JUDAS PRIEST's IAN HILL: 'People Have Been Trying To Kill Heavy Metal Now For About 35, 40 Years'

April 30, 2024

In a new interview with Istanbul, Turkey's Metal Oda, JUDAS PRIEST bassist Ian Hill was asked what piece of advice he would give to himself if he could go back in time 50 years ago to the beginning of the band's career. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Oh, I don't know. I mean, back then, you hope you're gonna make it and hope you're gonna get on in the world and become popular. You don't ever believe it until it happens [laughs], but you just keep on, and it's really just patience and persistence more than anything. Just keep at it. If you've got something to offer… It's what I'd say to anybody who's starting off today, although it is a little bit more difficult getting on today. Not that it was ever easy, but it's a little bit more difficult today, because the system has changed beyond all recognition from when we started. But, yeah, it's persistence and keep at it and self-belief."

Hill also spoke about the significance of the title of JUDAS PRIEST's latest album, "Invincible Shield". He said: "We've had a lot of stuff thrown at us over the years. I mean, people have been trying to kill heavy metal now for about 35, 40 years, so it's always been a bit of a struggle against the establishment, if you know what I mean. But we've always sort of managed to survive and come through it. And then we've had court cases with people trying to screw us out of a lot of money for absolutely no reason whatsoever. And then the personal struggles of the members of the band. I mean, Rob's [Halford, vocals] had cancer scares. Richie [Faulkner, guitar] almost died on stage a few years ago. And, of course, Glenn's [Tipton, guitar] problems with his Parkinson's disease. And even that he can still get up on stage and play a couple of the encores. It's almost like having an invincible shield out in front of you. Although I've just put a kiss of death on that probably. [Laughs]"

Back in 2019, Hill told Rob Rush Radio that he didn't think rock music would ever die. "The thing is, what are you gonna replace it with? It's been there since the '50s — rock and roll," he explained. "I mean, it's all coming from then, basically. And, like I say, if you're gonna kill it off, there's gonna have to be another alternative from your manufactured pop stuff that you've been getting all along. There's always been something else — it's either been blues or it's been jazz or now it's heavy rock, heavy metal. There's always been something there. And I definitely haven't heard anything that could possibly replace heavy metal at the moment… But it will never die. There's always people there who like different things. And heavy metal certainly is different to run-of-the-mill popular music you get in general."

JUDAS PRIEST kicked off the U.S. leg of the "Invincible Shield" world tour on April 18 at Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, Connecticut.

Hill is the sole remaining original member of PRIEST, which formed in 1969. Halford joined the group in 1973 and 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 Faulkner.

"Invincible Shield" entered the U.K. chart at No. 2, just behind Ariana Grande's "Eternal Sunshine".

Prior to "Invincible Shield"'s arrival, PRIEST's highest U.K. chart achievement was with 1980's "British Steel", which reached No. 4.

PRIEST's 2018 album "Firepower" entered the chart at No. 5.

"Invincible Shield" is JUDAS PRIEST's fifth Top 10 album, after the aforementioned "British Steel" and "Firepower", as well as 2014's "Redeemer Of Souls" (No. 6) and the 1979 live album "Unleashed In The East" (No. 10).

"Invincible Shield" landed at No. 1 in Germany, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland, as well as No. 5 in France, No. 8 in Italy and No. 16 in Australia.

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