Rod Smallwood, IRON MAIDEN's manager from 1979 to present day, and theoretically their seventh member, recently spoke to the Greek Metal Hammer about the group's upcoming "The History Of Iron Maiden – Part 1: The Early Years" DVD, which covers the band's course from its first days, back in the mid-'70s up until 1983 when MAIDEN went on their first major world tour. Several excerpts from the interview follow:
Metal Hammer: How many DVDs will be issued until MAIDEN's history is covered completely?
Rod Smallwood: "It depends on how much we last as a band. If we break up next year, we won't need more than 3-4 DVDs, if though we continue for the next 20 years, we will need twice that number (laughs). We haven't decided yet how many DVDs there will be or exactly what they will contain. There is a great volume of footage, though, that we want to use. At this moment, I don't even know what our next release will be. At this period, [Steve] Harris is working on the mix of a DVD, which will contain footage from the 'Dance Of Death World Tour'. This might be issued first, followed by the next studio album and later by the second part of the band's history series — or the opposite may happen. Anyway, the most possible scenario is that the second part will reach until 'Seventh Son…' or 'Fear of the Dark'. We'll see…"
Metal Hammer: Which is, in your opinion, the most interesting period in the band's history?
Rod Smallwood: "Surely the first years that are being covered by the first DVD have the biggest interest, because, during that time, the band started from zero and went to realizing large world tours. Many members changed, many and crucial decisions were made and I believe there is great interest for the fan to witness the impressive evolvement of the band from pubs to the biggest arenas in the world. After that the situation might be a little dull… You go to places you've been before, see people you've seen before, things seem to repeat themselves. For example, the first time we were in Greece it was very nice, to see the Parthenon for the very first time is something very impressive, the second time though it's not the same…"
Metal Hammer: You have been the band's manager for the last 25 years. Could you say which was the most difficult period for you, in relation to the decisions you had to take in relation to the band?
Rod Smallwood: "Hmmm, it was never easy, not in the beginning and not now. In the beginning you have the stress to accomplish to be distinguished and now you have the stress to manage to stay at the top. The truth is that as time goes by thing become increasingly more difficult, because you have to find ways to keep the old fans and then to reach new ones. Steve and the rest of the boys write the music and, as you most probably know, they are quite opinionated as far as their direction is concerned. We at the management though are the people who must give this music to the people. To return though to your question, I'd say that one of the most difficult times was when we had to stick together in a period during which we went from playing in front of 150 people in the Ruskin Arms to playing four consecutive nights at a filled to the brim Long Beach Arena in Los Angeles. Everything then was happening at great speed, which we had to master."
Read the entire interview at this location.