Interview With Blaze Pt. 2
(Bayley, Wilfort)

Keith Wilfort: The album was co-produced by Steve with Nigel Green, I mean Nigel's record speaks for itself, but what's Steve like to work for as a producer? Is he sort of a whip cracker, or does he sort of just let everyone get on with it then?
Blaze: He's good and bad, it's like a tragic comic love affair when Steve is producing and you're doing your part, because he will encourage you and he'll go "oh that sounded good, that sounded good". But he will also, when he feels like it, or if he thinks the performance is there to (unintelligible), he'll make you do the same thing so many times until you've forgot what it's about, you know. But in essence I'd say as a producer he's really good because he never forgets what the song is about. He never looks at things from a purely technical thing and he always makes you feel like the musician is more important than the equipment, which I think when you're in the studio its very easy for the technocrats to take over and say "oh yeah we've got this computer doing that, we can use these effects..." and forget that in essence what music is about, and especially the style of music that Maiden do, what that is about is actually reaching to people, it's speaking to people, you know, and that's why I think the band... it's a live band because that's the ultimate place for that, you know, when you're onstage or in a gig, then I think the vibe with Maiden is not "we are the band, you are the fans." I think it's more like "we're all here together to get the most out of tonight and really enjoy ourselves." So from that point of view I think that Steve doesn't forget that when he's in the studio. I really like working like that because I always imagine when I'm singing I always try to think what's it going to be like live, you know, when we're onstage what's it going to be like? And I'm really looking forward to doing Sign Of The Cross and some of the other ones live.

Keith Wilfort: The new artwork is a radical departure from what was done in the past, was that a conscious decision when the artwork was being thought of or did it sort of move that way?
Blaze: Well it was I think a conscious decision in one way. Certainly not long after I joined the band and I was talking to Steve about what I thought about the artwork, I think we certainly thought along the same lines there, that there's no way you could really kill Eddie, I mean after all he's the undead, so you're not going to be able to kill him off. And really, I really like Eddie and I like what he stands for and the kind of... you know, the antagonistic dark side, what he represents. So you can't really lose Eddie, but as well, Eddie has to do something, he has to come from somewhere else. This is a new lineup and it's going to be hopefully a new beginning for Maiden. So I think that was in our minds, and then the guy... they'd had a couple of things sent in that Steve had looked at and wasn't particularly impressed with, and then he phoned up the guy who finished (unintelligible) the artwork, and when he said "we want you to come up with some ideas for the next Maiden album" he said "I've been waiting for this phone call for five years." So I thought well it's gonna be good if he's been into the band and waiting to do it so and it's come out really well. I think it's going to be quite controversial but I don't think in all the time I've been following Maiden I don't think they've ever shied away from controversy or confronting people.

Keith Wilfort: Finally, touring. After spending months recording you must be looking forward to getting out on the road... like.... stageshow-wise or presentation-wise, how are you going to be different, how's it going to be different from previous shows and.... I know you like to experiment with your monitors and stuff like that, so is there anything that you've sort of like thought about that you're gonna do...?
Blaze: Yeah, what we're doing is... we're certainly going to.... we're changing the monitor system onstage is one of the first things we'll do, so when we're playing small... we've got a monitor system that takes up less of the room on the stage and also the P.A., just as powerful I think it's a bit louder, the P.A. that we're gonna use but it's gonna be a bit smaller so in fact more people will be able to see us and we'll have a bit more room onstage. And also I think Maiden, the last couple of tours... like with No Prayer and stuff, they've stripped down the set, stripped it right down to backdrops and things like that, and I think there's certainly a feeling in the band now that we want to come out with a show and really say "Yeah we're here" and give people something to look at and a memorable evening with Iron Maiden, certainly. So I think it's gonna be very enthusiastic performances on the tour, and we can't wait to get out there really because we take so long making the album and doing the promotion and everything that by the time we do get out it's just going to be insane. It's just going to be like one of those fairy story dragons lying asleep in the cave, waking up incredibly hungry and breathing fire. We're about to go and trash the local town and eat all the virgins. So that's what it feels like at the moment... when we get out there I'm sure it's going to be insane.
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