Former Iron Maiden singer Paul Di'Anno recently reflected on the time he left the pioneering metal band back in 1981. By way of explanation, the musician offered a brief summation of how he parted ways with the group after that year's sophomore effort from the act, Killers, which he said didn't impact him in the same way the self-titled debut did.

Downplaying the effect that drug abuse had on the split, the vocalist remembered the circumstances of his departure as reasonably friendly. Still, he maintained that he wasn't fully committed to Iron Maiden at the time. That's how the musician put it to Eon Music in an interview this month.

"I'll tell you what it was," Di'Anno said. "I like[d] the [second] album … a lot, but it didn't have as much impact on me as the first album. Some of the songs on there were a bit… and I couldn't give 100% of myself, which was not fair on the band, on the fans, or on me. And yeah, I was trying to find other ways to make [it] exciting for me when I was on the road, and yeah, there [were] a few problems with a bit of cocaine now and again. It wasn't as bad as what most people say it is — it was nothing like that!"

He continued, "But no, all it is at the end of the day is, when you've got such a fantastic working machine like Iron Maiden, if one little cog goes a bit wrong, the whole thing falls to bits. And I wasn't prepared for Maiden to go through that, and I wasn't prepared for me to go through it as well. So I … mentioned that I was unhappy, we had a little chat and all that, and that was it. We all sort of parted ways amicably."

Di'Anno left in September 1981, and former Samson singer Bruce Dickinson soon took his place. As another side of the story goes, Di'Anno was ushered out because his vocal abilities weren't up to par with how Iron Maiden founder and bassist Steve Harris thought the band should sound.

All that said, Di'Anno maintained that he's proud of how the band has progressed. He also said he'd be heartbroken should the group eventually call it quits.

"I'll tell you what, one of the saddest days of my life will be when Maiden stop," he added.

Although Di'Anno has experienced some health problems, his new solo live album, Hell Over Waltrop - Live in Germany, arrives next month. Separately, it's emerged that Iron Maiden possibly completed a new album themselves this year.

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