British heavy metal vocalist Blaze Bayley, who fronted IRON MAIDEN more than 20 years ago, spoke to Eonmusic about the "incredible roller coaster of emotions" he went through and the difficulties he faced in replacing Bruce Dickinson. Regarding how he views his performance on "The X Factor" and "Virtual XI", the two albums he recorded with MAIDEN, Blaze said: "The horrible thing about recording is that the songs are so fresh, you do your best to get them right and then record them the best you can, but during the tour, it's like the edges get rounded off. They start to feel like worn-in shoes, like a comfortable pair of jeans, and you start to feel really comfortable with it, and so you haven't got that feeling when you record it. 25 years later, there is this deep familiarity with the songs, and I've more confidence than I had back then."
Asked what it feels like for him now when he sees IRON MAIDEN performing songs from his era of the band on the "Legacy Of The Beast" tour, Blaze said: "It's fantastic. I absolutely love Bruce Dickinson's voice. He's been a great supporter of me before, during and after IRON MAIDEN. His voice is one of the hallmark voices of metal; that's the epitome of what heavy metal singing is. Bruce always said that he had no problems whatsoever in singing anything from my era, and for me, what is very cool is that those two albums are obviously considered as important as other albums in the IRON MAIDEN catalog. And the fact that these two huge, beautiful songs ['Sign Of The Cross' and 'The Clansman'] feature in the IRON MAIDEN setlist now is just fantastic, and I'm so lucky to be a part of that."
On the topic of why some people didn't accept him replacing Dickinson, Blaze said: "Your favorite singer has left your favorite band, and here's someone that you don't want. It's almost like having a wicked stepmother in a way."
Read the full interview at Eonmusic.
In April, Blaze will release "Live In Czech", a live album and DVD recorded last fall at the Melodka venue in Brno, Czech Republic. The theme of the tour followed on from Blaze's "Infinite Entanglement" trilogy of albums and the setlist particularly featured some of the more epic songs from the trilogy which hadn't previously been included in concert setlists. The set also contained a selection of songs from his albums with IRON MAIDEN during the 1990s.
In September, Blaze plans to reissue his 2002 album "Tenth Dimension" with new packaging and upgraded artwork. There will also be a vinyl version for the first time. To go with that reissue, Blaze will embark on a European tour in September-November, featuring a "Tenth Dimension" setlist.