INTERVIEW WITH FORMER IRON MAIDEN AND WOLFSBANE SINGER BLAZE BAYLEY
Date: August 9, 2017
Reviewer: Ruben Mosqueda
“I have never played the United States as a solo artist. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to do this tour. I have a great band backing me up and I will do a setlist that will span my career but will feature material from ‘Infinite Entanglement’ and the second in the trilogy ‘Endure and Survive’ says Bayley proudly. “I have a lot of support from the fans. I heard a lot of positive things from the tour I did with Geoff Tate and Tim Owens last year. I’m such a small act that I haven’t been able to get booked for a proper tour, until now. That tour was so much fun…it was an incredible experience. Tim Owens is the Bill Hicks of metal and Geoff is such a lovely guy. It was an absolute blast to share the stage with two other singers who you mutually respect and love” Sleaze Roxx caught up with Blaze Bayley via phone from his home as he begins to pack for his North American tour which kicks off on August 9th in Sellersville, PA and winds down in my neck of the woods The Great Northwest a month later. Don’t forget to stick around after the show as Blaze says, “I will come back to the merch table after the show and I will meet all the fans, I will sign any of the albums that I appeared on free of charge. I just want to thank the fans personally.”
Sleaze Roxx: You’re making it to the U.S. for you first solo headlining tour, you must be ecstatic.
Blaze Bayley: I am. I have a lot of loyal fans worldwide and I glad I can perform to our North American fans. We’re working with a different agent. They’ve been able to get us these dates booked for this tour.
Sleaze Roxx: No doubt you’ll be promoting the last two albums with select tracks in the setlist.
Blaze Bayley: Yes. There’s people out there that aren’t aware that I released ‘Infinite Entanglement’  and the follow-up ‘Endure And Survive’  which is the second installment of a trilogy. I will release part three in March 2018.
The first record ‘Infinite Entanglement’ was the beginning of a journey of 1,000 years and it was the realization that you are not in a specially designed space suit. You are actually machine. Your consciousness has been downloaded into a machine body. You ask yourself the question “Are you human?” The second album ‘Endure And Survive’ is the end of the journey of 1,000 years and the darkness of that endurance — the things that happened to understand that you are just a cog in a machine. You were never meant to reach that new world. That new planet, that fresh start was never meant for you. It was an absolute lie and a seduction. The second record is much darker. The reaction from the fans is that it’s my best work to date! The third part will tie-up the storyline. I can’t get into details on that yet, but I’m sure the fans will be thrilled with the end result.
Blaze Bayley‘s “Calling You Home” (from Infinite Entanglement album):
BLAZE BAYLEY : Calling You Home (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)www.blazebayley.netAlbum : Infinite EntanglementWritten By : Blaze Bayley, Chris Appleton & Michelle Sc…
Blaze Bayley‘s “Endure And Survive” video (from Endure And Survive album):
BLAZE BAYLEY : Endure and Survive (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)www.blazebayley.netAlbum : Endure and SurviveWritten By : Blaze Bayley & Chris AppletonDirected By : …
Sleaze Roxx: Did you receive any tips from Geoff on writing concept albums?
Blaze Bayley: We work in different ways, but we never talked about our work specifically. I’ll give you an example. I work great with deadlines. I have released these two concept albums in March of 2016 and March of 2017 and now, I have a goal to release the third album by March of 2018.
Sleaze Roxx: Writing a concept album has to be harder to write than a conventional stand alone album. That has to be more like writing a book or a screenplay.
Blaze Bayley: Well, I’m writing the book [laughs]! The trilogy is based on the story [for the book] that I’m writing. After I release the album and tour behind it, I want to ‘disappear’ for a little while and complete the book [laughs]! The book is scheduled to be released in March 2019 [laughs]! I know that not everyone is into concept records but I will say that even if you don’t like the idea, you can listen to this album and you enjoy it. It’s a great collection of songs.
Sleaze Roxx: I discovered you when I first heard Wolfsbane on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. I saw the video for “I Like It Hot” and instantly heard a Van Halen influence.
Blaze Bayley: Absolutely, at least at the start, Van Halen was a huge influence on us. We thought they were such a fun band. They did things differently than other bands and they made some noise. These things got our attention. We were just kids from a small town in England. I think you got the element of ‘fun’ that we wanted, which we got from Van Halen. The Who was also a big influence for Wolfsbane. We all loved The Who and we all took different things from them and their performances. If we ever needed something to ‘pick us up’ before the show, we’d listen to something like ‘Live At Leeds’ by The Who.
Wolfsbane‘s “I Like It Hot” video:
Video for the Wolfsbane song “I like it hot” from the album “Live Fast, Die Fast”. Howling Mad Shitheads UNITE!!
Sleaze Roxx: What’s your recollection of working with Rick Rubin?
Blaze Bayley: I didn’t like him at all. Rick has a certain way of working he’s really good at that. Let’s just say he didn’t fit my personality — at all. This was in the beginning stages of his label. He had moved from Def Jam. He had done one Slayer album. We were at the start of his Def American rock band roster. I won’t say that I didn’t learn anything because I use all my past experiences making records to make the best records that I can.
I had a better experience working with Brendan O’Brien who did the second Wolfsbane record [‘Down Fall The Good Guys’]. Brendan is a phenomenal musician and a fantastic singer. The things that learned from Brendan have guided through the work that I do to this day. Working with Steve Harris also was a huge learning experience as well as working with Andy Sneap.
Sleaze Roxx: Wolfsbane didn’t get a fair shake in North America.
Blaze Bayley: I agree. Wolfsbane — we were a live band and all we wanted to do was to live on a tour bus. We weren’t out to become ‘rock stars.’ We were just four guys from Britain that just wanted to go crazy on stage night after night. Def American made this very expensive video for “I Like It Hot.” We didn’t get played because we weren’t ‘fashionable’ anymore. The heavy metal bubble burst and we didn’t get that opportunity to live out of a tour bus. We wanted to tour, which would have been much cheaper than making that music video.
Sleaze Roxx: You went from Wolfsbane to [Iron] Maiden and recorded ‘The X-Factor’ which received positive reviews.
Blaze Bayley: What a great experience. I learned a lot from working with Steve Harris and the guys. I have fond memories of working with Steve on “Virus” and “Futureal” and “Man On The Edge” from ‘The X-Factor.’ I remember the first time I got into the recording booth to record “Sign Of The Cross” — that was just surreal to me. There were areas in my voice that Steve found that I wasn’t aware existed.
Sleaze Roxx: Why do you think “Virtual XI’ [Iron Maiden] didn’t connect with fans in the U.S.?
Blaze Bayley: It had to do with the single we released here, which was “The Angel And The Gambler” when we should have gone with “Futureal.” I feel that “Futureal” would have gotten a more positive reaction and would have generated interest in the record. I like the record a lot in my opinion. “The Educated Fool,” “The Clansman” and “Futureal” are fantastic songs.
Iron Maiden‘s “The Angel And The Gambler” video:
Iron Maiden – The Angel And The Gambler – from 1998’s ‘Virtual XI’Buy from Amazon: http://po.st/aVirtualXIDownload: http://po.st/iVirtualXIStream: http://po….
Iron Maiden‘s “Futureal” video:
Iron Maiden – Futureal – from 1998’s ‘Virtual XI’Buy from Amazon: http://po.st/aVirtualXIDownload: http://po.st/iVirtualXIStream: http://po.st/sVirtualXIComp…