Posts Tagged “Saxon”

British heavy metal legends Saxon have produced a series of alternative takes on classic favorites to herald a new entry to the Saxonian Institute of Metal. The following statement was issued about the coming “Unplugged and Strung Up” release: “There is always feral beauty in a raging beast…and with ‘Unplugged And Strung Up,’ Saxon’s selection of unique, fresh and adventurous interpretations of material previously heard only with raw heavy metal thunder, the point is triumphantly underscored. “Unplugged And Strung Up reveals layers and pieces previously dormant in many of the 14 classic Saxon songs chosen for this makeover, thanks to some ear-catching new arrangements and mixes

The post Saxon Announces “Unplugged And Strung Up” Orchestral/Remix Release appeared first on Daily Heavy Metal News.

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FMQB recently conducted an interview with FOZZY singer and WWE wrestling superstar Chris Jericho. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

FMQB: You’re about to kick off your next North American tour with old school British Metal group SAXON. Why did you choose to tour with them, instead of a newer band?

Jericho: SAXON is a legendary, influential band; huge all around the world; sold millions of records all around the world; and this is their first extensive U.S. tour in years. When the opportunity came up for us to go out with them, I thought it was a great mix because the most important thing when you tour with other bands is that you want to gain new fans. I’ve got a lot of respect for SAXON, I’m a big fan of theirs, but most importantly their new album, “Sacrifice”, is one of the best records they’ve done ever. They’re not phoning it in. They’re still putting out great material and they’re still a vibrant, living, breathing rock n roll band. It’s a really cool mix, because there’s going to be a lot of SAXON fans that don’t know FOZZY and a lot of FOZZY fans that don’t know SAXON. We all come from the same place, we both have very heavy but melodic music, and at the end of the night, I think we’re both going to have new fans gained. People that are there that don’t know one of the bands are going to leave as fans of both and that’s the most important thing, so it’s a great mix. Our last U.S. tour, we went out with SHINEDOWN and GODSMACK, and now we’re going out with SAXON, so you get a real diverse, cross section of fans that are seeing us and that’s the way to build our band.

FMQB: One thing that’s really impressive about FOZZY is the lengths you go to with your fans. How do the VIP meet-and-greets work before your shows?

Jericho: We’re very fan-friendly, from everything that we do on social media to the shows themselves. We demand a lot of audience participation from our fans, and we get it. That’s one of the reasons we have such a great reputation as a live band. We started a VIP program a few years ago. I was looking at other bands doing VIPs, but I thought that bands were charging a lot of money and not really delivering a lot. So we came up with a whole VIP meet-and-greet system that’s a little bit different from the norm. We let fans watch the soundcheck. If we’re headlining, we have dinner with the fans, if not, we make sure to spend time with them and take them on the bus, and get to know people a little bit. It’s not just a run-and-gun, and I think we’ve created a whole new society of FOZZY fans that met each other just from our VIP program. People have gotten married from meeting each other as FOZZY VIPs. It’s a cool, underground society that we have cultivated. Especially in Europe, because we’ve toured there so much, and we’re really excited about doing that on this tour as well.

FMQB: What’s next for FOZZY beyond this fall tour?

Jericho: We have this tour with SAXON coming up, then I think we’re going to Australia before the year’s end. We’ve already started writing the new record. We plan to have all the songwriting done by the end of December, and start recording it in January, February and March, and then have it out and ready to for next summer. So that’s the plan and we’re excited, because there’s a lot of great momentum with FOZZY. We’ve done a lot of touring on “Sin And Bones”, I think we’re up to 100 gigs already, and when you get to three digits on one record, that’s success. So we want to keep that going and keep it rolling.

Read the entire interview at FMQB.

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Jay Nanda of the San Antonio Metal Music Examiner recently conducted an interview with FOZZY singer and WWE wrestling superstar Chris Jericho. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: You don’t hear of many tour pairings having a classic/current feel like this one does. What are you looking forward to the most about touring with SAXON?

