The Saxon co-founder and vocalist Biff Byford recalled in an interview with Classic Rock how AC/DC influenced the band in the early days. The musician said that as soon as he heard them he took the cassette tape to his bandmates and they played in their van for the months.
Saxon was formed in 1975 still named Son of a Bitch but in 1978 the name was changed and they released in 1979 their debut album. At the time, AC/DC already was an important band and would become only a few months later one of the most successful ones in the planet with the released of their grounbreaking album “Highway To Hell”, which was their final one with the singer Bon Scott. He tragically died in 1980 at the age of 33.
“Someone gave me a cassette of High Voltage, and the second I heard ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top’ I immediately ran to the boys [in Saxon] to show it them. I played it in our van for about five months straight!”
“We liked the energy of punk, because it was fast and furious, but we needed AC/DC for that groove,” he recalled. “Put the two together and you get Saxon.”
“Bon wrote great lyrics,” he said. “He was a bit of a gangster, and that stuff is very linked with rock music somehow. When we started out it was a dangerous place! A lot of people from dodgy upbringings, for want of a better word, were always attracted to rock music,” Biff Byford said.
Over the decades the two bands had the opportunity to meet each other and were part together of many festivals around the world. Saxon is currently on the road in Europe and will also perform in South America and Mexico this year, before returning to Europe in 2024 on a tour with Judas Priest and Uriah Heep.
Their current line-up has Biff Byford (Vocals), Brian Tatler (Touring guitarist), Nigel Glocker (Drums), Nibbs Carter (Bass) and Doug Scarratt (Guitar). The original guitarist Paul Quinn retired from touring this year but continues to be an official member that will continue to record new albums with the band. Their most recent one is the covers album “More Inspirations” released in 2023.
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