That's not Eddie on Maiden cover
Iron Maiden artist Melvyn Grant says the character on the sleeve of The Final Frontier ISN'T band mascot Eddie – although he won't give full details.
Grant tells the Examiner: "It's not Eddie as such. I'm not going to say anything more, because I don't know what Iron Maiden have got planned. I'm not going to tread on any toes or mess up any surprises.
"Okay, I'll tell you: it's actually an alien. The old Eddie might still come around."
Grant has worked with Maiden since 1992's Fear of the Dark, taking over from original artist Derek Riggs. He says he has a good relationship with the band, although sometimes less so with fans who have strong views on his work.
He explains: "I enjoy working with the Maiden crew, but it does exasperate you when you have to keep changing things. Everything's happening at once – but I find they're very nice people to deal with. If they plan on using things they like, they pay for it. They don't mess around.
"They always want to give their fans something new. They take chances. With this Eddie I've just done for The Final Frontier, someone said to me at the beginning: 'You've split the fan base in half.'
"Some people really hate it – the things some of them wanted to do to me on the forums, you wouldn't believe. I think they wanted Eddie to eat me..."
Maiden will headline the Sonisphere festival at Knebworth Park this weekend.