British heavy metal vocalist Blaze Bayley (IRON MAIDEN, WOLFSBANE) has released the following statement:
"First of all, thanks again for all the wonderful messages of support I have received in the last few days.
"The mental, financial and emotional strain of keeping the BLAZE BAYLEY band together has proven to be too much for me and has taken a terrible toll on my mental health. As a result of that, I have had to split with the BLAZE BAYLEY band. Now I am just Blaze Bayley, a solo artist and also the lead singer of WOLFSBANE.
"Since Anna [Di Laurenzio, tour manager] and Larry [Paterson, drums] left the BLAZE BAYLEY band, we've tried to do everything ourselves and for me it has been too much. Without a proper manager coordinating concerts, touring, festivals, promotion, record releases and all the finances, it's too much to cope with. Now [that] I've finally taken this incredibly difficult decision, I feel I can breathe again.
"It has been an upsetting, frustrating and sad time because the BLAZE BAYLEY band will not be going on any more, but it is also for me a huge relief and a time to look forward.
"I wish David [Bermudez, bass], Nico [Bermudez, guitar] and Jay [Walsh, guitar] every succes with their future projects and like to thank them for their loyalty, commitment and sharing their musical talent on 'The Man Who Would Not Die' and 'Promise And Terror'. They are arguably two of the best metal albums I have ever made. We have made a live album and a DVD and I am immensly proud of all of those things as well as the incredible concerts we have played to fans all over the world.
"I apologize to my U.K. fans for postponing the upcoming tour. We are still in the process of rearranging all the dates that we can to happen in December.
"The shows I have booked with WOLFSBANE will all go ahead. Also, all the festivals I have booked will go ahead with different musicians.
"I have a lot of plans that I am very excited about for the future and on top of that I am expecting my first child to be born in September.
"Look out for me popping up in different places all over Europe in the summer, because I am still available and being booked for festivals and guest appearances.
"The first two weeks of September is my unplugged acoustic U.K. tour with Jase Edwards from WOLFSBANE, called the 'Blaze And Jase: The Incredible Tour'. The full dates will be announced in the next few weeks. After that, there will be a week of European full metal shows.
"I am going to the USA in October and November for my first-ever headline tour since IRON MAIDEN. I will look forward to seeing all the Blaze Bayley fans over there. After that, the new WOLFSBANE album comes out, hopefully followed by a headline tour with WOLFSBANE of the U.K. and then my own rescheduled U.K. Blaze Bayley tour dates in December.
"Next year, I am planning to do my first acoustic unplugged album with mostly new songs and that should come with an unplugged world tour.
"I'm planning to start work on my next full metal album in 2013.
"Thank you so much everyone for being there for me through these difficult years and for your continued support. Thank you for being my blood and belief."
A statement from former members of Blaze Bayley's solo band — David Bermudez (bass), Nico Bermudez (guitar) and Jay Walsh (guitar) — regarding the group's split can be found at this location.
The 47-year-old Bayley, who was born in Birmingham, was the original frontman in WOLFSBANE, but left in 1994 to replace Bruce Dickinson as the lead singer of IRON MAIDEN.
Blaze's latest album, "Promise and Terror", was released on February 1, 2010.
The singer's double live album and live DVD, "The Night That Will Not Die" — recorded on December 13, 2008 at Z7 in Pratteln, Switzerland — were released on Blaze Bayley Recordings; the concert was filmed by director Kris McManus and all audio mixed and mastered by producer Jase Edwards.