Saxon to tackle devil and taxation

Saxon frontman Biff Byford says the band’s upcoming 21st album will feature themes as diverse as the devil and taxation.

The singer reveals the names of two tracks from the record, which they are recording with producer Andy Sneap. One song, called The Devil’s Footprint, recounts a tale form the 1600s while another track, Tax Till You Drop, looks at evil of another kind.

Byford tells the Metal Hammer Magazine Show on TeamRock Radio: “We have lots of ideas and I’ve been in the studio with Andy Sneap a couple of times going through the song ideas and melodies and putting titles to the songs.

“So we have started the next album. We’ll be doing that at Andy’s place this time and letting him have more control over the album.

“I’m looking at stories. One of the songs is called The Devil’s Footprint which is about the time they woke up – I don’t know what year it was, probably 1600s – and there was hoof prints over all the houses. They followed it for miles in the snow. I’ve written a song about that.

“Another one is Tax Till You Drop. We can do that, Saxon, we can drop in between classic rock and heavy metal.”

Byford also discusses Nigel Glockler’s recovery from brain surgery. The drummer was rushed to hospital in Newcastle last month after suffering a brain haemorrhage.

Biff says: “He seems to be doing okay now but I suppose it’s a mental thing as well. He has to try come to terms with it and get back to fitness.

“I went to hospital three or four times to see him. He’s back to eating his English breakfast and he seems all right. He’s tired a lot and needs to sleep but I suppose that’s part of the healing process.

“I don’t think he has any sort of problem with his nerves and his movement, it’s just a matter of waiting for it all to heal.”

Saxon were forced to reschedule a number of UK dates as a result and have announced Glockler’s drum tech, Sven Dirkschneider, will fill in for the February shows.

Byford reveals that Motorhead drummer Mikkey D and former Dio and AC/DC sticksman Simon Wright offered to fill-in, but the band opted for Dirkschneider.

Biff adds: “The reason we put them to February is that we thought any later than that people would just start to drift away and not come, so we wanted to do it fairly soon. We knew Nigel wouldn’t be ready. His drum tech is drumming for us, a young lad called Sven Dirkschneider. His father is Udo from Accept and Udo fame.

“He’s a great drummer. I was talking to Nigel when he was in hospital and we were going through different drummers we could use. A lot of guys said they’d do it – Simon Wright, Mikkey D. But Nigel thought that Sven would be good so we went with that.”

The band this week announced a series of reissues due out next month.

Hear the full interview on tonight’s edition of the Metal Hammer Magazine Show at 8pm on TeamRock Radio.

Saxon UK tour 2015

Feb 03: Newcastle Academy

Feb 04: Nottingham Rock City

Feb 05: Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall

Feb 06: Oxford Academy

Feb 07: London Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.