The short-time Iron Maiden vocalist Blaze Bayley recently stated that the progressive era began when he joined the band after Bruce Dickinson left for five years.

Iron Maiden went through the process of choosing a new vocalist in the year 1994 to replace Bruce Dickinson. Dickinson had been in the band for 12 years when he decided to quit to try out a solo career. They replaced the vocalist with Blaze Bayley after setting up auditions.

According to Bayley, the auditions were stressful because he didn’t know what the band was looking for exactly. In the beginning, he thought he wouldn’t get the job because he was very different from Dickinson. However, it turns out that the band wasn’t looking for someone like Dickinson anyway.

They hired Bayley and released two studio albums together in 5 years, ‘The X Factor’ and ‘Virtual XI.’ The singer recently stated that the time he joined the band was the beginning of Iron Maiden’s ‘progressive era.’ He added that he was probably chosen because he was different, and the band seemed like they wanted to move on from the Dickinson era.

Here is what Bayley stated about the audition process:

“And I really thought they would be going for someone that sounded like Bruce, with a lot of great singers out there – Bruce Dickinson, incredibly influential in the world of metal, so a lot of people that sounded or were heavily influenced by Bruce.”

This is what he said about Iron Maiden’s progressive era:

“But they went for something different. I don’t know why but I think they chose me because I was different, and that started something in the band, it was the beginning of the progressive era of Iron Maiden when we did ‘The X Factor.'”

You can watch the entire interview below.