One of the leading bands of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement, Saxon, is about to hit the U.S. shores hard once more. On September 27th, Saxon will release its 19th studio album overall, Call to Arms (UDR Music/EMI), and starting the following day the group will launch a stateside tour. And as evidenced by such ass-kickers as "Hammer of the Gods" and "Call to Arms," the group hasn't lost its grip on composing hard-hitting yet anthemic heavy metal with their latest offering.
Comprised of members Biff Byford (vocals), Doug Scarratt (guitar), Paul Quinn (guitar), Nibbs Carter (bass), Nigel Glockler (drums), Saxon is responsible for penning some of the most enduring metal anthems of the 1980s, including "Wheels of Steel," "Strong Arm of the Law," "Motorcycle Man," "Princess of the Night," and "Never Surrender." Along with the likes of Iron Maiden and Def Leppard, the band helped breath life back into a metal scene that many had left for dead at the time.
It's been 35 years since Saxon was originally up and running, and the group can still easily hold its own with the headbanging competition. "It's important to keep one foot in the past and one foot very much in the present," says Byford. "At some points in your life, whether you're younger or older, you do have these wonderful periods of `state of graceness' where everyone likes everything you write. But you can't keep being your own tribute band - you have to try and write great new songs, and you have to try to appeal to a younger audience. Saxon has been successfully doing that for the last decade, and the result is that we still have our old fan base but we also have a whole new, younger one too."
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