Blaze Bayley‘s tenure in Iron Maiden was short-lived but important. Even if you don’t like the man (what’s not to like, go listen to him talk) or his music, he guided Maiden through the roughest time in Metal’s history. The 90’s were perilous for many bands, and a lot of them didn’t make it. We got some classic songs from his two albums (The X-Factor and Virtual XI). Another classic song “Virus” was included on the Best of the Beast compilation album.

In an interview with Crash TV, Bayley spoke about his time in Maiden and his upcoming album War Within Me. It’s a pretty lengthy interview, but here are some of the highlights.

“Virus” Was The Headline Of The Interview

It’s the reaction that we had from the British press. They wanted Iron Maiden to fail, and they loved it that Bruce [Dickinson, vocals] left the band. And they really wanted Iron Maiden to fail. But the fans didn’t want that, and the journalists were really fed up that they did not have the power to kill Iron Maiden because it’s a band of the fans.

I do have a strong feeling that most of the vitriol spewed at Blaze for his tenure in Iron Maiden is because he wasn’t Bruce Dickinson. Well, guess what, there’s only one Bruce. What it comes down to, is that Blaze is Blaze, and his singing is a lot different than Dickinson. There’s no animosity between Bruce and Blaze, they’re actually friends and have a mutual respect for one another.

So the lyrics are about the hatred of the journalists and the cynicism of the journalists and their attitudes and why that’s poisonous – that they are the virus. Mentally, they keep feeding in these horrible things, and people start believing something is bad when they haven’t even heard it for themselves; they don’t even know about it. Because somebody tells them it’s bad, they go, ‘Oh, it must be bad then,’ instead of looking for themselves. And that’s the evil ‘virus’ that we talk about in those lyrics.

“Virus” Continued

Because somebody tells them it’s bad, they go, ‘Oh, it must be bad then,’ instead of looking for themselves. And that’s the evil ‘virus’ that we talk about in those lyrics. What I’ve done is I have kept ‘Virus’ in my own setlist. So, at a Blaze Bayley concert, one of my old songs from Maiden is usually ‘Virus’. And it’s a slightly different version to what we did in Iron Maiden – it’s the Blaze Bayley version. It’s also on my live album as well – a version of ‘Virus’. And it’s something that my fans enjoy- because we never played that live with Iron Maiden.

And Iron Maiden haven’t played it live since me. So I’ve really got it as my own song, in a way. And it’s great to see people’s faces. They go, ‘Oh, I know this.’ And then they go, ‘Oh,’ and then they remember.’ It’s the first time they’ve ever heard it played live. And it’s really fun. The reaction that I get from my fans when I perform ‘Virus’ live, it’s absolutely incredible. And on my live album, ‘Live in Czech,’ it’s a really, really cool version of it.”

Blaze Bayley Isn’t The Issue

As you can tell, unlike some people in metal that are sour grapes about getting fired or replaced (K.K. Downing anyone?), Blaze is appreciative of his tenure in Maiden. He plays songs from his time in his live shows. If you haven’t checked out Blaze’s discography, check out his music. His live versions of the Maiden songs are absolutely killer.

So, what do you think of Blaze’s meaning of the song “Virus”?

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Source: Crash TV