In a brand new interview with U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine, IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris was asked if singer Bruce Dickinson's cancer diagnosis at the end of 2014 affected the recording of the band's new album, "The Book Of Souls".
"Well, it didn't at all, because Bruce didn't know and none of us knew anything about… There was no inkling of any of it," Steve said. "He'd finished all his vocal bits completely anyway, and then there were some other bits and pieces we were doing. Really, we didn't know anything — he didn't show any signs at all. I mean, his singing, when you hear it… He's singing better than ever."
He continued: "It didn't cause any problems in that department at all. He wasn't showing any signs of being ill. I didn't even know until a few weeks afterwards, when he got his results back. It was such a shock to him and everybody else, because it just wasn't expected at all."
Harris declined to discuss how the rest of MAIDEN coped with Dickinson's diagnosis, telling the magazine: "It's such a personal matter for Bruce and the band that I don't think now is the time to talk about it. It's Bruce's story to tell when he feels the time is right. The one thing I can say is that Bruce is a trooper and more than ready for the next chapter of IRON MAIDEN. What matters now is that we've got an album coming out that I think our fans are going to love and we're all excited to share with them."
Due globally on September 4 through Parlophone Records (Sanctuary Copyrights/BMG in the U.S.), "The Book Of Souls" was recorded in Paris, France with producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley in late 2014, with the finishing touches added earlier this year. However, the band decided to delay its release so that Dickinson, who was recently given the all-clear from the tumor, would have time to recuperate sufficiently to join in the preparations for the album's launch.
Looking ahead to the touring cycle in support of "The Book Of Souls", Harris told Kerrang!: "Whenever we do a new album, we always go out with a new stage show; that's exciting in itself. We always feel like every show is sacred these days anyway, and I suppose even more so now after the scare with what's happened with Bruce. It makes everything more important to us."
He continued: "'The Book Of Souls' is a really powerful album, we're really proud of it, and we can't wait to come out and play new songs on the tour. We're really looking forward to it."