BLAZE - Metal Flows Toward The Path Of Least Resistance
By Martin Popoff

Blaze, like Ripper, turns and turned out to be a talented guy making the best of a bad situation. Both singers have the distinction of fronting a pair of bad albums by good bands. Whether Ripper fronts a third remains to be seen. But Blaze is well off the Maiden map now, three records past that bad dream (bad for us, good memories, it seems, for him) with two solid, well-regarded studio albums under his bullet belt and now, a ripping double live opus called As Live As It Gets.

In celebration of the live album, SPV is releasing for the first time in North America, its predecessors, Silicon Messiah from '00 and The Tenth Dimension from last year. These records are creative, aware metal albums, good enough to prompt comparisons with Bruce Dickinson, both Maiden singers tacitly yet graphically, through impressive solo careers, showing their Maiden mates that metal can be crafted so much better than that of the soggy legwarmer material that has become commonplace and predictable within the claustrophobic confines of Maiden. Not hard to work Halford into this comparison as well.

In any event, here then is a question and answer session with the affable Blaze, about the new record and all things blazing...

Give me an indication of what we get with us live album.

"Well, it's called As Live As It Gets and it was recorded primarily at two shows, one in Switzerland during our summer tour at a concert called the Metal Daze Festival. And the other one was a Christmas show in the UK, called the Blaze Big Bash. We recorded the show in the summer and it just so happened that they had some recording equipment there and they said, 'Would you like to record the show?' and I said yeah. And we listened back to it and said, well, some of this is good enough for a live album. But we played a shorter set there and there were a few things that we would like to have done differently. So we decided to go ahead and record our Christmas show. And we told all our fans what we were doing, and it turned out great. And we had a couple of weeks off after the recording and when we went back in the studio to listen to it, we were really, really pleased with it. We thought it sounded better than both of our studio albums."

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