British heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN have released the following statement:
"Just before Christmas, MAIDEN vocalist Bruce Dickinson visited his doctor for a routine check-up. This led to tests and biopsies which revealed a small cancerous tumour at the back of his tongue. A seven-week course of chemotherapy and radiology treatment was completed yesterday. As the tumour was caught in the early stages, the prognosis thankfully is extremely good. Bruce's medical team fully expect him to make a complete recovery with the all clear envisaged by late May. It will then take a further few months for Bruce to get back to full fitness. In the meantime, we would ask for your patience, understanding and respect for Bruce and his family’s privacy until we update everyone by the end of May. Bruce is doing very well considering the circumstances and the whole team are very positive."
IRON MAIDEN is believed to be putting the finishing touches on its new studio album with longtime producer Kevin Shirley for a 2015 release.
MAIDEN's 15th CD, "The Final Frontier", sold 63,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to enter The Billboard 200 chart at position No. 4.
Dickinson made his live debut with IRON MAIDEN at the end of 1981, after the band had already made two well-received albums with frontman Paul Di'Anno. He had viewed the group's early emergence from a ringside seat as lead singer with SAMSON.
In a 2008 interview with Billboard, Dickinson stated about how he came to join MAIDEN: "Things with Paul hadn't been going terribly well, and they'd made the decision to get rid of him. So they came and took a peek at me. Clive [Burr, MAIDEN's then-drummer] had been in SAMSON for three years, and 'Killers' was being made at Zomba Studios [in northwest London], which back then was Morgan Studios. We were in Morgan, and MAIDEN were in the [studio] opposite. So we used to go to the pub and have a few beers and chat. I went over and listened to the MAIDEN record and Clive would come over and listen to ours… [MAIDEN manager] Rod Smallwood offered me the chance of an audition, he didn't offer me the job. This was at Reading Festival. I said, 'Well, alright. First of all, if I do the audition, I'm going to get the job, so you need to figure out whether or not you want me onboard, because I don't want to be unless I can be a pain in the ass and have some opinions. I'm not going to be like the old guy. I'm going to have disagreements with Steve [Harris, bass], because I've got some ideas about how I want to change things around. So if you don't want that, you'd better tell me now.' They asked me to learn three songs and I basically learned the lot, both albums. So we turned up to the rehearsal room and let rip. Steve picked up the phone and said, 'Could we get him into a studio today?'"
After he joined MAIDEN, "there was no transition," explained Dickinson. "It was zero to 100 miles an hour in one stride. That rush continued for five years, solid. It was No. 1 album ['The Number Of The Beast', 1982], No. 1 tour, biggest thing on the planet. I'd never done a gig outside the U.K. until I joined MAIDEN. Unless Inverness [Scotland] counts. I'd probably only done 20 or 30 gigs in my life."
Dickinson quit IRON MAIDEN in 1993 in order to pursue his solo career, which saw him experiment with a wide variety of heavy metal and rock styles. He rejoined the band in 1999.