SAXON's BIFF BYFORD: Making It In Music Business Is 'Like Winning The Lottery'

February 13, 2023

In a new interview with Jorge Botas of Metal Global, SAXON frontman Biff Byford was asked if he thinks it's easier for newer metal acts to make a mark nowadays than he was when he and his bandmates were first starting out. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I don't think it's ever been easy. I think it's like winning the lottery. I think there are a lot of super-talented bands out there, new bands, but whether they are lucky enough to be noticed by enough people…

"The problem is you can have two hundred thousand followers, but they're all over the world," he explained. "So if you play in one city, they might be a hundred people of those two hundred thousand people in that city that know you. That's one of the problems.

"The thing is when you do a tour, or when you build up a following from [performing] live, those are the people, the next time you go, that turn into three hundred people, and then that turns… and people support you.

"So it's very difficult," Byford added. "It's very difficult for bands to tour. The club circuit is really bad at the moment. A lot of clubs have closed down, and there's a lot of tribute bands playing clubs all the time. So it's very hard for new bands to get in with new material. I would advise people to maybe play and do cover versions and do their own material as well, try and get your foot through the door.

"You need a lot of followers on social media — whether it be Spotify people or whether it be Facebook or TikTok or Instagram — you need a lot of people to be able to play in, say, some place in England — Oxford. There has to be five, six hundred people in Oxford to come and see you that perhaps only know you from social media. It's very difficult, very difficult for bands to have a live following. And from the live following comes the reviews in the magazines. You can record and make a live album quite cheap. You can sell merchandise. A lot of things come from [performing] live that helps bands to survive."

SAXON will release a new album, "More Inspirations", on March 24 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 the mighty 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 enthusiastic takes on RAINBOW, ZZ TOP and CREAM, as well as a thunderous "Razamanaz" by NAZARETH, a tasty take on THE WHO's "Substitute", and a thick groove take on URIAH HEEP's "Gypsy".

Following the success of the "Seize The World" tour 2022, SAXON will be back on the road in March 2023 for a string of European dates, with special guests German metal titans RAGE.

Byford and guitarist Paul 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".

Biff's first-ever solo album, "School Of Hard Knocks", came out in February 2020.

Last month, Biff told TotalRock that a new SAXON studio album will arrive in early 2024. The singer is also working on his second solo LP.

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