Pop star Lady Gaga raised a few eyebrows when she said she wants to be the "next Iron Maiden," but Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson stands firmly in her corner.

Gaga's goals came up during Dickinson's recent chat with Corus Radio, which you can watch in the clip above. Host John Derringer started out by reading her comments, which include the statement, "They’re one of the greatest rock bands in history, in my opinion. Some people really don’t know the importance of metal and the scope of it. Those guys were filling stadiums, and they still are. And it’s because of the culture of the music, the poetry that’s so powerful, that whenever the fans come together, they unite in the essence of what Iron Maiden is all about."

"I wished I'd said that," Dickinson grinned. "I actually think she's great, and I agree with her: She's not the next Madonna. She's way better than that, 'cause first of all, she can sing; she's got a belter of a voice. She's a real good instrumentalist. She's got a great sense of drama — anyone who can show up to an awards show dressed as a bacon sandwich has got my vote. She's great."

"We've tried not to let them down," he offered when asked what Maiden's fans give their fans that other acts might not. "That's all you can do is try, 'cause obviously you can't please everyone all the time. And the way we do that is by not letting ourselves down. I think fans, certainly our fans, accept that they're always going to be on a bit of a journey with you, and they're perfectly at liberty to get off the bus if they don't like the way it's going and rejoin it at some later date. But if you stay with it, at least there's a degree of integrity with what you're doing. ... It's always been about music and connecting with people live. It's about making real connections, not having a billion followers on Twitter, you know?"

Dickinson's point is well taken — and speaking of Twitter, that's where Gaga turned to let followers know she was up at dawn to download Iron Maiden's latest release, The Book of Souls. How's that for dedication?

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