On the eve of completing 49 years, Blaze Bayley has many stories to tell. Since the success with Wolfsbane, which culminated in its conquest as lead singer of the greatest metal band of all time, Iron Maiden, until his departure from the band after about six years as frontman of the group and the immense respect he has earned over his solo in "Silicon Messiah" (2000) to the most recent "the King of Metal" (2012), Blaze Bayley make one of the most significant figures in the history of Heavy Metal.
|As Iron Maiden singer|
Speaking during the European tour, Blaze spoke exclusively to Road to Metal about her new album, his homage to the big names of metal that no longer live among us, Ronnie James Dio and Dimebag Darrel, plans for the Wolfsbane, Paul Di'Anno and of course Iron Maiden!
But what was more exalted is his affection for the fans, regardless of playing in large arenas or in bars, despite all the difficulties that came in their personal and financial life, show that Blaze Bayley is a winner and you owe it to their fans, returning with his great personality and voice.
Check out all this and more in this great interview.
Road to Metal: In his new release "The King Of Metal" features two songs that pay tribute to two of the most important artists of the metal scene worldwide is the master Ronnie James Dio and guitarist Dimebag Darrell. How was the process of composing music "Dimebag" and "The Rainbow Fades To Black"? And what Dio and Dimebag mean to you?
Blaze Bayley: Ronnie James Dio was the biggest influence on me. When I saw him sing in Birmingham in 1993, that is what made me decide that I wanted to be a heavy metal singer and tour the world. Before then I liked singing but I just had a job working nightshift at a hotel. I wanted to be able to sing with the same emotion and power that he has. Dimebag was an influence on the Silicon Messiah album, because the guitarist I was working with, Steve Ray, was a huge Pantera fan. He often said the name Dimebag and we often talked about how he got that sound in the band with just one guitar. He was an innovator and for me as a person, a great individual. He was into all kinds of music. He didn’t care what people thought. When he was murdered, I had this idea with Oliver Palotai with a chorus idea, I never recorded it on an album and when I started the king of Metal it finally came out great to use it. It is really true to the spirit that I intended at the start. A huge advantage to me is that it is so far away from the death that people know I am not trying to make any money from Dimebags death. It is a tribute from my heart as an artist and singer/songwriter to a genuine person. He lived his life as a musician.
|Blaze (left) and Paul Di'anno (right) together|
RtM: Recently, more precisely in Moscow you shared the stage with another legend of metal vocalist Paul Dianno, where they were executed some classic Iron Maiden. How the opportunity is arose? And as for you presentation?
Blaze: I’ve known Paul for many years and we’ve done a couple of gigs, festivals before where we were both performing. Someone in Russia had the idea to take me and Paul as a package and I really liked the idea. We haven’t done it like that yet and felt that it was the right time to do it. I am reaching a lot of new people. Paul is a funny guy and is fun to work with.
|"The song one more step, I feel is the best song i have ever written"|
RtM: Blaze, tell us a little of the concept addressed in the letters in "The King Of Metal", as compositions like "One More Step" will still be a beautiful ballad has sad lyrics and emotive, which has a great interpretation of his, in passing a emotion out of the ordinary.
Blaze: I wanted to do something simple, direct and honest. That’s how I started The King of Metal. The title song is dedicated to the fans and it is about the fans being ripped of by the mainstream music business. It is about good bands being destroyed by the main music business. The song one more step, I feel is the best song i have ever written. I think it is the most complete song, even though it is not a straight forward heavy metal song. It is dedicated to my partner and my daughter. At a time when I was going through the most difficult circumstances, I had someone helping me. Somewhere I wanted to go that was more important than me. A thousand, thousand steps is about 300 miles. And it is possible to walk that in seven days without food. So that is one of the comments in the song.
RtM: After touring the album "Promise And Terror", all the musicians who accompanied him some years, were dismissed because you have decided to work with musicians, as is being experienced is new?
