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When Iron Maiden was 'at war with grunge'

Iron Maiden's war with grunge

Former frontman of Iron Maiden - Blaze Bayley spoke to the Crowcast, a podcast hosted by Those Damn Crows. Bayley spoke about the rise of grunge music in the 1990s and how it impacted hard rock and metal bands on radio, TV and their record and tour sales.

It was 1994, Bruce Dickinson had already left Iron Maiden to pursue his solo career. Bayley then joined the band, at the peak of grunge. The grunge movement was spearheaded by bands such as Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.

"When I was in Maiden, we were at war with grunge,” tells Bayley. Bayley recorded two albums with Maiden, The X Factor (1995) and Virtual XI (1998). “Grunge was trying to kill us. The UK press, they thought the sun shone out of various bands' bottoms, and they wanted Maiden to die.”

Bayley recalls a time when Iron Maiden played in the grunge heartland - Seattle. “It was one of the most awful gigs I've ever done. There were these people looking at us like we were some kind of dinosaur, and they were going, 'Why aren't they dead yet?',” he recalls.

Metal is forever!

“And then you've got a few rows at the front going, 'Maiden! Yes!' It's just unbelievable. And that's the war that we had with The X Factor and Virtual XI. We were fighting for the very existence of real heavy metal. And where are they now? Metal is forever, 'cause it's in the heart of fans.”

Why would people go to a gig to look at the band not knowing who they are? It guess back in 1994 all kinds of people were looking for a new grunge and somehow people showed up to an Iron Maiden gig expecting them to be the next big thing in grunge?

Bayley spent five years fronting Iron Maiden and has been fronting his band Wolfsbane on and off since 1984. He has also had a busy solo career and has a new album War Within Me due out in April this year.

Blaze added "I'm sorry, but grunge, it was fashionable. The best thing about what I do is it's not fashionable - I'm always unpopular, and that's why I've lasted so long,” he explained. “If everybody liked me, it would be the kiss of death for my career."

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