Patrick Prince of Powerline recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Powerline: The new album ["Redeemer Of Souls"] has a nice diversity. You have "Crossfire" and then you have a "Metalizer", so it does kind of cover the whole history of the band's sound. I picked up this quote from [JUDAS PRIEST singer] Rob [Halford] where he says "Every record that we've made, we've tried to give it some distinction, some separate identity." But this album is kind of like the perfect release now, at the right time, where it covers the whole history of the band.
Faulkner: It's all part of the band's makeup as far as I'm concerned. We didn't specifically go back and revisit — consciously — parts of the band's history. We just wanted to go in and write something very true and very natural. And the band's character has been so strong over 40 years. I don't know quite how that happens but that's the magic of a band like PRIEST that's forged ahead. You can write stuff that comes from the heart and it sounds like JUDAS PRIEST. It's inherently JUDAS PRIEST.
Powerline: The album also seems stripped of production effects, like the band [performing] live.
Faulkner: It was pure from the writing process, from where the songs came from, to the production, to the recording. It was just very pure and honest and let the character of the band speak for itself. I think it does that.
Powerline: Richie, when you first joined the band there must have been certain feelings about it, and compare that to the first time recording with the band. Was it the same kind of feeling? Was there nervousness? Sounds like you just fit right in as you did live.
Faulkner: It's been an evolution from day one. Some things have changed. Some things have evolved and progressed. And some things had stayed the same. In the sense that from day one it's been inclusive. It's been a family. You know, "What do you think? How do we improve this?" It's not a dictatorship, you know. So, "How do we change the set list for the better?" "How do we change the stage production for the better?" Right on into "What ideas you got for the new record?" "How do we change this song to make it better?" So those are the things that stayed the same through the whole experience in the band. And on the other side you have things that have progressed. First of all, it was just in a live scenario, being accepted by the fans, playing those great songs throughout all those countries. And then going into the studio. So it's been an evolution as well. With a constant family feeling underneath it all.
Powerline: It was probably better that you started performing with the band before going into the studio.
Tipton: I agree with that, 100 percent, yeah.
Faulkner: On a creative level as well. You can always look back and join the dots looking back. But when you look back like that you think that it's probably why it worked so well. You build relationships with the guys and with each other as a unit very quickly under condensed kind of situations. You build trust. You value each other's opinions. And then you digest all this music — over 40 years. That's what we were doing night after night after night. There was stuff from "Rocka Rolla", there was stuff from "Defenders", there was stuff from "Painkiller", there was stuff from "Nostradamus", it was all seeping in, so then when you get to the writing process, again, you've built up relationships, you trust each other, and you just digested the 40-year back catalog. So you're all on the same page both personally and creatively. And looking back at it it makes perfect sense. From the acceptance side as well, from the fans, you almost prove your colors from the live set, and the next stage you're proving your colors. So it's a natural progression.
Powerline: A lot of comments from fans about bands retiring is "Ah, they're not really retiring. They'll be back." It seems to be an ongoing thing.
Tipton: Well, it's easy to understand, you know. We meant it genuinely when we said it was our last world tour. It will be our last world tour as such, but that's not to say it's gonna be our last dates. You know, time changes things. Richie came along. When we put together the "Epitaph" tour, we hadn't found Richie yet. Richie hadn't found us. Fate hadn't put us together, so things change. Richie joined the band, injected a lot of enthusiasm into the band. Retiring as well … Rob said, "What are we going to do, sit at home, sit in an armchair and think, what's there to do this afternoon? Maybe I'll go write a song and maybe think about going on tour again." We genuinely meant what we said. It wasn't just to try to sell more tickets. Things change.
Powerline: And do you think the band will keep recording, even when you stop touring?
Tipton: Who knows?! It's very dangerous territory now to make statements. [smiles]
Faulkner: Based upon the new album and on how much material we came up with, and how easy it flowed from everyone on this record, I wouldn't rule out another studio record. I mean, you never know. You never know what's going to happen and why it will be or why it might not be. But just based purely on the creative juices of these sessions, I wouldn't rule it out completely.
Read the entire interview at Powerline.