BIFF BYFORD Reflects On SAXON's 'Most Challenging Period'

November 16, 2023

In a new interview with Gustavo Maiato, SAXON frontman Biff Byford was asked to reflect on "the most challenging" moment in the group's career and how he and his bandmates overcame it. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I think the most challenging period in our career and a lot of British metal bands' career was the sort of early '90s, late '80s when a lot of hair metal came in — your CINDERELLAs and your MÖTLEY CRÜEs and your POISONs, they seemed to take our style and make it their own style and they became very popular. I think when grunge happened over on the West Coast, that made a big hole in a lot of our audience, I think. A lot of rock fans, especially younger rock fans, went to see PEARL JAM and NIRVANA and people like that. So I think that sort of American new wave of grunge thing went round the world like we did. So I don't see any problem with it… We came back later, I think, in the '90s, we came back again strong. I think, really, that was the hardest point, for a lot of bands. I think most bands. I mean, we were very lucky because we had some big hits in the '80s, so we were able to play live. But I think the album sales went down. And maybe we weren't writing such good songs in the '80s, maybe, in the late '80s, you know, like [1988's] 'Destiny'. I think, really, until we got to [1991's] 'Solid Ball Of Rock', I think that's really when we started to turn it around again."

SAXON recently entered the studio to begin recording its new album for a tentative early 2024 release.

Earlier in the year, SAXON guitarist Paul Quinn announced that he was stepping back from touring with the band. As a result of his decision, SAXON canceled its April 2023 South American tour as well as the appearance at the Monsters Of Rock cruise. Quinn has since been replaced on the road by DIAMOND HEAD's Brian Tatler.

Brian has already joined fellow guitarist Doug Scarratt, drummer Nigel Glockler, bassist Tim "Nibbs" Carter and Byford for several European shows but will continue to be a member of DIAMOND HEAD.

SAXON's latest release, "More Inspirations", arrived in March via Silver Lining Music. Following the release of "Inspirations" in 2021, "More Inspirations" is the second "deep dish" serving of the influences which have fed SAXON's immensely successful 40-plus-year career.

Produced by Biff, with Seb Byford helping record the music alongside mixing engineer Jacky Lehmann, "More Inspirations" includes takes on RAINBOW, ZZ TOP and CREAM, as well as "Razamanaz" by NAZARETH, THE WHO's "Substitute", and URIAH HEEP's "Gypsy".

Byford and Quinn are the sole remaining original members in SAXON's current lineup.

Originally from South Yorkshire, England, SAXON has gone on to sell about 23 million albums and has produced such classic songs as "Denim And Leather", "Princess Of The Night", "Wheels Of Steel" and "Power And Glory".

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