In a new interview with The Morning Call, JUDAS PRIEST bassist Ian Hill spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the follow-up to 2018's "Firepower" album. He said: "There's at least an album or two of new material. The big problem has been COVID over the last year. We haven't been able to get together, you know? Some of the guys live in the [United] States and a couple of others live in Britain, so we can't really get together to rehearse. It's just opening up now, just easing a bit now, which is a bonus."
Ian added that guitarists Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton "have pooled their ideas, and they sort of formulate songs out of those ideas. And when they have sort of a rough working track, myself and Scott [Travis, the drummer] get a copy of that and we'll put our bass lines and drum patterns down and we'll go from there.
"But that's what we haven't been able to do," he explained. "You can send them backwards and forward, but it's such a messy process. It's much easier to be there in the room with everybody and them tell you to your face, 'That's a load of crap, start again.' Or 'We love it, don't touch a note.' It's much easier and it's more real doing it that way, as well. You pick up off everybody's vibe anyway. So it's preferable to do it face-to-face, when we're all together."
This past March, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford confirmed that the band will reunite with the "Firepower" production team consisting of British producer Andy Sneap, longtime collaborator Tom Allom and engineer Mike Exeter (BLACK SABBATH).
"That was a great experiment," Rob told the "In The Trenches With Ryan Roxie" podcast about the "Firepower" recording experience. "We didn't even know it was gonna work. Tom's classic old-school metal. Andy is from more recent times. And Mike, of course, just came [from doing] the '13' album with [BLACK] SABBATH; he had done a lot of work with SABBATH. So there's three heads working together. And we thought, 'This is either gonna be a trainwreck or something glorious,' and it turned out to be something glorious. So we're gonna at least recreate those same production moments. But having said that, it is all about the songs, and right now, the songs feel really, really strong."
Halford resides in Phoenix, Faulkner in Nashville and Tipton and Hill still call their native United Kingdom their home.
JUDAS PRIEST played its first concert in more than two years on August 15 at the Bloodstock Open Air festival, which took place at Catton Park, Walton-on-Trent, United Kingdom. The British heavy metal legends, who are celebrating their 50th anniversary, were rejoined by Tipton for three songs. The band also pulled out a number of surprises in its set, including first-ever performances of "One Shot At Glory" and "Invader", as well as several tracks that hadn't been played in a long time, such as "Rocka Rolla (performed for the first time since 1976), "Exciter" (first time since 2005), "Hell Patrol" (first time since 2009), "A Touch Of Evil" (first time since 2005), "Dissident Aggressor" (first time since 2009) and "Blood Red Skies" (first time since 2012).
Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson's seven years ago — after being stricken by the condition at least half a decade earlier — but announced in early 2018 he was going to sit out touring activities in support of "Firepower". He was replaced by Sneap, who is also known for his work in NWOBHM revivalists HELL and cult thrash outfit SABBAT.