Maiden’s Nicko: Money mangles most musicians
Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain has spoken out on the lineup issues experienced by Black Sabbath and Slayer – saying that money causes problems for most professional musicians at some point in their careers.
Sabbath last year abandoned attempts to include Bill Ward in their reunion with Ozzy Osbourne after the sticksman said he hadn’t been offered a contract he regarded as “signable.”
Last week Slayer announced their tour of Australia would go ahead without drummer Dave Lombardo, who’d raised concerns about how cash was split within the band.
McBrain tells the Broward Palm Beach New Times: “Most of the issues that pro musicians have sooner or later boils down to the royalty cheque or performance royalties.
“When you look at something and say, ‘Could you explain this to me, why we’re not getting what we should according to these numbers?’ and somebody says, ‘Fucking shut your face or you’re fired’ – it tells you there’s an alarm bell going off.
“You have to ask yourself this: How did Dave Lombardo get the information that led to this problem? Who gave him the financials, if he wasn’t on top of it with an accountant already?”
McBrain wonders if Slayer guitarist Kerry King had gone too far in dropping the drummer. “I think Kerry really may have overreacted and might be regretting it,” he says. “I hope that that’s the case and they can sit down and sort it out.”
He admits he doesn’t know “the ins and outs of it” and therefore he “can’t pre-judge it” but adds: “The Bill Ward story, I understood that Sharon Osbourne got her fangs into that one. It’s beyond me – Bill Ward was the original freaking band member, you know? It just doesn’t make sense to me.”
Reflecting on his own position he says: “If I was entitled to more, I don’t really want to know. I’m happy!”
Meanwhile, McBrain has revealed plans to share his passion for golf and cooking with Alice Cooper and a number of other rock musicians.
“Alice and I have talked about doing a tournament together,” he says. “It’s more than likely going to happen in the next year or two. We’re going to do a kind of golf tournament around a cook-off thing between him and me. I think the celebrities will be from our genre of music.”