English heavy metal singer Blaze Bayley recalls sitting with his mother and watching early seasons of Star Trek and Doctor Who. Bayley feels this started a lifelong interest in sci-fi stories. “In those days, to see a door slide open by itself was unbelievable,” he says. “Now if you go to the mall and the door doesn’t open by itself, you’re amazed. I’ve got a full-blown computer in my phone. It’s unbelievable!”
Another turning point for Bayley, known for working with legendary metal bands like Iron Maiden, Wolfsbane and Blaze, was the discovery of heavy metal and hard rock. He’ll never forget hearing Black Sabbath’s first record, “which at that time was the spookiest thing I’d ever heard,” he says. “How would I know that, years later, that would sound beautiful to me?” After hearing Sabbath, Bayley says, “I didn’t want to work in a hotel anymore. I wanted to be a heavy metal singer. I’m living my dream right now.”
Bayley comes to Eugene behind Endure and Survive (Infinite Entanglement, Pt. II), the second installment in a three-part sci-fi album trilogy exploring themes of human consciousness, artificial intelligence and space exploration.
“It’s the story of a man who does not know if he’s human,” Bayley says. “His consciousness has been downloaded and he’s in a machine. Many of my fans say it’s my best work. I find it difficult to believe.”
He goes on: “I’m so proud of it.”
Blaze Bayley plays with Portland’s Tanagra and Eugene’s Toxic Witch 9 pm Thursday, Sept. 7, at Old Nick’s; $15, 21-plus.