Interview With Hi-On Maiden

You're about to be put before a firing squad and you're all going to die! You can listen to one Maiden album, which one?

That is a seriously tough decision! There are too many good ones to choose just one. I would want to hear different songs from different albums, Revelations, Hallowed Be Thy Name, Stranger In A Strange Land (for H's solo). I suppose I would have to go for Number Of The Beast, there are so many good songs on that album.

To be as close as you can to the true Maiden sound, do you try and use the same equipment? How close is the replication? Even as far as stage clothes or props?

We all use the same guitars (all customised to be as close as possible to the real thing). But amplification wise, we find we can get the same sounds from different amps. We try to recreate the stage clothes of Maiden as closely as possible, trying to get every detail right. We have all had clothes specially made for us in the past to replicate their stage clothes from different era's - spandex etc... But now we keep up to date with whatever Maiden are currently wearing on their latest tour.

You've all met the band, How often do you bump into them? Is it first name terms? Do you still freak out and get giggly?

We see them at conventions and at their gigs in the VIP lounge after the show. We are all on first name terms with them (they call us by our stage names - Speed, Quicko etc). Steve Harris even picked me out in the crowd at Brixton and asked me where my wig was while he was playing!!! We never freak out and get giggly, LOL, we didn't even do that the first time we met them. They are all really nice down to earth blokes who will chat to you for ages.

What is your opinion of the Blaze era?

We're not really big fans of the Blaze era. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all down to Blaze either. Their whole direction changed, and the song writing went downhill in our opinion. Saying that, there are a few songs from those 2 albums that were really good, like The Clansman and Sign Of The Cross.

Where do you get the best crowds? You're going abroad this year. Is Europe better than the UK?

Our best crowd numbers wise in the UK is JB's in Dudley - that is our home gig. The Southampton and Swansea crowds are about level pegging for the loudest! It is completely different when you go abroad, we get treated like royalty. They look after us so well, and the crowds really get into it too.

Who would do the best 'Sign Of The Cross' - Pauly D, Brucey D or Blaze?


I hear you're getting paid a good fee tonight. Is Hi-On Maiden a hobby or does it pay as a full-time job?

I don't have another job, but all of the other lads do.

What made you decide to be a Maiden tribute band as opposed to any other classic band?

It all started way back when there were only a few tribute bands knocking around. Quicko and Swifty used to jam Maiden songs during breaks in their band rehearsals. After a while, they found they were playing Maiden songs more than their own, so they had the idea to start a Maiden tribute as there wasn't one on the circuit. I personally wouldn't want to be in a tribute to any other band. (Except maybe The Pistols...) (OK, or The Clash! LOL)

Do you have any interesting stories from the Walthamstow Standard?

Not really, apart from the fact that Paul Di Anno used to get up and do a few numbers with us everytime we played. The first time we played at The Standard, the owner came to the stage and said "Paul Di Anno is here, do you want him to get up and do a few songs?" We were like "Fucking too right!" We called him to the stage, and started looking out for him. A few seconds later, I look down and think "Who the fuck is this fat old bald guy trying to get on the stage...Then I realised it was Paul!!!

The day's bill has seen a good mix of styles as far as the bands go. Did you see any of the bands and did you like any of them? Have you played with many black/death metal bands before?

We saw most of the bands. Black/death metal isn't really our cup of tea, but there were some good bands. And you have to take your hat off to some of the drummers!

Iron Maiden plays a gig in your town. The same night you have had a gig booked, signed and sealed with a contract. Do you fuck your gig off and go see the boys or do you stand true and play your gig? (Assuming anyone would turn up because they are all at the Maiden gig).

We never book any gigs on the same night as Maiden are playing (regardless of where it is in the UK) for 2 simple reasons: 1) No one would turn up to our show 2) I would be at the Maiden gig!