Former Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley revealed he has an unspoken bond with Bruce Dickinson, the man he replaced in the band in 1993 and who was then himself replaced by in 1999.

He also credited Dickinson with offering support during his time with Maiden and his later solo career. “Whenever we're in a room together, we say hi,” Bayley told Total Rock Radio in a recent interview. “There's a moment and a look between us, and I think it's an unspoken thing that we just connect and go, ‘There's the other person that knows how difficult it is to be the singer of Iron Maiden!’”

You can watch the interview below.

Speaking of their long-standing connection, Bayley recalled meeting Dickinson while Bayley was on tour with his band Wolfsbane. “We kind of kept in touch," he said. "And when I was in Maiden, Bruce was very supportive, and after Maiden, Bruce was very supportive of my solo career. ... He really supported me on the last album, because I wanted to make a video … the song is called 'Escape Velocity' and the chorus is 'I will fly.' And I said, 'You know, it would be great if we could use a flight simulator. And who do I know?' … I got in touch with Bruce, and he let me use one of the flight simulators at his company. I mean, this would cost a fortune if you had to buy it, and he let me use that all day … It was incredible.”

Bayley noted that he had landed the Maiden lead role because the band “really wanted a change” after Dickinson. “They wanted a different voice at that time with those albums, The X Factor and 'Virtual XI,’ that I was on," he said. "And it was the start of the progressive era of Iron Maiden that we're familiar with now, with the longer songs and bigger production and everything. So I feel that I was there at an important time in the Maiden story, though it may not have been popular with all the fans – and there's still plenty of Maiden fans that hate me.”

Michael Schenker singer Doogie White recently recalled his own experience auditioning for the band, and said that he never would have kept the job if he’d been given it, because Dickinson was always going to return. Dickinson once said he was “surprised” when Bayley was given the position.