Saxon are set to release their new studio album, Thunderbolt, on February 2nd via the Militia Guard label (Silver Lining Music). Metal Rules’ Robert Cavuoto spoke with frontman Biff Byford about the new CD and their North American Tour with Judas Priest and Black Star Riders. An excerpt follows:
Robert Cavuoto: Have you ever toured the states with Judas Priest?
Biff Byford: “Our first tour was with Motörhead in 1979, and then we went straight on a European tour was with Priest in 1980. We were touring for Wheels Of Steel, and they were touring for British Steel. We never came to the US together. I think Iron Maiden and Priest toured together in the early 80s. This tour is a great bill, and we are looking forward to it. I know the fans are as well. We each have a new album coming out a month apart from each other so people will be listening to Saxon and Priest. Which is the best album? [Laughing]. It would be like 1980 again.”
Robert Cavuoto: How long will your set be and will you performing classic songs as well as newer ones?
Biff Byford: “We will only have 50 or 60 minutes so we will cram as much in as possible. It should be a mixture of old and new stuff.”
Robert Cavuoto: Everyone talks about the New Wave of British Heavy Metal; I always felt that Saxon, Priest, and Maiden were on the forefront. If you could do a Big 3 or 4 tour of the pivotal metal bands from that era who would you pick?
Biff Byford: “Obviously Priest, Saxon, and Maiden. That would be a great tour. There are not that many bands left from the time. Girlschool could be on the there. Diamond Head would be great too! But the Big 3 would be Maiden, Priest, and Saxon. That would be an ultimate big arena tour. I would have said Motörhead but that is not possible. We did a tour in Spain a couple of years ago with Priest, Motörhead, and Saxon and that was absolutely incredible!”