Rustyn Rose of Metalholic.com recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metalholic.com: You spent over 35 years playing side by side with the same guitar partner [Kenneth "K.K." Downing]. What was it like for you to suddenly have a new face, a new style of player standing across from you in Richie Faulkner?
Tipton: It was a surprise, really. It came as a surprise to us all. At that time, I really, truly thought the band were finished. We were poised to do a farewell tour and, of course, Ken decided he'd had enough of that. I respect his decision. It must have been a big decision to make. I think we've all been through that phase. We've been around for 35, 40 years. But we found Richie, and Richie is a small miracle, because the guy is such a great guitar player and he blended in so well first on stage. And then, of course, he's worked so hard and contributed so much to the [new JUDAS PRIEST] album ["Redeemer Of Souls"] that it's just a miracle.
Metalholic.com: You guys declared the "Epitaph" tour to signal the retirement of JUDAS PRIEST and, as [you have] since said, "we lied." Clearly the injection of new blood into the lineup re-energized the band. How did that translate into the writing for "Redeemer Of Souls"?
Tipton: Tremendously, you know, because when we got, obviously, new blood in the band, it was needed at the time. It would be the same thing; you get some new blood in there and there's energy and enthusiasm — motivation. You see things in a different way. He just gave everybody a keep up the backside, really. And that's what happened. We went from literally meaning it was our last tour to there's such great songs on this album, it's a shame we can't get out and play them. So, by any means this isn't another world tour. I'm glad we're doing it. I feel that it would be great to get on stage and play these new numbers as well as the old classics.
Metalholic.com: When I reviewed "Redeemer Of Souls", I stated it was the band's most fully realized album since "Painkiller", but more accurately, it seems to me it would have been a natural follow-up to that record. Tell us about the album from your perspective.
Tipton: I think it's probably in line with "Painkiller", as you say. It's what everybody wants from JUDAS PRIEST. I mean, we've always been a band not afraid to expand and try new things, try new paths and directions. Like "Nostradamus". There were many fans that got what we were trying to do with "Nostradamus", but there were a number of fans that wanted a "JUDAS PRIEST" album, and in "Redeemer Of Souls" we give them a "JUDAS PRIEST" album. We listened, and we learned, and we've gone back, if you like, to what people want from PRIEST. I'm proud of "Nostradamus". It was a monumental task to record and put together. But I think "Redeemer Of Souls" is what people expect from JUDAS PRIEST.
Read the entire interview at Metalholic.com.
JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford says that the addition of guitarist Richie Faulkner to the band's lineup largely contributed to PRIEST's decision to hit the road again four years after the legendary British heavy metal group announced its "farewell" tour.
Asked if people may have misconstrued what JUDAS PRIEST said in late 2010 about not wanting to do any more extensive touring ever again, PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton said during an appearance on last week's "Rockline": "We, uh, lied. [laughs] The statement we made was we’re gonna do no more world tours. As we said before, it takes a massive chunk out of your life. It's pretty arduous out there — almost two years, the last one, playing two and a half hours every night, four or five shows a week. But we enjoyed every second of it. And we said that at the end of it, we weren't gonna do any more world tours, but we didn’t' rule out any dates. And we just got so enthused with the new album and everything that we put some dates in and we'll see where it goes from there."
Asked by "Rockline" host Bob Coburn if it's fair to say retirement didn't work out for the band at all, Tipton replied: "We lied. We lied. We didn't mean to." Halford added: "Actually, it's Richie Faulkner's fault; let's blame Richie. We can't overemphasize the importance of having Richie with us at this point in our career."
He continued: "When Richie joined us for the 'Epitaph' tour, extraordinary things were happening night after night after night. And that, accompanied with some of the things that Richie was doing backstage before the show, laying down licks with his little portable recording gear, it was just this energy that was just out of control. So, naturally, when you come off a tour like that and you digest everything, you're just raring to go and we couldn't wait to get into the writing mode and start making music for [the new JUDAS PRIEST album] 'Redeemer Of Souls' together."
Faulkner joined PRIEST in 2011 following the departure of the band's founding axeman Kenneth "K.K." Downing.
Prior to hooking up with PRIEST, Faulkner was the guitarist in the backing band for Lauren Harris, daughter of IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris.
JUDAS PRIEST's 17th studio album, "Redeemer Of Souls", sold around 32,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 6 on The Billboard 200 chart.
The band's 2008 double-disc concept album, "Nostradamus", shifted 42,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at No. 11.
JUDAS PRIEST's 2005 CD, "Angel of Retribution", premiered with 58,000 copies in the U.S. to enter the chart at No. 13.
JUDAS PRIEST members Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner recently spoke to Ultimate Classic Rock about their forthcoming album, "Redeemer Of Souls". You can now watch the chat below.
"Redeemer Of Souls", will be released in North America on July 8 (pushed up a week from the originally announced July 15) via Epic Records. The CD's title track was made available for purchase via iTunes and other digital service providers on April 29.
"This album has got vikings, dragons, aliens, a bit of bible thumping and some guns," Halford said."That's what you need in a metal record. It's strong and it's intense, but there's a lot of fun and exploration, through at least that side, with the lyrical content."
The follow-up to 2008's double-disc concept album "Nostradamus", "Redeemer Of Souls" is being billed as a return to JUDAS PRIEST's heavy-metal roots. "It's nice to get back to what people want to hear," Tipton said."This album just typifies JUDAS PRIEST."
"We felt it was important to make another classic metal album, which is generally what PRIEST has been famous for over the last 40 years," Halford added. "We had great success with 'Nostradamus', which was something that we'd always wanted to try. I think there was a nice enough space of time, musically, to do a lot of things but primarily just to kind of get all of the pieces into place to make what we feel is one of our best records — with all of the elements of what classic PRIEST stands for."
Regarding why there are five "bonus" tracks that are included on the deluxe version of "Redeemer Of Souls" and do not appear on the CD's regular version, Glenn Tipton told the "Trunk Nation" show: "They are all great songs. The reason they are not on the album is because the 13 that we chose are very consistent with what we wanted to do, which was release an undisputable heavy metal album. The others, they are not lightweight by any chance, but they've got a different feel, a different texture. So it's not a case of trying to rip the kids off and trying to get more money for an extra album, it's just a case of, these five tracks seem to deserve to go on their own CD, and that's what we did."
Added Halford: "We didn't want to drop the energy. From the opening thunder-and-lightning on 'Dragonaut' right up 'till the end of 'Battle Cry', it's just full-on, it's relentless. It's great."
"Redeemer Of Souls" CD track listing:
02. Redeemer Of Souls
03. Halls Of Valhalla
04. Sword Of Damocles
05. March Of The Damned
06. Down In Flames
07. Hell & Back
08. Cold Blooded
11. Secrets Of The Dead
12. Battle Cry
13. Beginning Of The End
15. Tears Of Blood
17. Bring It On
18. Never Forget