Interview By Alison Booth
Hot on the heels of their twenty first studio album “Battering Ram”, released in October 2015, NWOBHM legends SAXON announced recently that Demon Records will release of an extraordinary Saxon Box Set, containing vinyl LP’s of the band’s nine studio albums recorded between 1991 and 2009. “Eagles and Dragons” will be released on 18th March.
“Eagles and Dragons” features nine seminal NWOBHM albums which before today, were only released on vinyl in some regions including Germany, Italy and the UK, and in very limited amounts. These new luxury 180 gram vinyl versions, including inner sleeves with all the lyrics, are a must-have for fans and collectors, complete with artwork by Paul Gregory.
Senior Manager Alison Booth recently caught up with SAXON front man and vocalist Biff Byford to discuss the forthcoming release, as well as various other topics including touring. A few excerpts can be read below and the full interview can be heard on the audio player. The interview was also recorded for Blackdiamond’s Metal Mayhem show on http://www.totalrock.com and will be featured there next week, details will be announced soon on the official Facebook page.
Discussing “Eagles and Dragons” Biff stated:
“It goes through that dodgy early nineties period when the British bands were having a few problems with the grunge explosion happening around them. It goes through that and different member changes, different drummers on there, it’s just a great package really. There’s some absolute gems in there, you can here a band morphing from the late eighties to basically now really. Hopefully people can carry it, it weighs a ton! The artwork looks great on vinyl rather than CD, you see the depth of the painting.”
Moving on to legendary SAXON artist Paul Gregory, Biff enthused:
“The first album we did was Crusader in ’84. He’s done other album covers as well for other bands, but I think the ones he does for us probably connect to his style – more the mythical side and the whole Saxon image goes with what he does really. So from Crusader right up to Lionheart, which is a fantastic cover with the shield and everything. We work together me and Paul, so it’s good to keep a good team together.”
Regarding “Battering Ram” and touring plans for this year, Biff revealed:
“We’re gonna go out and tour again, because obviously with Lemmy dying suddenly we couldn’t finish the Battering Ram tour we were doing with Motörhead and Girlschool. We’re gonna go out in October and finish that tour, I don’t like leaving it unfinished. We’re gonna try and take out Girlschool if they’re up for it, so the fans will have a little bit of the same package.
We’re probably going to go back to America if we can squeeze it in and gonna go to Japan maybe October. We’re touring October to December, so it could be Europe, UK, a bit of America in there. We’re putting it together now, so keep your eyes open!”
On being together for so long and the secret of keeping going, Biff said:
“If you listen to the albums you can see the secret, I mean we’re definitely members of the Never Surrender Club. So yeah, great songs, that’s the secret. And surround yourself with people that are great at doing their job. It hasn’t always been the case with our albums, with producers and things, but I think for at least eight of those albums production is great.”
Check out a trailer for “Eagles and Dragons”:
For more information on SAXON and “Eagles and Dragons”, visit the band’s official website at this location.