Metal fandom is for life. When something stirs in your brain the first time you hear Judas Priest or Black Sabbath or Cannibal Corpse, that connection is made for the long hall. To be a metal fan is to be devoted to the heaviest music on Earth and to not give a flying shit what anyone else thinks about it. Metal fans are individuals, first and foremost, but we are also in it for the long haul. Perhaps no one within the world of heavy metal better fits this bill than Blaze Bayley.
Since his time in Wolfsbane, and especially since his time in Iron Maiden, Blaze Bayley has been a part of many a metal fan’s listening habits. It’s not just Bayley’s fans that are devoted to the metalic arts, however. Since his youth, Bayley has been enamored with metal music in its many forms and has spent the following years both making and consuming the best the genre has to offer. Bayley recently sat down with me over Zoom to discuss his legendary career.
First off, how have you been managing the pandemic? I imagine it’s been quite an adjustment.
Blaze: It’s been bittersweet, really. That year we came back from Brazil and there was no COVID there whatsoever and we come back and it’s just starting. We were planning to do writing and recording around festivals and a short tour that we were going to do. Slowly, all of those festivals, all of those tour dates gradually got postponed. We were left with a lot of extra time to make our album, to write and record and all of that so what that meant, in real terms, we had more time to just let it bank.
We got together and we stuck to the rules. We got together, we got 15 days together, and then we’ve got 15 days apart so we kept coming back to it. Each time you come back to it you go “Wow, did we write that? It’s really good” or “That is a bucket of shit, I can’t believe we thought that was good.” For me, when I’ve had these opportunities in the past to let things go, leave all your attachments behind, disassociate from it and come back to it, that’s when you start finding the truth, what’s good, and not self-indulgent and where the real passion is. That’s what kept happening and it just worked so well for us. We had like eight or nine months where we were just focusing on making an album. We never had a gig to go to, we had nothing else to do; we would just get together, write, feel excited, leave it, come back to it, see what we’ve got, put something else away, come up with something else, and then, over time, it really started to pull together.
The other thing that was great for us was we were doing vinyl at the same time. We didn’t make a CD, what we did was we made a record. We have a big whiteboard in the studio and it said side one, side two. That felt so good to be going back to vinyl, where we started. All my first records were on vinyl, listening to my heroes, and we’re making a vinyl album…side one, side two, maximum minutes…it was just fantastic. It was a lot of energy we had. It was very sad to lose those shows but that extra time, I think that’s what made the War Within Me album so much better and my fans say it’s probably the best album I’ve done out of all my solo albums. I had my fans in mind, what they’re going through, the tough times I’ve gone through and how they’ve supported me through those tough times, and I thought that I’ve got to make a positive album. With my co-writer and co-producer Chris Appleton, we said, like we do with every album at the beginning, “What would we like to end up with?” and we said that we need to have a positive album. We need to have an album that lifts people up, my fans, so we’d been writing with this in mind, every song. “Is that uplifting? Does that make you feel good? Does that make you go on a journey? Does it take you to the right places?” Using the sound as a palette, then we could make our own picture and take people on the journey that we want them to go on to put them in the place where we want them to be at the end of the song. We had time for all of those details. It was a lot of work and a lot of second guessing and coming back to it, but we had the time and it really worked for us.
The worst part of it, for me, of the whole lockdown experience, as a professional musician and singer, I just miss my fans so much. At every place we come to, the meet-and-greet is included in the ticket price so it’s a regular ticket price and you get your meet-and-greet. I meet everybody, selfies, signing, and I meet my fans and have a few words with a lot of them. It keeps me going through the darkness and sometimes when I’m not feeling good and it’s been a hell of a week to be away from home, then when people appreciate it, that gets me through. Without that contact with my fans, regularly, that’s really what’s difficult. I think I put that energy into the album and we got so many lovely memories of shows we’ve been doing. I would picture that audience and those fans in my head when we were writing. I think that made the difference. The very, very worst part of the whole thing was here in the UK, lockdown two. All the theaters were closed. Andrew Lloyd Weber was saying that we have to do something because there’s just nothing for any performer and that was a time when I thought, “Could this possibly be the end of the world as we know it, with no more gigs?” There were a few weeks there where I thought, “Will we ever get on stage again? Will live music, live performance, will that ever happen again?” That was the darkest time and thank goodness we’ve come through that. My last small tour, people came, and were saying it’s the first gig they’ve been to since lockdown. It was just fantastic to have that energy and that camaraderie of a live performance again. I appreciated it before, and the support of my fans, but it’s on another level now. I’m so grateful that I can still do this.
