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Blaze Bayley

Interview with Blaze Bayley from Blaze Bayley
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 22 July 2008, 6:17 AM

The following did not feel as an interview; It felt like I was talking to an old friend of mine. Despite the recent events with his wife's health condition Blaze found the strength and time to talk to METAL TEMPLE about his new and excellent album. (all photos taken from www.myspace.com/blazebayley)

Hi Blaze, how are you?

I am getting through it!

First of all I'd like to tell you that our thoughts are with you to get over this difficult situation,

Thank you very much, I really appreciate this!

Ok, I think it is better to talk about music. I would like to congratulate you about the new album. I believe this is the best you have done so far. The single and the album have been out for a while, what is the feedback so far?

Thanks for your kind words. So far it has been absolutely fantastic. The single is a limited edition and is only available online and it is going very well. I am very happy form the reviews that come from fans who say that this is the best Blaze album.

In the official BLAZE website is mentioned that in this album you have chosen a different musical direction; can you give us some more details?

The great difference is that this is an album by the band. We have a solid lineup now that we really worked hard to get. We discussed that we have to put our egos aside and work on the music and the best songs we can come up with. No matter you has an idea, if it is a good one we are going to use it. We brought all our ideas on the table and we chose the best ones for this album. This process needs a lot of patience and actually proves that we are strong as a band. And this is why we came up with an album that we all feel so happy about. Everyone has put 100% if himself in this without thinking who is most important.

You said that you had to put your ego aside to work on this album. It seems to me that you might have had some 'ego' issues in the past.

When I left IRON MAIDEN I found myself out of a band for the first time. It was a real shock for me, like an identity crisis. I wanted to put together a lineup as quick as I could to prove that I was still going. The people that I chose were not that experienced and they were creating little problems understanding the situation in the band. We did some great work together but there were some differences like I have done this and that and they had done nothing… In the lineup we have now, everyone has done albums, has been on tour with a band so it kind of feels like the time I was with IRON MAIDEN.

Because in those days nothing was written and no one came to me to say you have to sing this way. Steve Harris said that we will use any idea that meets the high standards of the band. I am really proud for my work with IRON MAIDEN like the hits Man On The Edge or Lord Of The Flies. That period of time helped me build my confidence and improve my song writing. So this lineup has created an album that really feels good to me.

So, how did this lineup come together?

Well, after Blood And Belief I was in a really desperate place without record deal and no management. I was suffering with terrible depression and I was on the booze and all of this.

We had a very good offer from Metal Mind Productions to make a live DVD; my wife told me that maybe this was the time for my comeback. So, we started looking for musicians to make a solid lineup that would stay together. I started with Nick  Bermudez and Dave Bermudez and after some changes we got Jay Walsh and Lawrence Paterson. We all want the same things and know that the most important thing for this band are the fans. It's all about the fans. You know that on this tour we keep our production as cheap as possible and play in small clubs to give the fans the opportunity to see us.

It really sounds like the 80s, man.

Yeah, this is exactly what it is! This is what I wanted to do after IRON MAIDEN; to get on a van and go on tour to play in every tiny gig, every bar or pub that I would play when I started with WOLSFBANE. Because it's not about being a rock star it's about being a Metal singer. It's about being Metal in the heart and the spirit and try to play live everywhere you can!

That's where I come from. So, this is the way we thought about it; although we have a name as a band we will go out and play like a new band. We will try to keep it as affordable as possible to give the fans the chance to come and see us. And this is why I put my own record label together because I did not want to work with anybody else. The last time I had a record deal they told that they would not support us on tour and that's completely wrong for me. I don't want to be in a band that will not go on the road.

Yeah, Heavy Metal without touring is nothing.

Exactly! This is why I put a record label. Now we are getting all the money from the record sales, we pay for the adverts, we are the number one priority and we don't have to have the most expensive CDs. We have the same quality like the rest of the bands but with lower prices, because we are not a big organization. So, the fans know that by buying t-shirts and CDs the money goes directly to the band. It's all about the music!

In a way you are going back to the basis…

Yeah we do. We don't want the fans to come and check us because we have a known band name. We want them to just come and watch us on-stage and make up their mind on their own. The bottom line is that if we become successful it will be because the fans think we should! Actually, this is the only thing we ask; people who love Heavy Metal to listen to our album and come to see us live. Just give us a chance.

Do you have any plans to release this album on vinyl?

Yes I do. I am talking with my distributor about this. It will be available as a limited edition through our website. Actually, I am going to make all the BLAZE albums available on vinyl. Although it might take me a year or so to organize this.

