World-renowned heavy metal outfit Saxon head to Newcastle this month so Tracy Daniel caught up with frontman Biff Byford to find out what gig-goers can expect.
Thanks for your time; I know you’re touring at the moment. Are you on stage tonight?
Yes, we’re in Toulouse in the South of France at the moment. We’re in Newcastle on the 11th November. We haven’t played the City Hall for a long time – it must have been the 80s when we last played there. We’re doing a few shows on this tour that we did back in the 80s as we’re trying to get back to some of the venues we played.
What can we expect in Newcastle? Will you be playing older stuff as well as songs from your new album, ‘Thunderbolt’?
It’ll be a mixture. We’ve got a big production with big stage sets. We’ve got Doro Pesch coming from Germany as special guest and a few more bands will be playing so it’ll be a good night. I don’t think we’ll play the Newcastle City Hall again in the very near future. It was a legendary gig venue back in the day, a lot of big bands played there. I’ve seen the Small Faces there and Maiden played there as did Saxon, Motorhead and Judas Priest. We’re going to go back and have some fun. We have a big history with the area and going back to the City Hall brings back the early days.
You’ve toured with a lot of bands, haven’t you?…
We’ve just finished touring America with Judas Priest. We did 7 weeks in America from March onwards and then we came back to festivals and the tour. We’re always busy and we don’t stop much. When we’re writing and recording we do a lot of it from home and close to where we live so it’s not too bad. We work hard and play hard – it’s just the rock ‘n’ roll life.
How do you feel your music’s changed over the years?
I think music’s always changing, just subtle changes. We tend to stick more straight down the line. We’re a pretty unique band so we’re lucky enough to be able to more or less do what we want, if you know what I mean? The secret is to deliver things that are entertaining and what the fans want to hear, but we always throw in a load of surprises.
Will you be playing any festivals next year?
I don’t know if we’ll be playing any festivals next year in England because we’re planning something special for the 40th Anniversary. We’re planning something different. It won’t be announced until after we’ve done these shows.
Saxon play Newcastle City Hall on Sunday 11th November. Tickets, priced at £32.50, are available from theatreroyal.co.uk.