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Blaze Bayley


Photo by Kate Ross
Photo by Kate Ross
 

Blaze Bayley, best known as the singer in Wolfsbane, Iron Maiden and as a solo artist, expands on his singing career and what the future holds with regard to new music and live gigs.


Who were your influences in the early days and have you always wanted to be a singer in a band?


When I was fifteen I saw a band at school doing Sex Pistols covers using the school's equipment. That was when I first thought about becoming a singer. Years later I was working nights in a hotel and listening to music every night when I was working and I fell in love with rock and metal music. I saw Ronnie James Dio on his holy diver tour in Birmingham, England and that was the moment I knew that I wanted to be a singer in a band and tour the world. My early influences were Van Halen, Ronnie James Dio, Rainbow and Black Sabbath.


Apart from Iron Maiden, have you ever auditioned for the vocal spot in any other notable bands?


The only other band I auditioned for was Wolfsbane.


You have appeared on a number of albums over the years. Do you have a favourite and why?


This is a tough question to answer. I’m proud of every single album that I have been on. Three that stand out for different reasons are Blood and Belief, The Man Who Would Not Die and The X Factor.


Some vocalists are on strict dietary regimes or gargle with special liquids. How have you kept your voice in tip top shape all these years?


I don’t smoke, drink alcohol and I don't take drugs. I avoid all dairy products when on tour and after a show I try not to talk. If I need to talk during the day I do that very quietly. Less caffeine on tour. No shellfish. If I can skip the soundcheck I do. That really helps.


I reviewed your latest live album for Fireworks and caught you live at Winterstorm last year. Both were excellent. Do you still get the same buzz out of singing live as you did in the past?


Yes, even more now than I have before. My voice has changed, developed and grown over the years. I feel that I sing better now than I ever have done. I have more control over my voice and I am able to bring the lyrics to life. I still get nervous before a show if it's 300 or 30,000!


Your time in Iron Maiden must have been exciting playing in front of large crowds. 

How was it for you and do you still keep in touch with any of the Maiden guys?


It was fantastic, a great experience for me. The most important part of any show is the fans. I enjoy playing all kinds of shows, big and small. I just love playing live music and I am so lucky to make my living as a professional heavy metal singer. What a crazy journey it has been for me. I managed to see Maiden on the Future Past tour and catch up with the lads. It was so good to see them doing so well, they deserve every success. I also like to see British Lion whenever I get the chance.


Are there any musicians that you have not worked with, but would like to in the future?


Metallica, The Offspring and BABYMETAL.


Have you or would you consider producing other bands?


I often do guest vocal appearances for other bands. For some of the songs that I work on, Chris Appleton and myself produce the song as well as the lead vocals. I would love to produce other bands if there is an opportunity. For me the shape and feel of the song comes first then the recording.


Is there any unreleased recorded material from your days in the bands you’ve been involved with that could be released?


Not that I'm aware of. If it wasn’t released at the time it wasn’t finished or wasn't good enough to be released at all.


You appear to be incredibly busy throughout your career. What do you enjoy on your downtime?


Riding my Motorcycle and my fiancée!


Have you fully recovered from your recent health problems?


It takes at least a year to fully recover from heart surgery. I’m on my way back, small steps. Rehearsals have been going well and my voice feels good.


With the live circuit back up and running, is there a possibility of seeing you perform in the UK again?


My Unstoppable tour started in March of this year (2023) and carries on now this month on 27th October at Cobblestones in Bridgwater. This is my first show back after having a heart attack and open heart quadruple bypass surgery. There are 6  Blaze Bayley shows. I’m also on tour with Wolfsbane in November and December in the UK on the Tough As Steel tour, playing songs from our new album Genius. We have 12 Wolfsbane shows with the original line up from the first album promoting the new Wolfsbane album called Genius.


Do you have anything else in the pipeline at the moment that you can share?


I’m planning a full European tour in 2024. I'll be doing some shows that are the 30th anniversary of joining Iron Maiden. Playing a full set of my songs from The X Factor and Virtual XI albums. There will also be some Blaze Bayley set shows. I'm so excited about playing live again and seeing my fans.


 




 

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