Saxon frontman Biff Byford has had his say on the growing trend of reviving dead musicians as holograms.
Ronnie James Dio, Roy Orbison and Frank Zappa have all been ‘resurrected’ as holograms for tours recently, and, from outside the rock sphere, Michael Jackson and deceased rappers Tupac Shakur and Ol' Dirty B****** have also been digitised for performances.
Commenting on the highly divisive trend, Biff Byford told Dutch website Lords of Metal he’s definitely against the idea of holograms and said he didn’t think “it’s going to be a big thing.”
“I really don’t like this hologram thing! I’d rather a watch a DVD instead,” Biff said. “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 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 on, maybe that work. Though I’m not sure if Elvis would have liked that.”
Created by technology company Eyellusion, Ronnie James Dio’s holographic likeness was unveiled at Wacken Open Air in 2016 and the Dio Returns: The World Tour was launched last year taking in a show in London before Christmas.
Earlier this week, Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens defended the tour and insisted they’re doing it to “celebrate” Dio’s “music and life” and not cash-in on his legacy.
"I'll hear people say, 'Oh, someone's making money.' No, someone - Wendy Dio - is spending tons of money to try to make fans happy,” Owens said.
"We don't do it for the money. I get paid more doing solo stuff, but I love it. I love Wendy and Ronnie was a friend, so we just love doing it and celebrating Ronnie's life and music."
Meanwhile, Saxon recently announced four headline UK shows for this October on the Thunderbolt Tour Part 2. Tickets are on sale from Planet Rock Tickets now.
See Saxon at the following shows:
Glasgow Barrowland – Thu 18th
London Roundhouse – Fri 19th
Portsmouth Guildhall – Sat 20th
Manchester Academy – Sun 21st