Steve Harris says that IRON MAIDEN doesn’t care about getting radio airplay, explaining that the band’s appeal has been largely misunderstood. “It’s amazing if you get played [on the radio], but we never relied on it, because we never used to get played at all,” Harris told iNews. “So maybe you get annoyed with it because you think — not just with us, bands that deserved to get played and don’t — there has been a bit of a closed shop.”

He continued: “I think a lot of it is because they don’t understand it. They’ve never really embraced it or seen it — the people who look down their noses at it — they don’t understand what it’s all about. Maybe if they were to go to a show, they would understand.”

MAIDEN‘s manager Rod Smallwood concurred, telling iNews: “They don’t play us anywhere, really. We don’t give a toss. To be honest, it’s about the number of people who come and see you.

“In [the United Kingdom], it’s been farcical. Anywhere else in the world, MAIDEN are a mainstream band. It really annoys me that they don’t get the respect they should generally, because they are a massive benefit to this country. It annoys me a lot more than it annoys the band. I think it is a kind of snobbery. When we went round NASA, they were all MAIDEN fans. We were invited around Cern because all the scientists are MAIDEN fans. People who don’t get it maybe don’t have the brains to get it.”

In a 1987 interview with the Los Angeles Times, IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson dimissed the suggestion that the band could refine its songwriting approach to make its music more palatable to radio stations.

“Are you kidding?,” Dickinson asked in disbelief. “We won’t change. We could do shorter songs or songs with a more pop feel or songs that aren’t really the hardest rock. Then we might get airplay and have a shot at a hit single. But we’d never make changes like that to get played on the radio. I’d jump off a bridge first.

“Radio and metal just don’t seem to mix,” he said. “Right now BON JOVI are the darlings of radio. [Editors note: That band’s ‘Slippery When Wet’ had been the No. 1 pop album for weeks at the time of the interview.] It’s a good album but that’s not really the hardcore heavy metal. It’s just pop enough to get airplay. But radio thinks of us as hardcore heavy metal. Radio hates us and our music, which they think is noise. They would like to see us fall off the face of the earth. I think it’s funny.”

IRON MAIDEN‘s “The Book Of Souls” world tour will return to North America for an extensive series of arena and amphitheater shows in June and July. Support on the trek will come from GHOST.