By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy
Saxon is one the few bands to come out of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal era, and still be around selling out shows and producing critically acclaimed albums. Having just released their 22nd album in February, entitled Thunderbolt, Saxon proves on this record that their creativity has not dried up. They have penned some memorable tunes including “Thunderbolt,” “The Secret of Flight,” “Sons of Odin,” and “They Played Rock and Roll.” Las Rageous would be the place where I would see them for the first time ever. One of the key ingredients to their continued success is the awesome drumming of their long-time member Nigel Glockler. As luck would have it, I was asked to chat with him. It is not every day I get to talk to a member of a legendary metal band.
My first question was about how the band obtained its name. Glockler explained the origins of the name “Saxon” and how they choose it. He even told me they were originally called Son of a Bitch, but the record company told them to change it. Personally, I think that name would have worked. He was not the original drummer, and we would talk about how he ended up joining the band. Glockler told me when he was asked to come on board; he actually bought tickets to see them, on the day of his very first performance with Saxon. That is a funny coincidence. Thunderbolt is his 19th studio album with the band, and he would tell how his drumming style has changed since Power & the Glory, his first studio album. From a groove point of view, his favorite track off the record is “Sons of Odin.”
Most of their songs tend to concentrate on the medieval and Viking era. Glockler told me that vocalist Biff Byford handles the lyrics, and like Glockler, he loves history. He would get inspired by history or by a film he has seen. Sometimes, the other members would present Byford with some music, and he would write the lyrics. He has been a member of Saxon, on-and-off, for over 30+ years. One of his craziest memories during his time with band involved igniting his drumsticks, and accidently lighting his drum tech on fire. Luckily, that drum tech is okay, and we had a big laugh about it. Their new record is their 3rd collaboration with producer Andy Sneap. He would talk how that collaboration has worked for Saxon, and touring with him now that he is performing with Judas Priest. We would also discuss the band’s upcoming tour schedule, and what is next for them..
Glockler was a lot of fun to chat. He is so full of live and truly enjoys what he is doing. It was funny hearing about his attempt to light his drum sticks on fire. He and Saxon would put on a stellar show at Las Rageous, and they were better than I expected. With Thunderbolt being another great record for them, I can hardly wait to see what they will pull off next. To Nigel Glockler, I salute you. Horns up!!!
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