"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Saxon

Formed: 1977
From: Barnsley, United Kingdom
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Saxon News

Below is our complete Saxon news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Saxon Announce St. George's Day Contest

SAXON vocalist Biff Byford has posted this message on the band's official website:

"Hi all you lot,

Hope you all had a good year. Just like to explain the idea behind the set list concept. It should be SAXON songs with an English theme or connection, not British! There will be a prize for the most interesting set, 15 songs, you can explain the connection, if its not obvious give a short reason .e.g 'Battle Cry'... it's about the Battle of Culloden between the Scotts and English. The prize will be an exclusive guitar from DEAN with St. Georges cross art work, two tickets for a 2008 SAXON show, two t-shirts and a chance to visit the band at the studio or back stage. The contest is only through Metal Hammer UK so get thinking. Write your list to: saxon[at]futurenet.co.uk.

Live to rock!"

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Cavalera Conspiracy Confirmed For Graspop

Graspop Metal Meeting 2008 is scheduled for June 27th - 29th, 2008 at the festival park De Boeretand in Dessel, Belgium.

The latest act confirmed CAVALERA CONSPIRACY.

Acts on board for the festival now include: IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, DEF LEPPARD, SAXON, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, OBITUARY, WHITESNAKE, MINISTRY, SONATA ARCTICA, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, VOLBEAT, MY DYING BRIDE, AT THE GATES, FORBIDDEN, HOLLENTHON, DEATHSTARS, CONVERGE, COMEBACK KID, MADBALL.

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More Bands Confirmed For Graspop 2008

According to Ashladan.be, legendary Florida death metallers OBITUARY have been confirmed for this year's Graspop Metal Meeting, set to take place June 27-29, 2008 at De Boeretand in Dessel, Belgium. The festival billing is shaping up as follows:

AT THE GATES
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE
COMEBACK KID
DEATHSTARS
DEF LEPPARD
FORBIDDEN
HOLLENTHON
IRON MAIDEN
JUDAS PRIEST
MADBALL
MINISTRY
MY DYING BRIDE
OBITUARY
SAXON
SONATA ARCTICA
VOLBEAT
WHITESNAKE

OBITUARY recently shot a video for the song "Evil Ways" with comic book stalwart and director Hart D. Fisher.

"Evil Ways" is the lead single from OBITUARY's new album, "Xecutioner's Return", which was released in North America on August 28 via Candlelight Records. The CD was mixed at Redroom Recorders and was mastered in June at Morrisound Studios in Tampa. The band once again worked with artist Andreas Marschall, who has previously created the art for "The End Complete" and the group's last record, "Frozen in Time".

Roadrunner Records has set a January 29, 2008 release date for a "best-of" collection from legendary Florida death metallers OBITUARY. Entitled, appropriately enough, "The Best of Obituary", the CD will feature the following track listing:

01. Internal Bleeding
02. 'Til Death
03. Slowly We Rot
04. Cause Of Death
05. Chopped In Half
06. Turned Inside Out
07. The End Complete
08. I'm In Pain
09. Don't Care
10. Final Thoughts
11. Kill For Me
12. Threatening Skies
13. On The Floor

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Saxon Cancel Glasgow Appearance

British heavy metal legends SAXON have issued the following update:

"Unfortunately we can't make it to the Rock Radio anniversary in Glasgow, Scotland because the band is writing the new album and Biff [Byford; vocals] has a serious, serious cold. We thank you for your understanding!"

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Saxon Confirmed For Atarfe Rock Festival

UK metal legends SAXON - complete with their special Eagle Lights Set - are the latest act confirmed for Spain's Atarfe Vega Rock Festival which takes place March 7th - 8th, 2008 in the city of Atarfe (at 11 km from Granada, Andalusia).

Confirmed acts on the bill now include: ANGELUS APATRIDA, BELPHEGOR, DANGER DANGER, DESTRUCTION, EXCITER, GRAVE DIGGER, KATATONIA, KORPIKLAANI, KOTIPELTO, MAYHEM, MY DYING BRIDE, RATT, SAXON, SLAUGHTER, SYMPHONY X, TRIBAL, UNLEASHED, WITHIN TEMPTATION.

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Saxon Frontman Talks About Songwriting Process

Metal-Experience.com recently conducted an interview with SAXON frontman Biff Byford. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Metal-Experience.com: Can we go back to your latest album "The Inner Sanctum" for a moment? What do you think are the main differences between "The Inner Sanctum" and "Lionheart"?

