JUDAS PRIEST On DAVE HOLLAND, Unofficial Biographies, Illegal Downloading And 'Nostradamus'

Metal-Rules.com has posted a transcript of the JUDAS PRIEST's press conference at the Sweden Rock festival, which was held in early June in Sölvesborg, Sweden. A couple of excerpts follow.

Q: A few years ago, Dave Holland, your former drummer, was imprisoned for sexual harassment and more or less at the same time you were re-releasing your old material in the form of a box set, and you erased Holland from all the album liner pictures. Why did you decide to act in this way towards your old bandmate and the drummer who was a member of the band for 8 years?

Rob Halford (vocals): Well, I think there's an enormous respect for Dave and what he did for the band. As you know, we've had many drummers, we're almost like the living "Spinal Tap" in some respects. The drumming for any band is absolutely vital, it's the anchor, and it's what keeps the band locked together. So after going through 3 or 4 drummers we finally found the best man for the job, Scott Travis and he's been with us for how many years, Scott? He doesn't want to remember…

Scott Travis: 19, I think.

Rob: Since "Painkiller", so we're talking 18 years now. So there's a reflection of thanks to all the drummers who we've worked with for doing great work but it's important to reinforce that Scott Travis is the exclusive drummer for JUDAS PRIEST.

Q: There were two unofficial biographies about you released recently, one called "Heavy Metal Painkiller" and then there's another called "Defenders of the Faith". Did you get a chance to read these, and if so, what was your opinion about them?

Glenn Tipton (guitar): These are the unofficial books, right? We haven't read them, because they're unofficial. We are in the process now of doing an official JUDAS PRIEST book where everything that is recorded in there will be the truth. I think in the unofficial books there's a lot of things said that actually didn't happen or were embroided on the truth, so I personally haven't read them, I don't know if any of the other guys have. It's important to read official books opposed to unofficial books on any band, so that's all I'd say, really.

Rob Halford: I think once people start writing books about you you've reached an important level — there's a curiosity about what makes the band get to that particular stage. And again, like Glenn I haven't bothered to waste my time reading these books. We would ask the fans to wait for the official release where you will actually get the truth. A lot of these books are just made up of interviews and things that are from the past so they're not really giving the fans what they really want. But as Glenn said, we are in the process of putting one together, so when it's ready we'll make it happen and it'll tell you things you'll only find from the band itself.

Q: A lot of other metal acts have conceptual storylines about Nostradamus. Are you aware of this and did this affect you when you were in the writing process of your new album?

Rob: It doesn't matter, because we're doing it for the first time ourselves. To some degree everything's been done once — a type of a book, a type of a movie, it's all been covered. When you do it for the first time yourself, it becomes your exclusive property, and so we feel that what we've done with "Nostradamus" is very special, it's unique to JUDAS PRIEST, no one will have made the life of Nostradamus this way before. And that's the way it should be. When you're covering something that's well known, that has been tackled by other people, that doesn't really become part of the equation. You're doing it for the first time and that's the most important thing.

Q: What's JUDAS PRIEST's opinion on downloading and what do you think can be done about it?

Rob: Well obviously we're still fighting the battle against illegal downloading, we think its wrong — we think it is stealing, that's the fact of the matter. I remember when cassette duplication came into the business and I wondered how that was going to affect the music industry. And at the end of the day that's who it is — it's not just JUDAS PRIEST, it's everybody, it's every band. It's a difficult thing to try and get through but at the end of the day if you're a fan of a band and you want to support your band you're going to get the official release, you're going to get the official merchandise, and the vast majority of PRIEST fans are that way with us — they support what we do. So even thought it's been a thing for us to get our heads around and understand we obviously appreciate the value and importance of the internet when it's used in the right way. All we ask is: please don't steal our music. And that's not about money, it's just the basic fact that you don't take something for nothing, it's not the right thing to do. You don't walk into a store and help yourself to clothes or food or whatever, it's the same principle if you think about it. You can't say "Oh they've got millions of dollars;" that's not the point. But fortunately our fans are real hardcore, they want the real deal, especially with "Nostradamus", it's the multi-packaged, wonderful experience that you can get in a deluxe box set with three pieces of vinyl, a 48-page book, posters — you can't get that on the download, you've got to really be there and hold it physically. It's a treasure to add to your JUDAS PRIEST collection. So we support the Internet when it's used in the right.

Glenn: But I think it's worth mentioning that one of the biggest disasters is really that Internet downloading creates it that it totally robs the new bands of any opportunities to come through. Because if the record companies are not selling records, they can't do — I mean, we were quite fortunate, it was hard work for us to get ahead in our day but eventually we found a record company that would put some money behind us and support us and do justice to our records but now it's definitely the younger bands that will get the most heavy downloads because people will try them out first. Obviously, established bands like our selves can still sell records in the stores but for the younger bands it has definitely had a catastrophic effect.

Read the entire transcript at Metal-Rules.com.

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