'Into the Pit' with singer Blaze Bayley
Camera: Joe Alexander
To some, Blaze Bayley is an accomplished solo artist who carved his niche onto the British heavy metal scene as the singer of Wolfsbane. To a majority of metalheads, however, Bayley is an enigma anytime his name is mentioned in the same sentence as the words Iron Maiden.
 
Even 20-plus years after putting his stamp on the legendary British band as its vocalist from 1994-99, Bayley is often thought of as "the guy who replaced Bruce Dickinson." Many view him as "the guy who never should have replaced Bruce Dickinson." For a band that possesses arguably the most devoted and loyal fans worldwide, Iron Maiden's followers tend to take a love-him-or-hate-him approach when it comes to the two Maiden albums on which Bayley sang: The X Factor and Virtual XI.
 
But when it comes to songs such as "Lord of the Flies," "Man on the Edge," "The Clansman," and "Sign of the Cross," Bayley has proven his tenure and presence in Iron Maiden deserve their own recognition.
 
Bayley, however, is much more than his past. The latest example came Saturday night as he headlined The Rock Box in San Antonio in support of Endure and Survive: The Infinite Entanglement, Part IIwhich is part of a Sci-Fi concept trilogy. Bayley was scheduled to play Houston the night before, but the Hurricane Harvey-ravaged city's plight led to a cancellation.
 
Bayley used the opportunity to come to San Antonio a day early, where he took part in an autograph session for two hours at a local record store. The concert turned into a hurricane relief effort, one of several that popped up over Labor Day weekend, with Bayley saying he hopes to return to Houston next year when Part III of the trilogy is released.
 
Prior to the gig, Bayley covered a wide range of topics when he sat down with AXS. In addition to discussing the new album and his time in Iron Maiden, Bayley reflected on his previous San Antonio-area visit in February 2015, when he played da Bunker sports bar in nearby Universal City while backed by a trio of renowned Texas musicians as part of his band The Foundry (coverage here). He contrasted that period of time with his current mates who make up a band called Absolva out of Manchester, England.
 
Click on the video box above to watch the first part of the conversation. Click here for the second part, and stay tuned for coverage of Bayley's performance.