JUDAS PRIEST’s GLENN TIPTON Thought Band Was Finished After K.K. DOWNING Left

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.

Ex-JUDAS PRIEST Guitarist K.K. DOWNING Doesn’t Miss Touring, Says It Would Be ‘Difficult’ To Go Back Into ‘Songwriting’ Mode

MetalTalk.net recently conducted an interview with former JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Kenneth "K.K." Downing. You can now watch the chat in three parts below. A couple of excerpts follows (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On whether he missed being on the road and playing music for the fans: Downing: "People say to me all the time, they say, 'Well, do you miss it? Go on. I know that you miss it.' And my response is the fact that after a 40-year full-on career of going non-stop, then I'm not going to miss it in the first week or month or even a year. But I guess there will come a time where I will probably think… "I just received a really nice letter today from a guy in Costa Rica. And it was really nice to read the letter, saying that he kind of missed me in PRIEST and stuff like that. And when that happens, then it does become more and more difficult for me to take the fact that I'm no longer a part of all that. And who knows what the future holds? I mean, I don't know. "I guess, in the scheme of things, I still consider myself to be relatively young and strong, dare I say that. And, as they say, maybe there's plenty of life left in the old dog. Who knows? But it was a long career, and the way that the industry has gone, certainly not for the better, but, obviously, as everyone knows, live performances are still fanstastically… "If nothing else, I think that the validity of live touring and performances is stronger and more in demand than ever, really. So that's very, very healthy. At least everybody can go out there and do some live performances. And that's what bands enjoy best anyway." On whether he keeps in touch with his former JUDAS PRIEST bandmates: Downing: "A little bit here and there. It was just one of those situations. It's a long time — 40 years is a long, long time… "It would certainly be difficult for me to go back into a 'songwriting and record' mode, I think, because of… I think of how much, when I look back, of how much has been achieved in that amount of time, the task of trying to get bigger and better and more unique becomes more and more of a monumental task. And I must say that when I go and see favorite bands of mine, I want them to play the songs that I know and I love, not the songs that I haven't heard yet. Will I get to grow to like these [new songs]? Well, yes, maybe. But certainly, in a live performance, you wanna rock out and sing along." On the highlights of his time with JUDAS PRIEST: Downing: "Probably all of it. It's like anything else. I always kind of think of, like, what's the worst and the best holiday you've ever had? If somebody had a really disastrous holiday, and you asked that person what were the highlights of that holiday years later, they probably would have said the worst things that happened were good highlights, as well as the best things. So, lots of laughs and lots of tear and the whole thing. Just collectively put together, very, very fondly cherished memories… You know, cleaning your teeth in the snow. On the side of a field in Norway, and I can remember… And it did happen, it did happen, before you get to go back to sleep in the back of the van. [The fact] that we probably had a few beers before helps things a little bit. The party has to go on." On whether JUDAS P