When he's not running around the stage in Iron Maiden or making his return to small clubs with British Lion, Steve Harris can be found running around a soccer field. A lifelong fan and athlete, the legendary bassist spoke to Loudwire about his love of the sport, even at the age 63.

Taking the edge off Maiden's massive tours, the band regularly schedules soccer matches against local squads when they have some downtime, especially when there's back-to-back shows to be played at the same venue, which was the case in Brooklyn over the summer.

Unfortunately, his bandmates in his side band British Lion don't share the same enthusiasm for soccer, so there won't be any matches taking place on the group's first-ever U.S. tour which stretches from January through February. "They're not footballers," said Harris, referencing the European name for the sport. "It's a shame because I'd be out playing every week if they were any good."

"At my age, every game is sacred. It's just like the gigs, I suppose," he went on, grateful that he's able to keep himself fit enough to keep playing, even while in the midst of a tour.

Historically, Iron Maiden's crew and members have faced off against other rockers. "Back in the '80s we played Def Leppard in Germany. We played against the Scorpions, Rainbow — that was a long time ago." The notably guarded Ritchie Blackmore even got in on the action back then. "Ritchie was a good player. In fact, he asked me to go and play for them a couple times. I've played for [Deep] Purple and Rainbow."

These high-profile matches aren't resigned to just the '80s though as the bass player revealed they even played with the Foo Fighters. "In fact, two of their guys played for us last time. That's the problem when you're on tour — you usually have a nucleus of seven or eight players, so we're always short players." The Foos helped the Maiden squad win the game too!

Watch the full interview at the top of the page.

Catch British Lion on their U.S. tour at these stops and get their latest album, The Burninghere.

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