Blaze Bayley, former vocalist for Iron Maiden, isn't phased by the metalheads who hated him because he replaced Bruce Dickinson in the mid-to-late '90s. In fact, he hopes those exact people still hate him.

Bayley was discussing his time in Iron Maiden during an interview with Aftershocks TV. The singer has his own solo career, including a new album War Within Mebut he claimed that he actually prefers having a smaller audience than the one he had fronting one of the biggest metal bands in the world.

"I don't want to be big. I'm not trying to be big. I'm not trying to play stadiums. I'm not thinking, 'I've gotta get back into big theaters. I've gotta get into arenas.' I've done it, I've done all of that. And now, I don't want too many fans," he said, adding that he doesn't want to gain many new fans with his new album.

"I'm happy where I am, doing what I'm doing. And if people wanna say, 'Well, the worst albums Iron Maiden ever made are with Blaze Bayley,' that's a good thing for me, 'cause it will put people off and stop them buying War Within Me and listening and getting into it."

The rocker mentioned that he has 1,500 copies of War Within Me to send out, and that his "arm is aching" from signing all of them. However, he is grateful to the loyal fanbase that he does have.

"The people that hated Blaze Bayley for being in Iron Maiden, I hope they still hate me," he continued. "Because then at least I'm something. If [people] say, 'Who's Blaze Bayley?' 'He's the worst thing to ever happen to Iron Maiden,' then I'm okay with that."

Bayley assured that he is still friends with some figures in the band, including Steve Harris, and some members of their camp and management.

"So I really don't care what people think. Why should I? The only opinion that really matters to me is the people that supported me for so many years and make it possible for me to live my dream."

Watch the interview below.

Bayley joined Maiden in 1994 following Dickinson's departure. He appeared as the vocalist on two of the band's releases — 1995's The X Factor and 1998's Virtual XI.

Blaze Bayley on Aftershocks TV

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