Recently speaking to VWMusic, Doug Scarratt talked about dealing with Saxon fans’ backlash after stepping in for Graham Oliver back in 1995.
When asked if it was challenging to replace Oliver, the guitarist explained:
“I tried not to think about it. When I first started doing shows with Saxon, there were a lot of people that only loved the first three albums and the original lineup. But ‘Unleash the Beast’ was well-loved, and that being my first album with Saxon, was a positive thing, so there was hardly and negative comments of me replacing Graham.”
Then, he also replied to a question, asking what set him apart from Graham’s playing style. Scarratt noted:
“Graham and I are very different types of players. I didn’t want to copy his style. I wanted to make a name for myself and do my own thing. I love improvising, even if it means flying by the seat of my pants and f*cking up sometimes [laughs]. For me, that’s the exciting bit of the game.”
Saxon’s lead singer Biff Byford also discussed how the guitarist brought something new to the band during a 2022 interview with VWMusic. The frontman stated:
“We definitely became a bit darker when Doug [Scarratt] joined. Doug enabled us to experiment with the ‘black notes,’ if you know what I mean. We love the period that started with ‘Unleash The Beast.’ It took us back to being a heavy band again.”
In other parts of his interview, Scarratt revealed that his first few weeks with Saxon were tough because he used to play in smaller venues as a session musician. So, he had to adjust himself to a high-profile gig. However, after his first tour, completing a live album, and writing songs together with the band, Doug truly started to feel like part of Saxon.