Drummer Nicko McBrain of Iron MaidenWe managed to track down Nicko McBrain in Madrid, Spain while in the midst of Iron Maiden’s successful world tour. “Who’d have thought even ten years ago that we’d still be going strong,” the drummer says. “With Bruce [Dickinson] and Adrian [Smith] back in the band, it’s absolutely fantastic. It’s a shot in the arm.”

McBrain says that any personal problems the band had when Dickinson departed seven years ago have all dissipated with time. “Things change,” Nicko says. “You get older and wiser, and you become more positive about where you want to go with things. Besides, you can’t hold a grudge forever. We all put our disagreements to bed early last year and went on to make one of the best albums we’ve made since Piece Of Mind.”

The new album Nicko’s referring to is Brave New World, and apparently it was a joy to make. “It was a collaborative effort,” he says. “It began with writing rehearsals in Portugal in ’99. We rehearsed all of the material prior to going into the studio. The last three or four albums were done in bits – we learned stuff in the studio. This time we performed the material in the studio as if we were playing it live. It was a terrific experience for all of us.”

Robyn Flans