Rob Cavuoto of Guitar International recently conducted an interview with singer Biff Byford of British heavy metal legends SAXON. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Guitar International: The thing that I love about your new CD, “Call To Arms”, is how you managed to recapture your sound and vibe from ’80s. What was your secret?
Biff Byford: We have a good team in place on this CD. The drums were recorded straight with no samples. All the guitar songs were organic. We went back to a more working-class sound. We intended to get back to our roots and got into that mindset from the beginning.
Guitar International: Many bands from the ’80s have given up on making new CDs and just go out as nostalgia acts. Why do you continue to make and release new music?
Biff Byford: We are still climbing mountains because they are there. It’s just within us to create new music and we are fortunate enough to do so. To write songs, put them out, and have people still find them relevant is exciting is a great feeling.
Guitar International: Tell me about the significance of the CD’s title and artwork?
Biff Byford: We originally had all the songtitles and once we finalized them we could have used any of them as a CD title. I really liked “Call To Arms”, and it goes with the flavor of that song with the First World War. It’s also a rallying cry to our fans as well. It works on two levels.
Guitar International: You voice is every bit as good as it was back in the ’80s, your still a powerhouse. What do you attribute that to?
Biff Byford: I stopped smoking a while ago so I’m sure that helped. I guess I didn’t abuse myself as a young man with liquor and drugs. We were too poor for those things, so that might have worked in my favor.
Guitar International: How do you keep yourself satisfied with touring after all these years? So many bands get tired of it at this point, but SAXON keeps going. How do you keep something that’s so “old hat” fresh?
Biff Byford: We have a good chemistry in the band and we play quite aggressively. We aren’t just standing up there. That keeps you on the edge and we are quite adrenalized on stage. We are playing all the big hits and always changing the set list a bit to keep it fresh. We are playing five new songs off “Call To Arms”. We also play a couple of songs also off “Power And The Glory” since that was such a big LP here in the states.
Read the entire interview from Guitar International.