Saxon’s Biff Byford: ‘I don’t think guys like me are retiring’

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In a new interview with Ruben Mosque of Photographic Concerto, SAXON leader Biff Byford He was asked if he could imagine retiring in the not too distant future. He replied (as transcribed by BLABBBERMOUTH.NET): “No, retirement is not really [something I think about] at all, really. That word, I don’t really relate to it very much, because if I retired, I would do something with music. I don’t think guys like me are retiring.”

The 71-year-old singer continued: “You have bands retiring and then six months later the singer puts out a solo album. He’s not really retiring, is he? a band and retreat, I guess that’s totally different, isn’t it?

Four years ago, Byford fired Jay Jay French like “a stupid little man” after the TWISTED SISTER The guitarist criticized other bands for continuing to perform long after their heyday. During an April 2018 spooky empire convention in Orlando, Florida, jay jay said that the members of SAXON are “80 fucking years old” and called the current touring lineup of JUDAS PRIEST “a cover band.” jay jay went on to say that TWISTED SISTER called it up in 2016 because the band members wanted out while they could still deliver the kind of performances that earned them a reputation as one of the strongest live bands around.

During an appearance on the “Underground Thunder” podcast, Byford explained that SAXONThe insistence of releasing new music more than 40 years into the band’s career had nothing to do with commercial aspirations.

“There are six or seven [classic rock and metal] bands releasing albums whether or not they’re platinum,” the singer said (listen to audio below). “For us, it’s not really about being at the top of the charts , wherever it is. It’s good if you’re in the charts, of course, but it all depends on how many people buy the record and how many people come to see you live. We deserve to be bigger in America, no doubt, and we are making strides to get there. Some people might think it’s a bit late, but it’s never too late, really, and we’ve proven it.

“There are a lot of bands out there who [are still releasing new music],” He continued. “SCORPIOthey all release albums. WHITE SNAKE release albums, MOTORHEAD release albums, [IRON] YOUNG LADY release albums, we release albums. If you don’t release albums and you just go out to do some gigs and play your big hits, then I can understand that it’s totally boring for people. Because you can’t turn it constantly if you only play hits. You can go there every two years and play your hits, but you can’t go back every four or five months – you can’t do that. So I think bands like TWISTED SISTERthey retired, they quit, [and] they or they [aren’t interested in putting] another album, because they know it won’t go platinum. So in their eyes it lowers their profile, but in reality it doesn’t because people never forget the hits. And in fact, on the contrary, they gain credibility, because they play the hits of the 80s, whatever hits you have, plus the new ones. So I think it rejuvenates a group. I think you get a new audience and people like that. Obviously, they must be good albums. There’s no point in dropping shit, because it won’t work. You have to have a great album. You cannot polish a turd. The albums have to be of a certain quality.”

Addressing jay jaycomments directly, Punch said, “I didn’t answer that guy – stupid little man, really. But he didn’t mention [IRON] YOUNG LADYhe didn’t mention SCORPIOhe didn’t mention WHITE SNAKEhe didn’t mention VAN HALEN. It’s just silly – not even worth mentioning. I want to say, [TWISTED SISTER singer] Dee Snider is still on tour, isn’t it? You know what I mean? Let’s go!”

He added: “I just think it’s your personal choice, and it’s nobody else’s business, really, what I want to do, or what a guitarist wants to do. If a guitarist wants to say, “I’ve had enough”, so he’s had enough and he goes home and… I don’t know… I don’t know what the guy, jay jay or as they call it… He’ll go sit on the porch in his rocking chair with his pipe and his slippers and pass out. We are fucking Vikings. We don’t do that shit.”

SAXONthe new album of, “Carpe Diem”will be released on February 4 via Silver Lining Music. The LP was produced by Andy Snap (JUDAS PRIEST, EXODUS, I ACCEPT) at Behind the scenes recording studios in Derbyshire with Byford and Snap mixing and mastering.

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