Chris: I think that’s one of the reasons why we like it. It’s one of the reasons why SAXON liked it. It isn’t just your typical, “OK, it’s SAXON, let’s stick ’em with ANVIL or something like that.” I think one of the reasons why you do a big tour like this is to gain new fans. We toured last summer with SHINEDOWN and GODSMACK throughout the States. And now this summer we’re doing it with SAXON. So I think one of the most important things for our band that’s been able to see us grow so much over the last few years is the diversity of what we do and the diversity of who we play with. We always knew we could play with anybody from SHINEDOWN to SLAYER, and we believe that because our music appeals to a lot of different people. So getting back to what you’re saying and how the idea for SAXON came up, obviously we’re huge SAXON fans. Very legendary band, very influential. But the thing that really appealed to me is the fact their last couple of records, more specifically their last record, “Sacrifice”, is one of the best records they’ve ever done. They’re still putting out great material even at this stage of the game. And they’re really a breathing, vibrant rock ‘n’ roll band, which I thought was really, really important. They’re not just phoning it in. They’re still out there to kick ass. And also too, they’ve got something good in the States. They’re still headlining major festivals in Europe and in the U.K., but they haven’t toured the States for awhile. And this is kind of a big return. There’s going to be a lot of SAXON fans that don’t know FOZZY or FOZZY fans that don’t know SAXON. But at the end of the night, those people are going to leave being fans of both bands, and that’s why you do something like this.

San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: “Chasing The Grail” is a great, heavy record virtually throughout the whole album. “Sin And Bones” obviously has its heavy moments as well, but it’s also a more diverse record. Would you agree with that?

Chris: Yeah, we got a lot of momentum from “Chasing The Grail”. A lot of new ears were listening, a lot of new eyes were upon us. And we knew we had the chance to go to the next level with “Sin And Bones”, especially since we had just signed to Century Media, which is the biggest record label we’ve ever been on. So I knew that we could hit a home run with the record and take it to the next level. So Rich [Ward, guitar] and I worked really hard to kind of figure out what it is that we do best, which is very heavy riffs and very melodic choruses. I always say if METALLICA and JOURNEY had a bastard child, it would sound like FOZZY. That was one of the things we do that a lot of other bands don’t do. We use a lot of singing in our songs. We love METALLICA, we love AVENGED SEVENFOLD, but we also love JOURNEY and STYX and FOREIGNER — those bands from the ’70s where everyone in the band sang. And we kind of wanted to utilize that trick in FOZZY. We started doing that when we were working on “Sin And Bones”. It really kind of showed us this is what we need to be, this is who we are. And it is a little bit more diverse, but it still fits that heavy/melodic vibe. It’s our biggest-selling record of all-time, it’s our highest-charting record, most critically acclaimed. It’s far and above and beyond what we were hoping for. It looks like our plan paid off. And I think in the future, it’s going to be kind of what we’ll stick with.

San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: You’ve hosted the [Revolver] Golden Gods Awards several times, and obviously you’re tailor-made for that. This past May, how difficult was it to keep the humor and things going given that Jeff Hanneman [SLAYER] died that day?

Chris: Well actually, it’s obviously a terrible day, but it was probably in retrospect the best day that could’ve happened. Because you had all of his friends gathered together, and instead of a real despondent, horrible time, it was almost like a real big celebration for Jeff. It was a real coincidental thing but in a positive way. If there’s anything positive about that, from him passing away is that, you know, you’d (otherwise) have some guys over here, some guys over there, some guys over here — (but) everybody was there. You had people from the “Big Four” [METALLICA, SLAYER, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX] gathered together that day. And it was a really cool experience because everyone was there to celebrate Jeff‘s life. Some of his closest friends, guys that he influenced the most and then of course 2,000 of his biggest fans that were in the crowd. It actually ended up being kind of a big, giant wake, and it was actually a positive experience in the middle of a horrible situation.

Read the entire interview at San Antonio Metal Music Examiner.

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Six years after-the-fact, Metal Mind Productions re-releases Blaze Bayley‘s 2007 double concert album, “Alive in Poland”. Captured at the 2007 Metalmania Festival in Katowice, Poland with the debut lineup of the BLAZE BAYLEY band, faithful Bayley supporters were served up a round robin indulgence.

Despite a tumultuous time in the ex-IRON MAIDEN and WOLFSBANE singer’s career (including the disintegration of his previous BLAZE unit), “Alive in Poland” is a cool though spotty live retrospective of Bayley‘s career. Included amongst his solo cuts on the sixteen-song set list are a heaping handful of Bayley-era MAIDEN tracks including “Virus” from “Best of the Beast”, never performed by MAIDEN, but proven to crop up at Bayley‘s shows. Also making an appearance on “Alive in Poland” is WOLFSBANE‘s “Tenth Dimension”.

