BLAZE BAYLEY: 'BRUCE DICKINSON Is One Of The Most Important Singers In Music, Not Just In Metal'

October 30, 2023

In a new interview with Barbara Caserta of Linea Rock, British heavy metal vocalist Blaze Bayley, who fronted IRON MAIDEN more than 20 years ago, was asked where he thinks his place in MAIDEN history will be as it relates to the band's other singers, Bruce Dickinson and Paul Di'Anno. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think Bruce is a wonderful singer. And here's the thing that people don't give the credit for. And that is Bruce Dickinson is one of the most important singers in music — not just in metal, but in music, because he has influenced so many people in different genres that were listening to MAIDEN. Metal was the most important music in the world when MAIDEN were coming up. So it's a different thing.

"Paul is a legend," Blaze continued. "He started. His voice is so distinctive, and it tells its own story of anger and frustration. And there's something wonderful and rich emotionally about the performance of Paul.

"When you get to the Blaze era, it's the progressive era of IRON MAIDEN coming. And so, things take their time a little bit. And they're darker — much darker. So... I think my era and how I will be remembered, my place in IRON MAIDEN is of the dark times and the deep emotions and of a struggle and a rebirth. That's what we were up against.

"We were in Italy playing to 10,000 people a night," Bayley recalled. "In the U.K., the magazines said IRON MAIDEN is dead. It's a frustrating time. 'Grunge, that is the music, man. Heavy metal is dead.' This is what happened when I was in IRON MAIDEN. EMI sold all the factories that made the records. It was just a darkness. And we went, 'If the fans are there, we are there.' And the fans stayed with us. They stayed with me. They gave me a chance. I was so fortunate. I was living my dream. The fans in [Italy] really opened their hearts. 'What's this guy like? Who is this? Let's see what he's like.' And everybody gave me a chance.

"So I think that will be it," Bayley concluded. "But the history of IRON MAIDEN is not finished and it is not written yet. So we shall see. We shall see when the legend is complete, where is my place."

The 60-year-old Bayley fronted IRON MAIDEN from 1994 until 1999. The two MAIDEN albums he appeared on, "The X Factor" and "Virtual XI", sold considerably less than the band's prior releases and were their lowest-charting titles in the group's home country since 1981's "Killers".

Since leaving IRON MAIDEN in 1999, Bayley has released a number of albums, including several under the moniker BLAZE and more than a handful under his own name. He also appeared on 2012's "Wolfsbane Saves The World", the first album of new material by WOLFSBANE since the group's self-titled 1994 effort, and a follow-up LP, 2022's "Genius".

Blaze's latest studio album, "War Within Me", came out in April 2021. The LP was recorded during 2020 with work split between Blaze's studio at home in the West Midlands and Christopher Appleton's studio in Greater Manchester.

Seven months ago, Blaze underwent a quadruple bypass surgery following a heart attack.

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