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Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Judas Priest’s Ian Hill Discusses New Album, Steel Classics, Corridor of Fame Induction


With an growing quantity of veteran exhausting rock and heavy steel acts choosing retirement, will probably be assuring to longtime metalheads that not solely is Judas Priest nonetheless very a lot in enterprise, however they’re nonetheless providing up extremely impressed new tunes – as evidenced by the discharge of their nineteenth studio effort total, Invincible Defend.

On file, Priest’s line-up is comprised of singer Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis. However on account of Tipton’s ongoing battle with Parkinson’s illness, Andy Sneap (who additionally serves as Priest’s producer) fills in for dwell performances – which he will probably be doing as soon as extra on the band’s upcoming tour.

Hill spoke with AllMusic shortly earlier than the March 8, 2024 launch of Invincible Defend, discussing the brand new album, his picks for favourite and most underrated Priest album, and if a twentieth studio album is a chance.


How does Invincible Defend differ from earlier Judas Priest albums?

Hill: “As we often do, we take a step ahead and try to make issues higher each time. We’re nonetheless studying – in any case these years. So, we try to enhance on what we did beforehand. It has been an ongoing factor now since about 1974. No matter bell or whistle there’s, we’ll give it a go. If it really works, nice. If not? It is discarded. It is a step ahead from Firepower.”

What are a few of your favourite tracks on the brand new album?

Hill: “In the mean time, most likely the title monitor – it is acquired numerous elements to it. It goes again to these early, form of ‘Sufferer of Adjustments’ kind issues – with the completely different turns, and bits and items to it. Different standout tracks are ‘Panic Assault,’ and ‘The Serpent and the King’ – that is only a actual ‘dangle on and reserve it for the top of the set’ sort of tune. It is an actual quick one, an actual thrilling tune.”

How is Glenn presently doing, and the way a lot of a task did he have within the writing and recording of the album?

Hill: “He is doing about in addition to anyone can – given the scenario. He is acquired a horrible illness there. It is stopping him from approaching tour. He simply hasn’t acquired the power to do it. Though he can do [guest appearances] – simply final fall we did that factor in California, Energy Journey, and he did the encores. However his mind remains to be working – he nonetheless comes up with these concepts and solutions. So, he is nonetheless acquired an enormous half to play – though he is sadly not on the highway anymore.”

What does Andy Sneap deliver to the band as a producer?

Hill: “His expertise – in a easy reply. He is a really, very intelligent bloke. His data of steel is unparalleled. He is proven his expertise on the final album and on this one. He is a really explicit man. He will not accept something. He’ll preserve going again and doing issues, and remixing, and tweaking this and tweaking that – till he thinks it is excellent. And he brings out perfection to Judas Priest. He is a terrific asset.”

Sonically, what do you consider modern-day steel albums in comparison with ’70s or ’80s steel albums?

Hill: “Oh, properly even we do not sound like ’70s steel albums anymore! [Laughs] Properly, it is improved, hasn’t it? The best way issues are recorded and the tools that’s out there as of late, you’ve got larger high quality there, for one. The devices are higher, the strings are higher, the amplification is healthier, the recording tools – the whole lot has improved. It is modified past all description since we began in ’74. It sounds fully completely different. And the opposite factor is the countless quantity of tracks you possibly can placed on a file. Once we began within the early ’70s, it was I believe eight tracks…it might need been sixteen. However undoubtedly no extra on the primary album [1974’s Rocka Rolla] – on the second album [1976’s Sad Wings of Destiny] it might need been 24-track. After which the final of the tape recordings would have most likely been 48-track.”

How does the songwriting work within the band immediately in comparison with earlier on?

Hill: “Just about the identical. Up till not too long ago, it was Glenn and Ken [KK Downing] would put the music collectively and Rob did the lyrics. Then in fact Ken’s spot has been taken over by Richie, and the standard is no less than the identical – if not higher – with the songwriting. That is the way in which it is at all times been, just about. There was a time once I’d throw just a few concepts collectively – however not for a very long time now. The lads do a terrific job, and if it ain’t broke, do not repair it.”

