Radio Metal recently conducted an interview with former IRON MAIDEN/WOLFSBANE singer Blaze Bayley. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Radio Metal: What is your relationship like with IRON MAIDEN fans at the moment? Are there any that remained faithful to you because they discovered a voice that they preferred through MAIDEN on "X-Factor"?
Blaze: I meet a lot of fans from the IRON MAIDEN days who say that they have never checked out my solo stuff. Today it seems that people are more open to listen to it. Nowadays, hardcore IRON MAIDEN fans tend to listen to my albums and think of it as another great band to listen to. Obviously, the band is influenced by IRON MAIDEN but we do not want to copy them. Of course, my vocals are similar to IRON MAIDEN because of my time spent in the band. Now we seem to get more IRON MAIDEN fans but it is a real mix of people. The young ones who have discovered us from the catalogues and the older fans, who maybe preferred Bruce, are also coming to the shows. It is an unusual thing yet so far everybody from my era in IRON MAIDEN has enjoyed what we do in Blaze Bayley band.
Radio Metal: Three weeks ago, you were interviewed by Bruce Dickinson for the "Bruce Dickinson Rock Show". Can you tell us about this experience?
Blaze: It is always hilarious when Bruce and I get together. I have known Bruce longer than anyone because he came to see me when I was in WOLFSBANE. We met in New York and there was a lot of talk in Kerrang! saying that we were twins (laughs). So we decided to get our picture taken together and then he bought me a beer. We have never had any animosity towards each other and it is always fun to see Bruce. He really supported my last album on his radio show. I am only in contact with the other guys in IRON MAIDEN. It is fun because there are so many similarities between our lives: we have both been the singers of IRON MAIDEN and we have both left IRON MAIDEN. (laughs)
Radio Metal: Are you sick of people asking you about your relationship with MAIDEN?
Blaze: You would have to put that in perspective because I was always a big IRON MAIDEN fan. I used to listen to some of their classic songs when I was cleaning the floors in the hotel where I worked. As a fan, I knew that if you were in IRON MAIDEN, and you were an ex-member, then everyone would know you. True, IRON MAIDEN fans are excessively interested in the history of the band. I realised this before I even joined the band and even though I never wanted to leave, things did not work out. I knew that after being in IRON MAIDEN, people would always think of me as an ex-member. I loved my time in the band so much that I feel as though it is a badge of honour.
Radio Metal: Your real name is Bailey Cook, however, recently you changed your passport to Blaze Bayley. Could you tell us about this anecdote?
Blaze: In English, the name Bailey is more commonly a second name so people would often get it confused. When I was in WOLFSBANE and we gave ourselves stupid glam names, I just kept Blaze because no one would question me anymore.
Radio Metal: In order to embellish your musical project, you took business classes. At the start, I thought that management, business and communication did not interest you at all and that you are an artist above all. Do you think that, nowadays, musicians are unable to make it on their own?
Blaze: I don't think that it is good enough to be just a musician. The music business has grown in the culture of, you do the music and I will handle the money. This means that management will do anything keep the band happy and questioning what is happening with all the money. They give the band drink, drugs and girls to keep them distracted. When you see that your band has a number one in the charts, you start to ask yourself where the money is and that is when they try to distract you some more. For this reasons, it is bands who have some degree of business knowledge, like Mick Jagger, for example, who are better at maintaining their success. I have the confidence as a singer and as a songwriter; therefore, I understood that in order to be free and independent, I needed to learn the business.
Read the entire interview from Radio Metal.