Battering Ram is yet another bloody great Saxon album. How do you do it? After all this time, can you now pinpoint exactly what the fans want to hear? It helps when you’re on a roll, I guess. And we’re very motivated, that’s also important. What can I say? It’s doing really well for us. We can’t grumble.
In January you hit the road again with Motörhead and Girlschool. What was your first impression of Lemmy?
I met him in ’79 on the bus when we supported Motörhead on the Bomber tour. They were in the front of the bus and we had the back, and we watched porn endlessly. He was quieter than I’d expected, but once you got to know him, he was the life and soul.
Lemmy has said he wants to die onstage but given those gig cancellations, some fans feel this should be a farewell tour.
Every tour’s a farewell tour when you get to our ages [laughs]. Lemmy doesn’t want to have fifteen fucking farewell tours – he’s just gonna keep going.
He’s earned the right to keep on playing.
He can do whatever the fuck he wants. If he wants to go down on the road, all guns blazing, then good on him. He’s surrounded by people that love him and they don’t want to see him in pain. Then again, he might not go at all. Lemmy will live till he’s 100. The guy is a fucking robot.
Lemmy and company call Saxon “Widow Twankey and the boys”, and you jokingly refer to them as “the Three fuckin’ Stooges”. Do you have a pet name for Girlschool?
Not yet. We didn’t tour with them much in the early days. If I think of one before we get to Hammersmith, I’ll let you know [laughs].
For all its appeal, Motörhead, Saxon and Girlschool can be viewed as a very safe bill. Are we coming to the end of a glorious era of rock music?
No, not at all. There’s a few years left yet. Black Sabbath are doing their final tour but it’s a bloody endless one, isn’t it? That reminds me, I need to go and see them.
**And presumably there will be a full headline UK tour from Saxon in 2016?
No dates are set in stone but it looks as though we’ll go out on our own in the autumn, and we’re going to be at Hard Rock Hell [in November 2016], but all of that stuff’s in the planning stages right now. DL
The tour ends in London on January 30.