Damian J. Cousins of Myglobalmind webzine recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST bassist Ian Hill. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Myglobalmind: What is the writing recording process for JUDAS PRIEST in 2014, as opposed to earlier years? What was the studio vibe with Richie [Faulkner, guitar], who also writes?
Ian: It was great. Richie slotted straight in. Where Ken [former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing] left off, he fit in seamlessly like he'd always been there. We did the "Epitaph" tour, and when we started it, Richie was a talented colleague, and by the end of the tour, we got to know the bloke and he's a friend as well. Which is always a good factor for the writing process. The recording was in the same format as when we did "Nostradamus" and no different, really. As far as being different from the early days, the differences are unbelievable. Everything went down on a reel-to-reel tape [laughs], if any of the young people even know what that is. Back then we played live as a band and the basic tracks would be myself and rhythm guitars, drums, and a guide vocal. And we'd keep playing the song 'till everybody was happy with each part. And then the lead breaks and whatever production would go on. You had a finite amount of tracks. Even with a tight level of recording, you had 48 at most, and that was really pushing it. With digital now, the amount of tracks is infinite, which is a major difference. Plus, you can do it individually. Every time you play a tape, it starts to degenerate and lose sound quality. With digital, that's not an issue, so we can afford to take our time and play our parts until it actually seamlessly fits into the track. And I'm not just talking about playing it right. If you nail your parts, you can listen back and see if there's room for improvement. So you end up with a very polished album at the end of the day.
Myglobalmind: How happy are you with the response "Redeemer Of Souls" has been getting? There's a lot of "best album since 'Painkiller'" talk and high praise of that nature.
Ian: Well, we knew we've got a good album. We have 13 songs on the standard album. We haven't had 13 songs on an album ever, I don't think, unless it was a double album. But when we recorded, the material was such that we couldn't really drop any of it. We knew we had a decent album on our hands, but we've been really surprised and flattered at the chart positions we've been achieving, you know? I think it's our highest chart position in the States ever. And it seems to have echoed throughout. Wherever albums have sold, it's been doing record business, which is great news. It's nice to see we've still got something to offer after all these years.
Myglobalmind: In all the years of playing with the mighty PRIEST, what sticks out to you most about being in this band?
Ian: The thing is, it's been so long, it's a part of me now; I think it's part of all of us. It's not so much what's great about being in the band, more so of being terrified of it stopping. It's like a drug. We're all fans of the band at the end of the day. And we were talking about slowing down, which is what "Epitaph" was all about, not touring as often, and when we do it, it'll only be two or three shows a week. Next thing you know, we're back on a regular PRIEST tour and nobody batted an eyelid or said, "Wait a minute. Aren't we supposed to be slowing down?" Everybody is just as excited as we were 30 years ago. I look back on my career with a great sense of gratitude, really. It's a privilege to be able to do something you love for all these years and make a living at it. I'm a very lucky person.
Read the entire interview at Myglobalmind.