Saxon’s Biff Byford Opens Up About Hearing Loss

Saxon’s Biff Byford has publicly opened up about his battle with hearing loss. Fortunately, the frontman also revealed that his hearing aid has helped him out a lot.

Byford said the following [via Blabbermouth]:

“Since forming SAXON in 1977, we have released a new album every 18 months and have no plans of slowing down. Performing at gigs, playing our new songs in front of crowds and hearing them sing along is one of the greatest feelings in the world. That’s why I knew I had to get my hearing tested before our first gig back at Bloodstock Open Air Festival in August.

I discovered heavy metal music as a teenager, so I’ve been around high decibels and loud equipment for over 50 years. Back in the day at gigs sound restrictions didn’t exist like they do now. Sometimes when performing we would put our heads right into the speakers and rock out.

I remember being at an autograph signing session and the fans kept asking questions and trying to talk to me, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying so I kept saying ‘yes’ over and over again. I knew my hearing was gradually getting worse, but I lived with it. I would be at the studio and my tinnitus would be awful, it sounded like someone was screaming in my ear. Some days were better than but the ringing.

Then, one day, my whole perspective on health changed. I had a heart attack before undergoing an emergency triple bypass surgery.

I was on my bike. I do a lot of biking and walking. Heart attacks aren’t like what you see in Hollywood films, I was breathless and in a lot of pain. My doctor sent me straight to the hospital where I had a heart bypass. It took me a long time to recover. I told myself after that moment that my health comes first.

My hearing problems were also affecting my personal life as well. Dinner time with my family was especially hard. I found it difficult to keep up with conversation so gradually after time I just stopped trying. I would sit there and become more detached. It was lonely at times.

In line with my new stance on life — ‘health comes first’ — I went to Hidden Hearing, a high street hearing specialist where I had a hearing test. The audiologist was great, very knowledgeable about frequencies and how music can damage the ears, so we were able to have a proper conversation. I knew I was in safe hands.

Since I was fitted with my hearing aids Oticon More, I have been very impressed, especially with the Bluetooth as I can stream music straight from device to ear. Getting the aid is like turning back on the enjoyment button on life. I can hear things that I haven’t heard in a long time, like the certain notes of a guitar string, instruments like base guitar and drums no longer sound flat. Another bonus is my tinnitus has got so much better, it’s no way near as invasive as before. The aids have really helped reduce the severity with that.

Music is a form of escapism, when you’re at a gig it doesn’t matter what is going on in the world all you care about is being there. It helps people feel alive. The problem is many people attend gigs regularly, sometimes twice a week or used to before the pandemic, and your ears really feel the impact of that. Especially back in the day when there were no sound restrictions in venues. I know I’m not the only one who has experienced hearing loss as a result of attending shows! I would say to any fellow rockers or fans of ours if you’re in your 50s or 60s, go and get your ears tested. It has made such a big difference to my life; I hardly even notice the hearing aid.”

Saxon’s Biff Byford Is Working On A New Album With His Son Seb

Saxon’s Biff Byford is currently working on a new album with his son Seb (Naked Six). The frontman revealed the news during a recent interview with Sweden’s RockSverige.

Byford said the following:

“The record company wants to call it ‘BIFF AND SEB’ or ‘SEB AND BIFF,’ but we would like to do it with a band name and we’ve got the name HEAVY WATER. I quite like that name. We have a working title called ‘Red Brick City’. We’ll call it ‘Heavy Water’ or… I don’t know. The working title might change. As we speak at this moment, we’re doing bass guitars. I’m playing some and Seb’s playing some. When I finish talking to you, I’m going back into the studio.”

He continued when asked if he is singing on the album:

“Me and Seb. He’ll sing a song, I’ll sing a song and we’ll sing a song together. He plays guitar and I play bass and a friend of ours is playing drums, so it’s a three-piece band at the moment. We might add some stuff, but I don’t know. Again, we’re recording it pretty quick and live, just like [SAXON’s upcoming covers album] ‘Inspirations’, really. Very similar to my solo album, a very similar production.”

He then went on to say that the record sounds similar to his solo album “School Of Hard Knocks” and Saxon’s “Inspirations”:

“There’s some laid-back stuff and there’s some heavy stuff. I wouldn’t say there’s any prog rock on there, but there are definitely two or three metal tracks on there. Seb’s a great songwriter, and he likes to play heavy guitar riffs, so I’m sure people will be interested.”

