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

Blaze Bayley 2021

Former IRON MAIDEN vocalist, Blaze Bayley, recently joined SoundMojo‘s “Innersleeve” music podcast where he shed light on how he manages to respect his tenure with the iconic British heavy metal group during his performances, while simultaneously showcasing his latest solo work.

He responded: “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.”

 “For me, it’s a matter of pride,” Bayley responded. “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.”

Bayley joined MAIDEN in 1994 after the departure of Dickinson. In addition to The X Factor, he also appeared on the group’s 1998 album Virtual XI. Both records sold considerably less than the band’s prior releases and were their lowest-charting titles in their home country since 1981’s Killers.