BLAZE BAYLEY On Being Fired From IRON MAIDEN: 'It Took Me Four Years Before I Accepted What Had Happened'

October 3, 2016

Canada's The Metal Voice has produced a three-part tour documentary on former IRON MAIDEN singer Blaze Bayley, focusing on his September 2016 tour of Eastern Canada. You can now watch the entire documentary below.

Speaking about landing the IRON MAIDEN singer gig in 1994, Blaze said: "Of course, I was absolutely over the moon, tinged with sadness that I hadn't made it with WOLFSBANE when I thought I would make it. But IRON MAIDEN was just the dream job, doing tours that lasted nine months of the year, doing albums with no compromise musically, doing the lyrics and the music we wanted. The record company couldn't be involved. No one could tell you what to do; it was all about what the band were doing themselves and their own ideas. So it was fantastic, really; it was just a brilliant opportunity. And there was no music written before I joined IRON MAIDEN, so 'The X Factor' album, my first album, was written with Steve Harris, with Janick Gers, with Dave Murray and Nicko [McBrain]. And we worked on all the music together, and so it was a real collaboration; I think five or six of my ideas are part of that first album. And it worked absolutely great."

Regarding his exit from IRON MAIDEN, Blaze said: "I left IRON MAIDEN, not by choice — I was fired. They said I wasn't good enough. And I said, 'Well, is Bruce [Dickinson] coming back?' And they said, 'Yes.' And I think what was happening at the time was that worldwide, CD sales had gone down and EMI had closed all their manufacturing facilities around the world. The record business was shrinking, so, really, I think it was more of a business decision that Bruce came back at the time. And, yeah, I was just gutted by that. I think it took me about four years, really, before I kind of accepted what had happened. And I think, really, if things had been slightly different, then it would have been very difficult for Bruce to come back, because the songs that I was working on at the time, the ideas for what I thought would be [my] third IRON MAIDEN album, I really thought that that would be it, that third album would really show fans that we were serious and that this lineup would work. But I didn't get the chance to make that third album."

The 53-year-old Bayley, who was born in Birmingham, was the original frontman in WOLFSBANE, but left in 1994 to join MAIDEN, with whom he recorded two studio albums — 1995's "The X Factor" and 1998's "Virtual XI" — before Dickinson returned to the group.

Bayley told Canadian journalist Mitch Lafon that it feels rewarding to see fans finally acknowledging the quality of the material on "The X Factor" and "Virtual XI" albums. "Yeah, it is a really nice feeling when people come up and they weren't around… some of them weren't around at the time when those albums came out, and I have great comments," he said. And some people who are really honest and say, 'Well, I didn't like it at the time, and I've had no choice but to go back and listen to them, 'cause I had listened to everything else to death, and when I've gone back and listened to them without that kind of emotional attachment of 'my favorite singer has left my favorite band,' then it's been something that I've started to understand. I think those records, those CDs will stand the test of time, and I think they'll always have that deeper meaning. And I'm really happy about that. It's very nice to meet fans who come up and say, 'Well, it's still one of my favorite albums.'"

Bayley released his eighth solo album, "Infinite Entanglement", on March 1.

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