BLAZE BAYLEY: 'I Don't Know Why' IRON MAIDEN Chose Me To Replace BRUCE DICKINSON

BLAZE BAYLEY: 'I Don't Know Why' IRON MAIDEN Chose Me To Replace BRUCE DICKINSON

During an April 18 appearance on Planet Rock's "My Planet Rocks", British heavy metal vocalist Blaze Bayley, who fronted IRON MAIDEN more than 20 years ago, reflected on being asked to join the band in 1994 as the replacement for Bruce Dickinson. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "[My previous band WOLFSBANE was] still limping along. I had the offer to go for an audition for IRON MAIDEN. Then, I don't know why, they offered me the job. I'm so different to Bruce — I mean, just so different — in my presentation, voice, everything. But I think they wanted a change, and they offered me the job. So I left WOLFSBANE at that point and went on to the greatest job in the world for a heavy metal singer. So it was fantastic — an incredible time. I don't know why they chose me, but they did. And the things that I learned then, and already being a fan of MAIDEN, it stayed with me. And that confidence that I'd got as a songwriter, that was unshakeable."

The 57-year-old Bayley, who was born in Birmingham, recorded two studio albums with IRON MAIDEN — 1995's "The X Factor" 1998's and "Virtual XI" — before Dickinson returned to the group. The MAIDEN albums he appeared on 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".

Last year, Blaze told Eonmusic that it is "fantastic" to see IRON MAIDEN performing songs from his era of the band on the "Legacy Of The Beast" tour. "I absolutely love Bruce Dickinson's voice," he said. "He's been a great supporter of me before, during and after IRON MAIDEN. His voice is one of the hallmark voices of metal; that's the epitome of what heavy metal singing is. Bruce always said that he had no problems whatsoever in singing anything from my era, and for me, what is very cool is that those two albums are obviously considered as important as other albums in the IRON MAIDEN catalog. And the fact that these two huge, beautiful songs ['Sign Of The Cross' and 'The Clansman'] feature in the IRON MAIDEN setlist now is just fantastic, and I'm so lucky to be a part of that."

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.

Blaze released a new studio album, "War Within Me", on April 9. All songs were written and produced by Blaze and guitarist Christopher Appleton.

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