Blaze Bayley: Iron Maiden Is ‘The Most Important Heavy Metal Band In The World’

Bruce Dickinson credit: John McMurtrie / Blaze Bayley: Frank Schwichtenberg, CC BY-SA 3.0,, Wikimedia Commons
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Who do you think is the “most important” heavy metal band in the world? According to Blaze Bayley, that title belongs to British heavy metal legends Iron Maiden.

Following Bruce Dickinson‘s departure in 1993, Bayley joined Iron Maiden and performed with them for six years. Though he was devastated to leave the band in 1999, Bayley has a tremendous amount of respect and love for Maiden.

In a new interview with SoundMojo’s Innersleeve, the ex-Iron Maiden singer talks about how, during his performances, he balances honoring his work with Maiden and promoting his newer solo material. Since leaving the band, Bayley has gone on to have a great solo career, his most recent release being  2021’s War Within Me.

Bayley says that before he was ever Iron Maiden’s singer, he was a fan of them and shares that he’s still close to the band. Among the other comments he expresses, the vocalist also names Iron Maiden as the “most important heavy metal band in the world.”

Regarding his fandom of Maiden and his closeness with the band, Bayley shares (as transcribed by Blabbermouth):

“Well, I’m very lucky in a way. Before I joined Iron Maiden, I was an Iron Maiden fan and I knew what happens to the singers of Iron Maiden and from KISS, ex-members of KISS, bands like that. You will always be associated with that famous band. If you played with Ozzy Osbourne or whatever, you’ll always be associated with those guys. And so I was ready for that. I was friends with the guys in the band. I’m still friends with the guys. I go and see [Maiden bassist] Steve Harris with his British Lion band. And also I saw Maiden twice on this tour and said hi to the guys. So I’m incredibly lucky that in my chosen profession of being a heavy metal singer, I got what is to me the top job, the number one job in the world of my profession. That is being the singer of what I consider to be the most important heavy metal band in the world. I’m very lucky to have had that, to have spent five years with Iron Maiden, two albums, a few B-sides — I’m incredibly lucky.”

The former Iron Maiden singer goes on to talk about how, when it comes to his solo work, it’s important for him to acknowledge his past and what has shaped him throughout life:

“For me, it’s a matter of pride. Where I come from, where we are in the world of heavy metal, you look back at where you come from. Ronnie James Dio, when he was alive, he always acknowledged where he came from. And for me, as a metalhead and as someone who sings in this genre, it’s important to say, ‘Yeah, I come from there. That’s a part of me. That’s what’s made me who I am.’ I’m not gonna say, ‘Oh, this is nothing to do with me.’ No, that’s part of me. But this is what I’m doing now. So when you listen to [my latest solo album] ‘War Within Me’, what you’re actually hearing is this huge influence from Iron Maiden on my songwriting, on my voice, this influence that comes from way back in the day when we started with Wolfsbane, those bits and pieces. You listen to ‘War Within Me’ and you’ve got this — this part of where I have been, it’s all there. It’s fighting suicidal thoughts. It’s looking at people who overcome the impossible and going, ‘Well, if they did that, maybe there’s a chance I can do it too.’ So that’s where I am. I love guitar melodies. I love electric guitar. I love harmony guitars. I love big drums — all of that. So that’s what’s on my album.”

Blaze Bayley interview with SoundMojo’s Innersleeve