Interview with Oliver/Dawson Saxon

Oliver/Dawson Saxon was formed in 1994 by Steve Dawson and Graham Oliver, founding members of Saxon. After reuniting under the name of Son Of A Bitch (Saxon’s original name), they changed their name to Oliver/Dawson Saxon, which is what they have been known as since. Their live show consists of a mix of Saxon songs and original material.

The band is completed by Steve Dawson (bass), Graham Oliver (guitar), Haydn Conway (guitar), Paul Oliver (drums) and Brian Shaunessy (vocals). I caught up with bassist Steve before their run of UK shows in the Autumn to ask a few quick questions.

How did you get started as a band?
Graham Oliver, Pete Gill and me were approached by Martin Looby and Andy McPherson at Revolution Studio Manchester to make an album and do some live shows to promote it. So we thought we’d do it. Pete quit after a while due to ill health, so me and Graham carried on, and we’re still on tour now!

I really loved your latest album, Motorbiker. Could you tell us a bit about it?
We decided to do an album to prove that we can write our own material and to shut certain people’s mouths that said we couldn’t! We wrote most of the songs in the studio as we had been writing songs and riffs for some time and it felt right to do it that way.

Could you tell me about the track No Way Out? I personally found this one the strongest track of the album and I was just wondering about the thought processes behind it.
We just picked subjects and wrote songs about them. No Way Out is about war and that there are no winners, no matter what side you are on.

Which track is your favourite from the album?
Whippin’ Boy is my favourite. Classic driving rock!

I noticed there was quite a substantial gap between Motorbiker and your previous releases. Was there a reason for this or were you busy with other things?

The reason was money! We were skint and the studio in Wales where we recorded it went bust and wouldn’t let us have the hard drive with the songs on. After a long struggle we got it back, mixed it and then Angel Air Records put it out for us.

Have you got anything in the pipeline for the rest of the year or are you just going to be focusing on touring for the time-being?
We are in the process of mixing a new live CD called Blood And Thunder. It features new members Brian Shaunessy on vocals and Paul Oliver on drums. It was recorded in Europe and Barnsley last year. It features seven previously unreleased live tracks and will be released on Angel Air Records in late August. We’ll be on the road in the UK and Europe in Autumn to promote it.

Thanks for the interview!
Thanks, no problem. See ya on the road and have a few beers mate!


Oliver/Dawson Saxon are on the road in Autumn touring in support of Blood And Thunder.
Catch them at the following dates:

September 7th – The Railway, Ipswitch
September 14th – The Flowerpot, Derby
October 5th – The Trades, Rotherham
October 25th – The Railway, Bolton
October 26th – The Dome, Liverpool
November 2nd – Real Time Live – Chesterfield
November 8th – Yardbirds, Grimsby
November 23rd – Birdwell, Barnsley

About Natalie Humphries 1961 Articles
Soundscape's editor, who is particularly fond of doom, black metal and folk (but will give anything a chance). Likes to travel to see bands abroad when she can. Contact: or @acidnat on twitter.

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