How exciting was it to actually get in front of your fans again after such a long break?
Blaze: Well, I’ve been suffering from a lot of anxiety and that’s normal, I think, for everyone, not just performers, but everyone in the lockdown. That anxiety, I’ve found, has gone into other areas of my life so that level of feeling worried about things and nervous just went into everything. I was worried about doing my concerts again. It seemed an irrational anxiety. I’m always nervous about going on stage but that’s just me. I want the best, I want a great performance, that’s just that. This was much more. We did a few smaller shows and that, once you’re there and see my fans, it was absolutely fantastic. It felt good.
I had COVID and, until I could sing with the strength that I had before COVID, it took about nine months to get it back to the strength that it was. That was challenging. The best thing about it was seeing my fans, the people that support me, the people that make my dream possible. That was the absolute best. I’m there and the picture makes sense. Without my fans, why bother? These are the people that you say “Please pre-order my next album” and they don’t listen to anything, they don’t want to know what it’s called, they just give me their trust and say yes. They support my artistic vision and make it possible for me to live my dream doing the music I want to do, going on tour in the places I want to perform in. Of course, I’ve been going so long, I’m a dinosaur in many respects, there are fans that I’ve got from 30-odd years ago that come to my concerts and there are fans who’ve just heard about me in the last few years, so it’s this massive mix of people and it’s so good to see everybody.
I really feel like there’s no other style of music that has such a strong community and back-and-forth between the fans and artists than metal.
Blaze: We’re not fashion, are we? We’re not fashion; we find someone we like and we stick with it. With pop music, people will like one song but won’t bother about the artist. They just like one song that they hear, they’re not invested in that artist. With metal and some rock, we want to know about the artist, we want to follow them, we want to know everything they’ve ever recorded. That’s normal for us in the metal community. Most of us are collectors as well so even if we’re streaming things, and this is what the great machine of the music business, I think, doesn’t quite understand, if we stream something, if we like it we’re gonna buy it and collect it so streaming is an extra when you’re in this kind of music, playing metal. I think people didn’t realize that. Of course, you and I realize that because we’re fans of this music. Now I have the opportunity to listen and check it before I buy it. If I buy it, I’ll buy everything.
Speaking of being a fan, who or what got you into metal back in the day?
Blaze: I suppose it’s the same for everybody. It’s of its time and the friends that you have. I was very, very lucky that as I was developing my awareness of music in the UK that great things were happening. It was the year of the Sex Pistols. It was Motörhead in the charts. They wouldn’t play them on the radio but you had to play them on the chart rundown. Iron Maiden were in the charts. Judas Priest when they got in the chart, not on the radio, but on Sunday you could listen to the top 40 and they would be there. And Led Zeppelin, “The Song Remains the Same,” all of these things, the first Black Sabbath album that I heard when I was at school and 15, all these things. That kind of took me through and, when I was 18, I got a job working nights in a hotel, which is kind of ironic because now I stay in hotels about a hundred and twenty times a year. I was the night man in the hotel. I would clean the hotel and then check in the guests and quite a bit of time I could listen to music. So get an album, and you could listen to it three or four times on the night shift and get into it or realize that just wasn’t for you. I think that’s where it was that one of my friends, a coworker, was a big heavy metal fan and had everything by Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and loads of other great bands. Another coworker had everything by Asia and a lot of prog bands. We did the whole normal thing of swapping tapes. That’s where it started.
I heard that first Black Sabbath album when I was at school and that was scary to me. I didn’t know that just a few years later I would be absolutely sotted with Black Sabbath. I would just go and see every band that was on in Birmingham at the Birmingham Odeon. Metal then was not in arenas or stadiums. It was in theaters and smaller clubs, which is the best place for me for this type of music, I think. I happened to see Ronnie James Dio in the Birmingham Odeon on the Holy Diver tour. I heard him sing “Children of the Sea” and something happened to me when I heard that. I don’t know, some kind of epiphany and then I had to go to work and do my night shift. I was there, pushing a Hoover around the hotel, and I thought, “You know what? Where will I be in ten years? Will I be pushing this Hoover?” and then I thought that if I could be anything and do anything, what would it be? I just thought about moment when he sang “Children of the Sea” and how I felt. I thought that if I could do anything I want, I’d be like Ronnie James Dio. I’d be in a band and I’d be singing in a band and I’d be touring the world. I thought, you know what, that’s what I’m going to do. That was the moment and suddenly I wasn’t the night porter at a hotel, suddenly I was a rock singer trying to get into a band and trying to make it. That was a life changing moment and that’s been the journey, really, of my life since then. All the wonderful things that have happened to me, and all of the tragic and horrible things that I associate with it, it comes from that moment seeing Ronnie James Dio.
