Former IRON MAIDEN singer Blaze Bayley underwent a quadruple bypass surgery following a heart attack in March. The singer — who fronted MAIDEN two and a half decades ago — postponed his March and April solo shows but is expected to make a full recovery.
In a brand new interview with BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Blaze provided an update on his health, saying: "I'm feeling very positive. I start my monitored physiotherapy tomorrow. I've been walking and doing as much as I can. They advised me to stay active.
"I had a quadruple bypass, so they want me to keep moving, but I must not lift heavy things or put my chest under strain. For seven weeks, I haven't used my arms. I couldn't lift anything heavier than a carton of milk and sometimes that was a struggle in the beginning. Now I'm getting back my strength. A few aches and pains, nothing to do with my heart. It's good.
"I'm looking forward to having more rehearsals with the guys in WOLFSBANE," he continued. "We have some dates booked. Fingers crossed, they'll go ahead. It felt good. I stood up for all the singing. I had my full voice but felt a bit tired afterward but no other problems. It's what I expected for a first rehearsal for a long time. I'm feeling good. I'm feeling very positive.
"I suppose the overall feeling is I'm incredibly lucky. I had a heart attack, not heart failure."
Recalling the day of his heart attack, Blaze said: "This is amazing: It was a Saturday afternoon. I'm sitting down at home. I'm getting ready to take my fiancée out for dinner. I sit down and I feel like I've got indigestion. I won't bore you with all the details, but in the end, it felt like an invisible Blackie Lawless [W.A.S.P.] sitting on my chest and won't move."
He continued: "I live five minutes from the ambulance station where all the ambulances in the area go. The paramedics were going on their break. They heard the call and said, 'We'll take that call before our break.' They were at my house within two minutes. I live near Birmingham. There are four hospitals within 15 minutes. Within 15 minutes, I was treated for a heart attack in the hospital's heart ward. That was on a Saturday! On the coming Monday, I was booked to start my tour of Europe."
Bayley added: "Who knows? I could have been alone in the hotel. I could have been in the Eurotunnel. I could have been on the Autobahn — anything. If there was a place where it was best to have a heart attack, I had it there. Right at home. It was incredible. I'm so lucky. They said to my fiancée, 'He's going to make it. He's going to be fine, but if we'd been ten minutes later, I don't think we'd be here now.' It was very close."
Blaze then shared details of the massive outpouring of well-wishes he received after his heart attack, including messages from his former MAIDEN bandmates.
"The thing I feel most lucky about is the incredible support I've had from my fans," he said. "All over the world. My WOLFSBANE, Blaze Bayley, the MAIDEN fans. Everybody bought a t-shirt for a tour that was postponed. They still bought it to support me. I'm just incredibly lucky. And the letters people wrote to me. Hundreds of cards from all over the place. It's very humbling."
Blaze continued: "I've always put my whole life into music. It is my life. When people get in touch with you and say, 'I wish you well because your music has gotten me through tough times,' 'Your music meant this to me,' 'I first saw you way back when and it's been the soundtrack to my life,' it's incredible. I got a massive card from the MAIDEN fan club. The [MAIDEN] guys all sent me a message. I'm always in touch with Steve Harris [MAIDEN bassist] anyway, but everyone sent messages of support."
A heart bypass surgery, or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, is used to improve blood flow to the heart. A surgeon uses blood vessels taken from another area of the body to bypass the damaged arteries.
The term quadruple bypass refers to the number of coronary arteries bypassed in the procedure. In other words, a quadruple bypass means four coronary arteries are bypassed.
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.