Saxon frontman Biff Byford has criticized Boris Johnson’s government for its reluctance to engage with an endangered music industry during the current coronavirus crisis, and says he fears the worst for touring rock groups: “Someone ‘one should make some fucking decisions,’ he says.
“It’s all well and good to take care of the ballet and the theater, I’m all for that [but] tours, and rock music in particular, are being ignored, ”Byford insists in the new issue of Classic rock magazine. “In terms of lobbying, we just don’t have a strong enough voice when it comes to the arts. The government forgets how much money music generates for this country.
“What really annoys me is the lack of guidance… someone should make some fucking decisions about touring groups. We are not earning anything and have not done anything for two years now. It’s a very, very long time… it’s a blow.
“A lot of bands at our level – we pay lighting designers, road crews and managers. Saxon is not a multi-platinum band, we have to work hard for our money,” he adds. let’s wait, and when it does, we have to be ready to go. “
Beyond the continuing coronavirus pandemic that forces groups off the road daily, with Nine Inch Nails, Korn, Corey Taylor, The Cadillac Three, Mammoth WVH and Limp Bizkit among those affected, Byford also identifies new restrictions and regulations coming into effect post-Brexit as another blow to touring circuit groups.
“Brexit makes it so much harder for a group like us,” he admits. “A lot of people voted with their hearts out and maybe now think they made a bad decision. If only the government had negotiated a better deal.
You can read more about the Saxon leader in the new issue of Classic rock, Which one is on sale now. The issue features an in-depth insider look at the making of Metallica’s ‘Black Album’, as well as articles on David Crosby, Manic Street Preachers, Janis Joplin, Danko Jones and a posthumous tribute to ZZ Top legend Dusty Hill.