SAXON singer Biff Byford spoke to Sonic Perspectives about his band's decision to record a version of AC/DC's "Problem Child" for its upcoming covers album, "Inspirations".
"Someone either gave me [AC/DC's] first album or I stole it back in the '70s," Biff said. "The thing with AC/DC is that they are groove monsters. Their songs are all about feel. You have to get the groove right. You have to get the guitar sound right. I have two guitars, a 1965 SG Junior and a 1974 SG. [SAXON guitarists] Paul [Quinn] and Doug [Scarratt] used those two guitars, so we got that AC/DC Gibson sound. I think we cracked it open a little louder than AC/DC. [Laughs] During the 'Dirty Deeds' album and tour, they played near Sheffield, where we used to live. I told the boys that we have to go and see this band. It must have been around 1976 or something. They played 'Problem Child', and when I thought about doing this 'Inspirations' album, I thought it was important to add that song because I heard it so many years ago."
Asked what was it like to see AC/DC with singer Bon Scott, Biff said: "He was great. He was all 'head voice' and all from the throat. It was a terrific frontman, but he didn't say a great deal in between songs. He was also very charismatic. He and Angus Young knew how to work the stage. Bon would go to the front, Angus would go to the back, then Angus would go to the front while Bon backed up. Their stagecraft was perfect at the time. I loved them."
Biff continued: "They first started coming to the U.K. in the '70s when they were coming up. They gave a hundred percent every time. I met them a few times as they would come and hang out with us in the '80s when '747 (Strangers In The Night)' was in the charts for 'Wheels Of Steel'. A lot of AC/DC members used to come to see live us, especially Malcolm Young. We knew them well as we shared the same agency at the time. They are still a great band."
"Inspirations" will be released on March 19 via Silver Lining Music. The 11-track effort contains some of the classic rock songs that influenced Biff and the rest of the band.
"Inspirations" was recorded at Brockfield Hall, near York in the U.K., which was built in 1804 and holds the largest collection of paintings by Yorkshire's impressionist artists — the Staithes Group.
"Inspirations" will be made available on vinyl, CD, digital formats and limited-edition D2C products.
01. Paint It Black
02. Immigrant Song
03. Paperback Writer
04. Evil Woman
05. Stone Free
07. Speed King
08. The Rocker
09. Hold The Line
10. Problem Child
11. See My Friends