BLAZE BAYLEY: IRON MAIDEN Is 'The Most Important Heavy Metal Band In The World'

September 24, 2023

In a new interview with SoundMojo's "Innersleeve" music podcast, former IRON MAIDEN singer Blaze Bayley spoke about how he balances honoring his time with the legendary British heavy metal band during his concerts while also promoting his more recent solo output. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, I'm very lucky in a way. Before I joined IRON MAIDEN, I was an IRON MAIDEN fan and I knew what happens to the singers of IRON MAIDEN and from KISS, ex-members of KISS, bands like that. You will always be associated with that famous band. If you played with Ozzy Osbourne or whatever, you'll always be associated with those guys. And so I was ready for that. I was friends with the guys in the band. I'm still friends with the guys. I go and see [MAIDEN bassist] Steve Harris with his BRITISH LION band. And also I saw MAIDEN twice on this tour and said hi to the guys. So I'm incredibly lucky that in my chosen profession of being a heavy metal singer, I got what is to me the top job, the number one job in the world of my profession. That is being the singer of what I consider to be the most important heavy metal band in the world. I'm very lucky to have had that, to have spent five years with IRON MAIDEN, two albums, a few B-sides — I'm incredibly lucky."

He continued: "For me, it's a matter of pride. Where I come from, where we are in the world of heavy metal, you look back at where you come from. Ronnie James Dio, when he was alive, he always acknowledged where he came from. And for me, as a metalhead and as someone who sings in this genre, it's important to say, 'Yeah, I come from there. That's a part of me. That's what's made me who I am.' I'm not gonna say, 'Oh, this is nothing to do with me.' No, that's part of me. But this is what I'm doing now. So when you listen to [my latest solo album] 'War Within Me', what you're actually hearing is this huge influence from IRON MAIDEN on my songwriting, on my voice, this influence that comes from way back in the day when we started with WOLFSBANE, those bits and pieces. You listen to 'War Within Me' and you've got this — this part of where I have been, it's all there. It's fighting suicidal thoughts. It's looking at people who overcome the impossible and going, 'Well, if they did that, maybe there's a chance I can do it too.' So that's where I am. I love guitar melodies. I love electric guitar. I love harmony guitars. I love big drums — all of that. So that's what's on my album."

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.

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

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