SAXON - War Is Coming!
by Tim Henderson

SAXON - War Is Coming!

It's all in a name. And when it comes to Metal stalwarts Saxon, the name may be synonymous with the NWOBHM, but confusion has arisen lately due to an intense rift between members past and present who are taking such a revered moniker in two vastly different directions. And there is a court case currently pending that will clear up any misunderstandings that have been experienced by fans, agents, promoters, press and the like. In the meantime, there are two separate bands performing under the Saxon name in one form or other.

In one corner, the the longtime Biff Byford-led Saxon, with Biff on vocals, guitarists Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt, bassist Nibbs Carter and drummer Fritz Randow. In the other, bassist Steve Dawson and guitarist Graham Oliver, two original founder members of Saxon, along with drummer Nigel Durham, who was with Saxon during the 'Destiny' album period, guitarist Haydn Conway and vocalist John Ward (ex-SHY and SLASH'S SNAKEPIT). The latter has been performing under the name Oliver/Dawson Saxon.

BW&BK recently caught up with both Biff and Graham, albeit in two separate conversations and the result follows. You can read the full conversations in BW&BK #44, due out on September 11.

Biff Byford:

"The thing is, it's not two sides of the story, it's one side of the story. I've been making albums since 1979 and we've just made our last one last year, Metalhead, so now that's the story with this Saxon. The lineage goes back to 1979. We don't really go around looking for journalists to explain our side of the story to. We don't really have to explain anything to anybody, really. If you look at it logically, we've had over 12 albums out since Steve Dawson left, and we've had four albums out since Graham Oliver was set. There are some members in the band now that have actually been in the band longer than Steve Dawson was. And I understand that Dawson was in at probably a more successful period, but I don't particularly put that down to Steve Dawson or me or anybody really, I just put that down to being there at the right time with the right songs. Every band on the planet has it's major successful period, from Judas Priest to Deep Purple to Queen or whoever it is. Everybody has a more successful period. But we don't really dwell on the past and we're not trying to make a living from our past glories."

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