Biff: All the obvious things, really. It's obviously a different album! It's very difficult to pin down. The thing is, we're not predictable, we don't do the same thing over and over again, if you know what I mean, musically, anyway. Lyrically, I do cover the same ground a bit. You can't really tell where we're going with the different styles sometimes. I just think that "Lionheart" was a very British album and "Inner Sanctum" is not. The "Inner Sanctum" album is half rock 'n' roll and half full-on heavy metal and I think we explored that more on this album than we did on "Lionheart". I think we found a unique goal for ourselves there. It has a fresh sound but some of the songs are quite traditional.

Metal-Experience.com: How do you work when you're writing a new album?

Biff: Well, we're usually just banging things around. I have a studio and me and Paul are actually in there at the moment, we're writing songs right now for the next album.

Metal-Experience.com: What is the utmost important ingredient for a SAXON song?

Biff: The first thing we like to get, although we don't always get it, is the guitar riff, the main riff that starts the song. It's always good to have that. It might only last thirty seconds but we like a nice riff to start with! And then basically we'll work it from there, arranging and picking a format. Along the way we'll decide whether it's going to stay in the same feel or the same tempo or whether we're going to branch off and go on to other things. And then I'll be putting melodies on there and the last thing that really goes on are the lyrics.

Metal-Experience.com: How important is it to you that people listen to the lyrics?

Biff: Well, it's quite important. If you're doing a song about something that means something, you know, not just a song about driving cars fast, but something like "Red Star Falling", I think it's important that people listen but whether they do or not, I don't know. I know I don't! (laughs) I'm a vocalist and I usually just listen to the choruses and the first verse, that's it! So I'm just as bad as everybody else. It's just how people are, really. Some people really get off on the lyrics, and some people don't. I get off on writing the lyrics. If I'm doing something that's historic or if I'm writing about something that's important to me, then it matters. I spend a lot of time writing lyrics but I don't know if people actually listen to them. I think maybe people read them in the booklet. Look at some of our older songs, "Crusader", for instance, everybody knows the first verse and the chorus, but does anybody know all the verses? The chorus is usually the thing people remember best, especially with SAXON.

Metal-Experience.com: What's your opinion on the heavy metal scene these days, is there anything missing?

Biff: I think it's great at the moment, actually. Our album sales our going up, we've just been to Japan, which was fantastic and we did a sold-out festival in England. Magazines are selling more, websites are doing well. Our website is up to date now and we do a podcast now and then, you have to not be scared to show how it really is. We're really into that, into the instant thing you can do with your website. You just have to be not too bothered about looking fantastic all the time! In the real world nobody ever does, do they?!

Read the full article at Metal-Experience.

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Evidence One Reflects On Saxon Tour

German metallers EVIDENCE ONE have posted this message on their official website:

"Hi Rockheadz,

Safely, exhausted, but satisfied we got back from our trip with the mighty SAXON! All we can say, is thank you! Thank you to our crew Franky, Seegi, Mike and Gerassi; to our ever-patient driver Norman; to SAXON and their crew; to ICS for giving us the opportunity to present our sound to new people once again; simply to every local involved in making this the most remarkable and unstressful tour, we've ever had. And finally: To YOU! All you crazy bastards rocking, sweating and banging with us in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium and the Czech Republic! Thanx so much!!! And by the way: We'll be back!!!

Yours,

Hutch, Schimmi, Bernd, Barish and Lizard

P.S. If you got any pix of our shows, no matter what quality they might be of, please send them to over via e-mail.

P.P.S. Merry X-mas everyone and happy and rocking 2008!"

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Saxon And Mercyful Fate Albums To Be Reissued

Night of the Vinyl Dead will reissue SAXON's "Dogs of War" and MERCYFUL FATE's "Into the Unknown" albums on limited-edition vinyl this month. The details are as follows:

SAXON - "Dogs of War" (originally released by SPV in 1995)

* Limited-edition sandy vinyl plus bonus SAXON stickers set
* Hand-numbered 333 copies

Side A:

01. Dogs Of War
02. Burning Wheels
03. Don't Worry
04. Big Twin Rolling Coming Home
05. Hold On

Side B:

01. The Great While Battle
02. Demolition Alley
03. Walking Through Tokyo
04. Give it All Away
05. Yesterdays Gone

MERCYFUL FATE – "Into the Unknown" (originally released by Metal Blade in 1996)

* Limited-edition sunset vinyl
* Hand-numbered 500 copies

Side A:

01. Lucifer
02. The Uninvited Guest
03. Ghost Of Change
04. Listen To The Bell
05. Fifteen Men (And A Bottle Of Rum)

Side B:

01. Into The Unknown
02. Under The Spell
03. Deadtime
04. Holy Water
05. Ktulu (The Mad Arab Part II)

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Queensryche Confirmed For Bang Your Head Festival

QUEENSRŸCHE have been confirmed as one of the headlining acts for next year's instalment of the Bang Your Head!!! festival, set to take place on June 27-28, 2008 in Balingen, Germany. The band will deliver a very special three-hour performance with the full "Operation: Mindcrime" sets along with a huge stage production including stage actors, dialogue intermissions, video screens and other audio-visual effects.

