Blaze Bayley reveals Iron Maiden made conscious decision not to do guitar harmonies on ‘The X Factor’
Former Iron Maiden frontman Blaze Bayley was recently interviewed by Eamon O’Neill for eonmusic. Bayley was in Iron Maiden from 1994 to 1999 and handled the lead vocals on the studio albums The X Factor (1995) and Virtual XI (1998).
In terms of whether he has ever thought of performing either of the aforementioned studio albums in their entirety in a live setting, Bayley replied (with slight edits):
“No. The anniversary set was kind of my favourites and the ones I really enjoy doing; the ones that feel like old friends, and there’s a lot of great music on those albums, but I do everything in my own style. I don’t do the studio version of ‘Virus’; I do a version of ‘Virus’ that has evolved over the years that Chris Appleton [guitarist], and me and the rest of the guys have bent into our own shape, to do our own way, and that feels really good. The other ones as well, you know, there’s certain things; on ‘The X Factor’, there’s no guitar harmonies – there’s unison guitars – and I put those back in. We go; “How do you feel about putting in harmonies?”, and I go; “Yeah, we’ll do it”, and so my set has those touches in it. But I don’t see a value in doing both albums. My albums are short amount of time, and I like to pick out odd songs here and there, and if I did another anniversary set, then I could say; “this time we’ll do ‘Lightening Strikes Twice”, or something like that.”
On whether the lack of guitar harmonies on The X Factor was a conscious decision by the band, Bayley indicated: “Yeah, that was a conscious decision by the band. I wasn’t involved in that decision.” When pressed on whether this was a definite decision, Bayley stated: “Yeah, as far as I remember, that was it.”
In terms of whether Iron Maiden took that route to get away from their traditional sound, Bayley replied: “I don’t know, I can’t really comment. You’d have to talk to Dave [Murray] and Steve [Harris] about that really, but that was then, that was where it was. That’s a period of time; bands go through transitions and do different things, and then the next version of Maiden has got three guitars! So, you wouldn’t have predicted that; “Oh, we’re having a reunion, except it’s not quite a reunion. It’s actually a lot more than a reunion; we’re having a massive reinvention of ourselves!” And of course it’s fantastic, it’s absolutely wonderful.”
You can read the rest of the interview with Blaze Bayley at eonmusic’s website.
Iron Maiden‘s “Man On The Edge” video (from The X Factor album):