Max Volume of Reno's 105.7 KOZZ radio station recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford. You can listen to the entire chat via the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the band's latest album, "Firepower":
Rob: "We're having the time of our lives right now with 'Firepower' as we come around the great United States of America. We couldn't be happier. It's just the best feeling in the world. We're on top of the game, so to speak, with our glorious heavy metal maniacs supporting us."
On PRIEST fans still buying physical product:
Rob: "The determination of our metalheads, to keep the side of what we do in the physical format is so strong. You can't beat holding the CD or vinyl. That's like holding a piece of the band in your hands. You add that to your collection and you look at your collection of PRIEST, heavy metal and it's all laid out and you look at a record and think of a song or a show you went to, you think of your buddies you went to where you had a bit of a beer party when you saw the band. It's all these things wrapped up when you have the physical CD in your possession."
On touring with DEEP PURPLE:
Rob: "'Machine Head' has always been one of my [favorite records]. Ian Gillan is just a phenomenal singer. He's also been a big inspiration to me as a singer when I started. I listened to a lot of other singers to get an understanding of what the voice was capable of doing and Ian was a tremendous inspiration for me."
On whether "Firepower" is the companion to the band's classic 1982 "Screaming For Vengeance":
Rob: "I think where we're at now is we're a band not too dissimilar to some of our friends who have re-assessed what they've achieved over the time that you've been making music together. You want to refocus and really look at what could be regarded as like the backbone and what represents you as a group. That's what we do when Glenn [Tipton, guitar], Richie [Faulkner, guitar] and myself did when we started writing the music for 'Firepower'. We talked about some of those albums, going right back to 'Sad Wings Of Destiny', the roaring of 'Victim Of Changes', 'Screaming For Vengeance', some 'Painkiller', definitely some 'British Steel'. We didn't actually listen to those albums, because I think it's a trap of being caught in repetition there, but we certainly thought about what was at the core of all those records, at the metal heart of PRIEST. That's what gave us the direction for 'Firepower'."
On the current status of Tipton, who had to retire from full-time touring activities due to being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease:
Rob: "He was just with us for a few shows, but it's really difficult for anybody to be on a long flight, particularly when you're battling Parkinson's, but he tries to come out and he was with us for a few shows and he went back to England to rest up and get some more treatment. He's doing incredibly well."
The JUDAS PRIEST and DEEP PURPLE co-headlining tour launched August 21 in Cincinnati and will conclude September 30 in Wheatland, California.
"Firepower" entered the Billboard 200 chart at position No. 5, making it PRIEST's highest-charting album ever.