IRON MAIDEN guitarist Adrian Smith was interviewed by Andertons Music Co at this month's NAMM show in Anaheim, California. During the chat, Smith recalled coming to NAMM during the 1980s when Eddie Van Halen also made an appearance. "I wanted to meet him, but he was surrounded by about a hundred people at all times," Adrian said (see video below).
Asked if Eddie Van Halen was an influence on his guitar playing, Smith said: "Not really. I'd already been playing a few years before he came out, so your style gets kind of set, but he influenced a lot of people."
As for which bands inspired him to pick up the guitar, Adrian said: "First bands I listened to, that got me into music, were [DEEP] PURPLE, 'Machine Head' era, FREE, 'Free Live' [with Paul] Kossoff, HUMBLE PIE, going back a bit now. All sort of English raucous kind of bands. When [I] started out playing, [I] played THE [ROLLING] STONES and BEATLES, 'cause they were a few chords; it was easy. And twelve-bar blues — that's how we started."
Smith and the rest of IRON MAIDEN are rumored to have completed work on a new studio album for a 2020 release. The British heavy metal legends haven't issued any fresh music since 2015's "The Book Of Souls" LP, which was recorded in late 2014 in Paris, France with longtime producer Kevin "Caveman" Shirley.
If the reports of a new MAIDEN album are true, it will mark the band's 17th studio effort and the sixth to be produced by Shirley, who has worked with MAIDEN for the past two decades.
"The Book Of Souls" was the longest MAIDEN album, clocking in at 92 minutes, with lyrics heavily based in the themes of death, reincarnation, the soul and mortality.