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Paul Day (Maiden's first singer) Interview
1) How much singing did you do before joining Maiden?
I did some singing with a few bands but only bedroom singing really. Just rehearsing and doing covers.
2) Why did you start singing?
I started singing really because I was too slack to learn the guitar. Like, I wanted to play the guitar but I wanted to do it today, straight away. I always sung at school, too, like in front of the class and stuff like that. My favourite singers were Ian Gillan, Paul Rodgers and Rob Halford and I guess that it was really always a fantasy to be a singer in a band.
3) How long had you known Steve Harris before you joined Maiden?
I saw Steve play in Gypsey's Kiss and thought that they weren't too bad apart from the singer. One day he was walking past thgis bike shop I used to work at and asked him if there was any chance of having a sing with him, but at that stage he said no as they already had someone. A week later he came into the shop to see me and told me to come down and have a go. So I didn't really know him before Maiden, but I knew of him.
4) What were the early rehersals like?
Just normal really, going through the paces. The earlier songs that we did were 'I've Got The Fire' and 'Jailbreak' among others. Steve used to come into rehearsals with an idea and some lyrics usually and I had to come up with my own melody lines. I was actually responsible for writing some of the lyrics on 'Strange World' But Steve generally came up with the ideas. I pushed to do more covers but Steve always wanted to stick to his guns and write original stuff. He was amazing like that really and he deserves all the success that he's got.
5) What do you remember of the first gig?
I don't really remember that much except that my mum had sewn me up in this cape that I wore. All of the gigs back then have blurred into each other.
6) What are your best memories of Iron Maiden?
It would have to be when my family and I had gone on holidays somewhere and Steve and the boys drove up to get me as we had a gig on the next day!
7) How did Steve actually tell you that he wanted a new singer? How did you take it?
It was after a gig at the Cart & Horses. Steve had previously told me to get my act together, but I had limited experience and was doing the best I could. I also thought at this point that it was much better to sound good than anything else and that was what I concentrated on. I think if Maiden hadn't been my first band, things would have been very different, because after this incident I really started to wake up and I became a lot more focused.
8) What did you think of your replacement, Dennis Wilcock?
Fucked to be honest! But he had a look at the time that I just couldn't do. In hindsight I think Steve did the right thing.
9) What bands did you sing with between Maiden and More?
I went for a fair few auditions and I played in a few cover bands of stuff like Kiss, Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy. I didn't join More until '78/79 and at that stage it was just a pub gig. I was really reluctant at first because I didn't like what they were doing. But I was pushed into it and eventually I started to move into the direction I wanted it to go anyway.
10) What was the tour like that More did with Maiden in Europe in 1981?
It was about an eight week tour that basically went everywhere. It was a lot of fun really and I was over the Maiden thing by then because I had my own band and when I left Maiden they were only a small pub band anyway. I was actually doing Harry's spotlight for the tour as this meant that I was getting paid double, ten pounds! I didn't mind though cos the money was good and I enjoyed watching their show.
11) What happened after More?
I finished with More in about '82 and I was singing for a band called Wildfire. I was really happy in this band and really believed in what we were doing. We recorded two albums but it was a real struggle, pushing shit up a hill we were! We were touring around Britain and record shops weren't actually stocking the album and stuff like that. The band eventually became State Trooper with Gary Bardon from MSG on vocals.
12) How did you come to be singing for The Sweet?
I just answered an ad in the paper. I didn't actually know it was for The Sweet. I am not even a fan really. I got the job and had two weeks to learn all the material and I didn't even have any of their albums. I toured with them for about a year but it was just like being in a covers band for me as I was singing someone else's songs. We toured Australia and I really liked it out here so I decided to stay and tried to get my career moving over here. I did a stint in a Deep Purple covers band and we toured all over Australia and New Zealand. I also did some duo work for a while but I got sick of it. If I couldn't do what I really wanted to do I didn't want to do it any more. Basically it just became so hard to get a band together who wanted to do their own material and get on with it.
13) Have you followed Maiden's career at all? What is your favourite song?
No, I haven't really followed them that much. I think that Bruce is a great singer. I've liked him since Samson really. He has got a powerful voice and a real presence. My favourite song would have to be Phantom Of The Opera.
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