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Biff Byford interview at Preston 53 Degrees – 15.02.14

Biff Byford interview at Preston 53 Degrees – 15.02.14

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Recently Rock N’ Load caught up with Biff Byford from British Metal giants Saxon, prior to their show at Preston’s 53˚ club on 15th February 2014:

 

Shayne: Thanks Biff for taking the time out today to be interviewed by Rock N’ Load.

Biff:  Not a problem!

Shayne:  Saxon are releasing a live album next month Biff. Can you tell us a little bit about the album?

Biff:  Yeah, it’s a live album recorded on St. George’s Day last year at the Manchester Ritz show, and it’s pretty good actually. It was mixed by Andy Sneap who worked on the Sacrifice record.

Shayne:  I was at that gig Biff, it was an awesome show.

Biff:  Yeah, it was a great gig.   What can I say about the album other than it’s a live album, and it’s called ‘St.George’s Day – Live In Manchester’. It’s a bit of a play on the St.Valentine’s Day Massacre, so yeah it’s just an album coming out really. We’ve got some more stuff coming out this year and I’m also writing songs for a solo album, so I’m pretty busy at the moment. The RONNIE JAMES DIO song I sang with  Motörhead, that’s coming out pretty soon as well.

Shayne: Did you enjoy doing the ‘Starstruck’ cover with Motörhead which is going to be on the DIO tribute album ‘This Is Your Life’

Biff: Well i didn’t physically do it with  Motörhead, I did it with Andy Sneap in the studio, but yeah it was good fun. It’s not my favourite DIO track but it’s the one that Lemmy recorded, so I sang it for him, so yeah it was good.

Shayne:  Going back to the St. George’s Day theme Biff, isn’t it becoming a tradition that Saxon play every St. George’s Day?

Biff:  It has been, we’ve missed a couple, but we seem to be the English band of choice for those things, but yeah we like it. We are a very historic band and it suits the idiom.

Shayne:  You were originally lined up to play a string of shows with Motörhead, however due to Lemmy’s ill health; Motörhead had to understandably cancel the tour. It seemed uncertain whether or not Saxon would be able to put any shows on for their fans after the Motörhead announcement. It show’s a great test of character in Saxon as a band to have been able to still honour three UK dates for the fans playing Northampton, Buckley and Preston tonight after the Motörhead announcement.

Biff:  We had already warmed up for the Motörhead tour and this one as well originally, so it was a matter of cancelling them or doing them and you just make a choice really, don’t you. You know, you make choices as you go really. We’re going to do a massive tour in October, November and December in the UK and Europe.

Shayne:  Where is the Tour going to start?

Biff:  I think it’s gonna start in Spain sometime, the end of October (2014). It’s gonna be quite a big package and yeah, it should be good. And then to coincide with that we’re releasing the Saxon Chronicles 2, called ‘Warrior’s of the Road’.

Shayne:  How do you find touring? It must take its toll on the body.

Biff:  Touring? Well, we all stay fairly fit you know, drink a lot and sleep as much as you can really. That seems to be the norm (laugh)

I actually do a lot of walking and biking. I’m a bit tall really for running. Six foot one, I tend to fall over a lot, especially living in Yorkshire, its all hills. I also do weight training and things like that.

Shayne:  I was talking with Harv from Stormzone at Hard Rock Hell and we both agreed that your voice is sounding better than it ever has.

Biff:  Yeah, it’s pretty shit today though, I’ve got a sore throat and I shouldn’t really be talking actually but never mind. Yeah, it’s alright my voice, just goes on. I don’t really do anything for it. That’s about it really, just open my mouth and sing. People ask if I do any exercises or anything and I say no, glass of wine, bit of chewing gum maybe and that’s it.

Shayne:  There seems to be at the moment a large resurgence of eighties classic metal, with bands from that era having reformed Biff.

Biff:  I know a lot of bands have reformed but I don’t know how well they’re doing. I don’t sell records for them so I wouldn’t know. I do know record sales have gone down.

Shayne:  Why do you think that is?

Biff:  Downloading! It’s pretty obvious isn’t it really?

Shayne:  What do you think of Social Media these days as a channel to get the Saxon message out there? Do you think it’s a good thing?

Biff:  Yeah, I think the internet is a good thing for bands as we can put things out there immediately for the fans. We’re heavily involved in Facebook and our website’s pretty big, although Facebook seems to have taken over these days. It comes and goes like everything. There was cassettes, vinyl, CDs and now MP3 and something else will come along soon. It’s just how it is really.

Shayne:  Things change all the time, technology, music, bands etc.  Biff! (laugh)

Biff:  No one has ever left this band of any significance, that’s the thing. Nigel (Glockler) over there, he’s been and gone and come back.  I think when a singer leaves a band with the more recognisable sound of the band, it can be a bigger deal than just a guitarist leaving.

Shayne:  Like when Vince Neil left Mötley Crüe?

Biff:  Well I think something changes within the band and you just have to adapt.

Shayne: I know we are limited for time Biff as you need to do a sound check and as such  I’d like to say thank you again for agreeing to be interviewed today and also wish you a great gig for tonight’s Preston show.

Biff:  Thankyou!

Shayne:   Have you got a message you’d like to give to your fans Biff?

Biff:  Yeah, Keep the Faith!