INTERVIEW W/ FORMER IRON MAIDEN SINGER BLAZE BAYLEY – U.S. TOUR, NEW WOLFSBANE, SOLO AND ACOUSTIC ALBUMS
RN: I see you are coming to the U.S.
Blaze Bayley: Yeah. I am really looking forward to that. I have been in contact with a promoter over there and he has managed to find us quite a few shows. I didn’t realize I had that many fans over there so I am really excited about it. . I have only done one U.S.A show since leaving Iron Maiden and that was a festival that I really enjoyed. I haven’t been able to get back there since then but he booked about twenty shows. The tour goes from the east to the west cost and I am really looking forward to meeting the fans.
RN: Can you tell us what the set list is going to be like?
Blaze Bayley: It’s a greatest hits tour really, some of my own songs and some things from the past as well.
RN: Tell us about your acoustic tour you have coming up in September.
Blaze Bayley: I am with Jase Edwards right now. We are in the studio right just taking a break. We are working on the new Wolfsbane album. We have a couple weeks in September where we are going to go out and do an acoustic tour. Blaze Bayley and Jase Edwards the incredible acoustic tour. We are just playing some of our favorite songs that we have written and also some of the songs that have influenced us over the years. We are going to see how it goes, if people like it we might do it again next year.
RN: You mentioned the new Wolfsbane CD. How is that coming along and is it different from past the Wolfsbane albums.
Blaze Bayley: I think it has moved on slightly. We have more control over it because we are producing it ourselves. Jase Edwards has his own recording studio so all the writing and recording has been done there. I think it has an identity that is our own. For me personally it’s the most Wolfsbane since we did “All Hell’s Breaking Loose Down at Little Kathy Wilson’s Place” it’s a mixture of ideas. It’s in the very early stages but we all have a great vibe about it. When these four people get together and make music this is what it sounds like and if you liked Wolfsbane from years ago you will have plenty to like on this album. And I hope the Blaze Bayley fans like the new Wolfsbane album as well.
RN: What is the status of your unplugged album?
Blaze Bayley: It’s a work in progress. It keeps changing and its something that I wanted to do for a very long time. Something that puts the voice out front. Something that is emotional and something that is simple. I am not giving up Heavy Metal. Heavy Metal is my life, it’s my in blood. But I feel that there is something I need to express. I want the fans to have an album where my voice is featured. Like I said the ideas are slowly forming. When I feel I’m ready ill go into the studio
RN: The acoustic shows you have coming up is that part of the process.
Blaze Bayley: Yeah, I did an acoustic show a few years ago and I really enjoyed it. And I wanted to start again so yeah its part of it. I need to get myself into that vibe. It’s an expressive thing. Right now I want to hear how my voice sounds with the guitar and seeing what it feels like. That is the first step before I think about recording and putting it together. I think it is going to be like most of the albums I do. It is going to be an experience from start to finish.
RN: What about touring with Wolfsbane?
Blaze Bayley: The Wolfsbane tour starts in November. It is just a few shows around the U.K. to start with. The album comes out in November as well. It should have worldwide distribution it will be on iTunes as well. And we will see where that leads. We have to see what offers come in. Doing the U.K. tour and having a new album coming out and people need to see that we are available to things as Wolfsbane. So we will see where that leads. We have to see if people like that album. I know some fans will say it’s the best album ever and I know others will say it’s the worst thing they ever heard.
RN: What’s going on with the next Blaze Bayley solo record?
Blaze Bayley: Yes that is in the works for 2013. I am going to try and make the ultimate Blaze Bayley full metal record. It’s a slow burner that is on the boil now. It’s like a great whisky, it gonna take a while to ferment and get the right flavor. I have done “The Man Who Would Not Die” and “Promise and Terror” and I am very proud of those records and I have to match those. When I come back with my next full metal album I have to do something as good and I hope to come back with something that is really significant. I don’t want to rush this one. The last few months have been tough and I am just getting back on my feet and getting back into my music again. I am getting my creativity back and my mental strength back together and I think by 2013 ill be ready to steam into and create on of the ultimate heavy metal records of the 21st century.
