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Biff about new "Lionheart" album

Discussion in 'Saxon' started by Karsten, Jul 26, 2004.

  1. Karsten

    Karsten Member

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    SAXON frontman frontman Biff Byford recently spoke to the U.K.'s long-running magazine Terrorizer about the group's brand-new album, "Lionheart", due on September 20 through SPV Records. The follow-up to 2001's "Killing Ground" was completed at Gems24 studio near Boston, Lincolnshire, England with producer Charlie Bauerfeind and features artwork by Paul R. Gregory, who had previously worked with the group on the now classic "Crusader" album.

    "It's more powerful," Biff said of the new album, "We wanted it to be a rawer album because a lot of people say 'you're fantastic live, but on album you're a bit, er, 'reverby'!' (laughs). So we went for an album that is right in your face, vocally and guitar-wise. . . On this album, it's a very strong mixture of early and new SAXON influences. We've cut out a lot of the bullshit and got down to the nitty gritty of what really makes a great metal sound. It's SAXON 2004 basically!"

    Regarding the band's longevity, Biff said, "We're really passionate about what we do, and that shows through in the songs. We don't follow trends.

    "Metal has become young people's music again," he explained, "It tends to go in cycles and people rebel against manufactured music. They want something raunchy and rebellious where you can identify with the members rather than them just looking beautiful. Age doesn't matter. It doesn't matter to some 15-year-old kid who likes the music that I'm the same age as his father!"
     
  2. saxon747rock

    saxon747rock Member

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    spot on biff, what biff was saying about some people saying that live saxon kick arse and on some of there studio albums even though the songs are either good or amazing the producer comes along and takes away that ultimate saxon feel, im not saying all the producers saxon have had do this just a few of them example crusader album destiny album rock the nations to name just a couple.

    I think as far as age goes well i couldent give a shit how old the members of saxon are i dont even think about that side of it.

    saxon are my fav band and have been for the last 24 years, why because they write and perform good honest in ya face no bullshit british heavy metal, you do not grow out of something you enjoy.

    You could name loads of bands that are in there 40s 50s and even 60s, But we dont give a shit.

    I like a lot of other mainly 80s rock metal bands but like i say saxon are my fav not only for there music and live performances but for there time they give to there fans ie photos with em and autographs ive met biff a few times before concerts and other members of saxon and not once have they said no sorry we havent got time for you which means so much for fans as well as there music

    And my last point is that since 1990 saxon have hit the right notes again.
    for example i like bands like maiden metallica just to name 2 examples, ok im not slagging these bands of cause there earlly just was really good but just have a listen to there last 3 or 4 albums and they have been well to be honest crap now have a listen to saxons 3 or 4 albums for me saxon have got better and better as the years have gone on which biffs vocals are better now then they ever have been not that they was ever crap but he has just got a lot better same goes for the playing of the other members of saxon

    We all no that bands cant go on forever and ive said this before saxon deserve a 30 year career and were not far of that now anything after that will just be a fantastic bonus.

    So saxon keep on rockin, looking forward to ya new album hope it is shit hot cant wait, enjoy ya 25th anniversary all the f---in best.

    ian. :)
     
  3. nightwar

    nightwar Member

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    Nice speech, Ian! You hit all the right notes, Baby!

    Regarding Biff's last statement concerning Metal returning to the young again. This dialogue proves just how intelligent and articulate the guy is! It's such a great opinion. People DO seek something more musically digestive to chew on than the plastic shite that is being produced today. They DO need to identify with musicians that don't look like they came out of a Cosmopolitan Photo Shoot!

    And I couldn't care whether the bands I loved were 50, 60 or 70 years old - As long as I enjoy and get off on the stuff they do, I really don't notice.

