When metalheads talk about the best singers of the genre, guys like Ronnie James Dio, Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford quickly jump to mind. Yet anyone who hears Saxon front man Biff Byford‘s voice will instantly peg his distinctive howl. That’s much the way it’s always been for Saxon. Highly respected, but somehow overlooked until a song comes on the radio, or the band’s name comes up in conversation. Still, Saxon‘s place among the leaders of the NWOBHM is undisputed, and more than three decades later, they are still crafting quality, high octane metal albums.
This month the band released Call To Arms, and the feel harks back to an early classic Saxon style. Byford and crew remain as strong as ever, and this fall the band makes a triumphant return to U.S. soil.
I caught up with Biff in Los Angeles after the band’s debut return to the states. He talked about the new album, the band’s 35 years, and where they go from here. He touched on Judas Priest, and heavy metal as a religion, and explains he’s really quite a shy character.