Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson says he enjoyed performing Blaze Bayley era songs when he re-joined the band in 1999.
Singling out Virtual XI’s 'The Clansman' and The X Factor’s 'Sign of the Cross', which he last performed with Iron Maiden in 2003 and 2001 respectively, Bruce said “we really nailed those songs” and praised the “great material.”
Asked on the Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon podcast why he was happy to sing Blaze Bayley songs with Iron Maiden, Bruce said: "Well, you know, life's too short to go around chucking your ego around like that. It's childish, it's stupid.
“And, actually, some of those songs kind of worked, some of them didn't, but you know what? They were all songs which a lot of Iron Maiden fans bought, and some of them, in particular 'The Clansman' and 'Sign of the Cross', I think we really nailed those songs and I thought it was great material.
“Blaze's voice, obviously, was quite different than mine, it was a slightly lower register, and, actually, I wasn't complaining, because I could use this kind of lower baritone tone and get quite kind of robust on it all. And I really enjoyed singing those songs."
Iron Maiden in 1995 © Mick Hutson/Redferns
Echoing statements he’s made in several interviews, Bruce once again heaped praise on Blaze, saying: “(I have) the utmost respect for Blaze, because he stepped into a situation that was extremely difficult for him. Because, manifestly, his voice was so different to mine and yet he had to try and sing some of those (early Iron Maiden) songs.
“He was in a difficult place. And he was a very, very nice guy, and still is a very nice guy, and I have a huge amount of respect for him."
Speaking to EMP España last August, Blaze Bayley revealed that Bruce has gone out of his way to support him since he was kicked out of the band.
"Bruce and I have been friends before Iron Maiden and Bruce was very supportive of me when I was in Iron Maiden and after Iron Maiden," Blaze said.
"When he had his own radio show, he helped me and played my music on his show. And my newest video, for 'Escape Velocity', was actually filmed at his aircraft simulator. So, he has helped me a great deal."
Bruce in 1999 © PA Images
Iron Maiden play seven UK shows in July and August on The Legacy of the Beast UK tour. Newcastle, Aberdeen, Manchester and Birmingham tickets are available from Planet Rock Tickets now.
They play the following shows:
Newcastle Metro Radio Arena – Tue 31st
Belfast The SSE Arena – Thu 2nd*
Aberdeen BHGE Arena – Sat 4th
Manchester Arena – Mon 6th
Birmingham Genting Arena – Tue 7th
London The O2 – Fri 10th*
London The O2 – Sat 11th*
* For Belfast SSE Arena and London The O2 tickets, head to the venue box office to check availability.