JUDAS PRIEST's ROB HALFORD On Making 'Invincible Shield' Album: 'We've Always Kept It Real, And We Always Will'

February 5, 2024

In a new interview with Alan Ovington, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford spoke about the songwriting and recording process for the band's upcoming studio album, "Invincible Shield", which will arrive on March 8 via Sony Music. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, the process of making 'Invincible Shield' was pretty much the same as most of the albums that PRIEST has made through the decades. It's this unique combination of having two guitar players and a singer together in the room starting the day off with no metal and at the end of it, having something that's gonna be around a lot longer than you are. But yeah, I get in the room with Glenn [Tipton, PRIEST guitarist] and with Richie [Faulkner, PRIEST guitarist] and the riffs start. It's a lot of jamming, it's a lot of riffing and just free creativity. It's just remarkable how this whole process, this chemistry between the three of us takes place and we love it. It's just very, very special to us."

As for how PRIEST utilizes modern technology during the recording process, Halford said: "The technology, of course, has changed dramatically. We go back all the way to three-inch reel tapes, and then to digital tapes, and now we're in the Pro Tools world. And you have to really be careful that technology doesn't take the lead in the whole of the writing and recording process, because it's very easy to get stuck into that AI world of making music — you know, cutting and pasting and all that kind of stuff. We've always kept it real in PRIEST, and we always will."

Asked if he found "any particular themes reoccurring" while he was writing the lyrics for the new album, Rob said: "Well, I'm the lyricist and I do my best to try and create messages and ideas that are new and fresh. Obviously, there are elements in PRIEST that we love to reinvestigate. Take 'The Serpent And The King', the classic good versus evil, which will always be part of humanity. The serpent's the devil and the king is God. So here's a new approach to that particular theme. 'Panic Attack' is quite cool, looking at the darker side of the implications of the worldwide web. 'Invincible Shield', the title track, man, that's just who we are and what we stand for. So, there we have it — a lot of PRIEST from different angles and different perspectives."

The official music videos for the LP's first three singles, "Panic Attack", "Trial By Fire" and "Crown Of Horns", can be seen below.

In February 2022, Halford was asked by Remy Maxwell of Audacy Check In if he agreed with Faulkner's comment that the band's upcoming album would be more musically "progressive" than "Firepower". He responded: "Yeah, the metal is there. But here's the thing: we've tried our best not to replicate anything that we've done. From 'Rocka Rolla' all the way through to 'Firepower', each record has had a distinctive character. And it's tough because fans go, 'We want another 'Painkiller',' 'We want another 'British Steel'.' And [it's, like], 'Dude, we've already done that.'

"Fans know that we're a band that is always full of adventure and trying new stuff," he continued. "And so, yeah, this has got probably some more progressive elements that we've never really delved into before. And that's exciting, because, again, it gives us and our fans another opportunity to see a different side of PRIEST. But it's still metal. There's just more of it. There are more notes than there were before."

Bassist Ian 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.

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