Why Didn't SAXON Ever Become As Big As IRON MAIDEN? BIFF BYFORD Weighs In

April 10, 2017

Vocalist Biff Byford of British heavy metal legends SAXON was recently interviewed by Canadian rock journalist Mitch Lafon. You can now listen to the chat below.

Asked why he thinks SAXON never managed to reach the same commercial heights in the 1980s as a band like IRON MAIDEN, Biff said: "I just think that they had a fantastic team around them — and still do have, actually — and I think that made the extra… made it a bit better. I don't think they were surrounded by 'yes men,' if you know what I'm saying, where I think we were surrounded a little bit by fawning 'yes men,' and we lost our way a little bit in the way that we wrote songs and the way we recorded songs. It would have been better if we had stayed with a winning team, if you know what I mean. That's the sort of thing I mean. It's not particularly anything to do with musically or fashion or anything. It's just a matter of… I think they had the right team at the right place at the right time. They really went for it in America, and we sort of probably went about fifty percent for America. You have to remember that we were probably bigger in Europe at that time. It's just how it goes, really. It's just the luck of the draw, as they say."

Byford was also asked why he thinks SAXON had a particularly hard time breaking the American market. He responded: "You're asking the wrong person. I don't know. I mean, we certainly had the songs: 'Power & The Glory', 'Wheels Of Steel', 'Strong Arm Of The Law', 'Princess Of The Night', 'Denim And Leather'… I just think it was the record company and the general team that surrounded us. There's no reason why SAXON shouldn't have been a multi-platinum [band] in America — no reason whatsoever, apart from probably our own naiveté."

He continued: "'Power & The Glory' [1983] was high in the [American] charts, and 'Crusader' [1984] was as well. We just didn't manage to get to the platinum club; that's all. It's as simple as that. But that doesn't mean to say that we don't have a lot of fans in America. I mean, this tour that we're doing now [with UFO], we've just done three and a half thousand people on the West Coast, and it's fantastic. So we have a lot of fans out there, and we have a growing fan base of younger fans as well, so it's great, really. We don't have any regrets."

SAXON recently revealed that the band's forthcoming follow-up to 2015's "Battering Ram" will include a song dedicated to MOTÖRHEAD, called "They Played Rock And Roll".

"Battering Ram" was released in North America via UDR Music. The effort featured Byford alongside Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt on guitar, Nibbs Carter on bass and Nigel Glockler on drums.

Find more on Iron maiden
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).