DIAMOND HEAD's BRIAN TATLER 'Would Like To' Join SAXON Permanently

July 27, 2023

On a recent episode of the "Talk Louder" podcast, hosted by veteran music journalist "Metal Dave" Glessner and lifelong hard rock/metal vocalist Jason McMaster (DANGEROUS TOYS),DIAMOND HEAD's Brian Tatler spoke about how he landed the gig as SAXON's new touring guitarist following the departure of Paul Quinn. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "[SAXON and DIAMOND HEAD are] on the same label and we've got the same manager, Adam Parsons from Siren. We've got to know each other over the years. We've done festivals with them. We've done support dates with them. And in last year we did a big tour — we did 33 dates across Europe and the U.K. And I think everybody was getting on really well, and they probably realized I'm a nice guy and I can play, et cetera. So I got the call in March from the manager to say Paul Quinn's stepping down. Would I be interested in taking over from Paul? And I said, 'Yes. Absolutely.'"

During the chat, which was recorded in early June, a month prior to his first gig with SAXON, Tatler went on to say that he was looking forward to playing some live shows with singer Biff Byford and the rest of the band.

"DIAMOND HEAD's great — it's always been my baby and we've been going a long, long time — but to have a fresh challenge now at my age and this time in my life, a new set to learn a new band to go out with," he said. "They're of a higher level, a tour bus level. I mean, SAXON will headline a festival like a Wacken [Open Air in Wacken, Germany] or something, whereas DIAMOND HEAD, we've done Wacken, but we'd be on a smaller stage, let's say two o'clock in the afternoon, three o'clock in the afternoon sort of thing. So it's gonna be a big jump for me. But I'm excited for the challenge. I think it's great. I thought it was fabulous of them to offer it to me. I'm really grateful."

Asked if there has been any talk of him being a permanent addition to SAXON, Brian replied: "I think it's too early to say. I've gotta at least do one gig, I think, and then maybe we'll talk again. I think… I mean, who knows? But I'd like to. But I think we've probably gotta do some gigs first."

Tatler made his live debut as SAXON's new touring guitarist on July 7 at the Rockwave festival in Athens, Greece. Fan-filmed video of the concert can be seen below.

Brian will join fellow guitarist Doug Scarratt, bassist Nibs Carter, drummer Nigel Glockler and Byford for shows throughout 2023 but will continue to be a member of DIAMOND HEAD.

In addition to a dozen or so already-announced festival appearances in 2023, SAXON has revealed that it will support JUDAS PRIEST on a U.K. tour in early 2024. "We're playing really big venues," Brian told Ernest Skinner of Border City Rock Talk earlier in the year. "And it's JUDAS PRIEST, SAXON and URIAH HEEP. And I'm amazed to be… I've never been on a tour with JUDAS PRIEST before. The closest DIAMOND HEAD's come in the past is we've been on the same festival bill. I'm a big PRIEST fan and have been since maybe 1975. So to be on tour with them where we can watch them every night and get to know 'em a little bit and chat will be fantastic. I'm stoked about that…. It's not till March 2024, but I'm already looking forward to that."

In March, Quinn thanked fans for their "outpouring of love and respect" after his announcement that he was "stepping back from touring".

As a result of Quinn's decision, SAXON canceled its April 2023 South American tour as well as the appearance at the Monsters Of Rock cruise.

In a recent interview with Robert Cavuoto of Myglobalmind, Byford spoke about Quinn's decision to retire from the road. The singer said: "Yeah, it's gonna be a change. The thing is it wasn't a surprise. It was talked about for a few years now that he might retire. And the thing is the band are getting bigger, and we're busy and we're doing longer tours and bigger venues. I just think he wants to rest now. So it wasn't really a shock. We talked about it a few times, the fact that he gets very tired quite quickly. There's a lot of pressure on you when you're touring in a band. So, he's gonna be around. He's gonna be doing show till the end of the year with us, and he's gonna doing the new album with us. So pretty much he will be there, but not there, if you know what I mean."

SAXON's latest album, "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.

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

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