IRON MAIDEN’s Nicko McBrain is almost fuly recovered after having a stroke in January of 2023
Speaking with SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation Power Trip Special”, IRON MAIDEN drummer Nicko McBrain discussed the band’s current “The Future Past Tour”, which marks his first time being on tour since he suffered a stroke in January of this year.
When Nicko was asked how the shows with IRON MAIDEN have been going for him so far, he replied (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “It’s going great. It started off a little shaky for me, but as the time [went on] and the more shows we performed, I started to get a little bit more strength and they’d been really rocking out well. And the last couple of months have been fantastic.”
The 71-year-old McBrain also discussed his stroke recovery in more detail, saying: “[I’m] doing good [right now]. I’m still probably — I’d say I’m 85 to 90 percent back to strength, but I still have a little less dexterity with speed in my fingers. My fingers are the ones that — this is the last thing to strengthen up. But I had to change certain drum fills. Some fills that everybody knows me for on certain songs, I’ve had to improvise those at rehearsals to be able to actually play the songs.
“So now I’m starting to actually be able to kind of embrace it a bit more. And I can’t do that live. I have to wait until we start doing some rehearsals again or whatever it is. But I’m definitely getting stronger. And I’ve had great support from [IRON MAIDEN manager] Rod [Smallwood], the band, and all of the fans out there. They’ve been absolutely — they’ve shown me so much love, it’s amazing.”
In August, when Nicko initially made his stroke diagnosis public, he conveyed in a statement that the incident had left him with partial paralysis on one side of his body, and he expressed concerns about the future of his career with the band.
McBrain released a statement at the time which read: “I hope this message finds you all well!
“The reason I’m writing to you all today is to let you know of a very serious health problem that I have been through. In January I had a stroke, thank the Lord it was a minor one referred to as a TIA. It left me paralyzed on my right side from my shoulder on down, of course I was very worried that my career was over but with the love and support from my wife, Rebecca and family, my doctors, especially Julie my OT (Occupational Therapist),and my IRON MAIDEN family I was able to bounce back to somewhere near 70% recovered. After 10 weeks of intense therapy it was almost time to start rehearsals for our tour.
“I feel it’s important to let you know about this now instead of earlier as I was mainly concerned with doing my job and concentrating on getting back to 100% fitness. I’m not there yet but by the grace of God I’m getting better and stronger as the weeks go by.
“Thank you all for a most wonderful and magical tour so far, you have all been so amazing.
“Well that’s it from me. God bless you all, stay safe and well and I look forward to seeing you all somewhere in time. “
IRON MAIDEN Manager Rod Smallwood added: “The rest of the band and l think that what Nicko has been able to achieve since his stroke shows incredible belief and willpower and we are all very proud of him. With this new and musically very complex set to learn ahead of him, he just got his head down and concentrated on recovery. We honestly did not know if he would be able to play a whole show until band rehearsals started in May and there was just so much support for him from the band and then genuine relief for all when we saw he was going to be able to do it!
“Nicko being Nicko he did not want to make a fuss and cause any distraction to the tour at the time but, now that he is sure he will soon get there, he thought you fans should know straight from him rather than by any rumours! We are all of course delighted he battled through this so well and look forward to many more tours together!”