In an interview with TNT Radio Rock at Rock The Coast Festival in Spain, Former Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley spoke of the importance of his time with MAIDEN and how it shaped his solo career.
“This is 25 years since I joined IRON MAIDEN.”
“It’s a big anniversary for me. I wanted to choose something that was positive, not 20 years since I left IRON MAIDEN, because the most important thing about being in IRON MAIDEN and a part of that, is what I learned. Learning to write songs, learning a lot more about my voice.
“After IRON MAIDEN, there’s a bit of an improvement because working with the guys from the band, it meant I learned how to take the idea from my head into the rehearsal room, onto the CD. Before maybe, I felt like some of my songwriting, it was a bit of luck sometimes, but after IRON MAIDEN, I knew I had a very good idea, as well as that it’s a lot of confidence. You’re working with people who have platinum albums; they’ve sold millions of records and you’re writing with those guys. The song that you have written and contributed towards is chosen as the first single, and it’s worldwide, number one and top ten in different charts around the world. So, that is a huge thing for me and my dream, so I wanted to celebrate that.”
“If you come forward, my trilogy is called ‘Infinite Entanglement’. It’s three CDs with one story, and when you listen to those three CDs and listen to the ‘Infinite Entanglement’ trilogy, you can hear directly the influence and what I learned from my time in IRON MAIDEN.
“I would have never been able to make these three albums without that experience. So, that is my greatest musical accomplishment, is the thing I’m proudest of since I’ve started in music is doing this trilogy, this concept, one story over three albums. It’s in a science fiction setting about a man who does not know if he is human, about a man that seeks redemption for darkness, and terrible deeds that he is committed in his past. It’s because of what I learned and working with the guys in MAIDEN, we did hundreds of shows, and I played to thousands and thousands of people. There were many great experiences, but the thing that really lives in my heart, the thing that has changed me from before until now, is working closely with the guys on the songwriting, and the music. So, that has put me where I am.”
He further added:
“I wanted to have a very positive anniversary because I feel for me, that my involvement when I was in IRON MAIDEN, it was the start of the progressive era.”
“Different to what went before in ‘Fear Of The Dark’ and ‘No Prayer For The Dying’, so with ‘The X Factor’ and ‘Virtual XI’, they were a slightly different style. ‘The X Factor’, very dark emotions are expressed there. For me, it’s been a very positive thing to go from there and then get to where I am now. I wanted to celebrate that at the festivals where I’m playing this set of songs, my favorite songs, from ‘X Factor’ and ‘Virtual XI’, the two albums that I did with IRON MAIDEN.
“At my headline shows, I play all my own material, all my solo stuff or maybe just one or two songs from my MAIDEN era because my solo career, I have 11 studio albums. Still people come to me and say ‘The last time I saw you, you were in IRON MAIDEN!’ It’s, like, ‘Oh, no!’ Every album, I went on tour, I did all over the world. Oh man, so I thought, ‘You know what? I want to celebrate it and say to everybody ‘Hey, if you remember me from IRON MAIDEN, yes, these are my favorite songs and I’m also doing something else.’ It’s kind of two things that we’ve done, and the songs are not the same as they are on the album. What we’ve done is we’ve re-arranged the songs slightly to fit my style, so even though it’s songs from ‘The X Factor’ and ‘Virtual XI’ albums, the way that I play them and the arrangements, are slightly different. They’re in my style, and so far, fans have enjoyed that difference.