Bruce Dickinson addresses “Iron Maiden is better than Metallica” comments: “We have a great relationship with Metallica”

VCG/VCG via Getty Images; ABC/Randy HolmesIron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has ruffled a few feathers in the heavy metal community in the past by declaring that his band is better than Metallica. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Dickinson addresses his past comments and describes his relationship with James Hetfield and company now.

“Look, I’m acutely conscious that when you say things in print, people are going to pick up on things,” Dickinson says. “The stuff about Metallica, quite frankly, was a really good windup. We have a great relationship with Metallica.”

He adds that the comments weren’t even aimed at Metallica, anyway.

“It was aimed at the rest of the world to say, ‘We’re back and we mean it. We mean it so much that we’re going to say something pretty outrageous, so why don’t you come to the show and find out. We dare you,'” Dickinson explains.

“It’s throwing down the gauntlet, and I’m the lead singer. It’s my job. It’s what I do.”

The singer’s comments about Iron Maiden being better than Metallica date back to at least a 2011 Metal Hammer interview. In 2014, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich was asked about it in an interview with The Guardian, to which he lightheartedly replied, “I will always support Bruce Dickinson in whatever nonsense he says.”

Dickinson addresses Metallica and more in his new book What Does This Button Do?, out now.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.