JUDAS PRIEST's IAN HILL: Mentally, 'I'm Still 12 Years Old'

March 30, 2024

In a new interview with Riff X's "Metal XS", JUDAS PRIEST bassist Ian Hill spoke about the musical direction of the band's latest album, "Invincible Shield", compared to its predecessor, 2018's "Firepower". He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):  "This one is a lot busier. The songs are more complicated than they have been.

"Your latest album is always your favorite because you've just spent months putting it together," he explained. "But with each album that we've done, ever since day one, we've always tried to move forward and keep learning and keep current. Anything modern that comes along — a recording technique or some kind of gadget or an effect — we'll give it a go. If it works, great; if not, well, we don't go there again. But we've always tried to keep moving forward. So this is a natural step from 'Firepower'. With the extended time we had because of COVID, we might've taken two steps on this one, 'cause we had time to do it. But it keeps you current and it keeps you relevant.

"We go to concerts and we see people in the audience, and there's young people there as well as people our own age, and I think it's the reason we wanna keep up with the times and, like I say, keep ourselves modern and relevant, and then you attract a new audience in," he added.

Asked what advice he would you give to a 19-year-old musician who is just starting out now, Ian said: "You've gotta have patience. And [it doesn't happen] overnight. Sometimes you'll see a band that'll just burst out of nowhere, but I guarantee that they've been there for a while working [on their craft]. So you need to have self-belief, of course, you have to have a bit of talent and you have to have patience and work whenever you can, wherever you can. And like I say, if you have talent and you've got something to offer, people start to notice and they'll start to travel to you. But patience is a virtue, yeah, and it's very important in showbiz, really. You're not gonna get [noticed] overnight. Very rarely."

On the subject of his age and how he and his PRIEST bandmates are able to connect with younger audiences, the 72-year-old Hill said: "Personally, I just take things as they come. It's great to see young faces there. But none of us are acting our age, really. I mean, up here [in my head], I'm still 12 years old. So is Rob [Halford, PRIEST singer]. You never get old. It is something that keeps you young, mentally young. So it is something that, personally, I don't consider that much. If somebody points it out to you, [there's] three generations [of fans out there]. I'm old enough to be that person's grandfather.' But no. We're stuck in the age that's necessary for us to continue, mentally. [Laughs] Physically is another question altogether."

Hill is the sole remaining original member of PRIEST, which formed in 1969. Halford joined the group in 1973 and guitarist Glenn Tipton signed on in 1974. Rob left PRIEST in the early 1990s to form his own band, then came back to PRIEST in 2003. Original guitarist K.K. Downing parted ways with the band in 2011, and was replaced by Richie Faulkner.

"Invincible Shield" arrived on March 8 via Sony Music.

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