Were you a singer at all until that point or did that start in that moment too?
Blaze: No, I just liked to sing. I was the one that sang when I was Hoovering to drown out the Hoover and that was it. I loved to sing but when I was at school I got kicked out of the school choir for being too loud. I was probably flat as anything. When I joined Wolfsbane, I couldn’t really sing at all but they couldn’t get anybody else, so I got the job and that was a fantastic thing for me. With Wolfsbane, we stuck together and we learned to play our instruments, learned to sing. Then when I joined Iron Maiden, I developed my technique. I found extra parts on voice and since then I’ve continued to grow and develop my voice. I just love to sing.
I wasn’t a singer; I wanted to be a singer. I’m not a naturally talented, gifted musician. I’m someone that loves to sing. I learned to sing so that I could be in a band, that’s it. So, I’m not the best singer in the world but I’m probably the most committed and passionate singer that you could meet. I just love to sing, I love it. I learned to sing so that I could be in a band and write songs. I love writing, so I could write the songs that I wanted to and use the emotion that’s available to you in the human voice as part of the texture to bring the listener into your idea and the story of your album and songs. I went to various coaches over the years, took what I needed and what worked for me, and I’ve just developed my own Blaze Bayley technique of singing and, you know what, since leaving Maiden I’ve hardly had any vocal problems because I’ve kept developing my technique.
How did you go from that night to being in Wolfsbane?
Blaze: I was very lucky. I was living in Tamworth at the time and the local paper, a weekly paper for the area, had a great music section. You had to do sports and music then and we were very lucky, the guy doing the sports page loved music so he always had time to write about music. We had a great music page and there was a little ad that you could put in there and it wouldn’t cost you anything. You’d just put in this band is looking for so and so. There was an ad in there that said “Heavy metal singer required. No experience necessary.” I thought, there I am, that’s the ad for me.
I went along to the audition. It was at the back of Jeff Hateley’s garage and there we were. We started in the back of Jeff’s garage. I thought I could sing like Ronnie James Dio but it was actually just a load of groaning and grunting but they kept me. That was it. We started and we never played covers because we felt that if we played covers, people would see how bad we really were. We wrote ten original songs that we could do at concerts and that was it. That’s how we started. I think that was the back end of 1983 and ’84 was our first concert. That was the start for me and I’ve got my own solo career, but also Wolfsbane are back together. I think we’ve done three albums since we’ve had our reunion. The new album [just came out], it’s called Genius. That friendship that we’ve had from back then, it’s still there so it’s a wonderful feeling.
How cool was it to be able to bring Wolfsbane back in full force and make new records with that group?
Blaze: How many bands that have been going for 35 years have got an all-original lineup? How many bands that have been going for 30 years, since the first album, how many have the original lineup? That’s what’s so beautiful and precious about it because all of those connections, all of those stories, all of those things…a lot of the stupid little crap things, those have disappeared as we get older and we have this really nice vibe between us where when we are writing, everyone is more mellow. It’s just a fantastic, beautiful vibe and I think the album reflects that if you listen to the Genius album. If you don’t like Wolfsbane, you won’t like the album but if you listen to the Genius album, if you like Wolfsbane, you’ll be so happy. It’s more Wolfsbane than Wolfsbane. We’ve found the core of what we are and we stuck to it. That’s when we all make sense, when the four people are in the room together, there’s some kind of magic. It’s the same with all bands that have been around for awhile. You get the main writers, which actually is the four of us, together in the room at the same time and magic happens, our kind of magic.
What was writing Genius like and how different is the process of writing a Wolfsbane album now compared to the old days?
Blaze: I think it’s so much better now because of technology. That’s one thing that has really democratized music for bands now. You have to be better, in some ways, because it’s not enough to be a virtuoso on your instrument, you’ve got to learn to record yourself well. Jase Edwards is a music producer and he has learned all these techniques, so you get together and you’re actually getting together in a studio, a full-professional studio albeit small and at home, it is a full professional studio. With technology as it is, things are easier to set up, things take less time setting up, you know what you’re doing, especially for vocals, man.
