Iron Maiden’s Nicko McBrain: Bruce Dickinson’s Cancer Battle Inspired Me to Quit Drinking
Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson fought the battle of his life in 2015, facing treatment for tongue and throat cancer right after concluding Maiden’s recording sessions for The Book of Souls. Countless fans gained inspiration from Dickinson, including Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain, who became determined to quit drinking having witnessed Bruce's recovery.
As Bruce Dickinson told us in an exclusive interview (see below), he purposely waited until The Book of Souls was recorded before seeking medical treatment. He literally risked his voice by doing so, but luckily, Dickinson now has a clean bill of health and his singing wasn’t affected by the cancer treatment. It was an extremely close call and one that gave Nicko McBrain a fresh outlook on his own life.
“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,’” McBrain recalls in an interview with The Drummer’s Journal. “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.”
“I knew my drinking was getting bad when I saw footage of an interview I’d done when I was pissed.” McBrain shares. “I’d probably been drinking for about four days straight. 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.”
Quitting the sauce hasn’t been easy for Nicko, as he admitted to The Drummer’s Journal. “I was at dinner last night with some friends and everyone was getting a bit drunk," revealed the drummer. "I love red wine and this bottle went right past me, and I immediately thought ‘give me that bottle,’ but I let it go. It wasn’t a nice feeling. I know that all it would take is one drink. But I’m just glad Bruce is alright. He seems to be running on 20 cylinders at the moment.”
Iron Maiden is currently touring the world in support of The Book of Souls. To check out the iconic metal band’s full list of dates, click here.
Bruce Dickinson Opens Up on Cancer Battle