Former IRON MAIDEN singer Paul Di'Anno spoke to Eonmusic about his 1981 departure from the band following the release of its second album, "Killers". Asked how his exit came about, the frontman said: "I'll tell you what it was. The second album, I like the album and I liked it a lot, but it didn't have as much impact on me as the first album. Some of the songs on there were a bit… and I couldn't give 100% of myself, which was not fair on the band, on the fans, or on me. And yeah, I was trying to find other ways to make if exciting for me when I was on the road, and yeah, there was a few problems with a bit of cocaine now and again. It wasn't as bad as what most people say it is — it was nothing like that. But no, all it is at the end of the day is, when you've got such a fantastic working machine like IRON MAIDEN, if one little cog goes a bit wrong, the whole thing falls to bits, and I wasn't prepared for MAIDEN to go through that, and I wasn't prepared for me to go through it as well. So I sort of mentioned that I was unhappy, we had a little chat and all that, and that was it. We all sort of parted ways amicably."
Di'Anno said that he is incredibly proud of IRON MAIDEN's early albums. "And I still am of the band today, because they're still soldering on, and especially in some countries around the world, where they build you up to knock you down, and England's like one of the biggest ones of that, but MAIDEN have stayed constant around the world, regardless," he said. "Some albums aren't as great as the others and that, but then again, what do you expect? Most bands are like that, And it's high quality always and really good, and this last show that they've done [the 'Legacy Of The Beast' tour] has been fantastic."
According to Paul, one of the saddest days of his life will be when MAIDEN finally stops. "Indirectly, with me as well, how much joy do fans get by hearing MAIDEN songs, whether done by me or done by MAIDEN, live around the world?" he said. "I can attest to that. They are absolutely awesome, and they bring so much joy, and I don't want to see that stop. That could happen at some stage, but I hope it's not for quite some years yet."
Di'Anno recorded two classic albums with IRON MAIDEN before being replaced by Bruce Dickinson. He went on to front a number of other bands, including KILLERS and BATTLEZONE, and released several solo records.
Di'Anno has battled a number of health issues in recent years. He reportedly underwent an operation in 2016 to remove a "rugby ball-sized abscess" on his lungs and required a knee-replacement operation on both knees after getting involved in several motorcycle accidents over the years. As a result, Di'Anno was forced to sit down while performing at his most recent shows.
In March 2011, Di'Anno was sentenced to nine months in a U.K. prison after he falsely collected government benefits by claiming he suffered nerve damage to his back that prevented him from working.
Di'Anno completed his first North American tour in early 2010, 17 years after he was deported following a prison term for guns and drug offenses.