The new album sounds to me more aggressive than the previous with a 'live' feeling in it. So, did this happen on purpose or it just happened in the studio?

After we got the songs together we rehearsed them as much as we could. In the production we put everything in place without trying to pose anything. In fact when we were writing the music we would like to play live. When it was time for the vocals I thought that it would be best not to try to sound perfect. My priority as a singer is not perfection; I just want to tell a story and get the listener involved with all the emotions and the passion. I just tried to keep my breaths in place and sing in that way that I will feel comfortable on stage. So, I hope that the album sounds like a live one!

Yeah I believe it does. So, what about the lyrics? I got the impression that some of them come from your personal experience.

I wrote most of the lyrics. Dave and Nick wrote also some of them. But believe me I can tell a story for every song in the album.

Like Blackmailer that is about the last record company I was with. They lied to me, they stole from me, hey cheated me and twisted the record deal. So, that's a true story; the only think I left out was the name of the guy who shook my hand! As we were putting the songs in a row the album seemed to follow a certain road; it starts with biterness, resentment and after a while the will to get back on track as you are in a difficult situation that someone else put you. So it's time to get them back! As the album progresses it finds you in a job that you don't like but you have to do to survive.

Then reaching the end the songs get a little heavier where you realized that this is your life and you have to fight every day to make the most of it. Overall I hope that the people will get the vibe of the album that is based on my experience. You know, after the last album things got really bad and actually I had to get a job in a factory to make a living. I had no money because I had spent it all in the band but the record company had ripped off. I worked in a warehouse and this experience reminded me of the way I started. Waiting For My Life To Begin is about that period of time; when I was working and thinking whether I would be able to get in a band and start singing again. I was looking to the people around me who were doing the same job for almost 20 years and I thought fuck, I have been totally blessed with all the things I have done so it's time to move on.  You know, I have been blessed with some loyal fans that have been supporting me even during the dark days!

I think that you earned their respect with your sincere attitude. So, how did it feel working again with Jase Edwards from WOLFSBANE?

It was absolutely incredible! He is a such talented guy! The album was in a terrible condition with too many technical problems and we were in front of a deadline without knowing what to do. So, we phoned Jase asking for his help. He was like Wolf from Pulp Fiction; we gave him everything and after one day everything was starting getting into place! He did a magnificent job for us and I really look forward to working with him again in the future.

Have you ever though of making a new album under the WOLFSBANE name?

No we haven't. Although, we had a reunion on stage last Christmas and it was a lot of fun. We are open though, if something good comes, like a tour in Japan, then we will probably do it as long as it won't interfere with anything else. Nobody's got any ideas and we all are in different musical directions but I wouldn't rule it out in the years to come. Now the most important thing to me is BLAZE.

 What did you earn from your time with IRON MAIDEN?

I gained a lot of confidence because IRON MAIDEN is such s huge band with a busy schedule. I learned a lot of things about my voice and about song writing by working with Steve Harris. The loyalty, the generosity  and the support from the MAIDEN fans were absolutely fantastic despite the fact I was new in the band and many did not want Bruce to leave the lineup.  

You were interviewed by Bruce a couple of day ago. How did it go?

(with a loud voice) Yeah it was so funny, we had a great time. Actually, Bruce have been in a similar situation when he got to the band replacing DiAnno so he knew what I have been through. He liked the album and actually he said that these are the best vocals and songs I have done. So, you know, it's great coming from one of the top singers in the world!

You should think of getting the three IRON MAIDEN singers on-stage!

You should think of organizing a concert having all three of us (laughs). Although, it would be kind of expensive…

Ok, I know that things are pretty difficult right now but what are your touring plans?

We had a minor setback with Brazil. Actually, one of the staff of the promotion company stole the money of the presales.

Even though it would be difficult to go during this period of time this was the main reason for the postponement. We have rearranged it and we will put a full South American tour in January. The rest of live days are in European festivals and I think we will make it.

Any thoughts of playing live in Greece?

I would love to bring the new lineup back in Greece but it's up to the Greek promoters if they want to have us. We absolutely love Greece. My first gold album is from Greece with the X Factor that took the first place from Madonna. But nobody has asked us yet to come to Greece! The full European tour will start next year in February/March so we hope that Greece will be included.

Ok, Blaze that's all from me. I will be waiting for the vinyl edition of the new album. I really enjoyed this interview and I wish to your wife a quick and safe recovery. Feel free to add anything you like.

Thanks very much Dimitri! I want to thank the Greek fans for their love and support over the years. I really hope that we will come to Greece!



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