JUDAS PRIEST Singer: Next Album Will Be 'A Straightforward, Good Solid Piece Of Heavy Metal'

October 6, 2011

Christina Fuoco-Karasinski of SoundSpike recently conducted an interview with singer Rob Halford of British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

On the band's farewell "Epitaph" tour:

Halford: "I think one of the things that we seriously considered was how to maintain the longevity of PRIEST, and one of the ways of doing that is just to cut back a little bit on these intense tours that we do. We're still going to stay focused on recording and writing new songs; as you may have heard we have a new album coming out sometime next year. And [we will] do some more shows, but not on a lengthy touring basis. Maybe do festivals or special events that kind of thing. I think, realistically, it guarantees the life of the band, rather than saying 'farewell,' 'goodbye, 'this is it.' I think it was important for us to send that message out to everyone that this was farewell to some aspects, because obviously there are certain parts of the world that we might not get back to ever again. That's why we're urging everybody to come and see us."

On JUDAS PRIEST's "Epitaph" tour setlist:

Halford: "We've tried, as best we can, to kind of go through as much of the significant material that we feel needs to be represented. So we are going from the first album to [2008's] 'Nostradamus' and everything in between. The songs are great. It felt good right from day one. We're leaving [the setlist] as it is. We're not going to mess with it. We open up with 'Rapid Fire' from 'British Steel', and we end the show with 'Living After Midnight'. Between the beginning and the end, it's two hours of heavy molten metal and the fans are just going crazy for it."

On JUDAS PRIEST's follow-up to the concept album "Nostradamus":

Halford: "It made absolute sense to be who we are and what we're renowned for, which is making the best heavy metal albums that we can. Our next record, when it's completed, will just be a traditional British heavy metal release, which obviously means there's going to be loads of riffs and screaming vocals and crazy guitars, lead breaks and all of the wonderful aspects that are loved about JUDAS PRIEST and heavy metal in general. It's going to be pretty much a straightforward, good solid piece of heavy metal that we're working on to release next year."

On new guitarist Richie Faulkner, who replaced K.K. Downing earlier this year:

Halford: "You never know how these things are going to turn out. Call it fate. Call it destiny. Through the channels we were working in, we had Richie proposed to us. We did what everybody does jump on the Internet and see what's going on. Then it's a leap of faith, really. Richie came up to the Midlands and sat with Glenn [Tipton, guitar] and myself, and we talked and we talked. It was immediately within the first hour or so that this guy, in terms of personality, was going to be the one who could deal with what we were going to present him: 'You're going to stand on stage with JUDAS PRIEST and you're going to go on a world tour and all these other commitments.' It was straight into rehearsals. We knew the guy could play, but in terms of 'fitting in,' as it was called, it was just immediate. Absolutely immediate. [Faulkner] just slipped in there [during the 'American Idol' performance] as though it was waiting to happen. There was a tremendous sense of charisma and confidence. Of course, the next show that he played live with us was in Holland, where we started the European tour. Just an incredible talent, fabulous guitar player, tremendous personality on stage, can't take your eyes off of him. He loves playing his guitar. He loves JUDAS PRIEST. He loves heavy metal. What more could you ask for?"

Read the entire interview from SoundSpike.

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