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.
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
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,
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
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.
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
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.
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]
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
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.
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!
and thereby celebrate your
50th anniversary as a band? [Counting from 1977 when the lineup on the
first Saxon record  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