The festival billing is shaping up as follows:

AGE OF EVIL
AGENT STEEL
BREAKER
CONTRACRASH
ENSIFERUM
FORBIDDEN
GRAVE DIGGER
GREAT WHITE
KORPIKLAANI
LIZZY BORDEN
OBITUARY
ONSLAUGHT
QUEENSRŸCHE
RAGE
SAXON
SECRECY
TANKARD
TRAMP'S WHITE LION
TYR

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Former 3 Inches Of Blood Drummer Apologizes

Former 3 INCHES OF BLOOD drummer Alexei Rodriguez has issued an "open letter of apology" regarding an incident that occurred earlier in the month at the Hard Rock Hell festival in Minehead, UK which left SAXON drummer Nigel Glockler with broken glasses and a black eye.

Nigel previously stated about the episode: "There was no party, no-one was hitting on anyone, it was a totally unprovoked and vicious attack on me in the doorway of the apartment as I opened the door to the guy [Alexei] who was obviously out of it and was trying to bust said door down — for what reason, I have no idea. I wanted to ask him what his problem was and he just smashed me in the face and dragged me out onto the entrance balcony with such force that I went flying into the railings, hoping that they wouldn't give way and send me over the edge. As I went to get up, he punched me some more and then proceeded to to kick me in the face, head and body as I lay on the floor — then he ran off as the security guys arrived, and that was it, pure and simple."

Rodriguez's "open letter" reads as follows:

"To my friends, fans, and the greater metal/musical communities at large;

"It is with a significant degree of humility that I write to express my sincere regret at the events in Minehead during this year's Hard Rock Hell festival in England. I in no way am writing this in an attempt to exonerate myself from the blame of having instigated a truly ugly situation, merely to let any who care to know where exactly it is that I stand after said fiasco, and to of course apologize to any and all who were hurt, disappointed, or put out in any way.

"I have already issued lengthy and sincere apologies to those most directly affected, and while it is those folks' prerogative if they care to make those statements public, they were indeed only intended for their original recipients: Nigel Glockler, and the members and management of 3 INCHES OF BLOOD. Of course the band was embarrassed and did whatever damage control had to be done by expelling me, and to a certain degree the security guards that evening were also doing what they felt had to be done to contain an explosive situation, and for them I would hold no ill will. In fact, Nigel accepted my apology and correspondence with an astonishing degree of forgiveness and compassion, and I should be so lucky as to henceforth be able to refer to him as a friend, however backward the circumstances of our meeting. I wish him, his lovely girlfriend Gina, and SAXON nothing but the best in their lives, both musical and personal. I only hope that everyone else can be as non-vindictive and adult about the whole mess. (PS, don't bother him anymore; he's expressed quite clearly that he wishes not to discuss it further.)

"I can say with the gravest sincerity that I have NO desire to engage in anything remotely resembling that sort of (self-)destructive behaviour ever again, and that for my part, I'm doing everything I can to both make it right, and to quell whatever it is within me that caused me to behave in such a manner so that it NEVER happens again. Already I feel as if during my down time I've been able to make great initial strides in that direction. I can only hope that those of you that matter to me, both personally and professionally, would be so generous as to give me the benefit of the doubt, but I ask for nothing, and thus expect nothing.

"Thank you to all the friends, old and new, who've come out of the woodwork to stand by me, rather than engage in the juvenile sideline tabloid-style commentary of the quick-to-judge; I owe you my sanity, and my newfound optimism, to say the least. I hope to see you on the road soon."

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Bands Confirmed For Sweden Rock Festival

JUDAS PRIEST, SAXON, CARCASS and AT THE GATES are among the bands that have been confirmed for next year's Sweden Rock Festival, set to take place June 4-7, 2008 in in Sölvesborg, Sweden.

The festival billing is shaping up as follows:

JUDAS PRIEST (UK) (Headliner)
BLUE ÖYSTER CULT (US)
SAXON (UK)
ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA (UK)
TESLA (US)
AT THE GATES (S)
DERRINGER BAND (US)
HAVANA BLACK (FIN)
THE BLUES BAND (UK)
MINISTRY (US)
CARCASS (UK)
COHEED & CAMBRIA (US)
HENSLEY/LAWTON & LIVE FIRE (UK)
DARE (UK)
ULI JON ROTH (S)
SHAKIN' STREET (FR)
GOTTHARD (CH)
MUSTASCH (S)
SABATON (S)
BONAFIDE (S)
LIZZY BORDEN (US)
AXEWITCH (S)
ASTRAL DOORS (S)
AVATAR (S)
VOLBEAT (DK)
NEGATIVE (FIN)

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Evidence One To Support Saxon In Europe

German melodic metallers EVIDENCE ONE will support SAXON on the following dates:

Dec. 07 - GER Karlsdorf Altenbürghalle
Dec. 08 - GER Andernach JUZ Live Club
Dec. 09 - AUT Hohenems Eventcenter
Dec. 10 - AUT Salzburg Rockhouse
Dec. 11 - SWI Pratteln Z7
Dec. 12 - BEL Antwerpen Hof Ter Lo
Dec. 14 - F Strasbourg La Laiterie
Dec. 16 - GER Nürnberg Löwensaal
Dec. 17 - CZ Prag Retro Music Hall

Also appearing on the bill is PHARAO.

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Saxon Frontman Talks Classic Rock

Komodo Rock recently sat down with SAXON frontman Biff Byford. The following is an excerpt from the interview:

Q: So, what defines Classic Rock to you?

BB: "For us, what defines it is heavy guitars with melodic vocals. A classic style that's been around for years. Obviously we're much darker now and we are much heavier now when we want to be. So our albums now consist of half rock n roll and half full-on heavy metal. And that seems to be the right mixture for us."

Q: So we're talking commercial success, we're talking 'I've Got To Rock To Stay Alive' your new single featuring Lemmy (MOTÖRHEAD), Angry Anderson (ROSE TATTOO), Andi Deris (HELLOWEEN). Was that fun to make?

BB: "I just asked some mates to sing with me on the song. It's a song about being in the business for a long time, and obviously Lemmy and Angry have! Andi's not been around quite so long."

Q: You had a good time making it. Do you think some of what your doing now, obviously you're a jobbing singer, this is what you do, this is what's making your living. Is it more about fun rather than making it big now. I was talking to Dee Snider (TWISTED SISTER) earlier and he said it's more about enjoyment now, because people know who we are, we've already made it, the thing is now to give people a good time, give the people what they want?

BB: "No, actually it's not like that with us. We like making records. Every record we make we try to make it better than the last one. It's really important to us that people are interested in what we're doing musically, because we're songwriters. We're not vaudeville entertainers so I think it is fun, yeah, but it's tinged with a seriousness that people take our music seriously, because we release albums every year or two years. In Dee's case they don't. They play classic songs from the '80s, we're slightly different from Twisted Sister. Dee makes records, but the rest, I don't think the rest are interested. It's the old thing, if you sell 3 million albums, why would you make one that sells 56 thousand? They're a little bit scared, and actually we don't give a shit! We just make records, we like making music, it's what we do."

Read the full article at this location.

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New Saxon Video Interview Online

Baconmusic's James Allman spoke to legendary SAXON frontman Biff Byford during the Hard Rock Hell festival at Butlins, Minehead, UK in early November 2007. Watch the interview in two parts below. More...

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Helloween Bassist To Do Hard Rock Album

Frontiers Records will release the debut album from Markus Grosskopf's (HELLOWEEN) BASSINVADERS, entitled "Hellbassbeaters", on January 25, 2008.

BASSINVADERS was a creation of Markus' while sitting in a bar and enjoying a few drinks. It was there that he got inspired to produce a heavy rock record without any guitars at all. He presented this concept in early 2007 to Frontiers Records, which was intrigued by the idea and gave it a go.

According to a press release, "Hellbassbeaters" contains all the basic elements of a heavy rock record "and so much more. You got the strong vocals, rhythmic bass, intoxicating drums and even bass and twin bass solo parts. What you hear is what you get: 100% genuine heavy rock record with absolutely no discordant guitar note on it at all." To guarantee a great variety of different influences, Markus invited some well-known singing bass players from the German metal scene to join the band, including DESTRUCTION's Schmier, SODOM's frontman Tom Angelripper and RAGE's Peavy. He also managed to get a few of his bass heroes to lay down solos on some of the tracks, including Billy Sheehan, Rudy Sarzo and DD Verni.

