Interview: Saxon drummer Nigel Glockler Jun03


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Interview: Saxon drummer Nigel Glockler

2018 has been a big year for rock and metal. Many of the top bands have released new music- including Judas Priest with Firepower and Saxon, with Thunderbolt. The two juggernauts recently capped of a gigantic North American tour with Black Star Riders- who released a new record late last year.

We recently had a chance to sit down with Saxon drummer Nigel Glockler, to discuss the tour they were on at the time, touring with Motorhead and UFO earlier this year, the excitement the band has for Thunderbolt and much, much more.

FRR: You recently finished a huge run with Judas Priest and Black Star Riders, which I feel like this is one of the most iconic lineups to tour.

Nigel: Yes I’d agree with that – You’ve got three great bands delivering the goods! And the important thing for us is that the crews and the bands all get along – we’ve been waiting for this one!! – and I honestly think the US fans have too!

FRR: How has this tour compared to other North American tours you’ve done? You recently toured here with UFO and a few years back with Motorhead.

Nigel: This is, without doubt the most exciting tour we’ve done for years. However that’s not to take anything away from the Motorhead or UFO tours – both have been brilliant as we’re good mates with the UFOs, and Motorhead and us go back a long way. We were very close with Lem and the guys. But this tour has hit both larger venues and areas we haven’t played in for ages.

FRR: All three bands on this tour have new albums out. Does that affect the energy of the tour at all? It’s gotta add a little bit of excitement.

Nigel: Yes definitely! Each band is playing a certain amount of new material so it’s very interesting to see how the new songs go down with the audiences – we’ve noticed a lot of Saxon fans singing along to the new tracks – that’s a fantastic feeling!

FRR: You’re currently out supporting Thunderbolt, album 22. This deep into your career, is it easier or harder to write new music?

Nigel: Sometimes the songs come easy, but at other times you have to dig deep – there’s no set pattern. But we never let anything go just to get an album finished – we’re our own biggest critics.

FRR: Saxon continually puts out good new music- not one album has been a letdown. It also seems that you have a pretty consistent sound from album to album- is that something you set out to do when you write a record?

Nigel: When you have five people playing together for such a long time the band is bound to have its own unique sound. As I said in the previous answer, we never let anything sub-standard slip through the net – we are really, really critical of each song – it all has to be 100% right. Then we make sure that the new tracks fit with each other musically.

FRR: It’s been over 40 years since the inception of Saxon. The majority of the band’s current lineup have also been intact for over 30 years as well.

What does that say to you about your longevity and what does it mean to you that, after all these years and decades, there is still a strong demand and interest in Saxon’s music?

Nigel: We’re so pleased that people still enjoy our shows and albums – in actual fact we’ve been picking up a lot of young fans on this tour – they know all the lyrics to the songs.

It proves that we’re totally relevant in the current music scene – I’m proud of what we’ve achieved over the years, particularly when a lot of bands have fallen by the wayside.

And I just want to say a huge Thank You to the fans – we never forget it’s you who have put us where we are!

FRR: You worked with Andy Sneap again on Thunderbolt. As a producer what does he do that makes you wanted to keep coming back to him for another album? How does he affect the finished product of a record?

Nigel: We’ve worked with a lot of producers over the years and I feel with Andy that he totally understands us and ‘gets’ what this band is about! The finished sounds prove this!

We’ve suffered sometimes from being over-produced. For myself, Andy’s great to work with and he always brings out the best in me performance-wise. Saxon and Andy Sneap? – why change a great combination?

FRR: Stepping back and looking at the finished album, what does Thunderbolt mean to you as one of the writers and what does it say about Saxon for you?

Nigel: We’re all really proud of this album, as we are of the previous ones, and I think it shows that as a band and songwriters, we’re still improving. The reviews of both the album and the live shows have been amazing!