Iron Maiden’s Nicko McBrain says Bruce’s cancer got him sober

Posted by on April 5, 2016

Nicko_McBrain_2Iron Maiden have been unstoppable lately, not letting their frontman’s brush with throat cancer or their plane getting damaged get in the way of continually kicking ass and taking names in support of The Book of Souls. But as unstoppable as they are, it’s easy to remember that they’re not invincible. That’s not a lesson lost on drummer Nicko McBrain, who said that Dickinson’s battle with cancer has inspired him to ease up off the sauce and become sober. Speaking to The Drummer’s Journal, McBrain said:

“When he got the ‘all clear,’ I looked at Bruce and thought, ‘Here’s my mate, he’s been through hell, beaten cancer, and none of it was his fault.’ And there I was, putting myself through hell too, except I was doing it to myself with drink. So I knew I had to stop. I took a lot of inspiration from Bruce; it made me realize how stupid I was being.”

In addition to his singer battling cancer, he said that an old interview he saw was the impetus for him to put the bottle down:

“I’d probably been drinking for about four days straight,” he said. “My eyes were red and bloodshot, I was slurring words and not making any sense. I don’t remember doing the interview at all. I realized that is not good situation to be in. So I haven’t had a drink in a while now. I’m not saying I’ll never have another but something had to change.”

He says that being sober is an every day struggle, stating that the prior night, his friends wqere having wine with dinner, and he was tempted, but all it would take was one drink to set him off again. If it makes him feel any better, the band sounds as good as they ever have, and at least he’s giving interview now that he’ll remember.


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