Out on a virtual tour promoting his new book Monsters of River and Rock: My Life As Iron Maiden’s Compulsive Angler, Adrian Smith has been doling out some details regarding his time away from Iron Maiden. He did an interview with Loudwire where he really spilled some information about how he felt during his time away from the band after the Seventh Son album.

I didn’t do anything musically for a couple of years and I gradually got back into it and realized I needed to do it as it’s a big part of my life. Didn’t really follow Maiden because I didn’t want to get hung up about it and start feeling bad. I got married, had kids, got a house, and started writing my own music, and I was happy.

Adrian Smith to Loudwire

Adrian Smith wasn’t very busy musically after his departure from the band. He was enjoying the progressive direction that they were heading, but Steve Harris had other ideas. The No Prayer For The Dying album only had one contribution from Adrian, in the form of “Hooks In You”. The song was the third in the quadrilogy about Charlotte the Harlot. We wouldn’t see Adrian involved with Iron Maiden until Monsters of Rock in 1992. He appeared on the live video and album, Live At Donington.

Live At Donington Gets Emotional

Here’s what Adrian had to say about that performance at Castle Donington.

Steve Harris rang me up and said, ‘Why don’t you come down and play ‘Running Free’ with us?’ So I went down there and I didn’t expect to feel the way I felt. The tour manager brought me up to the side of the stage and I watched a few songs. I got really, really emotional. I wasn’t expecting it, but I was overwhelmed – the guys are playing the songs I used to play, in front of thousands and thousands of people. It was nice to get a chance to rejoin and have a second bite of the cherry…

You can see the fun and sheer emotion that the entire band has during their performance of “Running Free”. It’s one of my favorite live versions of the song and it’s a great concert video for those that haven’t seen Live At Donington.

The Aftermath Of His Performance At Donington

Adrian had this to say about his transition back into the band and what that meant.

I saw them again at another show and it did give me a different perspective on it. I could look at it as an outsider. When I rejoined the band [in 1999], I remembered seeing them and I remembered some things I’d like to put into the band, to cover those things. I brought something I saw that was maybe missing before.

Adrian Smith to Loudwire

So it just goes to show that Adrian still had that love and emotion for his bandmates. Even when he wasn’t in the band, he was thinking about ways to make it better. You can argue about who the best guitarist in Maiden is forever, but it’s an undisputed fact that the band is better with Adrian Smith, than without.

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Source: Loudwire