Biff Byford On Gene Simmons’ Saxon Admiration Despite His Dislike For KISS

Saxon‘s lead singer Biff Byford recently joined an interview with AllMusic to discuss their upcoming cover album, ‘More Inspirations,’ in which the band put their own rendition of KISS‘ ‘Detroit Rock City.’ Byford revealed that Gene Simmons was a big fan of Saxon, while he didn’t enjoy listening to KISS much.

The follow-up to their 2021 album, ‘Inspirations,’ ‘More Inspirations,’ is scheduled to be released on March 24. The record features covers from various bands, including the Animals, the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Alice Cooper, ZZ Top, the Who, Cream, Rainbow, and KISS.

When asked about their KISS cover and whether they were popular in the UK as they were in the US, Byford replied by saying that KISS was popular in the UK, but they were not like megastars. He then explained that he liked KISS but was not a fan of the band’s music.

However, their drummer Nigel Glockler was a big admirer of KISS. So, they agreed on making a cover of their ‘Detroit Rock City.’ Byford also revealed that he had met Simmons back in the 1980s. He learned then that he was a big fan of Saxon and their ‘Wheels of Steel’ album.

Biff Byford’s thoughts on if KISS was popular in the UK as they were in the US:

“I think they were popular – but they weren’t as ‘mega-big’ there as they were in the US. And I think they were pretty big in Australia in that period. I liked KISS…I wasn’t really a big fan of KISS, but our drummer was, Nigel [Glockler]. But my favorite KISS song is ‘Detroit Rock City.’

And Nigel was influenced by KISS, so I put that song on for Nigel, really. I’ve met Gene Simmons in the ’80s. I think he was a big of the band and the ‘Wheels of Steel’ album. He was producing quite a few bands then, and I think he was using Saxon as one of the examples.”

Byford has been currently touring with Saxon in Europe. The band’s Europen spring tour started on March 8 in Luxembourg and will conclude on March 19 in Germany. Later, Saxon will also perform shows in April in South American cities like Bogotá, Santiago, and São Paulo.