Jimmy Kay from Canada’s The Metal Voice recently spoke to former Iron Maiden Drummer Doug Sampson who appeared on Iron Maidens, The Soundhouse Tapes E.P. as well as the Metal for Muthas compilation in 1980.
Watch the interview here:
Currently Doug Sampson is drumming for the band reformed NWOBHM band Airforce and have a new EP out called The Blackbox Recordings EP Part 1
Sampson spoke about his pre-Iron Maiden days in Smiler with Steve Harris, his memories of recording The Soundhouse tapes with Iron Maiden and his reformed band Airforce and the release of their new album The Blackbox recordings E.P. Part 1
When asked when if there were any songs from ‘Smiler’ days (Steve Harris and his former band) that appeared on the first two Iron Maiden Albums
“The only song that I could remember Steve coming up with is ‘Innocent Exile’ I can’t remember anything else, we actually played that with ‘Smiler’. ”
When asked about Paul Di’anno’s audition for Iron Maiden
“We were knocked out by Paul Dianno’s audition. From that minute he auditioned he was the vocalist for Iron Maiden. we heard a phenomenal voice one that really suited the band at that particular time, this was a different league, Dianno took it to another level. And Paul got the job obviously.”
When asked about his memories of the recording of Iron Maiden The SoundhouseTapes E.P.
“I don’t think we did any gigs at that point. Steve Harris said we really need to get a demo together. We would all pay and chip in and we would go to this place called Spaceward Studios, on New Years Eve. It was great it was the first time me and Steve Harris had been to a studio. Dave had done a bit of recoding before. ”
“More than anything I can remember doing Strange World my personal memories of that was just so haunting it just took on a different feel, it was quite eerie. When I hear it now it still brings back memories of that recording session.”
When asked about his memories of the recordings of Sanctuary and Wrathchild on the 1980 Metal for Muthas compilation
“That was the first time we went to the EMI studio for us to do them and that was a different league as well, this was not a demo this was done in a proper studio.That was quite a jump from what we have been doing. I remember we stayed there right ot the early hours of the morning, me Paul and Dave just crashed out in the corridor at the studio and slept on the floor and I think the executives couldn’t believe what they were seeing.”
When asked about the writing sessions of the songs Running Free and Remember Tomorrow
“I would say Running Free was the one, the only one that I had a major input on because I was messing around in the studio, in the rehearsal room, doing glam rock. Sort of mad Sweet Style beats and I was playing this beat, generally messing about. Then Steve came in and started putting a bass line to it. It just started off as a joke. Then Dave came in and hang on here I think we got a song here. Got the structure of the song down. Paul went off he had some ideas, I could remember him just sitting outside on some steps jotting some words down and he came back and we said we got a song here.
Remember Tomorrow just evolved in the studio, we all started playing and Steve had an idea and just jammed away until it manifested itself.”
When asked how he parted ways with Iron Maiden
“We were doing more and more gigs living in back of a Lorrie called the Green Goddess. Coming off stage soaking wet getting in the back of the Lorrie, freezing cold in a sleeping bag in the end it got to a stage where it was beginning to affect my health I had a virus and the more gigs we were doing the worse it was getting. I said to Steve i don’t know If I can carry on and do this and I said I think it’s time I went.”
When asked about his reformed band Airforce and their new E.P.
“Last year we decided to get together again. we just released the new album called The Blackbox recordings Part 1, we have three tracks, two new tracks and one that has been around for a few years called ‘Heroes’, it really goes down well live. We still have three main members but we’ve got a new vocalist now, that’s got a completely different edge, he is more of a metal singer. Next few weeks we are going back into the studio to record The Blackbox Recordings part 2 and we hope to have an album before or after Christmas to add all six numbers from the first two Eps and more new songs.”
When asked if he would even consider working again with Paul Di’anno or any other former Iron Maiden members (24:15)
“It’s funny you should ask because their maybe a possibility that we actually do something with Paul Dianno. Hopefully, that would be a great great honour to do something with Paul Dianno. Nothing confirmed yet. That might be something in the future, fingers crossed. Dianno is the man, there is no two ways about it, hopefully everything will work out I really really hope so.”