed dates on their world tour, which are for April and May in Australia and South Africa. However, they have previously stated their intention to play North America in February and late March.

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This Day in Rock History: September 19