In a new interview with RadioactiveMike Z, host of the 96.7 KCAL-FM radio program "Wired In The Empire", JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford was asked if he and his bandmates would ever consider making a "sequel" to their classic 1990 album "Painkiller". Rob responded (hear audio below): "The joy of PRIEST is that, by definition, I think every record that we've made is what we call, it's got its own legs to stand on. So, from 'Rocka Rolla' all the through to 'Firepower', I think there's a defining separation of where the band is in that moment in time. And we've always been very strong on avoiding replication. That's not to say that you can't have intense, fast metal songs that have a similar flavor, but they have very strong individual identities. And I think it's a case of 'let sleeping metal gods lie,' in that respect, to reference to 'Painkiller'. Because I think if you try to emulate the real soul and spirit of 'Painkiller' — I'm sure we'd have a really good go at it, but it wouldn't capture it; it wouldn't come close. It's just such a unique record in so many ways — the songs, the engineering, the sound of the hi-hat, the mic I used — all these vitally important nuances that go into making a record, you can't really truly replicate them and capture the essence again. So I think it's best to leave it as it is.
"Of course, the beautiful thing is that the 'Firepower' record, the last PRIEST record, the last studio album, that got a tremendous amounts of focus and traction to what it did compared to the records previous to that one.
"Any band will tell you, you never really know what the outcome is gonna be, and when we got in the studio to make 'Firepower' happen after we'd written the songs, we'd brought in this incredible production team that made amazing things happen, [and] we had another really special moment in this band's history," Rob added. "You reference PRIEST, and people go, 'Oh, it was 'Sad Wings Of Destiny'.' 'No, it was 'British Steel'.' 'No, man, it was 'Screaming For Vengeance'.' 'No. It was 'Painkiller'.' And now for some people, 'Firepower' is the one. So this is just part of this never-ending metal journey that PRIEST is on to keep making fresh metal happen."
PRIEST's 12th album, "Painkiller" was recorded at Miraval Studios in Brignoles, France, and was mixed at Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum, the Netherlands. It was the first LP to feature PRIEST's current drummer Scott Travis following the departure of Dave Holland.
In September, JUDAS PRIEST and Rufus Publications announced the publication of the first-ever official JUDAS PRIEST book documenting the band's extensive history over the last 50 years. Titled "Judas Priest - 50 Heavy Metal Years", the book has been put together by David Silver, Ross Halfin and Jayne Andrews.
Prior to being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, JUDAS PRIEST's spring/summer 2020 European tour was scheduled to kick off on May 30 in Helsinki, Finland and conclude on July 28 in Tilburg, the Netherlands. The band was also slated to headline the U.K.'s Bloodstock Open Air festival on August 9 at Catton Park, Derbyshire.
The U.S. leg of PRIEST's "50 Heavy Metal Years" tour was due to launch September 9 in Oxon Hill, Maryland and wrap up on October 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada.