Blaze Bayley, ex-Iron Maiden singer that was in the band from 1994 to 1999, having recorded the album’s 1995’s “The X Factor” and 1998’s “Virtual XI”, talked with Hayley Legs about his relationship through the years with the Maiden vocalist, Bruce Dickinson.
“I’ve known Bruce a long, long time. Before I joined Iron Maiden, we were in New York with Wolfsbane doing a gig, and Bruce turned up and Bruce bought us a beer and we kind of kept in touch.
“And when I was in Maiden, Bruce was very supportive, and after [I parted ways with] Maiden, Bruce was very supportive of my solo career. And he really supported me on the last album [2017’s ‘Endure and Survive – Infinite Entanglement Part II’]. I wanted to make a video – the song is called ‘Escape Velocity’ and the chorus is, ‘I will fly.’ And I said, ‘You know, it would be great if we could use a flight simulator. Who do I know? Hmmm.’
“I got in touch with Bruce, and he let me use one of the flight simulators at his company. I mean, this would cost a fortune if you had to buy it, and he let me use that all day and film our video for my song ‘Escape Velocity.’ It was incredible. It was fantastic – very supportive.
“Whenever we’re in a room together, we say hi. There’s a moment and a look between us, and I think it’s an unspoken thing that we just connect and go, ‘There’s the other person that knows how difficult it is to be the singer of Iron Maiden.’ [Laughs]”
“Really, my voice is so different to Bruce’s. I mean, he’s a legendary, hallmark voice of heavy metal, and my voice is very, very different. I think perhaps that Maiden really wanted a change, that they wanted a different voice at that time with those albums, ‘The X Factor’ and ‘Virtual XI,’ that I was on.
“It was the start of the progressive era of Iron Maiden that we’re familiar with now, with the longer songs and bigger production and everything. So I feel that I was there at an important time in the Maiden story, though it may not have been popular with all the fans, and there’s still plenty of Maiden fans that hate me. It’s an interesting time.
“And now, ‘The X Factor’ and ‘Virtual XI’ albums have been brought out on vinyl and they’re remastered, and those remastered vinyl versions are much stronger-sounding than the original CD versions. It’s a very small audience, and but it is a small amount of fans that are becoming interested in me on the back of that vinyl re-release.”
I am a Brazilian journalist, a Classic Rock and Heavy Metal lover. Music has always been part of my life, helped me through tough moments and was with me to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After college I did a postgraduate degree in digital communication. This has helped me to make the website better and bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG