JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton recently spoke to Metal Edge magazine about the group's new album, "Angel of Retribution". A couple of excerpts from the interview follow:
Metal Edge: Does it help that, as a producer, Roy Z is also a musician?
Glenn Tipton: "It does help, but Roy's qualities are the fact that he's really got a great ear. He's got to take a lot of credit for the sound of this album. If you work with a producer that's not aware of the history of the band, that's going to be a bad vibe right there. But Roy's always been a big fan, and that helps because he knows the strengths of the band. He could make suggestions that were valid, and we listened to him. We wrote 'Deal with the Devil' with him, and it was basically his idea."
Metal Edge: In the time Rob [Halford] wasn't in the band, the songwriting kind of fell to you and K.K. [Downing] alone. What feeling was there to be working with a third person again?
Glenn Tipton: "It was just great to put the whole team back together, really. I mean, we're fortunate that there's chemistry that works. The time we were apart, I think it made us appreciate that PRIEST has got something special, both in the writing department and the band as a whole with Scott [Travis] and Ian [Hill], and we should treasure that."
Metal Edge: It's interesting that you say that, because the bass and drums are pushed more to the forefront with these songs than in the past.
Glenn Tipton: "Yeah, the whole band, there's energy, there's enthusiasm. It's refreshing, but it's also classic PRIEST, and that's not easy to do. Like I said, we didn't try too hard, 'cause we could have fucked up. We just let the natural process emerge, and the natural musicianship within the band contributed to this album. You can try too hard to evolve, which we've probably been guilty of on certain albums in the past. In this instance, we went to great effort to just be natural."
Metal Edge: Do you take into consideration things you might read on message boards, or other input from fans?
Glenn Tipton: "Yeah, but everybody's got a different concept of PRIEST. That's the beauty — PRIEST can be what you want it to be after so many albums, and it is! A lot of it's nostalgia and part of youth, so they've got little memories of certain songs that mean a lot to them."
Metal Edge: Is that difficult to beaer, such personal associations?
Glenn Tipton: "[Mock seriousness] A heavy cross to bear. I mean, we've always been brave enough to attempt new things. Sometimes people have missed the point. Sometimes it works for you, sometimes it works against you. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to do a repetitive album every time we release an album. But it's a brave approach to push those boundaries. We've felt that we've had to take that risk on several albums."