Which Priest songs did you’ve got a hand in writing again within the day?

Hill: “I had a hand in writing ‘Winter,’ and I believe the final one I wrote was ‘Invader.’ And ‘Dreamer Deceiver,’ I believe. However nothing since about ’78.”

Which Judas Priest album is your favourite and why?

Hill: “It is most likely Defenders of the Religion. It was the top of that highway, actually. You possibly can hint the roots of that album all the way in which again to Rocka Rolla. After that, we did the gorgeous a lot experimental Turbo – with guitar synthesizers. After which we ran off on a tougher edge altogether – with Ram It Down and Painkiller. I believe that is most likely nonetheless my favourite from all these years in the past – as an entire.”

Which Priest album is essentially the most underrated?

Hill: “Most likely Level of Entry. We had been slighted with that – individuals had been saying, ‘Oh, it is actually industrial.’ However no less than it acquired us by to a extra mainstream viewers. In case you get a tune on…it was ‘AM radio,’ which is now ‘mainstream media’ I suppose, you get your self a monitor on that, and your viewers expanded by a gazillion. Whereas simply maintaining it on the rock channels and the steel channels – once more, the viewers is there, however you are not attempting to get your self throughout to any new followers. So, that is one. And the opposite ones are the Ripper albums [1997’s Jugulator and 2001’s Demolition]. Particularly Demolition is missed.”

Are you continue to in contact with KK Downing and would you ever take into account working with him once more?

Hill: “I believe he is gone a bit too far for that now. I gave him a few probabilities to principally say whats up, and he blanked me. So, he ain’t going to get one other likelihood. It is a pity the way in which it is turned out. However issues are what they’re.”

What are some reminiscences of when Priest was inducted into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame in 2022?

Hill: “Shock, I believe. I had completely no concept what it was going to be. I used to be anticipating possibly a bit presentation ceremony. I by no means knew it was going to be as massive a deal because it was. I used to be leaning two methods to start with to start out with – take it or depart it. However I am so glad we did it. On the finish of the day, it was only a nice dwell present – all these completely different bands getting on a stage, taking part in fully completely different music for essentially the most half. And everybody no less than appreciated it for its musical worth. You won’t prefer it, however…I nearly acquired rap! Nearly acquired it, however not fairly. It was simply an enormous occasion. I used to be amazed at how big it was. I am glad we did it in the long run.”

Do you assume by Priest lastly getting inducted, it could open the doorways for different heavy steel bands, like Iron Maiden, Skinny Lizzy, and Slayer?

Hill: “That is what I hope for. We have been missed as a style for a very long time now. Possibly it will – possibly it would crack the ice a bit bit.”

What can followers anticipate from the upcoming tour?

Hill: “It is going to be the standard massive Priest manufacturing. All of the important elements will probably be there – lights, flashes, bangs, cinemas…all of the parts of a Priest manufacturing will probably be there.”

Was the Energy Journey efficiency and expertise on par with the US Pageant?

Hill: “That is a tough one, as a result of it was a unique idea. The US Pageant went on for about three days [in 1983], and there have been a hell of lots of people there – there was one thing like 300,000 individuals at that one. That is not to remove from the Energy Journey Pageant we did – as a result of that was wonderful, as properly. And whenever you assume there have been solely six bands on, that made it all of the extra particular, I suppose. I do not know what the up-and-coming bands considered that, seeing as they did not get a chunk of the motion, however once more, it was one other good thing to do. I absolutely loved it. You are mixing with all of the previous guys, as properly – I spoke with the Metallica lads, a few Maiden lads came to visit, as properly. It was good to see them, it actually was.”

Invincible Defend is Priest’s nineteenth studio album total. What are the possibilities of a twentieth?

Hill: “Oh, we’ll see. There is no purpose why not in the mean time. We will play this one first, after which take a breather, after which see the place we go from there. It might be a pleasant quantity to complete on.”

For more information, go to the Judas Priest official web site.

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