Those days they used to just stick me in a box in a studio and I didn’t get into a band to stand in a box with headphones on. I got into bands so that I could jump about on stage and scream my head off and see my songs come to life. In the studio now, everybody’s there. I’m doing my lead vocals, everybody’s there, and you’re right next to each other and it’s fantastic. Oh, maybe the chorus shouldn’t be there, it should be there. Well, you just, on the computer, you go click, click [and] it’s done. You don’t have to try and remember it, going around in circles, now it’s there and sorted. It’s so much better.
The biggest part of the album, then, the focus of the album, comes back to the songs and the creativity and the connection that you feel with the songs. You would think that, oh, with all this technology available, you can go into this massive experimental thing. No, it just meant that we can get to the core of what we do and we waste far less time farting about with reels of tape and who knows what. It’s all about the music. It’s all about how we feel together when we play that song. It’s changed radically. You’d have to find hundreds of pounds or a couple grand to record a demo and go into the studio at a professional level. Not anymore.
Is it ever hard, with so many records under your belt, to make something new that sounds like you but that isn’t repeating older material?
Blaze: You’ve just got it, hit it on the head. The thing is, I have things that I often return to but it is very difficult to, as you go on and have explored these themes, to find these new areas. It’s difficult not to repeat yourself, whereas you could do something that someone else has been talking about. I could sing about rainbows or something, and I’ve never sung about rainbows so it’s new. Ronnie James Dio sang a lot about rainbows. You’re absolutely right that it is very difficult not to repeat myself when these are the things I enjoy. That’s a constant test of what I do. You can write about things that have been explored…sunshine, love, picnics, whatever….but it’s a challenge to write about things without directly…”Oh, didn’t I do this on my Blood and Belief album? Should I be doing this again? Is this exactly the same?” It is a challenge and it increases the challenge level slightly with each record. That’s why with my trilogy, my Infinite Entanglement trilogy, that was taken away, really, because I had one huge story that stretches across the universe that is a science-fiction, horror, love story and I’m telling a story. I’m out of my normal zone. Then, to come back, it’s a challenge but it’s a challenge that I try and rise to every time. So far I think I’ve been OK.
I wanted to ask about that trilogy because I really dig those albums. How did you come up with the story and ideas for those records?
Blaze: My Tenth Dimension album was a concept album about a man who discovers the existence of the human soul is absolutely real and there is a life after death. The soul does continue. At the same time, he discovers time travel and how to put yourself in different times. That was on the Tenth Dimension album, that’s the concept. Later on, I had this idea. I love identity and what makes [you, you]. What are the things, in your life, that make [you] feel like [you]. That idea that consciousness, human consciousness, could be transferred into a machine, that was very engaging for me to think about. The center of the story is, this man’s consciousness is transferred into a robot body but he doesn’t know. He wakes up in a robot body. He’s been told he’s waking up in a new kind of spacesuit that he has to adjust to because it’s a long space mission and he gradually realizes that he’s been lied to and the person who lied to him, the doctor, he had fallen in love with her and this is the center of it. Now he’s done a space mission of a thousand years, trapped in a robot body, but what is it to be human? Is being human thinking as a human and feeling as a human? Or is being human to have a flesh and blood body? That’s the center of the story and the mixed emotions and he has a past as a ruthless mercenary killer and they use that part of his psychology for the space mission. The start of the idea is, what is your identity? What makes you think and feel that you are human?
How much of a different challenge is it to write a concept album or is it pretty similar?
Blaze: What happened was we had done a lot of writing and then we realized, I realized, after a short conversation with the manager I had back then, that it was too long to be one album. That’s when I had the realization that it’s three albums. It’s three separate stories, the beginning, the journey, and the redemption of this person and that’s three albums. When I realized that, things became very clear. I realized that some of the songs we had written were actually supposed to appear on part three, which is the end of the story where it’s the resolution where it’s the idea of redemption and I went back to my writing partner and co-producer Chris Appleton and said, “Chris, it’s three albums” and he goes “Oh, that’s a lot of work” but we did it. I said to my manager then that it’s three albums, it’s three tours, it’s three years. But we did it. I didn’t want something without a deadline. I thought that you can have time and use it all, but you may not use it wisely or, because you think you have time, you may not get on with it so we did three albums, three tours, three years and we managed to get it done. The quality of the songs that we were doing, I don’t know how we did it, but we managed to. Now, what my fans can do, is they can do a playlist from track one of album one through to the last track of album three and it all makes sense. I don’t know how we did it. It’s my greatest achievement in my career in music, that trilogy.
