» Nigel Glockler - Saxon
« back

Interview conducted June 10 2017
Interview published June 27 2017

"Hopefully we'll write another great Saxon album."

British heavy metal entity Saxon visited Sweden for the gazillionth time and Metal Covenant was able to get a quick moment with long-time drummer Nigel Glockler a couple of hours before the band's performance at Sweden Rock Festival.

"There've been some things that we've done for our career that were wrong and we shouldn't have done it."

Tobbe: There's a new record [Thunderbolt] coming early next year and I reckon you've got a lot of stuff for it already. So how far have you gone into the process of making that album?

Nigel: We've got the idea of 13 tracks down so far, but we've just written another 3 or 4, 'cause we've just been in a studio, like a rehearsal place, just jamming some stuff 'round. So we've got some more to do. A lot of the time we like to have more than necessary, because then we can choose.

Say, for instance, you've got like 10 great songs and you need 12, so we get 2. And it may be that another song doesn't fit in the flow of the album. It stands out, so even though it's a good song maybe… I mean, it's down to you guys to say whether it's a good song; you know what I'm saying. So we like to have a bit more than necessary.

Tobbe: Are you looking to come out with something new now, or will you just write another great Saxon album?

Nigel: Hopefully we'll write another great Saxon album. But it's always fun to create and being in the studio is fun. It's completely different to playing live 'cause you're creating something, you know.

Tobbe: Besides your drum playing, what is your greatest contribution to the band?

Nigel: Well, we all write. I've got keyboards at home, so. Everyone writes and everyone puts ideas in, you know, so.

Tobbe: So how much of a say do each one of you have when you're finalizing the recordings? Have you got, like, an equal say in the band?

Nigel: Well, I mean, Biff sings so he's got to be comfortable with something that he sings. When we're working out the keys of songs it's no point in having him sort of up there screeching, because that's not his natural thing, so he might have to adjust the keys there. And then, for instance, if he goes from a verse into a chorus and, you know, if the key jumps too much there it doesn't sound good. So, you know, everyone just powers in, but at the end, because he's singing it, so, you know, a lot of it is down to what he feels comfortable with.

Tobbe: You know, Saxon has created a lot of great music over the years, so is it possible nowadays to not put pressure on each other in the studio?

Nigel: Oh no. We do put pressure on each other. Yeah, we do. You know, this past week we were working really hard. I mean, other bands probably just go in for 3 hours. We were there all day and into the evening as well. I was literally going to bed at night, worn out, you know.

Tobbe: So what do you do besides Saxon nowadays?

Nigel: Besides Saxon? I haven't had time to do anything else, really. [Laughs heartily.]

Tobbe: You must have something.

Nigel: [Can't stop laughing.] Oh, I don't know. Just, sort of, you know, when we're off the road I just try and relax as much as I can. I like to write music as well, you know, and stuff like that, so.

Tobbe: So it's all about music?

Nigel: No, not really. I mean, I like cooking Indian food. That's something else I like. I grow chilies, you know. Things like that. I like eating out and going out with the wife and eating at restaurants and stuff. Not necessarily sort of really high mod; just nice food that we like, you know. And just relaxing and watching movies.

My big thing is, like, box-sets at the moment. When you buy a whole box-set; I mean, I just watch them from start to finish. Not in one go, but I won't watch anything else and I just go 3 or 4 episodes an evening. Like "Bang! That's it! And tomorrow the next ones!", you know. At the moment one of my favorite things that's on TV, actually I'm bloody missing it now, is a thing called Lucifer, which is fantastic, you know. I've missed quite a few of the second series on; I'll just have to go out and buy the DVDs, I suppose. [Laughs]

And I'm a big Star Trek fan. You know, I love all the Star Trek stuff, so I watch all those all the time, you know. Just stuff like that. And the other thing I like, because I live in Texas now, is trying all the local beers. So when we go down to the supermarket, I go "Yeah, we'll take a case of them bottles.". You know, I might only have one or two an evening, but I just like trying all the different beers.

