Bruce Dickinson looked back at the past year for Iron Maiden, proudly describing his band as “real music played by a bunch of old geezers who make no concessions to the times in which we live.”

In a feature written for Classic Rock, the loquacious singer reflected upon the creation of Maiden’s 2021 album, Senjutsu.

“Every now and again we come up with an album that really seizes the day, and Senjutsu is one of them,” the singer noted, adding that he’s been excited by the positive response the album has received. “It’s very heartening that people really got it. Musically it’s a stunning album – it’s complex, it’s emotional, it’s got multiple layers. People go, ‘It doesn’t sound like 1983.’ No, of course, it doesn’t, we’ve all kind of moved on a little bit. As we get older we get more contrarian and cantankerous. It’s a bit like Neil Young – he’s been at it for years, but he still manages to come up with things that rub the establishment up the wrong way.”

Senjutsu was released Sept. 3, 2021, the same day Drake released his LP Certified Lover Boy. Though Maiden weren’t able to top the rapper, the metal giants reached No. 2 in the U.K. and No. 3 in the U.S., the latter marking a career high for the band.

“We went head-to-head with Drake the week the album was released,” Dickinson continued. “I don’t really get what he does, though a lot of people do, but going head-to-head with him felt like, ‘No, this is real music played by a bunch of old geezers who make no concessions to the times in which we live.’ People say, ‘You’re dinosaurs.’ And we go, ‘Yeah, and there aren’t too many of those left.’

The singer closed his letter by professing his enthusiasm to return to touring. “I can’t wait to get back out there and play these songs,” Dickinson proclaimed. “We’re still fired up, and to get back together in a room with the guys to just play music is something I’m looking forward to more than you can ever imagine.”

Iron Maiden Albums Ranked

When ranking Iron Maiden albums, perhaps the most striking thing is that they succeeded despite changing lead singers on three separate occasions.