JUDAS PRIEST MEMBERS ROB HALFORD, GLENN TIPTON AND RICHIE FAULKNER DISCUSS “REDEEMER OF SOULS” AND TOURING
Greg Prato of Brave Words spoke with Judas Priest members frontman Rob Halford and guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner. The interview appears in its entirety below.
BraveWords: How did you come up with the album title, [Redeemer of Souls]
Rob Halford: “I just think it’s part of the rich history that Priest has had with album titles and song titles. We’d been Screaming for Vengeance, we’ve been Defending Your Faith…/
Glenn Tipton: “And ‘killing your pain!’ ”
Rob Halford: “…and now it’s time to Redeem Your Soul.’ So a little bit of everything. I think for as long it carries the metal essence of Judas Priest, that’s what we wanted to convey. Especially when you see the artwork, which is married to the title of the record. It just makes perfect sense.”
BraveWords: How did the recording of the album go?
Glenn Tipton: “We’ve done it in bits and pieces, actually. There’s been a tour in the middle of it, and we’ve done a bit here and a bit there. It’s been done over a long period of time, but it hasn’t actually taken that long. The main criteria for us was to get a very live sounding album. I’ve said more than once, I’m not trying to say we went in the studio and played it live, but there’s very little processed guitars on there – it’s all mic’d up. There are not programmed drums – it’s all played. Rob’s vocals are pretty raw through most of the album, not over-affected. We just wanted a real solid, gritty, tough, balls-to-the-wall heavy metal album, and that’s what we tried to achieve.”
Rob Halford: “But the writing process – as it has generally been the case for our career as a writing trio – obviously, the exception in this case was having Richie’s extraordinary talents in the mix as well. As Glenn pointed out, we were initially writing some of the very beginnings of the record before we actually met up with Richie. And then we Richie joined the band, we went out on the big Epitaph World Tour, and I think that was a really important point of the connection from the touring, to go back into the studio and the writing experience together, having spent almost two years on the road in each other’s company and learning about each other’s personalities, which I think is very important for musicians. The way that you click and tick with each other bears references to our musical endeavors. So, it was a nice time of learning for us all, and I think that proved to be very valuable when we came on the full-on writing sessions with Richie.”
BraveWords: Richie, how was it for you recording your first studio album with Priest?
Richie Faulkner: “Well, it was a very organic experience. It was a very natural one, personally. Growing up, learning how to write songs in school bands, you listened to guys like Priest – ‘What do they do here? How do they construct the song? What it is about this part of the song that makes me feel a certain way?’ And you analyze these things as an early songwriter, and put them into your own songs. So without knowing it, you’re already taking a master class in songwriting. And then when you start to put ideas forward, you don’t have to put a different ‘hat’ on or write in a different way, it’s what comes naturally from learning those songs and how to write songs back in the day, when you’re learning to do it for the first time. So from the first rehearsals in Priest, it was very much an inclusive atmosphere. ‘What do you think about the stage set? Set list? Changes in the songs we can make, to make the experience bigger and better, and all the creative input goes into one pot to create the best for the band.’ And that was no exception with the writing process – very inclusive. We started throwing ideas into the hat, and it was organic, very natural, and direct. A very inclusive creative process to be a part of.”
BraveWords: How would you say this album compares to previous Priest albums?
Rob Halford: “They’ve all got their own separate identity. That’s the great thing that I’ve always personally treasured about Priest. From Rocka Rolla 40 years ago to Redeemer of Souls, there is a connection running through that’s instinctively the sound of Judas Priest, but each record has always been able to stand on its own legs and its character. The Painkiller record is as different to Stained Class as Stained Class is to Screaming for Vengeance to Point of Entry. 17 times that’s happened. We’ve always been very proud in that respect, that we’re not a metal band that keeps replicating things. I think the only thing that has been consistent has been that we’ve always perceived ourselves as a classic heavy metal band, in the way that metal is defined in all these different labels and boxes and characters. With us, we’re a classic heavy metal band, so I think what we’ve done on Redeemer of Souls is just reinforce that and really push that to the front more than ever before. And you can sense that. Each of these songs are totally separate statements. But collectively, they represent the embodiment of Judas Priest.”