While there’s a decided bitterness hovering over Blaze Bayley circa 2007 in which he grumbles with ignited F-bombs against becoming a record label write-off (no doubt the scorn handed him by IRON MAIDEN fans was also lying dormant in his mind at this point), by-and-large, “Alive in Poland” is enjoyable. Certainly those in attendance at the Metalmania Festival were entertained, judging by their enthusiastic reception. It’s no wonder Metal Mind has re-released “Alive in Poland” while Bayley sets out to revamp his career with a proposed best-of anthology, a classical-themed EP and a brand new BLAZE BAYLEY band studio album.

The BB band lineup at the time of this show included Rich Newport and Nick Bermudez (guitars), David Bermudez (bass) and Rico Banderra (drums). While the sound capture is occasionally muddy and the band betrays occasional mistimes, “Alive in Poland” should still satiate Bayley‘s fans and power metal freaks at-large.

Knowing that the core vibe of Bayley‘s solo work heralds SAXON and the NWOBHM, songs such as “Speed of Light”, “Alive”, “Tough as Steel”, “Ten Seconds”, “Kill and Destroy” and “Born as a Stranger” rip and tear like metalhead pleasure pills. As for the six IRON MAIDEN covers in the set, “Man On the Edge”, “Sign of the Cross” and “Virus” are the best, while “Two Worlds Collide” and “Futureal” are a bit lacking despite some wicked shred soloing. It’s not just that the tunes are devoid of Steve Harris‘ thrumming bass gallops and Nicko McBrain‘s polished drives and rolls; there’s too much sloppiness undermining from top-to-bottom, not that anyone in the audience seems to mind. The crowd whoa-ohs along with Blaze on “Two Worlds Collide”, and they egg him on through the morose intro to “Look for the Truth”. When Blaze coaxes them to call back on the latter song, you just know he’s enjoying a private “Fear of the Dark” moment. Kudos, at least, to the BB band for mostly pulling off the nine-minute sojourn of “Sign of the Cross” with raw convincingness.

Longtime fans will enjoy the chunky take on “Tenth Dimension”, which is played on the edge despite some random roughness in Bayley‘s pipes. As we’ve come to learn since this recording, Blaze has soldiered through health issues on top of personal trials. The wear and fatigue in his voice is detectable all throughout this show, but give the guy credit for standing tall when he’s had everything go against him ever since IRON MAIDEN‘s “The X Factor” was released.

While this lineup of the BLAZE BAYLEY band was short-lived, “Alive in Poland” is a mostly solid outing with pockets of shortfalls. Never question Blaze Bayley‘s heart, however. If anyone carries the banner for metal in his own modest way, it’s this guy.

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John Parks of Legendary Rock Interviews recently conducted an interview with vocalist Biff Byford of British heavy metal veterans SAXON. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Legendary Rock Interviews: You have been on a real creative tear lately, with the last couple albums being some of the best-reviewed and -received work you’ve ever done. Is it at all possible that some of that court battle over the band name somehow reinvigorated you or added something, passion-wise or aggression-wise, to your approach these days?

Biff: Ummmm…. I suppose maybe it did before. I suppose we wanted to unleash the beast and be sure that the last album was great and all that. I suppose it does push you a little bit further, but not really now at this point. We just like writing albums and we wanna keep making albums that people like. Our style of music is pretty unique to SAXON; we don’t really sound like anyone else.

Legendary Rock Interviews: “Call To Arms” was a really nice return to form and really rallied the fanbase, including here in the States. Was it hard to set out to top that with “Sacrifice”?

Biff: Yeah, it was actually. “Call To Arms” was a great album, a great collection of songs, but I wanted to come at “Sacrifice” from a little bit of a different angle. I wanted it to be a little heavier and more from the heart rather than the head, so, yeah, it was a task but there’s certainly a lot of passion in these songs. I worked quite hard with our guitarist on the choruses and melodies and the twin-guitar parts. I think because I was producing the album, I was in a little bit more control and felt I could take the band into more of a live direction. We really worked on the songs in terms of how they sound when we’re playing as opposed to just working on them to make them sound good in the studio.

Legendary Rock Interviews: I think you are almost a little unassuming or humble. Lots of bands put out albums as an excuse to tour or fulfill a contract but this is just a complete album of great, no-bullshit songs. Was there anything left on the table other than what made it to the bonus tracks and special editions?

Biff: Yeah, there are a few things that are on my home studio, some songs we didn’t use that might surface on the next album, but nothing really complete or finished in any way. Mostly a lot of ideas, you know. It didn’t take too much time to find the ten songs which made the record. The guys were jamming around and I was playing bass on a few of the sessions and I waited a little to do the melodies and lyrics; I just had some basic ideas about the songtitles. When we’d go to rehearse, I would really work hard with the guys to come up with melodic choruses, which is really what “Sacrifice” is: a lot of heavy riffs with very melodic choruses. That’s really a trademark SAXON thing.

