SAXON frontman Biff Byford says that he doesn’t like the idea of deceased rock stars touring once again in holographic form.
While the recently launched tour featuring a hologram of Ronnie James Dio and several of his DIO bandmates has the backing of the legendary heavy metal singer’s wife and manager Wendy, it has been panned by some Dio fans who think the performance doesn’t live up to the real thing or is just plain creepy.
Asked if he thinks tours featuring digital recreations of dead musicians will be commonplace in 10 years’ time, Biff told Lords Of Metal: “Well, I really don’t like this hologram thing. I’d rather a watch a DVD instead. Fortunately, there aren’t that many people interested in that kind of thing, so I don’t think they’d be doing arenas or anything. But I don’t know — the technology has to improve a lot to make it interesting. I think it’s more a curiosity thing that people want to see it, and I’m not sure if they will continue to go and see it. I don’t know. Personally, I don’t like it. There’s something a bit… wrong with it with me. I’m really not interested in it, to be honest, and I don’t think it’s going to be a big thing. Maybe if they did that in Las Vegas and they’d put Elvis [Presley] on, maybe that’d work. Though I’m not sure if Elvis would have liked that.”
Dio died in 2010 at the age of 67 from stomach cancer. His hologram was created by a company called Eyeillusion and made its debut at the Wacken Open Air festival in August 2016 in front of more than 75,000 fans.
The “Dio Returns: The World Tour” production uses audio of Ronnie‘s live performances from throughout his career, with the DIO DISCIPLES band playing live, consisting of Craig Goldy on guitar, Simon Wright on drums and Scott Warren on keyboards, along with Bjorn Englen on bass. Also appearing with them are ex-JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim “Ripper” Owens and LYNCH MOB‘s Oni Logan.
SAXON‘s 22nd studio album, “Thunderbolt”, was released on February 2 via Militia Guard (Silver Lining Music). The follow-up to 2015’s “Battering Ram” was once again helmed by producer Andy Sneap, who has previously worked with JUDAS PRIEST, MEGADETH, ACCEPT and TESTAMENT, among others. The disc features original artwork by longtime SAXON collaborator Paul Raymond Gregory.