Robert Reid of the Lonely Planet blog recently conducted an interview with IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Lonely Planet: Why in the world does a guy selling 85 million records bother with a job as a commercial pilot?

Bruce: I wanted to try to get my hands on something a little bigger than my little twin-engine, piston-engine airplane, and sadly, I can't afford to get my own airport and jumbo like John Travolta, so I thought I'm going to have to get a job. I thought I'd get some sort of job flying cargo, I never expected flying on an airline. But ten years ago, I did. And been flying long enough, they gave me my fourth stripe, and I'm sitting here as a captain.

Lonely Planet: What do you like about being a jet pilot?

Bruce: You're in an alien place, kept alive by this little cocoon of aluminum, piston engine and fuel. It's a mechanical beast you have to look after, and sometimes you think "I shouldn't be here! This is just some kind of miracle." And I still get that same buzz every time I go near a plane. We have some awful mornings we have to do as pilots. You drag yourself out of bed at one o'clock in the morning, when no decent person is awake. It's freezing cold, and everything's covered in frost. And then there it is! A hundred tons of big shiny aluminum tube, with two great huge engines on it. And someone's given it to you for the day. I just think it's a huge privilege. And I never get tired of pinching myself and going "That's pretty cool."

Lonely Planet: Any comparisons with flying and singing for IRON MAIDEN?

Bruce: When I'm flying, I don't often get the luxury of putting my feet up and just daydreaming awhile. Because there's just always something to do. Strangely, it's same for me being in front of a hundred thousand people. I run on stage, I got two hours. And I got a lot of stuff to do. I got 30 pages of lyrics flicking through my head, and juggling with the crowd. You don't really have much time to stand there and go, "Wow, isn't this cool?" It's only afterwards.

Read more from the Lonely Planet blog.


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