Saxon's Biff Byford: I liked Spinal Tap... but Bad News was better

Saxon's Biff Byford
Saxon's Biff Byford (Image credit: Silver Lining Music)

In September this year, Classic Rock magazine spoke with Biff Byford about his career as frontman of legendary UK rockers Saxon.

In the interview, the subject of 1984’s spoof rockumentary Spinal Tap came up, which famously saw actor Harry Shearer base his character of Derek Smalls on then Saxon bassist Steve Dawson.

And although Biff said he enjoyed Spinal Tap, there’s another movie he prefers when it comes to a sideways look at the music business.

Biff said: “I thought the film was great. We went to a screening with a load of other bands, and some of them walked out. I’m not going to tell you which ones – some of them are my friends.

“As we watched, I could tell straight away that the bass player was based on Dawson. But for me, Spinal Tap was too American. I liked Bad News better. 

“It was that totally British thing and they absolutely nailed it. ‘I’m not getting back in the van until you say we’re heavy metal!’

“There’s more of every British band from the 80s in Bad News. I try to watch it at least twice a year, it’s so fucking brilliant.”

Biff was also asked what he was most proud of in his life, to which he replied: ”I’m proud of my children from both marriages, and I’m proud of what the band has achieved.

“As Lemmy used to say to me, ‘It’s hard for a rock band to seat relevant.’ And I remember back in the 90s when Motorhead had a serious down period, we would play clubs with them Germany to maybe 300 people. It was really sad.

“But Motorhead kept going and so did we. So I’m proud that after 40 years we’re still writing great songs that people want to hear.”

Biff is preparing to release his new solo album titled School Of Hard Knocks on February 21 through Silver Lining Records. He’s so far shared the title track and Welcome To The Show.

The vocalist will head out on tour across the UK in April for a run of 10 spoken word and music shows. And prior to that, Biff and his Saxon bandmates will play four concerts which were postponed earlier this year due to the singer’s heart surgery.

Biff Byford: School Of Hard Knocks

Biff Byford: School Of Hard Knocks
Saxon frontman Biff Byford is poised to release his first-ever solo album. It'll feature a selection of new material along with a couple of cover versions.

Biff Byford UK tour poster

Saxon rescheduled 2020 tour dates
Mar 07: Dusseldorf Mitsubishi Electric Halle, Germany, 
Mar 27: Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom, UK
Mar 28: London Eventim Apollo, UK
Mar 29: Manchester O2 Apollo, UK

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.