Nicko McBrain has hailed Bruce Dickinson as the inspiration to getting sober after his bandmate’s battle with cancer made him realise ‘how stupid I was being.’
The Iron Maiden drummer says Dickinson’s tongue-cancer fight left him reflecting on his own situation which he says was down to his own issues with alcohol.
In an interview with The Drummer’s Journal, McBrain says: “It was only after we finished recording that he went to the doctors. When the news came back that he had cancer, I was just concerned for a friend. Plus it made me think about my own situation, my own health.”
He goes on: “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.”
Another factor in helping McBrain call time on his excessive drinking was seeing footage of an interview which he didn’t remember doing.
“I'd probably been drinking for about four days straight," he explains. “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.”
According to McBrain, staying sober is a daily struggle for him, especially when he is attending social functions at which alcohol is present.
Iron Maiden are currently touring North America as part of their ‘The Book of Souls’ world tour.