Interview: Biff Byford (Saxon)


Interview With: Biff Byford (Saxon)
Interview Form: Text (Audio coming soon)
Interview By: Natalie ‘Postcode’ Greener
Subject: Saxon UK Tour 2015
Date: Jan 16 2015

1) How do you feel people say that you’re one of the leaders in British Heavy Metal?
(Laughs) Well, pretty good really. It’s not something you’re going to feel bad about. Yeah it’s good, I mean we don’t mind being called heavy metal unlike some other bands but yeah, it’s good!”

2. What’s your motivation to keep touring?
Probably playing in front of the fans and writing new albums. We usually tour after new albums where as this world tour is more 35th anniversary. Generally, writing new songs, touring and playing to our fans is what really motivates us – and obviously getting paid for it!

3. The new metal scene has developed massively since the rock metal movement during the 1970’s and onwards. What’s your opinion on the current metal scene?
I think it’s good. The thing is, metal is a bit of a weird word – everything is lumped into one you know; Heavy rock, hard rock, metal. But yeah, it’s going pretty well. You’ve got some pretty good, young bands that are  up and coming so it’s doing well. I think it’s a bit harder for new bands to break through but it’s a good scene to tour in I think. Obviously it’s harder to sell records these days but the live scene seems to be really vibrant at the moment.

4. Who’s the most influential musician you have met?
( Laughs ) I’ve met lots actually. Erm I don’t know, Ozzy Osborne, Ronnie James Dio. I’ve got loads of people actually but generally, older musicians who I used to like when I was younger really.

5. On your latest tour, which part of the set list do you enjoy playing the most?
I usually like the first 4/5 songs personnally. They’re different, a mixture of styles of songs so that’s pretty cool.

6. Unfortunately, your ‘Warrior’s of the Road’ tour had to be postponed due to your drummer, Nigel Glockler’s health issues. Is there any news on how he is doing?
Yeah, he’s doing good, he’s doing good. I was speaking to him yesterday and he’s healing very nicely but it’s going to take a while.
*We saw a Facebook video post of him in hospital, can you give him our message to get well soon?*
Yeah. He seems to have a lot of Facebook followers now (laughs). I think it’s because of his illness but he’s doing alright. He’s a survivor, Nigel and he’ll do great.

7. We are glad to hear you’re back on the road again soon with Sven Dirkschneider filling in as drummer. What’s he like to work with?
He’s good. He’s a good lad. He was also Nigel’s drum tech for a while so he knows all the songs. It’s going to be great I think.

8. When you’re performing, which song is the most emotionally driven and powerful when  performed?
It’s mostly about ‘first or second world war’ but things like ‘Broken Hero’ are quite emotional and some of our earlier stuff. Also, ‘Requiem’, a song called ‘Requiem’. More emotional songs like ‘Dallas 1pm’ you obviously have to play a little bit differently than the run around, boogie woogie tracks.

9. We all know that Saxon albums are multiple people’s favourite but which album/song is your favourite by another musician?
Oh I like lots of bands. I think the older bands like Led Zeppelin. His  second album is fantastic. My son’s got the ‘Raw Blood’ album which is also fantastic. In the middle years I would say AC DC, the ‘Back in Black’ album. I like all sorts of music that’s got a rocky edge to it which is always good.

10. What’s been the highlight of the tour so far?
London is usually a good highlight but we’ve still got major cities left like NewCastle, Wolverhampton, Nottingham with Oxford in the middle there so it should be good. I think one of the high points of the tour was Paris which is great but i don’t think there was any gig which was better than any other. They were all great really.

11. What’s the most humorous thing a fan has done in your music career?
He brought his baby to sign. It was a bit… But we just signed the baby’s nappy instead.

12. Did the media take to your music straight away or did it take a while to build a fan base up through them?
Well, I think our second album, the media took to it straight away and we had quite a few hit singles on Top of the Pops chart so I think that once we had our sound together that we wanted, it was very quick for the media to pick up on it. But I think that they picked up on alot of bands; Iron Maiden, White Snake – things like that.

13. Did you feel like you were so significant in the metal movement?
No, I don’t think you feel like it at the time and after time, you meet people in America, different bands that say you influence them but at the time, I don’t think you knew really.

14. How long do you think Saxon ‘s reign shall go on for?
Oh I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see. Take it a day at a time.

15. What would you say to your younger selves before taking off in the industry?
Don’t sign as many contracts! (Laughs)

Scorpio Review would like to thank Biff Byford & Saxon for their time and wish them good luck out on tour – We will be joining them on their Feb 4th Nottingham date, and shall have full coverage just after the event!

February 3rd – Newcastle – Academy
February 4th – Nottingham – Rock City
February 5th – Wolverhampton – Wulfrun Hall
February 6th – Oxford – Academy
February 7th – London – Shepherds Bush Empire

Ticket price for London is £27.50 (subject to booking fee)
All other shows £26 (subject to booking fee)
Ticket Line: 0844 871 8803

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