SAXON guitarist Doug Scarratt spoke to The Metal Voice about the progress of the recording sessions for the band's follow-up to 2018's "Thunderbolt" album. He said (hear audio below): "We don't go into the studio and lock the doors anymore; we do write more at home, just because it's just such a large commitment now for everyone to make. But we had quite a few weeks in the studio together hacking out some ideas. Nibbs [Carter, bass] has written a lot of material on this record. But, at the moment, we're at a stage where a lot can change and songs can disappear and other songs can come up; there's still time."
According to Doug, SAXON Biff Byford will put his vocals down on the new songs in early 2020 — just a few months after the band was forced to postpone all its previously announced 2019 shows so that Byford could undergo an emergency triple bypass surgery in September.
"We've got 10 or 11 tracks to lay down, and I think Biff's gonna start… I mean, he's already been working on some of the stuff anyway — lyrics and melody. So I think his plan is to start trying to put some stuff down January/February time and see where we go.
"We're early on in the process, but we have quite a bit of material to play with at the moment," he said. "They're vehicles for Biff to write lyrics and melody to. Although I think Biff — he can't sit still, so he's been sat at home… There are some definites there. And they might not all be definite. But we're at a phase where until we actually put guitars down and try some things, the things could still change quite a bit at this point.
Asked about drummer Nigel Glockler's recent comment that the new SAXON material is shaping up to be "more groove-oriented yet still heavy," Doug said: "There's definitely a couple that fit that bill. There's some mad fast stuff as well at the moment. But at the moment, they're just kind of musical structures. You get a thing that you like the sound of what's happening, but until there's vocals and melody on there, you've just got a backing track. So it's not a song yet. But you still usually get a feel when something is just gonna be great. You're not always right — sometimes you write music and you think, 'I love this,' and it just doesn't go anywhere. But that's the nature of what we do. And we do like to experiment still."
Byford and guitarist Paul Quinn are the sole remaining original members in the group's current lineup, which issued its 22nd LP, "Thunderbolt", in February 2018.
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".