Tobbe: And every beer from America isn't actually waterish. They have good beer too.

Nigel: Oh, there's a lot of craft stuff. Lot of beers. I mean, my supermarket now, for instance, they have an aisle like that [Points to stuff about 60 ft / 20 meters apart.] and it's full of beer, from all different breweries. So I'm working my way through, you know. [Laughs]

Tobbe: And then start all over, 'cause you forget about it.

Nigel: Yeah, exactly. But I mean, even some of the beer that people don't like, like Coors Light and stuff, it's really good if you're driving for instance. Just have one of those and it's fine, you know.

Tobbe: Don't take this too hard now, but do you have any retirement plans?

Nigel: No, not at the moment. We'll keep going: A) As long as we enjoy what we're doing, which we do. And B) As long as people wanna keep seeing us. - That's what it's down to. And we enjoy playing together and we enjoy writing music together. As long as it's, you know, enjoyable then we'll keep going.

Tobbe: And do your families always stand behind your choice of career?

Nigel: Oh yeah. I mean, my wife's very supportive to me, so she's great. And my son lives in Los Angeles and he's been to, like, a music college to learn about sound and stuff. So everyone is supportive. You know, sometimes it does get hard, if you're away from the family for a while, and shit happens at home sometimes, with the house or something, and you're away and it's like: the family have to deal with it because you're hundreds of miles away. That can be a bit frustrating and hard for them, you know. But generally: No, it's all cool.

Tobbe: Has the band ever considered making a few gigs where you only focus on the second half of your discography?

Nigel: That's funny you should mention that, 'cause I'd love to that. But I don't know whether people would like it, but I'd actually love to do a tour that was, apart from, say 4 classic tracks, nothing earlier than '95. So from Dogs Of War onwards.

Tobbe: So are you occasionally a little bit sick of playing the old classic stuff from, like, the first 4 records?

Nigel: The only time I get sort of sick of it is if we're sort of rehearsing. You know, we're rehearsing a set and I think "Do we really have to go through that?". I mean, we've been playing it long enough. Live it's always right, 'cause it's in front of a difference audience all the time. But rehearsing, it's like "Oh, not that again.". We should know it by now, otherwise we should be fired, you know.

Tobbe: Do you sometimes look back at what you've accomplished and, like, silently take pride in what you've done over the years?

Nigel: Oh, definitely. Definitely. I mean, I never look back though. There've been some things that we've done for our career that were wrong and we shouldn't have done it. We were naïve, you know. Management pushed us in the wrong direction at times and we went with it, whereas we should have gone "No!".

But there's no use being bitter. There's no use looking back. You can't change it. Just make the most of it. We're still here, doing great stuff, playing great shows, writing great stuff… Well, I hope people think we're writing great stuff, but you know what I mean. "Look now and forward." - That's my attitude.

Tobbe: As getting older, is music really as important to you guys as it once was?

Nigel: Yeah, I think so. Otherwise, again, we wouldn't be doing it. Again, 'cause we enjoy it, you know.

Tobbe: So how much do you practice in between tours or recordings?

Nigel: Well, I've got a little studio at home and I write stuff with keyboards and stuff and I've got a drum kit in there. So yeah, I do practice as well. You never stop learning. There is no one that says "I know it all.", because you don't. And the other thing is: all these stupid polls sometimes, "Who's the best drummer in the world?". There isn't one. There isn't one and there never will be one, because he can do something better than him, he can play that but he can't, but he grooves better than him, he's got more technique than him but he's shit with the band, but he's better with the band but not as my kid, you know.

Tobbe: Do you think Saxon will be able to continue until 2027…

Nigel: 2027! Jesus Christ!

Tobbe: …and thereby celebrate your 50th anniversary as a band? [Counting from 1977 when the lineup on the first Saxon record [1979] was formed, even though named Son Of A Bitch at the time.]

Nigel: Oh, my God! Let's do the 40th first. Which is, what? In 2019. Let's do the 40th first and we'll see how we go. [Laughs]

Related links: