Greg Prato of Songfacts recently conducted an interview with vocalist Biff Byford of British heavy metal veterans SAXON. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Songfacts: Let's start off by talking about the new SAXON album, "Unplugged And Strung Up". How did the idea come to do this album?
Biff: Well, it's a mixture of different projects that we were doing. I had the idea to do an unplugged album, and then we moved off that to more general projects. I just thought it would be a good idea to put all our projects together on one album and try to make it interesting for the fans. I think it's a good package.
Songfacts: Are there songs that you feel worked best in the unplugged or orchestral setting, and were there any that you attempted that didn't work so well?
Biff: Yeah, we did a couple of the fast songs, the more thrash rock-y ones that didn't really work orchestrated or unplugged, acoustic. But we've been doing this sort of stuff now for about three or four years. Some of the acoustic stuff, it was done a couple of years ago, and "Crusader" was done four years ago. In the last year we've upped the game a little bit, because we wanted to release it. It's been a labor of love, really. It just came together by accident, I suppose.
Songfacts: Looking back, how would you say that you write your best songs?
Biff: I've usually come in with a couple of ideas. We all play instruments, so we can all write. We have a lot of ideas, and then we'll just bash them around a bit and I'll usually take them away and arrange them and put down some melodies, maybe write some lyrics, and we'll take it from there. We don't really consider the guitar riff a song, if you know what I mean. We have to work a lot harder than that. So it's just basically bouncing around from different members, I suppose.
Songfacts: Are there any standout memories about touring with RUSH back in the day?
Biff: Not really with RUSH. We knew them and we ate with them and we said hello a lot, but we didn't really have too much to do with them. They were a little bit untouchable in those days. But yeah, we had some great times. They once invited me on the bus to travel with them, but I didn't think it was fair that the rest of the guys wouldn't be on it. Sort of kick myself on that. I should have gone on it!
Read the entire interview at Songfacts.