JUDAS PRIEST bassist Ian Hill recently spoke with Crazy Bob from the Waynesboro, Pennsylvania radio station 101.5 Bob Rocks. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the keys to the band's longevity:
Ian: "Apart from a sense of humor? It's moving forward, really. Every album we've ever done, we've tried to make [it] better than the one before. We try and take a step forward. It keeps you fresh; it keeps you relevant. We're not afraid to try anything when it's available — new recording techniques or new gizmos or new sounds, whatever. We'll give them a go. If they sound good, great; if not, well, they get discarded. I think that's the secret. Some bands get a formula and they stick to it and people love them for it, and there's nothing wrong with that, but we've always tried to stay modern — stay with the times, as it were."
On whether the band was ever tempted to change their sound or image to stay current or maintain their popularity:
Ian: "Not really. We've been very, very lucky. We've always done pretty much what we've wanted to do. Up until now, it's pleased the fans as well. There's been a couple of avenues we've been up — 'Point Of Entry', which was commercial. There was 'Turbo', an experimental album, and, of course, 'Nostradamus', which is a concept/themed album. But the fans have always stayed with us, you know. We've always been very, very lucky that they've sort of took to whatever we put out. We're grateful [for] that."
On the band's latest album, "Firepower":
Ian: "When I first heard the rough demos that Glenn [Tipton], Richie [Faulkner] and Rob [Halford] had put together, I knew it was going to be strong. Put together with a great production team as well in Tom Allom and Andy Sneap. They did a tremendous job. Everything fell into place. It was a joy to record... Andy suggested that we play it live as a band, which is something we haven't done, really, for quite a few albums now. I think the last album we did that [for] was probably 'Painkiller'... It was brilliant. It added so much life to the songs, it was unbelievable. You get these tiny little changes in tempo — a little rise, a little fall. They're almost imperceptible, but it just adds to the character of the song. Before that, when you get the click track, it's almost mechanical... The albums that we put out before 'Firepower', they were great albums. They had great material, and they were well-produced. But just that added little bit where you ditch the click track and just play along, it just added that extra dimension to it. It made a hell of a lot of difference."
On how the band decides on which classic songs to reintroduce in concert:
Ian: "Richie started it off. He'd be in the dressing room with his guitar, and he'd play one of the old songs. [We'd say,] 'Bloody hell. That's good!' Other people start putting ideas in, and we'd come up with a whole bunch of great stuff that we haven't played for decades."
JUDAS PRIEST is currently touring North America with URIAH HEEP.