Blaze: At the end of the Promise and Terror I realized that I couldn’t carry on the way I had been doing things. I am a small underground heavy metal singer, not a big rock star/ superstar. Not many people know about me and I don’t sell enough CD’s to sustain a fulltime band. I had the choice of being a singer and work with different musicians or I had to stop. So I choose to be a singer. I preferred to have a fulltime band but it is very liberating to do a lot of different projects and work with different people. If I still had a fulltime band I wouldn’t have been able to do guestvocals like with trooper and lonewolf. I have been able to give people with a huge amount of talent the opportunity to be heard on my albums. I would never go back to having my fulltime band. The most important thing to me is the music and the fans.
RtM: You're in the middle of a European tour. We noticed that you vary the set list regularly. How do you choose the set list and what songs you think are the most highly anticipated by fans?
Blaze: That is a question you will have to answer yourself, because you are the fan. I do what I feel is the right thing, but I never know. Someone always asks for the song that is not in the setlist. I try to vary it as much as I can. I wanted to do a lot of the new songs because they are very personal and mean a lot to me. People who have heard the cd are really getting into the new songs and a lot of fans have said that they fit in well with the older songs in the set.
RtM: Tell us about the title of your new album, baptized "King of Metal", in honor of Metal fans. How did the idea for this tribute, and could you also talk about the album cover, when you show up with a Metal crown of thorns?
Blaze: “The King of Metal” is dedicated to the fans. My fans and the fans of metal music and people who go to see bands play live. For many years, it has been the attitude of bands that you must be signed up. It is sometimes the same as a contract with the devil. You get nothing to make the album, you don’t get anything from the album and they don’t get you on tour. A lot of talented people who should have been recorded didn’t get recorded. I believe the record business is distorted and the people that have gained power in the music business know very little about why fans like the bands. And now because of internet and social media, more bands get a new chance than before. That is the concept about the King of Metal.
|Live with his new band members. Photo: Robert Grablewisk|
RtM: After the great success that spawned the Internet The Nylon Maiden project created by guitarist Thomas Zwijsen you called Thomas to be his guitarist for promo tour in support of their new album, how did the idea to invite - and it is possible to Thomas became their guitarist fixed?
Blaze: I had a lot of conversations with Thomas, we talked a lot when we were in the studio together. We have the same attitude and values towards songwriting and it felt pretty good. He is a very talented musician and can play drums, piano and guitar and I really felt that he is someone that would be a great asset in writing a new album and it worked very well.
RtM: The X Factor is one of the most unjustly albums of all Maiden career and also the history of Heavy Metal, in my opinion he is a wonderful album, his performance in it is fantastic however it is extremely dense and very obscure, what are the feelings and memories that arise when singing songs like "Man On The Edge"?
Blaze: Man on the Edge is a huge song for me. If there is one song that i can say, changed my musical career, that would be Man on the Edge. I didnt do anything special, I wrote what I felt and I worked closely with Janick Gers and took the idea to Steve Harris and he liked it. It is incredible and for me as a singer and songwriter it is a fantastic experience. There is a huge amount of great music and deep lyrics on that album and it is one that I am very proud of.
RtM: After long 18 years the band Wolfsbane is reactivated, which the sense of releasing a new album with this great band? She continued on active duty? If so can we expect another release?
Blaze: We are on tour in october, we will see how that goes. It is very difficult to get everybody together for a tour. It is mainly for fun and we enjoyed the reunion. We will see what happens in the future.
RtM: Still talking about the Wolfsbane in 1994 when the band was gaining enough prominence in the scene you were called to join the band Iron Maiden, as was the decision to leave a band that began to make strides in the scene, to integrate the greatest band of Heavy Metal in the world?
Blaze: It was horrible to leave Wolfsbane, one of the worst time in my life. I always thought we’d get into the top with wolfsbane but I was wrong. I was very excited about joining Iron Maiden of course too!!!
RtM: Blaze, I would like to finish what you tell us your future plans for 2012 and leave a message for his fans.
Blaze: A huge thank you to all of the fans that have supported me over the last few years. I have had a lot of difficulties and changes in my musical career and my fans have stuck by me through thick and thin. I hope they enjoy the King of Metal and I hope they understand the lyrics. A huge thank you from me and my family to all of the fans that support me.
Interview: Renato Sanson, Caco Garcia, Eduardo Cadore and Luiz Harley
Editing: Eduardo Cadore