Byford also added the following when asked what it’s like working with his son:

“It’s pretty cool. We’re both pretty set in our ways, so it’s working really well. It’s great for me and for him, really. I’m getting off on his excitement and his first time doing things, and he gets off on my that wisdom that I’ve learned over the years.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Saxon’s Biff Byford Announces Virtual Concert With His Son Seb Byford

Saxon’s Biff Byford and his son Seb will be teaming up for a Stageit virtual concert on June 20 at 8 p.m. U.K. time. Tickets for that can be found HERE.

View this post on Instagram

BIFF & SEB BYFORD ANNOUNCE ONLINE ACOUSTIC CONCERT!! We are very pleased to announce our first STAGE IT Concert on Saturday 20th June 2020 at 8pm UK time. Following the great success of the videos myself and Seb have posted throughout the lock down period, we have decided to do a full “concert” for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own living rooms! Via the Stage It Platform, tickets are available for $5.00 USD (approx. £4.00 GBP) tickets are available from the following link: There are only 500 tickets available for this so buy now to avoid missing out on this show. We will be playing an array of songs from the Saxon& Naked Six, catalogue together with Cover Versions and anything else we think of! We will also be answering the odd question or three. For those un familiar with Stage It – it’s a streaming platform that allows access to the concert once you have purchased a ticket. The concert is only streamed LIVE so no option to view again at a later date. Stage It has their own currency called “notes” and 10 notes cost $1.00 – so our show is 50 notes ($5.00). It’s easy to sign up and you can load notes via a credit / debit card or Paypal and you can use these to purchase tickets for any of the other Artists Stage it hosts and also to tip those Artist’s if you wish to. There is a cool Chat screen also that you can use to talk to other concert goers before the concert, during and after and also you can submit any questions for myself and Seb here also. Best to log on via a laptop or desk top as mobile devices have been known to not always work as they should. Any question you can leave a message in the comments section and hope to “see” you all on Saturday 20th at 8pm UK time. Don’t be late! Please share the poster where you can and spread the word. Stay safe and well. Biff

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Biff Byford (Saxon) Cancels European/UK Tour

Biff Byford (Saxon) has cancelled his solo European/UK tour due to low ticket sales. Refunds are available from point of purchase.

The following message was posted on Saxon’s Facebook page:

“We are very sorry to announce the cancellation of the Biff Byford solo tour previously scheduled for April & May 2020. The cancellation is mainly due to low ticket sales, which may or may not have been affected by the current Worldwide Covid 19 Virus pandemic.”

Byford continued:

“The honest truth is the tickets for the forthcoming tour have just not sold as everyone expected for whatever reason, so we have cancelled the dates as scheduled with a view to hopefully re-visiting at a later date.

It’s sad as I was looking forward to the spoken word & live band show but it’s just not to be at this time. I want to thank everyone who bought the album and supported me. Keep the faith and see you on the road with Saxon”

The following was also added:

“The show was to take an ‘evening with’ format and will be split into two halves. The first half featured a spoken word show compared by American Comedian and star of VH1 Classic’s ‘That Metal Show’ Don Jamieson, where Don would quiz Biff on all aspects of his life and career. The second half consisted of a live show with Biff and his band.”

Biff Byford (Saxon) Premieres “Scarborough Fair” Music Video

Saxon’s Biff Byford has premiered a new video for “Scarborough Fair.” This track is from his new solo album “School Of Hard Knocks,” which was released today (February 21). Byford commented:

“The new single ‘Scarborough Fair’ is a Yorkshire folk song about the town on the east coast of England. Apart from the song, Scarborough is also famous for its medieval market and takes its name from a Viking chief called Scar, I believe. We shot the video on a freezing early morning… Enjoy!”

Biff Byford (Saxon) Premieres “Me And You” Music Video

Saxon’s Biff Byford has premiered a new video for his new song “Me And You.” This track is from his new solo album “School Of Hard Knocks,” which will be released on February 21. Byford commented:

“Happy Valentine’s Day. I wrote this song for my wife and our 25th anniversary but I think it can be for anybody who’s in a relationship. We all have anniversaries and memories. [It’s] not my usual style of song but it’s always good to throw in a curveball!”