    Ian is right - Biff's voice has got better and better over the years. No other vocalist sounds like him, but you can still relate to the sound - It isn't over the top or exageratted etc.
    I agree that the Nineties were a return of form for Saxon. 'Solid Ball Of Rock' was a come back, and the albums have been getting progressively better.
    I reckon past producers have to take much of the blame on past albums - 'Crusader' was great and suffered only from the production. I really like much of the stuff on 'Innocence' but it sounds so Eighties! And as for 'Destiny' - I just hope they didn't pay the producer!
    But from then on, the albums got better and better - and so did the production!
    I can't wait to hear the 'in your face' sound of 'Lionheart'!
    It's true that Saxon sound the best when live - and this is how the producer should look at it. Keep those bloody reverb buttons turned off!

    Craig
     
  4. WILKS

    WILKS Member

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    I Biff says something like this every album.But I put that down to being excited about the album.I gave up on Saxon around 90ish but when caught with tem agai round about unlesh couldnt believe how much they had improved after each album.Killing Ground was classicSaxon at full flight I hope the new album will live up to my expectations.I am more excited about Lionheart than hve been about any album for some time now.
     
  5. nightwar

    nightwar Member

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    I have had a similiar experience as you, Wilks.
    I bought 'Unleash' as a whim off eBay and couldn't believe how great it was! I then got 'Killing Ground' and loved it! I then got 'Metal Head'.
    After getting 'Solid Ball...' and 'Forever Free', I realised I had turned off from the band just as they got good again! Darn my stupid timing!
    But you can forgive me, can't you? 'Destiny' probably did the same to thousands of fans! I bet Biff and Quinny wished they never made it now!
    Somehow, I can't see 'Lionheart' doing the same mistake. Saxon are in charge of this album, not a record company!
     
  6. macc189

    macc189 Member

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    If you speak to Biff he actually defends the 'D' album, and I think I know what he means, the songs are good songs, its the production that totally facked it all up. Id love to hear the demos for that album before the producer got a hold of it, according to Oly they are well heavy, as were the Rock the Nations songs. Hmm, Diamonds and Nuggets part 2 anyone?
     
  7. saxon747rock

    saxon747rock Member

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    Cheers nightwar,

    I wonder if saxon could go back into the studio sometime and re record all the albums that they think that the producer fu--ed up on and re do them how they think they should sound if they did that i would deff re buy them again. We all no how hard working saxon are and i guess that its just finding the time to do that sort of thing but it would be great if they did.
     
  8. WILKS

    WILKS Member

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    I'm not sure I agree with rerecording stuff.As a one of I think thats fine but album are document of your progress and good or bad you should stand by them.
    Macc I aint got round to buying diamonds and nuggets is worth the money?
     
  9. nightwar

    nightwar Member

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    Thanks, 747 - I think if Biff and Co had the time and dosh, they would jump at the chance to re-record some of there late-eighties stuff. I certainly like a ton of stuff from 'Innocence' & and it is truly let down by the production. 'Rock The Nations' has always been a fun album for me - the drum sound was fine, but it did come across a little watery - Biff was amazingly solid as the bass player (I love the bass on the title track!) and maybe that bloody Elton John was to blame!
    Regarding the 'Destiny' album -
    The production is the main problem, I agree. But I also think the songs were some what lacking. I don't think anyone in particularly is to blame for this. I feel that it is down to the loss of a couple of members of the band - Nigel Glockler and Steve Dawson, and the members replacing them, not having the same influence and talent.
    Eventually, Nibbs came in, and has more than compensated for Steve Dawson's departure. Nibbs is a great bass player and has had a major part in the songwriting duties since he joined - very much like Dawson!
    Nigel Glockler has always been more than simply a drummer. His percussion tended to be more involved within the song structure - his style was not simply 'the beat' to a song: sometimes it led the song (The Eagle Has Landed, This Town Rocks, All Hell Breaking Loose etc.) Whenever he has participated, his influence has been immense, and created very positive results. For example, Biff used the lyrics of 'SOS' to a much more beneficial effect in 'Iron Wheels' - a song co-written by Glockler.
    Also, I do think the band were trying too hard to sound mainstream on 'Destiny' and this effected the song writing on the album. 'Ride Like The Wind' is a great cover and 'Where The Lightening Strikes' is a nice number but, after that, I have to wait for 'Red Alert' - I know it sounds crazy, but I love that Synth bit in the song (Very much like a John Carpenter movie!). I can't say I'm really fond of any of the songs in between.
    Anyhow, this is just my opinion, OK? The great thing about Saxon is that they have gone through so many phases and stages, due to their longevity. And, although 'Destiny' is not my favourite album, I could not imagine the world without it!
     
