Posted On 22 Feb 2018
SAXON isn’t wasting any time in 2018. Following the critically acclaimed release of Battering Ram in 2015, the heavy metal giants released their latest studio album, Thunderbolt, on February 2nd via the Militia Guard label (Silver Lining Music). The new album Thunderbolt features original artwork by longtime Saxon collaborator Paul Raymond Gregory.
“This is album 22, and it’s called Thunderbolt. It’s a Storming Smashing Thundering collection of tracks we’ve been crafting with Producer, Andy Sneap and it’s finished ready to be unleashed. Stand clear and fasten your seat belts!” says Biff Byford.
They are currently embarking on their 2018 European Tour. SAXON will be joined by fellow English rockers DIAMOND HEAD and metal trio ROCK GODDESS will be performing on the scheduled UK dates, with very Special Guests MAGNUM on the UK Hull date only. However, SAXON doesn’t stop there – dates for the Thunderbolt Tour Part 2 will be announced in early 2018.
Following these dates, SAXON will tour North America with fellow British metal legends Judas Priest and supporting artist Black Star Riders. The North American tour will begin in Wilkes Barre, PA on March 13th and visit several major cities all over the map – including Washington DC, Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas – coming to an end in San Antonio, TX on May 1.
Since the 1970s Saxon has shown their ability to take rock ‘n’ roll and give it an electrifying edge which has since cemented their status as pioneers of the British heavy metal wave. With over twenty studio albums under their belt, SAXON has made their steadfast dedication to creating a dynamic body of a work a staple of their career.
Biff Byford – vocal
Paul Quinn – guitar
Nigel Glockler – drums
Nibbs Carter – bass
Doug Scarratt – guitar
Connect With SAXON Here:
Learn more about SAXON in the following All Access interview:
Happy New Year! Thanks for your time for this All Access interview! Where does this interview you today?
In the studio with my son’s band Naked Six a two piece grunge rock punk blues
What is one song that you are loving right now?
Nosferatu – I’m just shooting a video for it.
What is a song that you all disagree about loving right now?
Roadies – song nobody liked it
So first things first, what all are you most excited about for this year? The new album comes out on the 2nd Feb so pretty stoked about that Did any of you make New Year Resolutions? Care to share any of them with us?
Same old same old, drink less eat less.
Can you recall the moment when you all thought you could be in a band together?
Back in ’77 was a divining moment.
Was it hard to come up with a name that you all thought fit your sound and who you are?
The head of our record company suggested Saxon we liked it immediately
This month you will be releasing your 22nd album called “Thunderbolt”! Is that hard to believe that you have created that much music?
It’s been a roller coaster ride but I think for the last ten years we’ve been on a surge.
Are you ever surprised that you are still here doing it?
I’m not surprised but feel really lucky to have survived so long.
Can you talk about what it was like putting together “Thunderbolt”? How did the process compare to your past albums?
We put it together much the same as our last album Battering Ram pretty much all ideas flow through me and I pick the the music then work on arrangements and melody and lyric. We jam the tunes together and get them into shape.
Did you actively approach the recording process any differently this time around?
The only difference was Andy Sneap produced the album before they were co produced with me
What was the inspiration for this album?
We try to not be predictable so we treat all the songs as a separate project.
I know it’s hard but can you pick one or two favorite songs from the collection and talk about how they were created?
I like Nosferatu. It’s a gothic metal track which we liked to work in. The Secret Of Flight, the lyrics include Icarus and Leonardo da Vinci, The Right Brothers and Einstein but I don’t really have a favorite
How did they go from being ideas in your heads to full blown songs on the album?
Most of the original ideas for the album initially came from me and Nibbs Carter, we worked together closely to get the tracks together for the band
You have a very jam packed 2018 tour already lined up so I am curious to know if performing still gives you all the same high and energy? I think performing for and band or performer with their fans behind them is a great moment and those moments keep coming How would you say that touring has changed for you?
I think it’s gotten better. The buses are better and the sound systems are better and because of the internet now, fans can keep in touch on a hourly basis.
You have a very jam packed 2018 tour already lined up so I am curious to know if performing still gives you all the same high and energy? How would you say that touring has changed for you? Have you ever toured with your tour mates, Diamond Head, Rock Goddess and Magnum and Judas Priest before? Have you gotten to hang out with them beforehand?
The first tour we did of Europe in 1980 was with Judas Priest their album was called “British Steel” and ours was called “Wheels of Steel”. We’ve done festivals with then we chilled with Magnum back in the day in Hamburg Germany.
Can you tease our readers with anything about your upcoming tour? What can fans expect to hear?
We will be trying to cram as many songs into the set as possible with songs from the new album and some big 80s like Denim and Leather, Crusaders, etc.
Is there anyone that you would all still love to work with in the future?
We should do a Rolling Stones tour.
Who are some of your favorite artists right now?
I like Royal Blood, Naked Six. There are some great new bands coming up in the U.K.
What would be a dream collaboration for this group?
I like the guys in Saxon but I am writing my solo album so I may tour with some other musicians.
At this point in your careers, where do you think you are all happiest- on stage performing, its different I think for the guys some like touring others prefer to be nearer home recording in the studio recording music or elsewhere?
It’s different I think for the guys some like touring others prefer to be nearer home recording in the studio.
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being in this band gives you the most joy in life today?
As I said we are privileged to be able to live the Rock & Roll life.
Do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect these difficult times?
Some bands will write about what’s happening at the moment we like to write more about the past or future it seems to fit the genre .
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs? What do you hope they take away from one of your shows?
I think the whole thing for us revolves around the new album.
The making of and touring to support it we’d like people to listen and think wow these boys still have it same with the live give 100% of what you’ve got.
What advice would you give to a band just getting started on this music path? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
It’s a great thing to be able to play an instrument or sing so put in some time and dedication learn from your favourite bands but at some point develop your own style you have to be prepared to go for the long haul and believe in yourself but don’t fool yourself
And never surrender