Vocalist Rob Halford and guitarist Glenn Tipton of British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST sat down with AOL‘s Noisecreepin New York City to discuss the band’s past, present and future, explaining why, after all these years, they’re thrilled to tour, proud to play metal and excited about the future. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Noisecreep: Have there been times on this tour where you’ve said, “This is too much fun. I don’t think I can give this up.”
Tipton: Absolutely, but the emotions runs so high onstage that every night you walk off and think, “How can I give this up?” But there will be a point when we have to call it a day. This is our last world tour, but that doesn’t mean it will be our last live performances, and we’ll certainly do more albums.
Halford: Well, I don’t think we are going to give it up. That’s the exciting thing for us. Obviously, there’s a bit of poignancy attached to the fact we won’t be doing any more world tours, but personally, I’m having one of the best tours ever, in terms of how I feel onstage. I think maybe it’s the setlist. I think this is a great way of doing a final world tour, because it’s a two-hour-and-20-minute show, and you’re really feeling it from “Never Satisfied” to “Nostradamus”. Emotionally, musically, it’s like “this is your life.” You feel like you’ve given fans the life of the band, and that’s quite extraordinary and quite rare.
Noisecreep: What’s the status on the new album. You’ve said in other interviews that you’ve got several songs finished.
Tipton: Yeah, we started writing in January and February, and we’re going to get together with [new guitarist] Richie [Faulkner] and do some writing now, which is going to be exciting. We just need a little bit of time so we can get back in the studio and do some writing. That’s the difficult thing, because the schedule is so heavy.
Halford: Everybody is coming to us now because there’s a sense this is the last world tour. So we’re getting offers we didn’t get before to go back to certain parts of Europe. Russia is a gigantic country, and we’ve been asked to go to certian places we’ve never visited, and that’s exciting for us. We just did Venezuela — Caracas — and we’d never been there before. It was insane. We love that. We love going to a new country for the first time, because some of the fans are in tears when they see us. “I waited 30 years, and you’re finaly here. If it wasn’t for the fact you came to me, I would never get a chance to see you play life.” So that’s very emotional, very empowering.
Noisecreep: Being a veteran band must be sort of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you’re already well established, so you have nothing to prove. On the other hand, any new album will invariably be compared to your classic work. How do you approach a new record?
Tipton: We never plan it. We just write what comes naturally. We don’t sit down and contrive it and say, “We’re going to go this way or that way.” We obviously did more of that with “Nostradamus”, because that was a conceptual album, but we’re just going to let it roll this time and let the dice fall where they will. It will be an album PRIEST fans want. We know what they want, and that’s what we’re going to give them. Part of the album is a thank-you to the fans. We’ve done a couple of anthems, and Rob has great lyrics saying “thank you” to the fans for all the years. We’re just going to let our instincts drive us on the rest and compose as we go along.
Read the entire interview from Noisecreep.