Are you still writing the story out as a book?
Blaze: Yeah but it’s just stalled. I’ve got a chunk of the book done, about a third of it done. I’ve got to find a new way to schedule my life to start picking up and going back to that book and getting it done. But yeah, it’s still there. I’ve got the files, I’ve just got to sit and read through what I have and keep going. I’ve never wrote a book before; I haven’t a clue. I’ve just got this huge idea that I gotta get out of my head and into the machine.
How difficult is it to find time for all your projects? You’re a guy that always has a lot going on, I imagine that has to be difficult at times.
Blaze: Well, I’m just lucky to have a wonderful team around me. My manager is absolutely fantastic, Mark Appleton. When I creatively want to do something, he’ll challenge me sometimes but he’ll always support me with what I want to do, creatively, so that’s good. The problem is, with Wolfsbane, we love doing it but we have four very different lives and it’s hard to find time where we can all come together just to do that. We managed to come together because it was the part of the lockdown where you could have a bubble with certain people, so we were able to meet and get together at that time to do the writing, just every week for two or three days. It was fantastic. It’s just difficult to find the time. I’m not that busy. I’m very, very lucky that I have the support of so many wonderful fans around the world. They’re so incredible and I’m really grateful for that support that they give me. They make it possible for me to continue living this dream of writing and recording and performing.
With that deep career behind you, how difficult is it to put together a setlist for your fans when you hit the road?
Blaze: What we try to do is [ask] “What have we done on the last tour?” There are certain things that just stay in the set and then it’s what are the new big things that we need to do. Every time we go on tour, we try and change the set by about six songs and we’ll see how that goes. Sometimes it ends up being four new or different songs and sometimes it’s six. Generally speaking, each tour, we try to do that and that’s how we do it. It’s a curse and a blessing because you’ve got all these songs to choose from and each one is somebody’s favorite. “You know what, we need another fast one here” or “You know what, I feel like this is where I feel I should be doing one of my big songs” and you could go, “Which big song? From which album?” It’s good in that way. It’s good to have the choice but it’s also difficult to play everybody’s favorite.
Being that you’ve written with so many different bands over the years, Wolfsbane, Iron Maiden, solo, is it ever an adjustment to start writing for whatever the new situation may be?
Blaze: I think what the best thing is is thinking of it as a journey. Think of it as a big camping trip, that’s the way I look at it. Going into Maiden, that was the biggest change for me because, working with Steve Harris, he found a different part of my voice, another third of my voice that I rarely, if ever, used. We started writing and finding that part of my voice on the X-Factor sessions and, from The X-Factor and Virtual XI, I started to strengthen, get used to that part of my voice, and then, making my own albums, I had this extra texture, this extra sonic color to use so I could actually choose which area, which part of my voice, which breath, which growl, which long note, which tone, which vowel sound, in which key, I could start to use that in my writing and it was just fantastic. I’ve continued that then as I’ve gone. So it’s like a big camping trip because the first time you go camping, you don’t have a hammer for the pegs. Then the next time you go camping, you’ve got the hammer for the pegs but you realize those pegs are really rubbish and you should get some proper pegs to keep your tent down. Then the next thing…you know what I mean? Each time you learn something and you don’t stop learning.
I’m very, very lucky that I’ve worked with incredibly talented producers over the years. I’ve learned a lot about production and with incredibly talented writers. I’ve learnt a lot about my voice and about song writing from different people. All of those things I’ve taken through. I think, on the War Within Me album that you can see the direct relationship from War Within Me to my work with Iron Maiden. If you listen to the music, you’ll go “Oh yeah, that’s cause he was in Maiden. That’s why he’s done that.” With the Wolfsbane Genius album, you can see right from the beginning “Ah, right, it’s that early thing from the demo, from the Wasted but Dangerous record.” You can see that and you can see it’s a different shape.