  10. macc189

    macc189 Member

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    All depends on how much youre into the band I guess, D+G is a top album for curiositys sake, the first version of Big Teaser rocks as does the only known live recording of Midnight Rider, the Coast track 'Lift up your eyes' and the early Sob stuff are interesting as is the unreleased stuff from the Power and the Glory sessions, oh f*ck it mate, just get it, its a damn good album and the extensive liner notes and photos make for good reading too.
     
  11. nightwar

    nightwar Member

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    You have top buy D&N, Wilks!
    The live stuff is worth the purchase alone, but I really enjoyed listening to the rare studio stuff! Like Wilks said, hearing Coast and SOB is more interesting than anything else.
    Thanks for the info, by the way, Macc, I always wondered if 'Coming To The Rescue' and 'Turn Out The Lights' were recorded during the P&G period.
    The most amazing things on this album, for me, was the Midnight Rider middle section appearing from nowhere within 'Ann Marie' and the recorded jamming session that obviously evolved into 'The Eagle Has Landed'.
    You can sometimes come across a reasonably priced copy on eBay. I urge you to go for it, Wilks!
     
  12. Paxoman

    Paxoman Member

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    I'm with Wilks on the re-recording old tracks issue. It was good as a one off, but that's all it should be, a one off. The 80's Saxon stuff is OK, it was OK at the time, it's the way a lot of metal was going at the time. But most of those songs wouldn't fit into a Saxon show now, so whats the point in re-recording them?

    I don't think Destiny is as bad as a lot of people say. Sure, it isn't really the Saxon sound, and it's commercial, but the songs themselves arn't so bad in my opinion.

    D&N is a great album Wilks, and a must have for all true Saxon fans. I like the versions of 'Frozen Rainbow'.

    I'm still interested in getting 'Alternative Innocence', but haven't seen it anywhere. I've asked plenty of shops but they have nothing on their computers about it being released. The Majestic website was down the last time I checked, and when I rang them the phone line was dead. So I'm assuming Majestic have gone bust and the album was never released?
     
  13. macc189

    macc189 Member

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    just had a look pax and its back up but i cant find any reference to alternative innocence mate, am i looking in the right place? www.majesticrock.com
     
  14. mmurnau

    mmurnau Member

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    Plastichead Distribution have a supply of Alternative Innocence CDs. Look at http://www.plastichead.com/

    Search for 'Saxon' and its on page 2 of the results. Unfortunately their website is very fiddly to use, especially when paying.
     
  15. nightwar

    nightwar Member

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    Thanks, Mmurnau - I will probably get this.
    So, it is outakes and unused tracks from the 'Innocence' album, yeah? But can you tell me what it's like and what is on it?
    I've never heard of this CD until now.
     
  16. mmurnau

    mmurnau Member

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    In actual fact I haven't heard it yet, I'm ordering it from this website too. However, I believe it is supposed to be heavier (yet contemporary) versions of songs from the Innocence album, "as it was supposed to sound" before the original producer made his mark on it.

    I think the release of this has something to do with Graham Oliver, I think it was found in his archives. But it features Biff and Quinn in the lineup and is nothing to do with modern-day O/D Saxon per se.
     
  17. WILKS

    WILKS Member

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    Thats that then it shall be mine soon.
     
  18. Patte

    Patte Member

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    Thanks for the info. I ordered it straight away, even though I don't like using credit cards on the net. What are you gonna do being a hardcore Saxon fan? It surely can't be found here in Sweden anyway. Very curious about it.
     
  19. Paxoman

    Paxoman Member

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    Thanks Macc. I emailed them asking if they have released the CD but they haven't written back yet.

    Thanks mmurnau, I have ordered Alternative Innocence from that website.
     
  20. WILKS

    WILKS Member

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    Lets us know if its worth the cash please pax.
     

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