SAXON frontman Biff Byford spoke to The Metal Voice about the progress of the recording sessions for the band's follow-up to 2018's "Thunderbolt" album. Asked about the musical direction of the new SAXON material, Byford said (hear audio below): "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. Now we're all on hold [because of the coronavirus pandemic]. I'm still open to writing more songs. I think the boys are working on songs, so if they come up with anything really strong, then we might re-record some of the stuff and put some newer stuff back in again that they've written."
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."
Asked if any of the new SAXON songs are done already, Biff said: "There's nothing done or completed. I had a heart attack [last September], so that put me back a bit. I'd been really rehearsing my voice for the live shows we'd just done and the ones we were about to do at the end of March that got pushed back to September. We've got plenty of time. You cannot rush these things."
As for the lyrical themes covered in the new SAXON songs, Biff said: "I've got some ideas. The lyrics are 50 percent done, I think. So, I've got some good ideas. Everything is open. I don't close any book until… I'm still changing things when I record sometimes; so it's just an ever-moving thing. We don't finish until the tapes are sent to the record company. So we're always writing and always changing and always looking for inspiration right up until the last minute."
Pressed about a possible release date for the new SAXON album, Biff said: "We wanted it [to come out in] early 21, but I don't know now. We might have to re-think that. I don't know. We'll see. With music, everything is up in the air, really."
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".