In a new interview with Rolling Stone, former IRON MAIDEN singer Blaze Bayley was asked if he was always thinking in the back of his head during his tenure with MAIDEN that at some point they would bring back Bruce Dickinson.
“Never,” he responded. “I never had that fear because I thought there were eras of that band. Clive [Burr] and Paul [Di’Anno] were one era. Then there’s Bruce and Nicko [McBrain, drums]. That was another era. And I really thought that the third record with MAIDEN with me would be the charm. I thought, ‘We’ve done these two records.
“And now with the ideas I’ve got, the writing experience and everything. I have things on my dictaphone and lyric ideas…’ I thought, ‘When this third album comes out, that is going to change the hardcore fans and put them back with us. We’re going to get going, and this is going to be rolling, and we’re going to be getting somewhere.’ I absolutely believed in my heart that would happen.”
“Here’s what was happening on the outside. When I joined IRON MAIDEN, EMI, one of the biggest record companies in the world, they sold every factory that they owned. So what’s happening? And then, at the end, it was the commercial pressure from EMI. That’s because JUDAS PRIEST had a full reunion with their original singer. BLACK SABBATH had a full reunion with their original singer. DEEP PURPLE had a full reunion with their original singer. These were all big successes that bumped their numbers up. The slave masters of music were saying, ‘We need to get something. MAIDEN, what can we do?’ That was it for me. It was a commercial thing. And there I was. But I was very well treated by the guys, absolutely. And I can’t blame them for anything that happened to me afterwards.”
When asked how he was told that he was out of the band, Blaze responded: “They did the proper thing. We had a meeting with everyone around the table. ‘With the greatest respect, everyone is doing this. It’s a huge deal. We’re sorry. We can’t carry on.’ I said, ‘Is Bruce coming back?’ There was this silence for a moment. That decision had been made quite a while ago. I was totally unaware of it. They said, ‘Yes, he is.’ I said, ‘OK. We don’t have anything else to talk about. I thank you for everything. And I will never say a bad word about this band because I’ve been treated very well.'”
“I was disappointed, obviously, gutted, because I loved it,” he added. “As difficult as it was to keep your voice at that level, and all of that, I still loved it.”