IRON MAIDEN Manager Rod Smallwood Talks Canada - Loud Audiences, Scenery, Hockey, HP Sauce And Beavers Eh!

March 4, 2010, 9 years ago

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To coincide with the band's anxiously-anticipated "North America Beware" announcement (here), legendary IRON MAIDEN manager Rod Smallwood has graciously answered a few Canuck-centered questions for Check 'em out below eh! Iron Maiden has made a tremendous effort to appease fans all across Canada which is a feat considering our geographical size. Unlike many bands, Maiden find it important to cover many markets (not just the 'key' ones) and criss-cross the country at greater expense. Why?

Smallwood: "Maiden has always enjoyed going to new places, its exciting and keeps you fresh – I recall very vividly the Powerslave tour when we were still on tour buses. We rehearsed and played in Halifax, Nova Scotia and played 11 cities including Sudbury and Regina, all in hockey stadiums, right across Canada in one go. We kidnapped a journalist (how are you Mitch?) and he ended up in Sudbury thinking he was just going to our hotel bar in Toronto!! I particularly remember waking up and looking out of the window at dawn as we climbed the Rockies. Wow!! On the tour before we played in Chicoutami – l remember the t-shirts they had made for us – FIRST CHICOUTIMI…..THEN THE WORLD!!! Great times!! And they were right!!" If there was an Iron Maiden 'capital city' in Canada, which one and why?

Smallwood: "It would have to be Québec, close run by Montréal. Sorry guys, but these are such amazing passionate LOUD audiences. Not that the rest aren’t great, but Québec province is right up there with Mexico City and South America. It is also where we headlined our first big shows in North America. We were playing to 6,000 fans a night there, when we were still supporting in America!! We never ever supported anyone ever in Eastern Canada; we started in clubs then small halls then big halls then very big halls. It really was a remarkably smooth transition thanks to the loyalty of our fans and the word of mouth they created on Maiden. And the Beavers are from Montreal – yes, you know who you are." Getting personal, what are some of the Canadian traits (food, drink, people, scenery, places of interest etc...) that the band enjoys?

Smallwood: "The scenery is magnificent of course. l have visited Whistler, BC a few times with my wife Kathy and our kids. Even if snow now seems to be a bit of a problem nowadays!! But any country is really made by its people and Canadians generally l think have a similar outlook to us and of course generally like a few beers too. We are very comfortable anywhere in Canada. Food-wise in the early days we couldn’t wait to get to Canada for the HP Sauce, a vital ingredient of any tour which at the time you could not get in America. Very important to add to Baked Beans A La Murray!!" Do you or any of the band members spend time in Canada when they aren't at their 'day' job? If so, where and why?

Smallwood: "Not really, it’s a bit far from where they are and they know they will get there every tour! But all my direct family live there – my parents live on Vancouver island and sister, niece and nephew in Edmonton so l get out to both a bit more often. So l guess l am a bit Canadian which meant l was very pleased when Canada won hockey gold a few days ago. I used to go and see Gretzky and the Oilers at Northlands in the mid-eighties when my sister moved there and still follow them. You may remember an event shirt from that time with Eddie in Oilers colours with the number 999 on his back." The Canadian market has had a love affair with Iron Maiden since Eddie was in his diapers! What continues to draw the Maiden family to Canada after all these years?

Smallwood: "It used to be the gorgeous girls in Québec province but we are all long married now!! Can't be the beer….so guess it must be the fans!"

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