Guest musicians include:

Bass:

Billy Sheehan (STEVE VAI, MR. BIG, DAVID LEE ROTH)
Rudy Sarzo (DIO, OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE, QUIET RIOT)
Lee Rocker (STRAY CATS)
Marco Mendoza (THIN LIZZY, WHITESNAKE, TED NUGENT)
DD Verni (OVERKILL)
Wyzard (MOTHER'S FINEST)
Dirk Schlächter (GAMMA RAY)
Joey Vera (ARMORED SAINT, FATES WARNING, ANTHRAX)
Stig Pedersen (D.A.D)
Nibbs (SAXON)
Tobias Exxel (EDGUY)
Jens Becker (GRAVE DIGGER, RUNNING WILD)
Dennis Ward (PINK CREAM 69)
Peter Baltes (ACCEPT)
Jan S. Eckert (MASTERPLAN)
Michael Müller (JADED HEART)

Vocals:

Apollo Papathanasio (FIREWIND, TIME REQUIEM, EVIL MASQUERADE, MAJESTIC)
Jesper Binzer (D-A-D)

Drums:

André Hilgers (RAGE, AXXIS, SILENT FORCE)
Stefan Arnold (GRAVE DIGGER)

01. Awakening the Bass Machine
02. We Live
03. Armageddon
04. Romance In Black
05. Godless Gods
06. Empty Memories (Breaking Free)
07. Boiling Blood
08. Far Too Late
09. The Asshole Song
10. Dead From the Eyes Down
11. Razorblade Romance
12. Voices
13. Eagles Fly Free (HELLOWEEN cover)
14. To Hell And Back (bonus track for Europe)

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3 Inches of Blood Kick Out Drummer

Classic Rock magazine reports that 3 INCHES OF BLOOD has kicked out drummer Alexei Rodriguez in the wake of an apparent altercation with SAXON drummer Nigel Glockler at the Hard Rock Hell festival in the UK over the weekend. Classic Rock has posted the following apology from the band:

“Dear Nigel and SAXON,"

"On behalf of all the members of 3 INCHES OF BLOOD we would like to express the utmost regret and sincere apology regarding the actions of our drummer, Alexei Rodriguez, that occurred in Minehead in the early hours of November 10."

"In no way were Alexei’s actions a reflection of our band. Needless to say we were completely shocked and horrified to learn about these events and are grateful that SAXON was still able to perform. We have complete respect for SAXON as a band and as individuals and would never want anyone’s livelihood as a musician to be jeopardised for any reason." More...

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Bands Confirmed For Heavy Christmas Meeting

DORO, SAXON,W.A.S.P., U.D.O., PRIMAL FEAR, IRON FIRE and HIGH´N DRY are confirmed for the Heavy Christmas Meeting which will be taking place in Düsseldorf, Germany at Philipshalle on December 12th.

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More Bands Confirmed For Bang Your Head Festival

YNGWIE MALMSTEEN'S RISING FORCE and FORBIDDEN are the latest acts confirmed for the 2008 edition of Germany's Bang Your Head!!! festival which is scheduled for June 27th - 28th at Messegelände in Balingen, Germany.

Confirmed acts now include: AGENT STEEL, AGE OF EVIL, BREAKER, CONTRACRASH, ENSIFERUM, FORBIDDEN, GRAVE DIGGER, GREAT WHITE, KORPIKLAANI, LIZZY BORDEN, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN'S RISING FORCE, ONSLAUGHT, RAGE, SAXON, TANKARD, TYR and WHITE LION.

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Saxon Postpone Australian Tour

KMW Productions have issued the following press release with regards to SAXON's upcoming Australian tour:

"We've had the cream of metal here in Australia over the last few years but the visit by UK vets, Saxon was going to be something really special; a fist pumping, heart thumping, hell, I'll say it, maybe even tears of joy type experience. It'll still be all those things but now in April 2008 rather than October. A few more months after almost a thirty year wait will be a breeze. Besides, it gives more time to save up for that second t shirt." - Murray Engleheart

A collective moan echoes across the land…it is with much sadness that one of metal’s most influential bands, Saxon, has been forced to re-schedule their pending tour of Australia. The band’s passports were not returned by The Japanese Embassy in time for Australian visas to be issued. Dates are now being rescheduled for April 08 and will be announced shortly.

Ticket holders for the shows in Sydney and Melbourne on October 24th and 25th should retain their tickets as they will remain valid for the re-scheduled dates to be announced shortly.

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Lord To Support Saxon In Australia

Australia's LORD have updated their tour schedule to announce two dates in support of SAXON later this month.
The dates include:

October
24 - The Forum - Sydney, Australia
25 - The Hi-Fi - Melbourne, Australia

LORD's latest album, Ascendence (artwork pictured), is available in Japan via Soundholic Records, and in Australia through Modern Invasion Music.

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