BLAZE, the British band led by former IRON MAIDEN/WOLFSBANE singer Blaze Bayley, have officially parted ways with guitarists John Slater and Steve Wray. John and Steve "are unable to do the tour dates for the rest of the year," BLAZE manager Neil Marklew writes in a posting on the group's web site. "As a result, they have both decided not to continue as full-time members of the BLAZE band."
In addition, BLAZE have parted company with session/touring musicians Dave Knight (drums) and Wayne Banks (bass), who "are unable to do the rest of the tour dates this year due to other projects," according to Marklew.
Joining Bayley in the group's new touring lineup are bassist Nick Douglas (DORO), guitarists Oliver Palotai (ULI JON ROTH) and Luca Princiotta, and drummer Daniel Loeble (RAWHEAD REXX).
Comments Marklew: "Nick is from New Jersey, USA, plays regularly with DORO and has written and recorded his own album ('Through The Pain'). He played bass for BLAZE at the Metal Dayz festival in Z7, Switzerland in 2003. He did such a great job, he was the obvious choice.
"[Oliver Palotai] is from Nurnberg in Germany and is currently on tour in the USA with ULI JOHN ROTH. He stood in for John Slater on part of the 'Blood & Belief' tour. He is a fantastic player!!
"Luca is a 25 year old Italian lead guitarist who has an incredible talent.
"Dani is from Singer in Germany and is 'borrowed' from RAWHEAD REXX. Blaze met Dani on tour last year and was blown away when he saw him play!"
Blaze says: "I can't wait to get back out on the road after all the changes, uncertainty and problems this year. I'm really excited and looking forward to playing these shows with the new band."
Upcoming BLAZE tour dates:
Sep. 30 – Velvet - Pordenone, ITA
Oct. 01 – Motion - Bergamo, ITA
Oct. 02 – Bqo - Rome, ITA
Oct. 15 - Hoehlenrock Festival - Balve, GER
Dec. 18 - Blaze Big Bash - Dudley, UK
In addition to the above shows, Blaze Bayley will be a guest of Doro Pesch on the following shows with the Metal Classic Night Orchestra.
Oct. 16 - Z7 - Pratteln, SWI
Oct. 18 – Passionskirche - Berlin, GER
Oct. 21 – Capitol - Offenbach, GER
Oct. 22 – Filharmonie - Stuttgart, GER
Oct. 23 – Tonhalle - Munich, GER
Oct. 24 – Docks - Hamburg, GER