Steve Harris considered breaking up Iron Maiden when Bruce Dickinson quit in 1993.

The band's founder and bassist has admitted he was at his "lowest ebb" when the singer left the legendary heavy metal group to pursue a solo career, but soon changed his mind.

He said: "I was a bit down when Bruce left. I was going through a divorce, probably at my lowest ebb ever, and for a couple of hours I thought about finishing Iron Maiden. Then I thought, 'What are you doing? Just get out there and bloody do it'."

Bruce - who rejoined the band in 1999 - revealed although people have compared the rockers' sound to that of punk, the entire group actually "hated" it.

He explained: "Punk was only important in that we hated it and didn't want anything to do with it. Punk came out at the time we were doing pub gigs and it was very difficult for us to get work because we didn't look right. We were around before punk, from '75, and then, when punk began to really happen in '77, people started making those comparisons that really annoyed us because we didn't want them."

Iron Maiden are set to release their new album 'The Final Frontier' next month and Bruce, 51, hopes it will lead to a new generation of fans for the band.

He added to the Daily Telegraph newspaper: "What's good is that, when each new generation discovers the band, it's usually on the cusp of a new album. Then they work their way through the older albums."