Discussion in 'Maiden Chat' started by nuno_c, Jan 3, 2015.
The CEO of Universal probably earns much more than I do...
I think the feeling was that people might try out Blaze's album amidst the hype of Brave New World. In reality, Silicon Messiah, which is an absolute hidden gem of metal, a true diamond in the rough, was buried beneath the avalanche that became the reunion.
Well, in my country is strange how the things change, im from México, the first time that caeme they play two nights at the palacio de los deportes, about 18,000 capacity, both shows sold out. Then they return with bayley at the same place for only one night, this happen in X factor and virtual tour. When bruce made his comeback they were moving to the foro sol,about 56,000 people, they played there until book of souls tour, that was in the palacio again for two dates, do the maths, is less people. I dont know if this happen because they visit us too often or they popularity have decreased again, or talking about money is more proficent a classics tour than a new album. I cant imagine in which place they gonna play the next time
A bit of Steve's take on the situation during the Blaze years from the book "At the end of the Day" by Lawrence Paterson:
And Steve is quite right. I often wonder what would have happened if they'd gone for a 7-piece lineup, with Blaze staying on alongside Bruce. After all, there are usually some vocal harmonies on the albums, and Bruce (talented though he is) can only sing one part at once ...
I've always been more in the group of people who would've liked to have seen Blaze stay a bit longer, but I never thought of that which you just outlined. But it sounds really cool. Dammit Steve, what could have been done...
But keep in mind that Blaze propably would have been out either way and that they would have found someone else if Bruce wouldn't have rejoined. The fact that Bruce had made it clear that he wanted to return to Smallwood (who managed him as well) propably made the decision a bit easier to take though.
That's impossible to know. I heard from someone who talked to Bruce about it that the decision to fire Blaze was made after it was certain that he would be coming back. You're hearing it third-hand from me, so you should obviously take it with a grain of salt, but I find it likely in light of all the other evidence we have.
But then we also have sources stating Nicko and possibly Janick pushed for Steve to get rid of Blaze, even before the whole deal with Bruce was really discussed. I don't think it's really safe to say one way or the other since none of us here were directly involved, inside or second-hand sources or not.
Maiden didn't play an encore after one of the Brazilian gigs towards the end of the Virtual XI tour, because Blaze's performance was so bad. The excuse that was put out at the time was that the crowd weren't enthusiastic enough in calling for an encore.
there was no way he was continuing in the band.
Steve is making use of the so-called 'reality distortion field' in the last quote.
On the other hand, 'At the end of the day' is a fucking awesome title for a book. Honestly.
I hear no big difference in Blaze's performance on that show compared to other shows when listening to the bootlegs, really. That's just pure speculation from your side. But anyway, you can't really say that it was Blaze's fault when the band from the start refused to detune to his vocal range. There wasn't much he could do. Anyway, he has since proved how great he can sing Maiden songs when they are transposed to his natural register:
My source for saying that is the RTTH biography:
Another thing that could have played a role in getting Bruce back:
Nice journalism by the BBC there:
"lead singer Blaze Bayley, bass player Steve Harris, drummer Nick McBain and guitarists Janick Gers and Steve Harris"??
So Steve gets paid twice and Dave not at all?
Also I don't recall a Maiden song called "Axe Attack", was this a b-side or are they just making it up?
That was a compilation album featuring Wratchild or Sanctuary singles, back in 79/80. Can't recall exactly, google it
I know, I read it too. There are good reasons to be skeptical about the statements in there, as off the records statements such as the one I referred to imply. Steve was unhappy with firing Blaze, he was proud of the work he had done with him, and I think what we are reading in RTTH is his attempt at convincing himself that it had to go this way. But the statement "I thought we'd get a completely new singer, if anything" I find doubtful. To elaborate:
I'm pretty sure that money was the main reason, and that's why I find it unlikely that Blaze would have been fired before it was certain that Bruce would come back. From a business standpoint, that was the only way to go. Replacing Blaze with another, perhaps unknown, singer would have been too much of a risk.
We have to live with the fact that by 2000, Iron Maiden had become a business first, and an artist second.
Blaze could have stayed in the band if the band themselves would have made adjustments. We all know about the downtuning stuff, but if you read At the End of the Day, Blaze makes a very interesting comment about in-ear monitors that he got for himself. He was convinced that they improved his performance, and said that they broke midway during the tour. There are two things I don't understand about this: First, why wasn't this a band expenditure, but a private purchase of Blaze's? Second, if they broke, why didn't the band find a way to replace them? The band as a group should have filed this under touring equipment, not as an expenditure at the leisure of an individual member. It improved Blaze's performance and I don't understand why it wouldn't be in the interest of the band as a whole; unless the idea to get rid of Blaze already existed midway in the VXI tour, and independent of Blaze's performance.
I don't think we will ever find out the truth about this, but I find the following at least a plausible hypothesis: Three months into the VXI tour, Bruce released The Chemical Wedding. The album was proof that his return to Maiden-esque metal was not a one-off for Accident of Birth. It could have been read by the Powers That Be (Rod?) as a signal that Bruce would be ready to reunite with Maiden. Steve and others in the band may have been convinced of Blaze when VXI was released and the tour kicked off, but possibly some secret negotiations took place with the Bruce camp as the tour progressed, and by the time it drew to a close, the decision had been made. Blaze's monitors didn't get replaced; there are rumours that Nicko played Steve soundboard recordings to make him realise Blaze was performing poorly (so maybe Nicko was chosen to do the dirty work to convince Steve); Blaze talked about funny vibes at the end of the tour, which makes it obvious that the decision had already been made then.
I realise this is basically a conspiracy theory without any hard facts, and I stand to be corrected, but I find it more likely than taking the risky business step of firing Blaze without knowing who would replace him. It's possible that Steve wasn't actually in on it. Rod may not have let him know that it was certain that Bruce was coming back, and Steve may believe it wasn't to this day. That's why I'm not going to accuse him of lying in RTTH. Rod probably knows Steve better than anyone else, and may have thought that letting him know that Bruce would be coming back would not find his approval, as Steve is not a businessman, but believes in artistic integrity. But Rod is a businessman. He may have wanted the certainty, and thus would have left Steve in the dark about the actual proceedings to better convince him of bringing Bruce back.
It's all speculation, all of it. But it's a plausible scenario based on the evidence we have if we believe the statement I heard that it was certain that Bruce would come back when Blaze was fired.
Regarding the BBC article, "Axe Attack" is of course NOT an IM song, but (and probably among other things) the title of a heavy metal on which IM appears:
That was exactly what Zare meant.
Except it is "Running Free" that is featured on this compilation. "Sanctuary" and "Wrathchild" are on Metal for Muthas (vol 1).
Well as I said google it, for the precision I knew there was one song on Axe Attack, thought it's either Sanctuary or Wrathchild
Not speculation from me, it was put about by unnamed media sources as far as I can remember. Again I stand to be corrected, but my memory was that Janick and Nicko were alleged to have stormed off. And it was more to to do with things like not knowing lyrics as much as bad singing.
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