Blaze: I’d have loved to make 3rd Maiden album

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Former Iron Maiden frontman Blaze Bayley says he regrets not having the chance to make a third album with the NWOBHM giants.

He was hired as Bruce Dickinson’s replacement in 1994 and dismissed five years later when the classic-era singer returned. In the interim he fronted Maiden albums The X Factor and Virtual XI – which he recently said were viewed more positively by fans now some time has gone by.

Bayley tells Songfacts: “One of the sadnesses of my life, a twinge of sadness, is I was working on lyrics and melodies for a third Iron Maiden album when they fired me.

“A lot of ideas I’d already got on my dictaphone, or got lyrics sketched out. Then I didn’t get the chance to work with the guys.”

But he says he’s a more confident writer after working with mainman Steve Harris. “I’ve learned about how to get that idea from your mind into the recording and into the arrangement. Before it would be very hit and miss. Working with Steve and seeing the way he puts things together really helped.

“There’s not a lot of second-guessing with Iron Maiden. It’s, ‘Does this feel good? Does this make sense? Does it move you?’ Then, ‘It’s good – that’s it.’ Maiden gave me so much confidence.”

The unused ideas became part of his 2000 release Silicon Messiah. “I’m so proud of it,” he says. “I put that level of satisfaction I have with that to the experience I had with Maiden. I never doubted myself, like I may have done before. Now, if I feel it’s good, I’ll follow that idea through.”

Bayley regrouped with Wolfsbane in 2010 and they continuing to work together despite a recent public spat. His most recent solo release was last year’s compilation Soundtracks Of My Life.