JUDAS PRIEST frontman Glenn Tipton recently spoke to The Patriot-News about the band's decision to reunite with singer Rob Halford after 14 years apart. Several excerpts from the interview follow:On the split with Rob: "We were very tired at the end of '90; we'd been together a lot, we'd been touring a lot. I think we needed a break — perhaps not 14 years, but we needed a break." On the years with singer Tim "Ripper" Owens: "I doubt we'd be here with Rob now if it wasn't for the five years with Tim. That would have been literally 14 years without playing PRIEST songs as a band, and I'm not so sure we could have done that. "It was very, very difficult what Tim had to do and he almost pulled it off. But obviously, the original lineup is the most important thing in any band. Tim allowed us to keep this band alive — we did two tours and three albums, and he performed fantastically." "I don't regret the Ripper years at all. I think that at some point every band that's been together for as long as PRIEST has a hiccup, and it was inevitable." On the new album, "Angel of Retribution": "Not having written together for 13 or 14 years, and all the anticipation and expectation of the band getting back together, there was quite a bit of pressure. Obviously we knew everybody would be waiting and watching with a critical ear. "We decided we could put too much pressure on our shoulders if we weren't careful. So we decided to just sit down and write naturally and try and enjoy the process instead of it being an ordeal." "We're fortunate in this band that we've got a writing trio that really works well — we can't pat ourselves on the back and say we're responsible for it, it's just something that happens naturally." On PRIEST's place in today's metal scene: "We feel that music stagnated a lot in terms of metal recently. Bands are tending to look and sound the same; they've lost a lot of their individuality. We've never believed in playing our music according to fashion, and we're hoping this will revolutionize a lot of people out there." "We see this as a new beginning, not just a one-off situation. Hopefully this is the first of a few albums. I don't know how many we've got in us, [but] I do know that our energy and enthusiasm is at a higher level than ever. So I would see it as a beginning [and] we'll take it from there."
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