Legendary Rock Interviews: Was it a challenge to work on these re-recordings for the bonus tracks? “Crusader” and “Just Let Me Rock” are pretty well-known songs, but I think this version of “Just Let Me Rock” is much better than the original.

Biff: Yeah. The original version of “Just Let Me Rock” was during a really weird time for the band really. The whole MTV era changed everything, and I think things were a bit lighter then, but the new version proves it’s still a cool song. The lyrics are great and it’s about our old manager ripping us off, so I think it deserves the heavier treatment. [laughs] The original sounded like some kind of groovy rock song and this is much more to the point. The orchestration on “Crusader” is pretty interesting. I think we may do that with “Dallas 1pm” as well.

Read the entire interview at Legendary Rock Interviews.

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Drummer Nigel Durham (ex-SAXON, ex-OLIVER/DAWSON SAXON) has joined the U.K. hard rock band MORPHEUS RISING.

Says the group: “Nigel is a fantastic drummer with an outstanding pedigree, and we’re delighted to welcome him into the band.

Nigel is no stranger to rock audiences, having played on SAXON‘s ‘Destiny’ album, and several albums with OLIVER/DAWSON SAXON, including ‘Re:Landed’ and ‘It’s Alive’. We are really looking forward getting stuck into rehearsals with him, preparing current material for the live set and new songs for the album sessions.

“We’re all looking forward to the new album and a new era with Melodic Revolution Records, and with Nigel joining the band too, we’re really hungry to get cracking.”

States Nigel: “[I] can’t wait to get my teeth into MORPHEUS RISING!”

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Legendary U.K. metal band Saxon was forced to cancel its performance at the Vagos Open Air in Portugal scheduled for Saturday, August 10th due to an injury to frontman Biff Byford.

The post Vagos Open Air Performance Canceled By Saxon Due To Injury To Frontman appeared first on Daily Heavy Metal News.

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British heavy metal legends SAXON have been forced to cancel their August 10 appearance at the Vagos Open Air festival at Quinta do Ega, Vagos, Portugal due to an injury suffered by frontman Biff Byford.

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Motorhead

Following Motörhead being forced to cut their set short at Wacken due to Lemmy’s ongoing health issues, Slash has posted an update on the progress of the rock ‘n’ roll icon.

“Visited Lemmy today; he’s doing well,” says the legendary guitarist. “There’s been a lot of rumors. But he’s in good shape and finishing Motörhead record now.”

The band themselves posted the following statement following their Wacken set:

“The show had to go on because that’s how Lemmy rolls. Even though he was not 100% fit, he refused to feel he was letting the 85,000 Wacken fans down.

“They kicked ass in the 100-plus-degree heat for a shortened, but powerful, set before Lemmy finally realized he might have bitten off a little more than he could chew. Thus, he will embark upon the recuperation recommended. We know that rumors are flying around, but once he fully recharges, Motörhead will be back, don’t you worry!”

New Motörhead album Aftershock is due later this year, and the band are due to play the following UK dates with Saxon in the Autumn:

Weds 13th November 2013 – NOTTINGHAM Royal Concert
Thur 14th November 2013 – NEWCASTLE City Hall
Sat 16th November 2013 – LONDON Brixton O2 Academy
Sun 17th November 2013 – LONDON Brixton O2 Academy* 
Tue 19th November 2013 – WOLVERHAMPTON Civic Hall
Wed 20th November 2013 – MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
Fri 22nd November 2013 – GLASGOW O2 Academy

* No Saxon performance

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Nuclear Blast Records has checked in with the following update about metal queen Doro’s 30th anniversary shows: “Doro Pesch really hits it off! In 2013/2014 the Metal-Queen celebrates her 30th Throne-Anniversay with special shows all around the world. “The phenomenal kick-off to this concert row has taken place last Friday at the largest and most important metal festival of the world, Wacken, where 80,000 fans have given their rock queen an overwhelming welcome and international stars of the genre like Motorhead, Biff Byford (Saxon), Eric Fish (Subway to Sally), Uli Jon Roth (Ex-Scorpions and Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger) payed their honours to Doro on stage.” Wacken was only the beginning

The post Doro Checks In From 30th Anniversary Tour, Issues Update appeared first on Daily Heavy Metal News.

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