Blaze Bayley (Bayley Alexander Cook), is an English heavy metal singer/song writer, born 29th of May, 1963. He is currently a member of Wolfsbane, he is also the former singer of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Blaze Bayley has released 6th studio albums to date, as well as 2 live albums and 2 DVDs.
Following Blaze Bayley's departure from Iron Maiden in 1999, he formed his own band, BLAZE, in March that year. Bayley recruited guitarist Steve Wray, guitarist John Slater, bassist Rob Naylor, and drummer Jeff Singer, and signed a deal with German label SPV, releasing the band's debut studio album in 2000, Silicon Messiah. The album was followed up by Tenth Dimension in 2002 and the band's first live album in 2003, As Live As It Gets.
After recording the live album, Jeff Singer announced he was leaving the band. Three months later, Rob Naylor was also leaving. Session drummer Phil Greenhouse and bassist Wayne Banks were hired for the rest of the Tenth Dimension tour until permanent replacements could be found. Guitarist Jason Banks was drafted in for a few gigs at the end of 2003 to cover for John Slater.
At the end of 2003, Blaze began writing material for their third studio album, Blood & Belief. Phil Greenhouse was replaced on drums by Jason Bowld for recording and Dave Knight for touring. The band began to tour for the album shortly after it was released in 2004, but were set back again by the news that John Slater could not perform a large section of the tour. Despite rejoining the band later in the year, Slater eventually left the band in September with Steve Wray to form the band Rise To Addiction. Bassist Wayne Banks and drummer Dave Knight left the band to join the Robin Gibb band in September 2004.
Blaze performed a number of shows in 2004 and 2005 with the lineup of Bayley, guitarist Oliver Palotai, guitarist Luca Princiotta, bassist Nick Douglas, and drummer Daniel Löble. The two guitarists were eventually kept on as full members. The band's lineup shifted once again when Löble quit to join German power metal band Helloween early in 2005 and when Douglas returned to another German heavy metal band, Doro. The two were replaced by unknown German musicians Daniel Schild and Christian Ammann respectively. With the new line up, Blaze began to work on a fourth studio album for a release in 2007, but in January that year it was announced the entire line-up had to part ways with Bayley due to serious financial matters. Following the lineup change, Bayley opted to rename the band under his name, Blaze Bayley.
Blaze Bayley Band (2007-2011)
In February 2007, Blaze Bayley Band (also known as BBB) added guitarists Nicolas Bermudez and Rich Newport, bassist Dave Bermudez, and drummer Rico Banderra to the band and recorded the live DVD album Alive in Poland, released later on that year. Bayley announced that Rich Newport had left the band to pursue a career as a guitar teacher later on that year, and Jay Walsh would replace him onstage for the remainder of the tour. Jay was made a full member of the band in November 2007. Bayley also announced the addition of drummer Lawrence Paterson, formerly of British metal bands Chokehold and Shadowkeep at the same time.
In July 2008, Blaze Bayley Band (BBB) released their debut studio album, The Man Who Would Not Die. The album also contained the band's first single, "Robot", despite only being available digitally. It is sometimes regarded as a mini-compilation as it includes many bonus tracks. The band recorded another DVD live at Z7, The Night That Will Not Die, which was released in March 2009. Blaze Bayley announced that the band started recording for their new album on 28 September 2009. A contest was run on the band's forum.The two first people who guessed the title of the new album received a free signed copy. The title was revealed to be Promise and Terror a few days later.
The 2nd album Promise and Terror was released on 1 February 2010. Professional reviews have generally been very positive about the album. The album was produced by Jason Edwards.
On 6 February 2010 BBB started their 2010 world tour in Dudley UK. They spent the next months playing the UK, France, Italy, Germany before leaving for the South American leg of the tour. They then returned to Europe later in the year.
In May 2010 Larry Paterson, the drummer for the band left due to personal and professional reasons, although none were specified. Their manager, Anna, announced her departure from the band. She claimed that the band's idea of where to go next and hers were not in the same direction.
Following the departure of Larry Paterson the Blaze Bayley Band engaged Claudio Tirincanti to continue the Promise and Terror tour.
On 10 July 2010 Blaze Blayley claimed live on stage that his current album was his best-selling as a solo-artist shedding some light on the recent changes in his line-up and management.
On 18 December 2010 they played a Big Bash at JB'S in Dudley Birmingham. Despite the snowy weather the band made it back from mainland Europe to play the show.
The BBB embarked on a short European tour in early 2011 and were supposed to follow that up in May 2011 with more dates in the UK, however on 29 March via his official channels, Blaze Bayley stated that he had to part ways with the band due to both health and financial reasons.
Solo career (2011 - present)
On 31 March 2011, Blaze announced that he would continue as a solo performer working with different musicians. The new official line-up for live gigs features the confirmed Claudio Tirincanti on the drums, old occasional touring member "Deputy Dave" Andrews on the guitar, and two Belgian musicians (Steve Deleu and Nick Meganck) respectively on the other guitar and the bass. Later in the year, it has been announced that the same musicians will tour also with former Judas Priest singer Tim "Ripper" Owens.
Alongside the reunion and new recordings of Wolfsbane, Bayley has played a two-week acoustic solo tour in the UK in Sept 2011 with fellow Wolfsbane guitarist Jase Edwards plus a few unplugged gigs in Italy with Andrea Neri on the guitar. Footage of the acoustic shows with Jase Edwards can be seen on the Official Blaze Bayley YouTube Page.
Then the singer hit the stages of some summer festivals and after that has been travelling to the USA in October/November 2011 for his first full US Headline tour since his days with Iron Maiden, supported by North-American musicians of the Canadian band Man the Destroyer plus American guitarist Rick Plester, of international fame, who will work with Bayley in the near future. Blaze will finish the Promise and Terror world tour in December 2011 before beginning to write new material.
On 19 August 2011 Blaze announced that recording of a live DVD filmed at his show in Antwerp, Belgium on 23 September 2011, in which he presented also the first new song with the renewed line-up, called "Black Country". In February Bayley 2012 he toured Russia with the other former Iron Maiden singer, Paul Di'Anno.
On 18 December 2011 the last show of the Promise and Terror world tour took place at De Rots In Antwerp Belgium. High Definition footage from the penulitmate UK show on 15 December is available on the Official Blaze Bayley YouTube channel.
On 26 December 2011 in a personal Christmas message on his website Blaze announced that his new album The King of Metal would be released on 8 March 2012. On the same day Blaze officially announced the first two legs of the King of Metal world tour on the official Blaze Bayley Facebook Page. The new line-up for the making of The King of Metal album (recorded between Italy and Holland, mixed by Tony Newton at Steve Harris home studio, Rick Plester in the Usa and Raoul Soentken in Holland) consists of 3 Italians: the confirmed drummer Claudio Tirincanti, bassist Lehmann (Matteo Grazzini), guitarist Andrea Neri. Other guitarist is young Dutch Thomas Zwijsen, who co-wrote most of the music of the new cd. The same line-up who recorded the album will be the next live band for Blaze Bayley in the King of Metal European Tour, which counts more than 60 gigs. The busy schedule of 2012 sees also an acoustic tour with Zwijsen (July), a North American tour (September), a few gigs with Wolfsbane (October), a second co-headlining tour with Paul Di'Anno in Eastern Europe, Australia and New Zealand (November), and the prosecution of the King of Metal Tour in Scandinavia (December).
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