Biff Byford - Saxon

April 12, 2002

Tell us a little about your latest album, Killing Ground.

I think it's our 14th studio album. Our 23rd album. It's an album that's a mixture of modern style and '80s style.

Are there any tracks on the album that stand out to you?

They all stand out to me. It's a pretty standard album. It's already sold a quarter million copies in Europe so it's pretty good actually. A little bit slow in America though. America's a bit slow for our type of music anyway.

We have an interesting music scene right now. Europe still likes that '80s sound?

No, not really. We've regenerated ourselves really in Europe. Now we have a much younger audience.

Has nu-metal made it's way over there?

Like Linkin Park? Oh yeah, they're big.

You recorded the album in Germany?

Yeah, we always record our albums in Germany because our record company's German but we write everything in England. We have a studio there.

How long did it take to complete the album?

About eight weeks. Not long really. We worked quite hard in the studio.

How long has the tour been going on?

Since last September. We're only playing 10 shows in the USA though. We haven't got time to play anymore. We're so busy. We're going to Spain when we get back home. We get back on Monday. We fly out to Spain on a Thursday and then we go out to Brazil.

Anywhere else besides Brazil and Spain?

Well, we're doing a lot of countries. We're going to Russia and Greece. Places like that. We work really hard in Europe. We worked really hard in the '90s to bring the band back again. Everybody went down a bit.

Everyone feels this is your heaviest album to date. Do you agree?

Yeah, it probably is. Like I said, it's a very good mixture of classic matter and more modern stuff really. We have a couple of younger guys in the band and that makes a difference. So yeah, it's cool.

Your original band was called Son Of A Bitch. Can you elaborate on that?

It was just a small period in time really. It was only for about two years. Before that we used to be called Coast. It was just a club thing. A club band really.

How long did it take you to make your breakthrough?

A year. Our first album came out and then the second album came out and that was the big platinum album.

I understand you did a couple of shows with Alice Cooper in Sweden.

Yeah, we did actually. We did some shows with Alice. We've played with lots and lots of bands really.

Tell me about Budgie.

We have a massive eagle on stage in Europe. It comes down with all the lights and the fans called it Budgie rather than Saxon's Eagle because a budgie is a bird.

During the mid-'80s your record company wanted you to change your sound.

In the late '80s, yeah a little bit. I think all the sounds changed though in the middle '80s. There was more glam rock. Motley Crue, Cinderella, Bon Jovi. I think everybody changed a little bit because of it.