BraveWords: And what are the touring plans for Redeemer of Souls?
Rob Halford: “You want us to tour?! We were just talking about the record, and now we’re on the road?! Nah, I’m just having a laugh. I know that while we were in the studio writing, you listen to March of the Damned, and I’d go, ‘God, I can’t wait to play this on stage.’ Or Metalizer – ‘Man, this is going to just tear the place up.’ We’re reflecting on that possibility right now. So as and when this happens, we’ll be doing the usual thing and announcing it on our website here. But I think it’s fair to say we will be doing some live work – before the end of the year.”
I’ve said this until I was blue in the face, but I just wish they’d do a tour with a COMPLETELY crazy setlist. No more Breaking the Law or Living After Midnight. Imagine them playing Stained Class?? Rob used to break out some amazing songs from their catalog when he was solo and I was always blown away. Priest, unfortunately, HATES taking any sort of risk. Let’s hope next time around is different.
Delivering the Goods, Rapid Fire, Riding on the Wind, Jaw Breaker, Out in the Cold, Devil’s Child, Bloodstone, Hell Patrol, Solar Angels, United, Wheels of Fire, Tyrant just to name a few.
even if halford can’t hit those high notes anymore, he still sings & sounds better than almost anybody else out there today, even at his age! rock on rob! see ya on the road, whenever & wherever that may be.
I couldn’t agree more. I saw the British Steel 30th anniversary tour and I still couldn’t figure out how he was hitting those notes on Victim of Changes, which btw, is one Priest’s greatest songs.
Dana from EddieTrunk.com 🙂
before the british steel 30th anniversary tour, the last time I saw priest was back in june ’84 @ MSG, 26 years in between, (I know I can’t believe it either) & in my opinion halford’s voice was just as strong in 2010 as it was in 1984. victim of changes is a showstopper, I look forward to hearing that song as much as any other awesome priest song, maybe even a little bit more. had a blast in ’84, and 2010, it was almost like time stood still. today, wether rob’s voice is 100, 80, or 50%, I don’t care, this may be the last time we get to hear & see judas priest, and I won’t miss it for anything!
I was at that ’84 MSG show too. That was my first rock concert ever, could you imagine? That was the infamous one where the fans ripped up the seats, and in some cases, walked out with them-LOL! Poor Priest, they still haven’t lifted the ban at MSG.
Long live the mighty beast that is Priest!
Dana from ET.com 🙂
well, if they won’t lift the ban, that’s their loss. besides, we got a brand new arena in brooklyn now, who needs MSG?! just kidding, I still love MSG. but it would be great if the priest came to brooklyn, save me a long cab ride! most priest fans today are in their 40’s & 50’s, and even though we still like to party & have a good time, I don’t think they have to worry about the seats anymore. so some fans got carried away, I can’t believe they still blame judas priest for that incident, come on MSG that was 30 years ago, yes it was a wild & crazy night, but there have been a lot of nights like that at MSG & I can’t recall anybody else being banned for life. if hockey fans acted like that when the rangers won the stanley cup in ’94, would they have banned the rangers from ever playing hockey there again? of course not! so if MSG won’t let the priest back in, I’m sure brooklyn will.
You’re preaching to the choir. I was born and bred in good ole Brooklyn.
hey neighbor! so what do you think about the new arena in our own backyard? perfect place for judas priest? I think so!
I think it’s great, and yes, I can see Priest playing there if MSG is too stubborn to lift the ban on the band.
Couldn’t agree more. Love Priest, but the set lists don’t change much over the years.
Come to Florida guys. Can’t wait to see you. Love the Epitaph DVD! Gotta admit I thought you wouldn’t be the same without KK, but I was wrong.
The album cover looks cheap. A real painting would have been better, this is Priest so we expect more. Not crazy about the concept much either. Oh well, at least I was there when this stuff was really important. I saw them make their ascent. Kids now have no idea how much cooler this stuff used to be.