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Interview with Doug Sampson (Airforce, Ex-Iron Maiden)
By Román Gaydukov - May 1st, 2016

Doug Sampson Iron Maiden

Doug Sampson was part of Iron Maiden between 1978 and 1979, he recorded the drums of the mighty “The Soundhouse Tapes” and now he is back again in the world of music, after more than two decades of silence, with a brand new band: Airforce, which is about to release their debut album entitled “Judgement Day”.

Why have you decided to return to music now and not before?

It was something I had thought about for some time and been given a few offers, then with the success of Origins of Iron and our track War Games we decided to form a new look Airforce.

Airforce is a melodic hard rock band, what can we expect from the upcoming album?

The new Airforce album catalogues our very first recordings to the present day, so it shows how the band has developed over the years; it’s hard to describe the album as it has so many different styles.

Do you have a release date for the new album?

We are hoping to release the album 16th July, if all goes to plan. But presale already started on www.watchoutrecords.net

How were the recording sessions? Do you record on analogue or digital? And what do you prefer?

All the recent recordings are on digital but the early ones were on analogue, digital is definitely the way forward in my opinion.

Do you have plans to record a video clip?

We are currently exploring the possibility of a short documentary with a young film maker, so it could happen.

Will you tour with Airforce to promote the new album?

When the album is released we hope to tour but no dates as yet.

What is your opinion about the Internet and the music industry?

The music industry has changed dramatically over the recent years, the internet has allowed bands like Airforce to get our music across the world without having a big multimillion record deal.

You have played in Arforce in the 90ies, why did you leave the band back then?

We formed Airforce in the mid 80’s and there were plenty of venues available, by the end of the 90’s all the rock venues were closing, playing got more difficult so we decided to disband.

How did you joined Iron Maiden in the 70ies? Did you do any audition for them?

Having already played with Steve in Smiler we knew we played well together, so no audition was necessary. When I was asked to join I quickly accepted.

Have you participated on the composition of any song when you were in Iron Maiden?

I never got involved in writing the process only jamming along with Steve when he had an idea, the only song I instigated was Running Free and that came from me messing about with glam rock beats, Sweet style.

What are your best memories from your years in Maiden?

One special memory was when Paul and I were walking down Wardour Street, London, seeing crowds of people walking towards us and thinking there must be a big band playing somewhere tonight, as we got closer we saw they were all wearing Maiden tee shirts and badges and quickly realised that they were coming to see us at the Marquee Club.

How have you financed all the recordings and equipments back then in Maiden? Do you have any advice for the young bands about this point?

We financed all our gear and recordings ourselves by working in the day. Don’t have any advice for young musicians apart from work hard.

Why did you quit Iron Maiden?

My health was not standing up to the touring and in the end decided to call it a day.

What bands have you played after Iron Maiden, besides Airforce?

After leaving Maiden I played in a band with Tony Parsons and his brother called Pressgang.

How it feels to be asked about Iron Maiden after all this years?

I am very pleased to be asked about my time in Iron Maiden as I am very proud of what I did with the band. I am humbled that people are still interested enough to ask me questions about my time in the band.

What are your favourite bands?

My favourite bands are Deftones, Korn, System of a Down, Accept and of course Iron Maiden.