On Thursday night's Loudwire Nights (Feb. 15), legendary metal vocalist Biff Byford hung out with host Chuck Armstrong to celebrate Saxon's latest album, Hell, Fire and Damnation.

"It's always a surprise when people really like the album," Byford admitted when he was asked if he's surprised Saxon are still around making significant heavy music.

"It's like Lemmy used to say, 'You're waiting for your fall.' We're always trying to write a perfect song, release the perfect album ... We always expect people to hate [our records], but that's just an underdog thing that we British have, you know?"

After a statement like that, Chuck had to ask Byford if he thinks Hell, Fire and Damnation is Saxon's perfect album.

"I don't think we've achieved that yet," he confessed, but quickly added, "I mean, this one is pretty magical. We'll wait and see. People seem to love it, but the proof is in the pudding."

Saxon's Continued Influence on Bands Like Metallica

When Chuck and Byford wrapped up their conversation on Hell, Fire and Damnation, Chuck steered the chat toward Saxon's ongoing legacy and their longtime influence on countless bands, including Metallica, whose second-ever live show found them opening for Saxon.

"I think it's great," Byford said as he considered influencing a band like Metallica who went on to forge their own massive path in rock and metal. "The fact that when Metallica discovered us, we were in our early, early career, I know Lars [Ulrich] came to see us. They got influenced not only by the music, but by what was happening musically in the U.K."

Byford said he saw a lot of young, eager bands who wanted to start a music scene in America get influenced by what was happening with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal — a scene that Saxon were no doubt pioneers of.

Today, though, Byford says he doesn't really think there's a wave of British metal that is set apart from the rest of the world.

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"I don't know at the moment," he said. "I don't think so, not British. I think there's quite a few of the European bands that seem to be coming through really, really well, taking over the mantle, but I don't really see anybody British yet. Maybe there is that's not on my radar, you know?"

As Chuck told Byford Hell, Fire and Damnation definitely stands out in metal today, Byford couldn't help but laugh to himself.

"Yeah, maybe we're starting a new New Wave."

What Else Did Saxon's Biff Byford Discuss on Loudwire Nights?

  • How Lars Ulrich first met Brian Slagel of Metal Blade Records thanks to his Saxon T-shirt
  • What's keeping Saxon busy this year following the release of Hell, Fire and Damnation
  • Why he thought he and the band were onto something special as they were making Hell, Fire and Damnation

Listen to the Full Interview in the Podcast Player Below

Biff Byford joined Loudwire Nights on Thursday, Feb. 15; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station and listen to interviews on-demand. Stream Hell, Fire and Damnation here and check out Saxon's tour plans for 2024.

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