Legendary UK rockers Saxon are set to take the UK by force this May. With new album ‘Sacrifice’ in tow the band are primed and ready to showcase just what makes them as popular today, as they were in the genres glory days.
Whilst Fame’s rock correspondent Phil Allely would love to have been able to chat to Saxon frontman Biff Byford in the build up to this new tour, this was not possible.
However not one to be beaten by logistics, Phil sought out fellow rock journo Mark Dean and asked if we could publish highlights from his recent interview with the singer. Here they are, we hope you enjoy them?
So Biff how are the tour rehearsals going?’
‘It’s going good actually. It isn’t too difficult putting a set list together for this tour. As we are on the new album tour we will be playing quite a few new songs from it. However it is difficult thinking of what old songs to play.’
Am I right in thinking there is a different sound in ‘Sacrifice’?
‘A little bit I’d say. I produced it (Sacrifice) myself. I wanted it to be a little bit more in your face.
There are no ballads on there, we went back to the 80s style. Maybe it is a little bit more honest in its sound.’‘I hail from Northern Ireland, so have to ask this. There is a track featured on the album called ‘Made In Belfast’, what inspired that?‘
‘The last time I was in Belfast, we stayed in a huge penthouse place above Harland and Wolf dockyard. I thought that it may be a good idea to write about the workforce that lived and worked on the ships there,rather than just about the Titanic.’
Belfast has also been referenced in another Saxon song ‘Broken Heroes”
‘Yes a bit more of a war song that one, but not really in the same context as this one.’
One of the first gigs I attended was the show Saxon played in Belfast way back on the “Power and the glory” tour(1983).
‘Yes we were one of the first bands in the eighties to go to Ireland really,I have some great memories of playing there,it is good.’
‘The music industry has dramatically changed since you first started out, particularly in recent years. Is it harder to maintain a healthy standard of living these days for a working band?’
‘Everything is more on playing “live”these days,which is a pain as you have to go away more. Live has really taken over from albums a lot. We still sell quite a few albums though.
Our genre is pretty cool,people like to have the package. Although a lot of the high street shops have gone,people are still buying them from on-line shops.’
Saxon’s new album Sacrifice is available now from all good retailers.
Tickets for the Sacrifice UK/Ireland tour are available from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide and online.
Interview By Mark Dean/Foreword by Phil Allely