Former IRON MAIDEN frontman Blaze Bayley has offered a tantalizing glimpse into the band's recording process in the 1990s, explaining that the British heavy metal legends made a conscious decision to drop one of the key elements of their distinctive sound ahead of his vocal debut on 1995's "The X Factor".
Speaking to Eonmusic about his recent shows which have seen him playing a "MAIDEN years" set, Blaze said: The anniversary set was kind of my favorites and the ones I really enjoy doing — the ones that feel like old friends. And there's a lot of great music on those albums, but I do everything in my own style."
Going on to explain that he and his bandmates have changed the way that they approach the tracks, the singer said: "I don't do the studio version of 'Virus'; I do a version that has evolved over the years that Chris Appleton [guitarist], and me and the rest of the guys have bent into our own shape, to do our own way, and that feels really good."
It was then that Blaze revealed that IRON MAIDEN had made a conscious decision to remove its signature harmony-guitar style from its sound during preparations for what became the band's tenth album. Bayley said: "On 'The X Factor', there's no guitar harmonies, there's unison guitars, and I put those back in [when playing the songs with my solo band]. We go, 'How do you feel about putting in harmonies?' And I go, 'Yeah, we'll do it,' and so my set has those touches in it."
When asked to clarify that it was a very deliberate move by MAIDEN to not include harmonies on "The X Factor", he confirmed: "Yeah, that was a conscious decision by the band. I wasn't involved in that decision."
Pressed about why they would make such a move away from the traditional MAIDEN sound, the singer said: "I don't know. I can't really comment. You'd have to talk to Dave [Murray] and Steve [Harris] about that, really. But that was then; that was where it was. That's a period of time. Bands go through transitions and do different things, and then the next version of MAIDEN has got three guitars. So, you wouldn't have predicted that. 'Oh, we're having a reunion, except it's not quite a reunion. It's actually a lot more than a reunion — we're having a massive reinvention of ourselves.' And, of course, it's fantastic; it's absolutely wonderful."
Elsewhere, the WOLFSBANE frontman commented on working with Harris and Janick Gers in 1998 for the "Virtual XI" album, specifically on the track "Como Estais Amigos". Blaze said: "We took it to rehearsal, showed it to Steve and said, 'What do you think of this?' And he goes, 'I love it, but it doesn't do that there. It does this there, and it does that there.' I go, 'Oh no. You're joking me.' And I said, 'I thought it was finished.' And he goes: 'No, Blaze. It's not finished.' He sprinkles his magic on it and does a bit of rearranging, and there it is, of course, and it makes complete sense."
Read the interview at Eonmusic.