RN: Speaking of your mental strength, I heard you wanted to kill yourself and you went to see a Dr. Is that true?
Blaze Bayley: I had to go see a Dr. I have been on medication for depression for quit a few years. And my moods go up and down. A few years ago I discovered I was a depressed person. It’s not just moods it’s a real chemical imbalance in my brain. And sometimes its worse than others. I have lived with it for years. But to finally to be able to put a name on it and to find out about it then start dealing with it. Unfortunately you’re still a victim of it. Once you know the signs that trigger it you can try to avoid it. See what situations leads to stress and you try to avoid them. But sadly sometimes life is difficult and the path is not easy. The last few months building to the split of the band has been very difficult. Splitting with the Blaze Bayley band was just awful it was a dream that just died. I really believed that I could have my own full time band and make enough money to pay our rent and be able to live off our music and we just couldn’t. It was the end of a dream it was the end of something I worked for, for so long since I left Iron Maiden. It was very difficult to cope with that. I am very lucky to have been able to come back from that with the love and support of family and friends and of course the fans. Now I feel like there is a future worth living for. I have gone through some pretty desperate times over the past few months. I am still in therapy. And I’m still on medication but I am very positive about the future. I am taking it one day at a time. I am trying to have more good days than bad days. I am not special. Thousands of people have this problem and are on medication. And need therapy for suicidal thoughts. I am no different from them. I am just coping the best way I can the same as anybody else does. There is no shame in it. Not for me anyway. That’s why I’m open about it. Fans that I have met feel reassured that someone that is in the public eye is prepared to talk about it. I have always tried to be honest with my fans about the way I am and what I am going through in my life. This is the artist they supported, I am a man with the same problems that everyone else has. And I am just trying to get through it the same as everyone else.
RN: Considering everything you have been through, has your definition of success changed?
Blaze Bayley : Like Jack Black says “if you want to pay your rent with you rock” it’s difficult. If you want to play original material and you don’t want to work a day job or a second job besides that, it’s difficult. With the shape of the industry and the way it’s grown. It’s just very difficult to make that happen. I’m not a rock star. I’m a musician, I’m a singer and that’s all I ever wanted to be. I am lucky enough things are starting to go in the right direction for me after so many years. I don’t see any point in being artsy fartsy about it. Don’t tell people you work a day job or don’t tell people you don’t have a car or whatever. Well that’s not what it’s about. Anybody that’s into my music, enjoys my singing, my musical ideas, my arrangements, my performances, don’t really care that I drive an old car that I painted black myself. I don’t think they care about those things. I am not part of this whole rock star illusion with all of that going on. I’m a singer, and the fans I speak to when I get to meet them, I speak to them as that. I am the same as everybody else. I am just very lucky that I have had the support and help from a lot of wonderful people that have helped me carry on and continue living a life where I can pay my rent most weeks with my music. I am lucky and feel very fortunate I can do that. And that’s because I have the incredible support from my family and fans around the word and in the U.S.A.
The whole illusion of the music industry is to be successful you have to appear successful and then you need to decide what your definition of success is. Some people define success by having a big house, big car and a pair of big plastic breasts that come with a female attached. For me; simply put, being able to sing my own music and being able to sing songs that I love, working with people that I like, and being able to play small shows all over the world to people that understand my music. Paying my rent and keeping tires on my motorcycle. To me that’s success.
RN: Blaze thank you very much for your time. It was truly a pleasure.
Blaze Bayley: Anytime mate, see you in the states.
DANTE MARTINO: I really want to thank Blaze for taking the time to do this interview. Due to time zone issues sometimes it’s difficult to arrange a phone interview with someone on the other side of the pond. But we made it work.
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BLAZE’S PROJECTS, MUSIC AND TOURS CHECK OUT HIS OFFICIAL WEB SITE HERE.