Blaze Bayley fronted Iron Maiden between 1994 and 1999 in the absence of Bruce Dickinson. Bayley recorded The X Factor and Virtual XI with the band, both of which draw mixed reactions from Iron Maiden fans to this day.
So what's life like for Bayley in the wake of being in one of the biggest bands in the world? In an interview with Soundcheck Network, Bayley said he's smaller than people might think but overall happy, especially with his 2021 solo album War Within Me. He also adds that he's aware the records he did with Iron Maiden are divisive, but notes that he's still proud of them and is knows they did better in certain markets over others
"My songwriting now is more of put something together, leave it, listen to it then with fresh [ears], have some distance. And I think that works for me right now at this point in my career. But I'm very lucky to have so much dedicated, loyal supporters.
"I'm a tiny underground artist in the world. People think I'm really famous because of my time with Iron Maiden. I was a very small part of Iron Maiden. And those albums, at the time, they did well in certain countries. My albums did well in Greece and in Sweden and Brazil, but in other places they didn't do very well, the ones with me. Fans didn't really like the change.
"A lot of people from that era still hate Blaze Bayley, they hate what I did, they have those two albums that I was on. That's fine by me. I like the fact that I've done something that is strong enough for someone to have such a big, forceful emotional reaction to it. But I do think some of the people that hate me have actually never listened to what I do."
Bayley has been releasing solo albums since 2008 and also fronts Wolfsbane, who put out a new record called Genius earlier this year.