Among the iconic trinity of NWOBHM leaders Saxon may be the least well-known, but they remain the most prolific and consistent. Def Leppard slipped quickly into what they call “light alloy” and Iron Maiden has gone through three vocalists and several years between albums. Saxon has released 20 studio albums (including last year’s stellar Sacrifice), with never longer than a three-year interim, 15 compilations including 2013’s fantastic Unplugged and Strung Up, and nine live albums the most recent of which is 2014’s landmark, St. George’s Day Sacrifice – Live in Manchester. During our recent interview, founding frontman Biff Byford hints that the year still has more treats up her sleeve for the Saxon faithful.
Fellow founder, guitarist Paul Quinn has been at Byford’s side for the duration and drummer Nigel Glockler for the better part of three decades. Bassist Nibbs Carter has been holding down the low-end since 1988, and the band’s newest member, Doug Scarratt (guitars) has been the new kid in town since 1996. Few bands have shared such longevity and consistency and it shows when they perform live.
Biff Byford, who has been the band’s sole vocalist since its inception since it began in 1976 as Son of a Bitch, chatted with Metal Nation about the new live record, the recent Unplugged and Strung Up album, and the band’s plans for Saxon‘s 35th Anniversary tour. He also talks about working on the new Ronnie James Dio – This is Your Life tribute album with Motorhead and shares his memory of the man himself.