I think that we are still making good albums: interview with Saxons vocalist Biff Byford

First of all I have to mention that technical stuff and Johan Hagberg is often not working out the way I wanted. I had a zoom meeting with Biff Byford from Saxon to look forward to but I also had this feeling that this is not going to work out. Well it didn’t and in the end Biff called me on the telephone and we were talking about Saxons new album ”Carpe Diem” but we also talked about classic Saxon, artist transportation, Biffs heart attack and some more.

Hi Biff at last. My name is Johan and I write for Stargazed Magazine and the technical stuff isn’t my strongest side in life. Thank you for calling me.

-It’s no problem att all.

Saxon has a new album out and it’s called ”Carpe Diem”. Was it easier to write and record the album because of the Covid situation?

-It was harder actually because we couldn’t record together in the same way we are used to. For me it was ok and I got more time to think about and expand the lyrics. The drums and bass was recorded a long time ago but I got more time to think the lyrics over.

You have recorded albums for some time now and I wonder what’s the biggest difference if you compare to the 80’s?

-It’s a lot smaller now, it’s not the big budgets and the big studios in the cities anymore. Now we use smaller studios on the country side and the digital revolution has made everything changed a lot. You can write an album and record it at your home nowadays if you have the possibility.

You had a heart attack a few years ago. How are you doing today?

-Good actually. I made an open heart surgery and of course it was quite devastating. It took me a while to sing again but now we recently did two big shows in England which was very energetic and I can just say that the engine is still running.

That’s good to hear Biff. ”Carpe Diem” is the 24th album from Saxon and I have to ask how long could Saxon last?

-I can tell you that it would be 25 at least. I think that we are still making good albums that people out there like. We got inspiration and passion when we meet our great fans out there playing live. We are still on it and it’s still so much fun go out there and play our songs live, I think that bands out there doing great albums also doing great live shows. If we can do an album that we can play live we definitely will be connected with our fans.

Saxon have played many shows in Sweden over the years and back in 2016 I was your driver when you played the Sabaton Open Air in Falun. I noticed that you were working when we sat in the bus. Do you want to have total control over Saxon the whole time?

-Not really no. We are a great team that’s working with Saxon stuff and if you’re good of what you doing you become a full member of the Saxon clan. We have a system and some people are more involved of course. Myself I’m kind of driven you know so I keep thinking next show, next setlist, next album and so on. I have done it before.

Paul Quinn has been your partner since 1977. Is he also your best friend?

-Yes he is. We are actually like brothers and we have became very close over the years with the band. We have learned to know each other very well over the years and we spend very much time together.

On stage you have played your classic songs hundreds of times. Do you ever get tired of playing the classics?

-No we don’t and that’s because the audience love to hear songs like ”Princess Of The Night”, ”Denim And Leather” or ”Wheels Of Steel”. They inspires us to do it and some of the songs we have been playing for 42 years now, and we still enjoy it every night. If we’re playing the songs with passion the audience will pick it up directly and show us that they really like us. But in the same time I have to be honest with you and say that I don’t like rehearsing the classics, that’s kind of boring but when we play them live it’s so damn exciting every single time.

What will Saxon do the rest of 2022?

-We will do festivals in the spring and the summer. The world tour for ”Carpe Diem” will start in september as I know it for now and it will keep on for the rest of 2022 and it will continue in 2023. We will go out there and do what we do best, play live.

If we talk about the future of hard rock and heavy metal do you think there will be arena bands after bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica and Kiss have quit?

-I think so. It’s very difficult to be unique these days but I think a band like Nightwish with their symphonic metal can be a band for the arenas in the future. I think it would happen.

At last Biff I wonder if you have any favourite album from your long career with Saxon?

-You mean apart from ”Carpe Diem” (Biff laughs). I have to say ”Denim And Leather” because that album was a perfect album to release at that time. Everything you need to have was on ”Denim And Leather” so I have to say that’s my favourite album with Saxon.

I thank you so much Biff that you took your time talking to me.

-I thank you as well.

I think that we are still making good albums: interview with Saxons vocalist Biff Byford

March 25, 2022

First of all I have to mention that technical stuff and Johan Hagberg is often not working out the way I wanted. I had a zoom meeting with Biff Byford from Saxon to look forward to but I also had this feeling that this is not going to work out. Well it didn’t and in the end Biff called me on the telephone and we were talking about Saxons new album ”Carpe Diem” but we also talked about classic Saxon, artist transportation, Biffs heart attack and some more. Hi Biff at last. My name is Johan and I write for Stargazed Magazine and the technical stuff isn’t my strongest side in life. Thank you for calling me. -It’s no problem att all. Saxon has a new album out and it’s called ”Carpe Diem”. Was it easier to write and record the album because of the Covid situation? -It was harder actually because we couldn’t record together in the same way we are used to. For me it was ok and I got more time to think about and expand the lyrics. The drums and bass was recorded a long time ago but I got more time to think the lyrics…

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