IN THIS MOMENT Guitarist Says Collaborating With ROB HALFORD Was 'Mind-Blowing'

June 26, 2018

IN THIS MOMENT vocalist Maria Brink and guitarist Chris Howorth spoke with Metal Wani at this year's Download festival, which was held earlier in the month at Donington Park in Leicestershire, England. You can stream the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the success of the group's latest album, "Ritual":

Maria: "We're very grateful and we're very happy. We're one of those weird bands that each album, it's getting bigger, and more people are coming out to the shows. We're not sure how it's happening..."

Chris: "We're just doing the same thing, man — keep trying to write good songs and keep trying to promote 'em and tour and put on the best show we can. The fact that it's growing a little bit every album cycle and every tour feels amazing, and we feel fortunate and lucky."

On the group's writing process:

Maria: "It goes different ways. Sometimes, you write in the studio; sometimes you write at home; sometimes, somebody sends somebody something; sometimes, it's just me on the piano. It's kind of just like not one system exactly — it's kind of all over the place."

Chris: "Especially on 'Ritual', it was a combination of writing in the studio, ideas she had on her cell phone, somebody brings in a cool thing or something. It was all a bunch of different ways, but we did it over three months. We're happy that people are liking it."

On how JUDAS PRIEST vocalist Rob Halford came to guest on the song "Black Wedding":

Maria: "We were at a show, and they came to us and said, 'Hey, Mr. Rob Halford wants to come out tonight and say hello to you guys and watch the show.' We're like..."

Chris: "We didn't believe it, and the people at the club were telling us, 'He's said he's coming out before, and he doesn't show up. It was in San Diego, where he was actually living at the time, so they were telling us, 'Yeah, he's been supposed to show up and never showed up,' but he actually showed up, and it was amazing. We met him, he was really cool and Maria and him became friends. When doing 'Black Wedding'..."

Maria: "In the lyrics, we kept saying, 'priest, priest, priest,' and every time I just kept envisioning him as this priest in the video. I was like, 'We should ask Mr. Halford to be in this. Let's reach out.' He was like, 'Yep.' Then we were doing the video and I had this whole conceptual idea, and I'm like, 'What do you think about this?' Obviously, his opinion [mattered] — if he tells me no, I'm like, 'All right, no.' But he just went with it, first try —like, 'All right, let's do it.' It's an honor for us."

Chris: "For me and for [guitarist] Randy [Weitzel], since we were kids, we were listening to JUDAS PRIEST. The first time I ever got stoned, these guys played me 'Electric Eye'. I was sitting in the chair, floored. PRIEST is everything [to me]. This whole thing with him being involved is mind-blowing. We did the video with him and there's a scene where Randy and I are on each side of him and he's in the middle, and we're all priests walking down the hall. We can't even believe it happened. The fact that he's such a sweet man, so cool, so into everything, so kind and up for any ideas she had... he totally believed in her vision and just went with it."

Maria: "He inspires me, because I love the theatrics, and he's just the king of the theatrics. It's so large and so powerful, so for us to be able to collaborate was [great]."

On their cover of Phil Collins's "In The Air Tonight":

Maria: "Since I was a little girl, it's been a song I've wanted to cover. Every time we do an album, I'm like, 'Let's cover this song!' We were, I think, intimidated, because it's one of those things that... you can't make a song like that better, but if you just look at it like you're doing your own interpretation — not making it better, just doing your own thing — then it wasn't as intimidating, and we wanted to just go for it. It's always been one of my favorite songs since I was young. It's so haunting, powerful and just has that eerie vibe, and it just really fit with the whole energy of the album. It's like slow tension building and then explodes."

Chris: "That drum fill is so iconic, we had to come up with our own way to make it a big moment."

On touring with HALESTORM:

Maria: "It's got this, like, empowering energy to the whole thing. We're all excited about it."

Chris: "The fans are loving it too. After the first [leg of the] tour, they were already like, 'Okay, we're going to do a summer one. Are you guys into that?' We're like, 'Yeah, because it's so awesome,' and there's already talk of something possibly happening later on the year too, because it's so good."

On when to expect new music from the group:

Chris: "We're writing for our next record [now and] going in the studio early next year. We'll have a new album early next year. We want to keep it going while it's hot."

Released last July via Atlantic/Roadrunner, "Ritual" was produced by IN THIS MOMENT's longtime collaborator — and multiple Grammy Award nominee — Kevin Churko (FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, OZZY OSBOURNE).

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