Bruce Dickinson said he’d still quit Iron Maiden if he had it to do over again – but added that he’d do it differently with the benefit of hindsight.

He left the band in 1993 after nine years and five albums, embarking on a solo career that took him in a different direction until he rejoined Steve Harris’ outfit in 1999.

In a recent interview with Classic Rock, the vocalist if he’d make the same move all over again. “I would have done, yes,” he said. “I wouldn’t have changed that, but I would have done it better. I would have had more of a plan.”

READ MORE: Why Bruce Dickinson Said Iron Maiden Was ‘Better Than Metallica’

Dickinson agreed it had been a “spur of the moment decision,” explaining: “I realized Iron Maiden [was] doing its thing and there was nothing anybody could do to change its trajectory. At the time, I was sitting there making what ended up being [second solo album] Balls To Picasso, and I realized that I didn’t have much clue what to do outside of Iron Maiden.”

He added it had been “a shock” to discover he was feeling institutionalized in the band that made his name. “I thought, ‘What do I do about that?’ I made the decision that I either stay… for the rest of my life, or I have to leave.”

Dickinson went on to say he wouldn’t have been happy with trying to have a solo career while also fronting Maiden. “I was in this state of limbo then,” he recalled. “I thought, ‘I have to leave, because otherwise… nobody’s going to take it seriously. They’ll just go: ‘Oh, bless his pointy little head, it’s his little side project.’”

Bruce Dickinson Says ‘Not Many People’ Can Sing Steve Harris’ Songs

The upcoming release of Dickinson’s new solo album The Mandrake Project presented an opportunity for him to compare singing his own material, designed to match the best of his voice, and performing Maiden songs.

“I… [take great] pride in being able to voice Steve’s riffs,” he said. “There’s not many people that can do it. I could never figure out why he wrote such bloody difficult words, though. Then we were chatting one day and it came out – the words follow the bass and drums.

“I tried to explain to him early on: ‘Look, Steve, I’m going to lose my front teeth trying to sing this.’ … I never thought I’d be able to sing Alexander The Great when I first heard it, but that worked out fine.”

Listen to Iron Maiden’s ‘Alexander the Great’

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Gallery Credit: Bryan Rolli

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