Interview By Ali Blackdiamond As part of our Tribute To Ritchie Blackmore week, we have invited well known names in the world of rock and metal to share their thoughts about Ritchie.
Next up is a chat with drummer from NWOBHM legends SAXON and all round cool guy Nigel Glockler.
We started the chat by being brought up to date with all things SAXON. Nigel said “We’re just starting festival season and we’ve just announced a European tour for the autumn. We’re writing, everyone’s getting ideas for the next album. We started this because the Motörhead thing got cancelled, so we thought rather than waste time, we’ll get a jump and start writing.”
Discussing Ritchie, Nigel had a few interesting anecdotes to tell:
“I was a big DEEP PURPLE fan from the very first album “Shades Of Deep Purple,” I had them all. The band before I joined them toured with RAINBOW in the UK. In ’82 or ’83 we did some shows with RAINBOW in the States, so that was the first time I’d ever met him. (Ritchie) That was the line-up with Joe Lynn Turner, Bobby Rondinelli, it was the ‘Straight Between The Eyes’ tour.
In actual fact I think they brought out a DVD of some of the shows from that tour and if you look at the beginning, there’s a guy holding a paper and in it, it says ‘supported by Saxon’ if you look very closely at the advert on the paper the guy is reading.
Ritchie was a good guy, from what I remember he was football mad, but SAXON aren’t really footballers! I think our crew played him but we didn’t.”
It obviously had an influence on me because I had “Deep Purple In Rock” and “Machine Head” when I was at school and I was learning my trade. I should think it had an influence on me, whether conciously or subconciously.
When “Deep Purple In Rock” came out, with Ian’s screaming vocals it was quite a unique thing. In fact, my party piece was singing ‘Child In Time,’ I could get all the screaming notes!”
You can listen to the interview in full on the player below:
English metal legends SAXON have announced their upcoming ‘Warriors Of The Road’ world tour via their official Facebook page. The tour begins in Athens, Greece on 25th October and includes special guests SKID ROW.
Check out the full list of dates on the poster below:
British metal legends SAXON have announced they will be embarking on a 35th anniversary tour. The announcement made via their official Facebook page can be read below:
“The Mighty Saxon are pleased to announce their 35th Anniversary Tour!
With a setlist 35 years in the making, the ultimate live band are putting together a set list that will explode into life this Oct/Nov/Dec, across the United Kingdom & Europe, with very special guests to be announced shortly.
The band are once again bringing the music to the people, playing venues large and small, with the words from the classic song “Denim and Leather” coming to life -
WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE DAM BEGAN TO BURST?
DID YOU QUEUE FOR YOUR TICKETS THROUGH THE ICE & SNOW?
Dates and details to follow soon – Keep the Faith!
British metal legends SAXON have posted a new interview with vocalist Biff Byford on their official Facebook page. Some excerpts can be read below.
The band recently announced its plans to release the ‘St. George’s Day Sacrifice – Live In Manchester’ live double CD. What was the motive behind a release of this nature, and what will it comprise of?
Biff: We have a lot of live recordings so it is good to let the fans hear them – this concert was a special one and the Patron Saint Day.
While Saxon has never truly strayed from their root sound, ‘Sacrifice’ certainly seemed like a return to the classic sonic values of the band à la the ‘Wheels of Steel’ era, albeit more crushing and bombastic. How did the band go about retaining the classic Saxon sound, while still incorporating memorable, propulsive hooks and catchy riffage without descending into a re-hash?
Biff: Well we are always trying to write great songs we don’t want just be just playing the hits. So, we spend time trying to be original within our genre and the team we have (Andy Sneap and Jackie Lehmann) are all on the same page as me.
The band was recently awarded the Metal Hammer Golden God award for best UK band over new age sensations such as Tesseract and Black Spiders. Even with a fall in album sales post-Destiny, Saxon is a brand of heavy metal that still stands tall and proud among the youth who recognize the band as one of the architects of the NWOBHM and heavy metal in general thus cementing your relevance in present day heavy metal culture. Do you think you survived because of the phenomenon of Youtube, Internet and digital media? What is your take on music being digitally available?
Biff: I think over the last ten years there has been a movement back to classic rock and our brand of heavy metal. Older fans are back, younger new fans are now with us, so a regeneration of our genre has took place. Also to continue to write great albums helps.
You were one of the few if not the only person who supported the (for a lack of a better word) canonization of heavy metal which is quite ironic considering the fact that heavy metal is all about freedom and vehemently opposes norms set by society and religion. According to you, what does the religion of heavy metal preach and what are its limitations?
Biff: I think to a lot of people music is a kind of religion and it is a bit of people power to get them to vote.
Did your childhood or the general social environment growing up affect your views, and in turn, the music of Saxon in any way? What was it like in the heart of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement?
Biff: It was like riding a bullet.
To read the interview in full, visit Indian metal news site Metal Wani.com here.
British metal legends SAXON will still be playing 3 club dates this month, following the cancellation of the previously planned dates with MOTORHEAD, as they don’t want to disappoint their British fans. Support will be STORMZONE from Ireland for Northampton and Buckley shows.
Seminal NWOBM outfit Saxon will head to Northampton, Preston and Buckley to revisit venues where they last entertained audiences back in 1979 and 1980, in a memorable comeback which will see them perform tracks from their latest album ‘Sacrifice’ next to a selection of classics. A tribute to the band’s loyal fan base, Saxon’s return to their roots promises to be a special treat not to be missed. Some footage from the events will be used for an upcoming documentary, which also includes filming from July 13 shows at Holmfirth Picturedome and the Steelhouse Festival.
Dates as follows:
Monday 10th February NORTHAMPTON ROADMENDERS
Tuesday 11th February BUCKLEY TIVOLI
Saturday 15th February PRESTON 53 Degrees
Tickets for the Saxon UK headlining shows are £22.50 (subject to booking fee). VIP tickets for the Preston show are valid, you have to buy a venue ticket as well if you don’t have one.
British metal trio ABSOLVA reveal their first song and video “Never Back Down” from the forthcoming “Anthems To The Dead” album. This song and others on the album feature special guests Doug Scarratt of SAXON and Luke Appleton of ICED EARTH.Check out the video below:
The album is due for release on 5th May to coincide with the bands UK tour. For more details check out ABSOLVA‘s website at this location.
“Anthems To The Dead” will be the third album release by the band, following the debut album “Flames Of Justice” and the live CD and DVD “Beyond Live”, released in September 2013.
W:O:A Crew has issued the following on the Official Website:
The second week of the W:O:A Advent calendar has begun! Next to some nice daily prizes we can also present the next band for our 25th Anniversary 2014:
Saxon is one of the pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and at the heyday of nwobhm, they were at eye level with bands like Iron Maiden or Judas Priest. After some short musical excursions, the band reflected on its old strengths. And you can still notice this at their newest output: Sacrifce is the 20th studio album and was released earlier this year in March. And at W:O:A, the band will play for 8th time!