Blaze Bayley feels his albums with Iron Maiden is when band started on more progressive darker music
Former Iron Maiden lead vocalist Blaze Bayley was recently interviewed by Andrew DiCecco for Vinyl Writer Music. Bayley was promoting his latest studio album War Within Me, which was released back on April 9, 2021, as well as Wolfsbane‘s new record Genius, which came out last month.
In terms of how he looks back on his relatively brief but important tenure in Iron Maiden, Bayley indicated:
“For me, what’s great is, Maiden is all about passion and doing everything a hundred percent. Committing a hundred percent. Those albums that I was on, Maiden were fighting, because, in the U.K., the journalists said, “Maiden is over.” And they refused to die; they refused to give up. CD sales were going down around the world; people were losing faith in heavy metal because the grunge era was still very strong. So, Maiden were really fightin’ to stay Iron Maiden, and a lot of people were saying that we wouldn’t get through. So, for me, those albums are a turning point. That’s when Maiden started on the more progressive music; a darker music. Now you see that, as well; they’ve carried on in that direction. So, my era – the Blaze Bayley era of Maiden – really shows that change of direction to something more progressive, dark, and unapologetic. It’s something that’s different. What’s nice is, some people say the new Maiden album reminds them a little bit of X-Factor, and they go back to X-Factor and Virtual XI – and maybe they didn’t give it so much attention at the time because they never wanted Bruce to leave – and then they listen to it, and they get something new out of it. And they start to go, “Ah, now I get the point why it’s so dark.” So, that’s a really good feeling as well.”
With respect to the inspiration for the lyrics for the Iron Maiden track “Futureal” off Virtual XI, Bayley stated: “Well, that’s a good question that rarely gets asked. It’s actually I was absorbed and fanatical about the X-Files. Watching X-Files again and again, totally addicted to it, it really was that feeling of perhaps being that Fox Mulder, the character, but everything had gone. The aliens were gonna get you, and he knew it was the end, but he still wouldn’t give up. That was it, really. I went ‘round for the writing session, and it was just Steve and me, and he said, “I’ve got this fast idea. Have you got anything?” I said, “Well, actually, I think these lyrics might fit.” And we started, and then it was like, “What is real? Futureal!” It was great, man; it just worked well. It felt so good to do it, and the lyrics were really expressive. So, the way that it turned out, it’s a little bit crazy but also, it’s defiant, as well. Which I really enjoy.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Blaze Bayley via Vinyl Writer Music‘s website.
Iron Maiden‘s “Man On The Edge” video:
Iron Maiden‘s “Futureal” video: