Former IRON MAIDEN singer Blaze Bayley has commented on the band's nomination for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame's class of 2021. The top vote-getters will be announced in May and inducted in a Cleveland, Ohio, ceremony in the fall.
According to the Hall Of Fame, the IRON MAIDEN members that would get inducted include the current lineup of singer Bruce Dickinson, bassist Steve Harris, drummer Nicko McBrain, and guitarists Adrian Smith, Dave Murray and Janick Gers, along with former guitarist Dennis Stratton, former singer Paul Di'Anno and former drummer Clive Burr.
Asked by Brazil's "Heavy Culture" what his reaction is to being excluded from the Rock Hall nomination, Blaze said (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, it's not the decision of the band. It's nothing to do with IRON MAIDEN, and it's nothing to do with IRON MAIDEN management. So it's all the people who run the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
"The most important thing to me is my friendship with the guys in IRON MAIDEN, and still being friends after so many years," he continued.
"I don't really care if I'm in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame or I'm not in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame," Blaze said. "For me, I'm famous, and I don't have to be any more famous. I have wonderful fans in Brazil and Portugal and around the world, and that is enough for me, man. My fans support me and make this life possible. I live my dream because of my fans and their support — not because of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame."
Bayley fronted IRON MAIDEN from 1994 until 1999. The two MAIDEN albums he appeared on, "The X Factor" and "Virtual XI", sold considerably less than the band's prior releases and were their lowest-charting titles in the group's home country since 1981's "Killers".
Since leaving IRON MAIDEN in 1999, Bayley has released a number of albums, including several under the moniker BLAZE and more than a handful under his own name. He also appeared on 2012's "Wolfsbane Saves The World", the first album of new material by WOLFSBANE since the group's self-titled 1994 effort.
To be eligible for this year's ballot, each nominee's first single or album had to have been released in 1995 or earlier.
A voter pool of more than 1,000 artists, historians, journalists, and members of the music industry will select the new class. Fans also have a chance to take part in the process by voting at Rockhall.com or at an interactive kiosk at the museum in Cleveland. Their selections will count as a single "fan ballot" that gets tabulated along with the others.
Having been eligible for induction for more than a decade and a half, IRON MAIDEN is one of the biggest bands on the planet. Since the release of their self-titled debut album, the British heavy metal legends have released a further 15 full-length studio records, and sold over 100 million copies.
Rock Hall rules state that artists become eligible a quarter century after their first records were released, but the Hall also claims that other "criteria include the influence and significance of the artists' contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock 'n' roll," which is, of course, open to interpretation.
Eligible for induction since 1999, KISS didn't get its first nomination until 2009, and was finally inducted in 2014.
DEEP PURPLE was eligible for the Rock Hall since 1993 but didn't get inducted until 2016.
Blaze will release a new studio album, "War Within Me", on April 9. All songs were written and produced by Blaze and guitarist Christopher Appleton.
"War Within Me" finds Blaze moving forward from the success of his "Infinite Entanglement" trilogy released in consecutive years 2016-2018. The 10 brand new songs draw influences from Blaze's experience with IRON MAIDEN (1994-1999), plus his extensive solo career which started with his "Silicon Messiah" album in year 2000.
"War Within Me" is not a concept album but does include a positive thread throughout. The LP was recorded during 2020 with work split between Blaze's studio at home in the West Midlands and Christopher Appleton's studio in Greater Manchester. The now-very-consistent lineup, chosen from British metal band ABSOLVA, played on the album — Christopher Appleton (guitar, backing vocals), Martin McNee (drums), Karl Schramm (bass). Blaze and Appleton shared the work mixing and producing, while Ade Emsley (IRON MAIDEN, TANK, BRITISH LION, VOODOO SIX) handled the mastering. The striking and detailed artwork is provided by Akirant Illustration (IRON MAIDEN, "Star Wars").