I can do different things with my voice. I think it’s good but, in the end, my heart is metal and the bands I get into, I don’t want them to change much. It’s always sadness for me when bands change musical direction too much. I don’t like it when bands do that and it may sound very dull, but I don’t really want to change direction. I just want to be better and I want to use these tools that I know in rock and metal music to put together an album that reaches into the heart of my fans, inside. When my fans put on a Blaze Bayley album or when Wolfsbane fans put on a Wolfsbane album, I want them to go “Thank goodness, it’s a Wolfsbane album” or “Ah, great, it’s a Blaze Bayley album” and all the key things that they like about my music and my attitude and my passion, they’re all there on those albums. I’m not really interested in exploring vast, different things. Heavy metal is the best and the worst music because it’s a very narrow path that we have to tread with our power chords and our 4/4 beats and different things. We can kind of go off a little bit and do different things and keep you interested, but it’s also still that path that we have to use. Then, when people use the cliches in the wrong way or too much of everything, then heavy metal is the worst possible music. It’s tragic. That is the constant challenge that we face of well, I want to do the best, most passionate, powerful album that I can but it’s got to be metal because that’s how I am. I bleed metal.
What is it about metal that’s kept you within the genre for decades, both as a musician and a fan?
Blaze: Well, I think it’s going back to that 14-year old heart where the excitement of discovering the first Black Sabbath album, of discovering Led Zeppelin, or discovering Rainbow, all the excitement of the Sex Pistols, the excitement of that 14-year old, 15-year old, that heart, it’s still having a connection there. What I thought was impressive at 14, when I didn’t know anything about music, I still get excited about that now. I’m very lucky that I can do the music that I want to do. My values that I have musically, work on my albums, and it’s got to be good; it’s got to be the best that I can possibly do it, and I’m always thinking about my fans that support me. Yes, sometimes it’ll be challenging but hopefully, when they get the album and have given it a few spins or streamed it a few times, they’ll go “Yeah, it’s another Blaze Bayley album and all the things I like are there.” I like big drums, I like big power chords, I like flashy guitar, I love electric guitar, absolutely love it. Those are the things that still keep me excited. Probably if they put us on some kind of machine to analyze our brain, as metal fans, there’d be a metal part of the brain next to the amygdala and they’ll go “What’s that metal part in there that they’ve got?”
As a performer and as a fan, you’ve been around metal for pretty much its whole existence. Do you feel the genre has changed a lot over the years?
Blaze: I think the change is all under the surface, really. We lost a lot of great people. I think one thing for me, and I don’t want to offend anybody, we’ve been up and down a couple times and they told us that Nirvana and grunge and Pearl Jam and all these bands…we were old dinosaurs. There’s no room for Iron Maiden or Judas Priest in the world anymore, or Motörhead; it’s all going to be this new thing. Well, you know what? We’re still here so that’s that. The only reason people stop is that they die. They die or they have terrible problems with their hands or whatever. In metal, we continue. That’s the difference, I think, and with rock as well, not just metal, we carry on. The only reason to stop is if nobody wants to listen to you.
Some new bands have come through, like Disturbed and Sabaton and, in a different way, My Chemical Romance doing their stuff, and we keep going because it has something at its core that is passionate and powerful and some kind of bleak romance to it, which I don’t really understand but I am part of it and I do perpetuate it. The democratization of it is simply that, that a couple of thousand pounds that you’d had to get together to buy some studio time before is now to buy a laptop, to buy a PC, a machine, and software, and a couple of mics that you can record yourself well with. That’s the big difference. The new bands that are coming through, if they can say oh, I wanna make an album of metal or rock or whatever it is…Tesla has made an electric car. It hasn’t made an electric elephant because cars are the best way to go…so if the new bands come along wanting to make a great metal album, not a fancy, busy experimental album, I’m hoping that as people come through [they’ll be] like Van Halen, all those years ago, who reinvented metal in a way although, hang on, it’s still drums and electric guitar and fun singing, it’s still metal. Metal is still rock but it’s done in that different way. That’s what’s exciting, to me, and I think the opportunity now, to record ourselves and do things the way that we want, without a huge cost implication, that’s the biggest difference in music as it is. People still go into big studios, they still spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes a million, to make an album but you don’t have to do that and that’s the big difference.
We go to festivals, we still all dress the same. We’ve still got black band T-shirts on and battle jackets. That hasn’t changed. That’s been forever, forty, fifty odd years! It’s incredible. Nothing’s changed but everything’s changed. We’re still at a concert, putting it out in the air, singing along, watching great music and we’re still going “Oh, you’ve gotta check out this new band, they’re fantastic.” I don’t think anything has changed but it has become something that there is an opportunity now. I’m a new artist in many ways because I’m on this edge of the frontier, the edge of that wave surfing towards the shore. That’s why it’s different but it’s still surfing. It’s still metal, it’s still singing, it’s still guitar, it’s still drums and that’s what’s great about it for me.
Photo at top: War Within Me album cover.