Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain recently discussed the band’s dramatic Legacy of the Beast stage show, noting that three elements have left him less than happy during some performances.

He said he ran into trouble with the near full-size inflatable Spitfire warplane, one of the Eddie puppets and singer Bruce Dickinson’s flamethrower pack while he was trying to focus on playing the shows.

“Definitely this is the biggest-ever produced show that Maiden have done,” McBrain told Cosmo Music in a new interview. He noted that they “pride ourselves on the fact that we’ve always put a great stage show together,” but explained they have specific aims in mind. “We keep the artists’ backdrops [of album and single covers] – they’re all hand-painted. People go, ‘Why aren’t you using video screens?’ Well, we’re old-school. We want it to be theater.”

You can watch the interview below.

On the subject of the Spitfire, he said, “It’s blown up by air, and the way the propeller moves is the air escaping – we have to have a way of the air to come out at a certain pressure. It’s a stroke of genius.” He added that the inflatable sometimes came too close for comfort: “This thing pops up behind me … [and] some nights, if the ceiling is a little bit too low, the tail is literally [on top of me] and I can push it.”

Multiple versions of the band’s mascot are seen during the Legacy show, which explores Iron Maiden’s history via themes based on their Legacy of the Beast video game. “Lots of nasty Eddies appearing,” McBrain said. “Oh my God, the guy that pops up behind me in [the song] ‘Iron Maiden’ – I can’t even look at it. Freaks me out – I won’t have anything to do with that image, believe me. It’s like The Exorcist when I first saw that movie.”

Asked if Dickinson has learned to manage the flamethrower he uses during “Flight of Icarus,” McBrain said no, and recalled how the singer said, “I know what! … I’m gonna get some flamethrowers, and I’ll have a pack on my back, nobody will see it and I’ll blow out these flames.” “Yeah, great idea, mate!" the drummer said. "Halfway through the first fucking leg of the tour, he comes up … and every night he’d get a little bit closer, and he’d fire this fucking flamethrower at me. … What the fuck? Fuck off, Bruce!”


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