JUDAS PRIEST guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, along with bassist Ian Hill, were recently interviewed by Forrest of the Boise radio station 96.9 The Eagle. The full conversation can be streamed below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether they knew, once they finished recording JUDAS PRIEST's new album, "Firepower", that it would be received as well as it has been:
Glenn: "I think we were all proud of it and knew it was very strong, but you can never estimate what an album is going to do. Every album we've done, I've thought, 'This is going to get to No. 1.' I didn't really, but Top 10, Top 5. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. But I think we've all got a belief in this album and that it's got a lot of inner strength. And I think we realized we've got something special."
On the lack of negative online comments about "Firepower":
Richie: "It's an overwhelming wave of positivity and reviews and breakdowns. People are online with their guitars, learning parts and putting videos out. It's connected with people around the world. As Glenn said, you never know. You put something out which is the best you can do right then, and you never know how it's gonna go down. And it's connected, man — people are at the shows, there's thousands of fans at the shows having a great time, and they're digging the record. So it's just a fantastic experience."
"Firepower" entered the Billboard 200 chart at position No. 5, making it the band's highest-charting album ever. 2014's "Redeemer Of Souls" debuted and peaked at No. 6, while 2008's "Nostradamus" landed at No. 11 and 2005's "Angel Of Retribution" came in at No. 13.
"Firepower" moved 49,000 equivalent album units in first week of release. Of that sum, 48,000 were in traditional album sales, just shy of the 54,000 copies sold by "Angel Of Retribution" in that album's first week. The "Firepower" chart position was bolstered by sales generated from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer in association with the band's current North American tour.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
"Firepower" also landed at position No. 5 on the U.K. album chart. It marked the band's highest ranking, and first time in the Top 10, since "British Steel" reached No. 4 in 1980. Elsewhere, "Firepower" became PRIEST's first-ever No. 1 in Sweden.
Tipton found out he had Parkinson's disease four years ago — after being stricken by the degenerative condition at least half a decade earlier — but only recently announced he was going to sit out touring activities in support of PRIEST's latest album, "Firepower". The guitarist, who is now 70 and has performed on every PRIEST LP since the band's 1974 debut set, "Rocka Rolla", is not quitting the band, but simply cannot handle the rigorous challenges of performing live. He is being replaced on the road by "Firepower" producer Andy Sneap, who is also known as the guitar player in NWOBHM revivalists HELL and cult thrashers SABBAT.
The North American leg of the "Firepower" tour will wrap on May 1 in San Antonio, Texas.