BLAZE BAYLEY Wanted To Celebrate 25th Anniversary Of His Joining IRON MAIDEN

BLAZE BAYLEY Wanted To Celebrate 25th Anniversary Of His Joining IRON MAIDEN

British heavy metal vocalist Blaze Bayley, who fronted IRON MAIDEN from 1994 until 1999, will play a special MAIDEN setlist at select festivals this spring and summer. Choosing songs from his era with the band, these shows will celebrate 25 years since Blaze joined IRON MAIDEN. This will be the first and last opportunity to see such a setlist.

Blaze told Canada's The Metal Voice about his decision to play a handful of shows that focus on his MAIDEN material (see video below): "It's 25 years since I joined IRON MAIDEN, and I wanted to celebrate that, 'cause it's a really positive anniversary. I really loved being in the band. I learned so many positive things, and it's turned out really well for me. It's my era songs from 'Virtual XI', from 'The X Factor'. We're calling it the '25' set, 'cause it's 25 years. And it's the last time I'll do that many IRON MAIDEN songs together.

"What's happened is a lot of fans who either didn't know about me before these albums were re-released or they never got a chance to see me live… And there's a lot of people there that come to my gigs, almost each time, someone will come and say, 'The last time I saw you was 1996,' or something like [that]. I go, 'Well, I've got 11 solo albums. I've toured almost every year. How come you didn't see me?' So this is kind of a way for us to say, 'Hey, I'm alive. I'm doing this. Come and listen to my solo work.' And so far it's going pretty well."

Backing Blaze at these shows will be his regular touring and recording outfit taken from the British band ABSOLVA, plus ICED EARTH bassist and ABSOLVA guitarist Luke Appleton.

Blaze Bayley - lead vocals
Chris Appleton - guitar and backing vocals
Luke Appleton - guitar and backing vocals
Martin Mcnee - drums
Karl Schramm - bass and backing vocals

An additional celebration of the anniversary is a re-interpretation of "The X Factor" album cover art done by the very talented Akirant Illustration to help promote these shows and on a special run of T-shirts.

In a 2017 interview with Spain's EMP Live, Blaze talked about the obstacles he faced while trying to become accepted by MAIDEN fans as Bruce Dickinson's replacement.

"I think for all of us, if we fall in love with a band and we fall in love with a voice, it is very difficult to make an adjustment to a new voice," he explained. "And for me, I had incredible support from thousands of fans all over the world. But there are some fans that hated me, hated my voice and they still do. And that's okay, because it's not for everyone.

"My style is very different to Bruce, and when [IRON MAIDEN] chose me to replace Bruce, I was very surprised because my voice is so different," he continued. "But it is the most incredible job. As a heavy metal singer, it's perhaps the number one job that you can have — to be the singer of IRON MAIDEN. So my passion and my heart was there, and the music that we made on 'The X Factor' and 'Virtual XI', which have been re-released now on vinyl, was incredible. And people that perhaps didn't like the change at the time, now they go back and listen differently, with fresh ears, to the records and the music that we made then, and perhaps that's why now I've become more popular than I ever was after IRON MAIDEN. Now, more than 20 years, people really start to take notice of what Blaze Bayley is doing."

According to Blaze, his dismissal from MAIDEN in January 1999 came as a total shock, but he doesn't believe the band was completely to blame for the decision. "The main reason that I was leaving IRON MAIDEN is because of EMI [MAIDEN's record label] and the business," he said. "That is what I believe. At the time, BLACK SABBATH had the reunion with Ozzy [Osbourne], DEEP PURPLE had the original lineup with Ian Gillan reunion, and CD sales worldwire were going down. And I think the record company put a lot of pressure on the band to have a reunion. So, for me, it was a horrible time, but it is still a time I think of very fondly. And Steve Harris [IRON MAIDEN bassist] was really like a mentor to me and taught me so much about songwriting. So those values and the things that he taught me are things that I put into my own work now."

Image courtesy of Duke TV

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).