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.