Heart of Steel: Interviews

Blaze Bayley

Interview & Live Pictures by Anders Sandvall
Thanks to SPV for the promo pictures of the band
Thanks to Blaze Manager Neil Marklew for the help with this interview.

Blaze Bayley released his third album earlier this year called Blood and belief which is his strongest album so far. I asked some questions about the band Blaze who have gone through some member changes plus some questions about the band in general.

How do you look upon your previous albums today?

I’m proud of everything I’ve done. I think the best album I’ve done is Silicon Messiah. My favourite and most honest work is Blood & Belief.

“Songs are like children”, someone said, “you love them all but there is always a favourite”. My favourites change but ‘Meant to Be’ from the ‘Tenth Dimension’ album and ‘Ghost in the Machine’ from ‘Silicon Messiah’ are songs that I feel are complete.



You have done a lot of touring world wide, don’t you ever get tired of touring?

NO!, never! I love touring, I only wished we could do more dates. I love it when I am out on the road, why shouldn’t I, I am doing the thing I love most doing, playing my music to my fans!!!



Why have you started the tour before the album is in the stores?

The start of the tour was booked to coincide with the release date of Blood & Belief but the label had to change the release date. We didn’t want to disappoint fans so we didn’t re-arrange any of the shows.



You have recently done shows in Sweden, how did that go?

I love playing in Sweden and can not wait to come back!! We didn’t have much time to promote the last shows but we had a great time with our Swedish fans.


Why have you chosen to work with the producer Andy Sneap once again? What makes him so special?

He is a very good guitar player who chose to start producing. He doesn’t try to change the identity of the band. The better we are in the studio, the better he makes us sound. He understands how bands work and how to get the best out of people.



Why has it taken you so long to follow up your last album Tenth dimension from '02

I didn’t want to force the third album. I wanted to feel it grow inside my heart and mind. So, I asked the band if they would like to do a live album so we could show people what we are like playing live, and to give us time to let ideas evolve for the next studio album. The live album was Jeff Singers last show with the band.



BLOOD AND BELIEFIn which studio was Blood and belief recorded?

It was recorded, mixed and mastered at Andy Sneaps’ Backstage Recording Studio, in Derbyshire.



Who has written the music and lyrics on the album?

This is a shared vision between John Slater, Steve Wray and myself. Steve and John write the music and I did the lyrics.



Your lyrics are more personal and autobiographical on the new album, how come?

Steve Wray and I talked a lot after the live album was recorded and he suggested I try a different approach to my lyrics. Once I started to be honest about my life and my feelings there was no turning back.



The steady line-up has changed, why has Rob and Jeff left the band?

Living and breathing this kind of music takes a lot of commitment and although Jeff was fully committed we couldn’t give him the security he needed at the stage he was at in his life so he decided to leave. Rob just said he didn’t enjoy it anymore and wanted a change.



How did Wayne and Jason end up in the band?

Wayne is a session player who was introduced to my manager Neil by Andy Sneap and it was Neil who introduced Wayne to Messiahs Kiss. He was the obvious choice when Rob decided to leave. Jason was recommended to us by Andy Sneap when we told him what we were looking for the Blood & Belief album.



Have they been involved in any famous band earlier? If so which bands?

Wayne has been in Sabbat and Messiah Kiss and has done lots of session work across all kinds of music and Jason was in Pitchshifter.




I think you play straight in you face/uncomplicated heavy metal, how would you describe your music?

I think of this band as a classic British Metal band. Two lead guitars and vocals that put melody, emotion and character before anything else.

Compared to previous albums this one sounds more like the band we are now. It is a shared vision by John Slater, Steve Wray and myself. I worked longer on the melodies for this album than I did on ‘Tenth Dimension’ I tried to make sure it felt natural and real all the time.



How does the co-operation with your label work?

I’ve had problems with the label but hope to sort them soon.



Who came up with the cover?

John Slater our guitarist.



Is there anything you’re not so satisfied with on the album?

No! Not at all!



How long are you planning on being out on tour this time? Are there any plans to come back to Scandinavia?

Scandinavia is always in our touring plans, we love it there.

2004 touring will end with the BLAZE Big Bash at JBs in Dudley, UK on Saturday 18th December when we will be filming the whole show for a DVD to be released in 2005.




What are your plans for '05?

The Blood & belief tour will carry on into 2005 and we are going to be working on our first DVD.



Are there anything you would like to say to the readers of metal-rules.com?

Dear readers of Metal Rules,
Please make up your own mind about my band. Don’t judge us until you have heard the Blood & Belief album. If you like anything I did with Iron Maiden or Wolfsbane then you might just like this too.



Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

Thank you Anders!

Band: www.planetblaze.com

Label: www.spv.de

Read CD review’s for Blaze records in Metal-Rules.com.