The Band: Blaze Bayley
The Man: Blaze Bayley (Blaze Bayley, Wolfsbane, John Steel (live), ex-Blaze, The Foundry, ex-Iron Maiden)
Interview by Vpower
Today I have the pleasure to talk to a man who doesn’t know the meaning of defeat, or he doesn’t care at least, he always continue fighting, whatever the obstacles in his way. And he always deliver the goods, under any circumstances, he gives himself to his followers at 100%, no reserves. With you, Mr. Blaze Bayley...
Hi Blaze, since last year you have edited a handful of live albums, in different venues and locations, what is your intention with so many live albums?
They are a great reminder for the fans that were at the shows. They can enjoy the concert again and again. They are also great for fans who can't make it to the shows. That way they can listen to the show at home. I always try to add many different songs to the recorded set so it makes it worth getting it, even if you have also bought previous ones
Your last album as Blaze Bayley was “The King of Metal” in 2012. Are you preparing a new studio album?
I am now working on a new studio album. I can't give too much information away on this album as I will be offering a special insight to my fans on the creation of this album, so they will receive all the information first. The pre-orders start on the 1st of September and will offer different packages. It will be released on the 1st of march 2016.
Great, so we are in the countdown. During your solo career, as Blaze and later as Blaze Bayley, you have experienced many lineup changes, what is the reason for this? You were not satisfied with the guys or something?
It is very difficult to keep a full time band together, everybody wants their bills paid but I am just not big enough to manage that financially. It was also that it was very restrictive artistically. I am now completely independent and can work with whoever I want, whenever I want and wherever I want. I wasn't able to do this before so it is very exciting.
Yeah, that sounds great and kind of a privilege. Let’s go back in time. Wolfsbane put you in the Metal map, what memories do you have of the “Live fast, die fast” times?
They were fun times with a lot of hangovers. The music was great and we lived in the moment.
How did you enter Wolfsbane and what you were doing before that?
I saw an ad in the paper for a heavy metal singer for Wolfsbane. I auditioned and they liked me so I got in. Before that I worked in a hotel as a night porter.
The hard beginnings of a great artist. When were you conscious that you wanted to dedicate your live to play Metal?
I love to sing and metal is the music I choose to express myself. I really decided to try and become a heavy metal singer when I saw Ronnie James Dio live.
A good reason, indeed. To say it in 2015 it sounds as a foolish, after all the battles you have fight, but why Metal and not Pop, HipHop or whatever? How did you start on this?
Metal cast a spell on me as a young man, the spell has never been broken. I love the lyrical style of heavy metal.
Have all these years inside the Metal universe changed your vision of the business (in a wide sense, not only money, labels and recordings)?
There is a new way of doing things. Perhaps the musicians will take control of the business now. I am independent, I run my label with my wife. She has no experience in the music business but is very good at running a business so she handles all bookings, admin and travel arrangements whilst I can focus on making the music and performing. I hope all other musicians can find the same freedom that I have at the moment because it is great not to be restricted by the views of management...
What have you lost/win in that journey?
I have lost everything . I have won everything. Today and the future is where we should look. The past is a lesson. My wonderful loyal fans have made it possible for me to continue living my dream.
Inevitably, we need to talk a little about Maiden. If you could travel back in time you will enter the supergroup again? You got fame, but comparisons are always hateful and you have to swallow a lot of them...?
Yes i would join maiden again if i went back in time. mostly because i learned so much and i loved the music. Some people love what I do and some people hate it. To me thats better than every body saying nothing.
I have seen you with Maiden and with your own band several times, and I always said to myself, this is the same guy, the same warrior, never mind what t-shirt he wears. What do you think?
Every gig is important to me. Whether there are 2 or 20000 fans, they all paid to get there and it is not their fault if not many of them show up. I try to give 100% at each show
You do give, I think nobody can deny it. I think you have always feel more comfortable with the songs in Virtual XL than with those in The X Factor, right? Apart, and this is a personal opinion, that the first album is much more fun than the follow-up, what do you think?
I like both albums the same and enjoy singing the songs from both albums. They might sound slightly different and have a different feel to them but that is normal with albums so I enjoy them both. I am very proud of them
What are the best memories you have from your time in Iron Maiden?
The amazing dedicated fans and the kindness and support so many of them gave me.
Do you keep contact with the Maiden crew... beers, bowling, football, birthday parties or whatever?
Occasionally i speak to Steve but I am always on tour or writing and planning my next thing.
Let’s go back to your solo career. You are not a teenager anymore, me neither hahaha, but every one that has attended your live shows knows the energy you put on it, you deliver a great performance, it doesn’t matter if you are before 20 or 2000 guys. You still deliver the goods. Where do you get that natural force from?
I love what i do. I’m living my dream. i have the best fans and they are worth it.
I believe that if most of the people were so devoted as you are with your music and your gigs, so true as you are, the world would be a different thing, you think so?
I can’t speak for other people but i do feel that many artists have little or no respect for the fans that made them famous
All said. What musician/s have impressed you more?
Ronnie James Dio and Brian May.
Your favorite no Metal song (if you do have hahaha)?
There are many. I like too many different styles to chose a favourite
A book you will recommend?
A great novel, as many people would know, or not..., the legendary film Blade Runner is based in that novel from P.K. Dick. What advise yoo would give to a new young Metal band?
Learn to be the best musician you possibly can. Learn how to record yourself and your band well. Use the technology to the best of your advantage
What hobbies do you have?
I ride a triumph bonniville motorcycle, i play darts, i keep chickens, I cook spicy food.
A great variety of things. This is the end of it, Blaze, you can breathe now hahaha. Let me tell you, and this is a personal opinion again, that if Rob Halford deserves the title of Metal God, you sincerely deserves the title of Tenacious God. Thanks for your time and for all the music you have delivered us along all these years.
Thank you to all the fans for their support over the years. I hope you will buy and like the new album.
We look forward to listen to it very soon. Thank you, Blaze!