British heavy metal legends SAXON are putting the finishing touches on a cover album titled "Inspirations".
Singer Biff Byford broke the news of the project's completion in a video message on Tuesday (November 17). He said (see video below): "I wanna tell you about a project we're getting really excited about. We're just finishing it; I'm just finishing the vocals off now. It's gonna be a cover album.
"Somebody had the idea of doing something a bit of fun, because our new SAXON album has been put back till next year," he explained. "So, yeah, we're gonna call it 'Inspirations', and it's a collection of songs that inspired us and influenced us to go down the rock and roll highway, looking for fame and fortune. So, yeah, there's some big songs on there, there's some surprises, some really difficult songs to play and to sing. But we like doing it."
Biff continued: "I just finished the last vocal tonight. We did it the old way — old Marshall amps, old Marshall amps, real drums in a huge hallway in a big stately home that we used near York. So there's gonna be a video about that soon. Hopefully you're gonna be able to pre-order the album before release. And we're gonna drop a single soon, so keep your eyes open on social media for that."
This past June, Byford told Metal Rules that SAXON had "11 songs that are done and ready to go" for the follow-up to 2018's "Thunderbolt" album. He said: "It's coming along nicely. There is no pressure at the moment, to be honest, as I work better under pressure. We are recording our bits and pieces. I did most of the writing, and I'm just waiting for the lockdown to be over so we can go to the studio and finish it off."
Last March, Biff told The Metal Voice about the musical direction of the new SAXON material: "It's heavy. I would say the direction is the same as 'Thunderbolt' and 'Battering Ram'  [and] 'Sacrifice' . It's heavy and it's quite British[-sounding]; we like to retain that. Me and [bassist] Nibbs [Carter] wrote most of the songs again."
He continued: "What I do, I have a start time when I want the boys to start writing, and that's how we do albums. And Nibbs is just a fiend with it — he just writes so many ideas down; it's crazy. I'm getting ideas from all the boys, but predominantly most of them are from Nibbs.
"So, yeah, it's heavy," he added. "There's some great guitar playing on it from the boys. And Nigel's [Glockler] drumming is up there with much younger drummers, if you know what I mean — he's pushing himself very hard with it… Andy Sneap is producing it. So we'll see how it goes."
Byford and guitarist Paul Quinn are the sole remaining original members in SAXON's current lineup.
Originally from South Yorkshire, England, SAXON has gone on to sell about 23 million albums and has produced such classic songs as "Denim And Leather", "Princess Of The Night", "Wheels Of Steel" and "Power And Glory".