Greg Prato for AllMUSIC spoke with Judas Priest bassist Ian Hill, highlights from interview appear, below.

AllMUSIC: How does Invincible Shield differ from previous Judas Priest albums?

Ian Hill: As we usually do, we take a step forward and try and make things better every time. We’re still learning – after all these years. So, we try and improve on what we did previously. It’s been an ongoing thing now since about 1974. Whatever bell or whistle there is, we’ll give it a go. If it works, great. If not? It’s discarded. It’s a step forward from Firepower.”

AllMUSIC: How is [guitarist] Glenn [Tipton] currently doing, and how much of a role did he have in the writing and recording of the album?

Ian Hill: He’s doing about as well as anybody can – given the situation. He’s got a horrible disease there. It’s preventing him from coming on tour. He just hasn’t got the strength to do it. Although, he can do [guest appearances] – just last fall we did that thing in California, Power Trip, and he did the encores. But his brain is still working – he still comes up with these ideas and suggestions. So, he’s still got a huge part to play – although he’s unfortunately not on the road anymore.

AllMUSIC: Which Priest songs did you have a hand in writing back in the day?

Ian Hill: I had a hand in writing Winter, and I think the last one I wrote was Invader. And Dreamer Deceiver, I think. But nothing since about ’78.

AllMUSIC: Which Judas Priest album is your favorite and why?

Ian Hill It’s probably Defenders of the Faith. It was the end of that road, really. You can trace the roots of that album all the way back to Rocka Rolla. After that, we did the pretty much experimental Turbo – with guitar synthesizers. And then we ran off on a harder edge altogether – with Ram It Down and Painkiller. I think that’s probably still my favorite from all those years ago – as a whole.

AllMUSIC: Which Priest album is the most underrated?

Ian Hill: Probably Point of Entry. We were slighted with that – people were saying, ‘Oh, it’s really commercial.’ But at least it got us through to a more mainstream audience. If you get a song on…it used to be “AM radio,” which is now “mainstream media” I suppose, you get yourself a track on that, and your audience expanded by a gazillion. Whereas just keeping it on the rock channels and the metal channels – again, the audience is there, but you’re not trying to get yourself across to any new fans. So, that’s one. And the other ones are the Ripper albums [1997’s Jugulator and 2001’s Demolition]. Especially Demolition is overlooked.

AllMUSIC: Are you still in touch with KK Downing and would you ever consider working with him again?

Ian Hill: I think he’s gone a bit too far for that now. I gave him a couple of chances to basically say “Hello,” and he blanked me. So, he ain’t going to get another chance. It’s a pity the way it’s turned out. But things are what they are.

AllMUSIC: Invincible Shield is Priest’s 19th studio album overall. What are the chances of a 20th?

Ian Hill: Oh, we’ll see. There’s no reason why not at the moment. We’re going to play this one first, and then take a breather, and then see where we go from there. It would be a nice number to finish on.

Read more at ALLMUSIC.

Judas Priest‘s Invincible Shield will be released on March 8th.

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  • Rattlehead on

    I understand Ian Hill not wanting to work with KK Downing again, but I, as a fan, think necessary for the integrity of Judas Priest. Bands have members that can’t stand each other, yet those bands can exist as business partners….I wish Priest could do the same. With no Glenn Tipton, and no KK Downing, I personally have a hard time accepting the current lineup as Judas Priest.

  • Real Paul Stanley on

    I’m going to make a very bold statement. Invincible Shield is a top 5 all-time Judas Priest album. Boom! It’s that good!

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