Biff Byford (Saxon) Announces Solo UK Tour

Biff Byford (Saxon) has announced a UK tour in support of his new solo album “School Of Hard Knocks” (out February 21). The shows will include a spoken-word portion, featuring Byford and Don Jamieson, as well as a live performance. Here’s the dates;

04/17 Gateshead, UK – Sage 2
04/18 Birmingham, UK – Town Hall
04/20 Glasgow, UK – St. Lukes
04/21 Leeds, UK – City Varieties
04/22 Bath, UK – Komedia
04/24 Liverpool, UK – Arts Club
04/25 Aberdare, UK – Coliseum Theatre
04/27 Milton Keynes, UK – Stables
04/28 London, UK – Islington Assembly Hall
04/29 Brighton, UK – Old Market

Biff Byford (Saxon) To Release New Solo Album “School Of Hard Knocks” In February, Premieres “Welcome To The Show” Lyric Video

Saxon’s Biff Byford has announced that his new solo album “School Of Hard Knocks” will be released on February 21. A lyric video for the effort’s first single, “Welcome To The Show,” can be found below:

The following was said about the new record on Saxon’s Facebook page:

The English North is everything you saw in Game of Thrones and more. It is the true heart of England, the region where its soul resides, and Biff Byford has earned the right to be considered its true heavy metal bard.

Biff takes on not just tales and stories from his heart and soul, but also investigates the Middle Ages and Medieval history amongst other subjects.

“I’m singing about my past of course and about things I like, but mostly I wanted it to reflect me, my personality and my life,” says Biff. “Song-wise it’s more diverse and not just focused on heavy metal. I wanted it to be a slice of the music I like, from metal, to rock ‘n’ roll. I’m a guy who’s just as happy listening to Metallica or Judy Garland, because as long as it’s great and entertains me, then what more do I need?”

An aural Byford storybook highlighting his life and passionate interests, School of Hard Knocks is in all senses a classic, masterfully-constructed old school British hard rock album.
From the spoken word introduction of ‘Inquisitor’ with its stoic, poetic take on the Spanish Inquisition to the autobiographical, old-school ‘Wheels of Steel’ era thrust of ‘Welcome to the Show’ and ‘School of Hard Knocks’, you’ll get to know Byford supremely well over the 11 tracks which comprise the album.

“One of my favourite is ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’, which is quite ‘prog metal’ and I love that,” says Biff “I’m a big prog rock fan and was a huge fan of Yes back in the day and being a musician-bass-player myself, the musicianship in bands like that really caught me. There’s a version of ‘Throw Down the Sword’ by Wishbone Ash, and the reason I did that was because it was the first song I ever heard that was anything to do with history in the sense of battles and war, and was really the thing which started me on the road to writing historically-driven songs.”

There is also a wonderful version of the Simon & Garfunkel classic ‘Scarborough Fair’, with Byford and Fredrik Åkesson (from Opeth) creating a new arrangement which gives the legend new life. “It’s a traditional medieval song, and the story goes that Paul Simon happened to hear somebody playing it in Whitby, which is just down the road from Scarborough,” laughs Biff, “But I wanted something which represented Yorkshire and it is a Yorkshire folk song, so we tried a new arrangement which made it a little heavier, and it works really well.”

School of Hard Knocks was produced by Biff Byford, recorded by Jacky Lehmann at Brighton Electric Studios in Brighton (UK) and mixed at Queen Street Studios in Stockholm (Sweden) by Mats Valentin. The album features guest appearances by Phil Campbell (Motörhead/Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons), Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody of Fire and Turilli / Lione Rhapsody), Nick Barker (Voices), Dave Kemp (Wayward Sons) and Nibbs Carter (Saxon).

On School of Hard Knocks, Byford worked with Fredrik Åkesson (Opeth) on guitars, Christian Lundqvist on drums and Gus Macricostas on bass (Biff himself played a spot of four string thunder too!).

Biff is also planning some live shows next year, events which will continue the theme of breaking new ground: “I’m going to do a ‘words-and-music’ tour in small venues,” he states proudly, “the first part will be me in conversation with the audience about anything really, from heart attacks to sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, old times, new times, friends, enemies and whatever anyone wants to chat about… Then bringing out a band and playing some new songs, covers and maybe end with a Saxon song or two. I’m still working out the details, but it’s a show I’ve wanted to do for a long time and one which I don’t think has been done in hard rock before. It’ll be something different and a lot of fun.”

School of Hard Knocks not only achieves the goal of providing full bore entertainment, it fulfills a long-standing Biff Byford’s wish to explore rock ‘n’ roll a little more.

“It’s been great to break new ground, explore new territories and work with some old friends,” concludes Biff, “and having waited so long to make this album, I have to say, I am delighted with it! It has a whole range of styles, from the ridiculously heavy to ballads, and it is certainly my album.”

Biff Byford (Saxon) Planning To Release New Solo Album “School Of Hard Knocks” In Early 2020

Saxon frontman Biff Byford has revealed that he is planning to release his new solo album “School Of Hard Knocks” in early 2020. With this news, he also confirmed that the first single, “Welcome To The Show,” will be released on October 25 and that the title track will be released on December 13. This news comes after Byford recently revealed that Saxon are recording a new album.