Band Photo: Judas Priest (?)
From: Birmingham, United Kingdom
Last Known Status: Active
Latest Judas Priest News
Below is our complete Judas Priest news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.
Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.
JUDAS PRIEST have posted this message on their official website:
"There are many unofficial books about JUDAS PRIEST coming onto the market - some already out there - people making out that theirs is the 'Official' book on the band etc. Please note that none of these books have been approved by the band. The band have not been involved in them at all so they are not official!! We will be doing an official book sometime in the not too distant future and when we do we will announce it so until then just know that these others are not the real thing!!"
The legendary metallers are currently working on a concept album based around the life of Nostradamus.
The following message has been posted on JUDAS PRIEST's official web site:
"All is going really well with the new album. Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing are working on their guitar parts. All of the guys are going to take a short summer break then will re-group to get back to working on the album!"
JUDAS PRIEST is working on a concept album about the legendary 16th century prophet Nostradamus. Regarding the direction of the material and how whole concept for the record came about, frontman Rob Halford recently told PureGrainAudio.com, "We've got a bulk of the work done. It sounds absolutely fucking amazing and that's not me inflating it, it is genuinely spectacular. So we're still carrying on with that and it should be out sometime in 2008. The idea (for the record) came from our manager Bill Curbishley, because we were ready to go in and do another studio record, but Bill came to see us towards the end of the 'Angel of Retribution' tour, he came to Russia, we were playing Russia and we had lunch with him and he said, 'Look, I have this idea.' Bill manages THE WHO, you know, Pete and Roger, and Bill was behind the enormous success of 'Tommy' and he said, 'I just think that you know, maybe you should think about this possibility of doing a concept album and I've been thinking about this guy Nostradamus.' And as soon as he brought the name up, I'm like, I'm there, let's go, you don't have to say anything else. I knew something of him already like everybody does about the books that you read about him, or on the Internet or on TV, documentaries and I thought wow, this is absolutely brilliant so that's where it all came about from."
On the rumors that "Nostradamus" will be a double album, Halford said, "It is a rumor still. I mean, there is an enormous amount of material and you can only put so much on a single CD so you know, we're trying to tell the story of his life and we're trying to cover every significant moment of his life and I think you know, when we got it all recorded, that's when you're faced with the reality of how much time you got and how much a CD will afford you and the timing of it all. So we just ask everyone to bear with us and as we actually get into the mixing mode, we'll be able to be more definitive and tell everybody exactly what we've got, but we just want to make sure we tell his life story so we'll do whatever it takes to do that."
The complete list of songs has been revealed for Activision's special 1980s-themed Guitar Hero title, dubbed Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s. The game will ship for the PlayStation 2 on July 24.
According to Gamespot, Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s is rated T for Teen and will be the last game in the series from original developers Harmonix. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater developer Neversoft is taking over the franchise beginning with Guitar Hero III, while Harmonix is preparing rival rhythm game Rock Band. Both titles are set for release later this year for multiple platforms.
Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s tracks:
"Caught in a Mosh" (as made famous by ANTHRAX)
"Balls to the Wall" (as made famous by ACCEPT)
"Electric Eye" (by JUDAS PRIEST)
"Los Angeles" (as made famous by X)
"Police Truck" (as made famous by DEAD KENNEDYS)
"We Got the Beat" (as made famous by THE GO GO'S)
"(I Think I'm) Turning Japanese" (as made famous by VAPORS)
"Seventeen" (as made famous by WINGER)
"Because, it's Midnite" (by LIMOZEEN)
"Hold On Loosely" (as made famous by .38 SPECIAL)
"No One Like You" (as made famous by SCORPIONS)
"Only a Lad" (as made famous by OINGO BOINGO)
"Ballroom Blitz" (as made famous by KROKUS)
"The Warrior" (by SCANDAL)
"What I Like About You" (as made famous by THE ROMANTICS)
"Wrath Child" (as made famous by IRON MAIDEN)
"I Wanna Rock" (by TWISTED SISTER)
"I Ran" (by FLOCK OF SEAGULLS)
"Round and Round" (as made famous by RATT)
"Metal Health" (as made famous by QUIET RIOT)
"Holy Diver" (as made famous by DIO)
"Heat Of The Moment" (as made famous by ASIA)
"Radar Love" (as made famous by WHITE LION)
"18 and Life" (as made famous by SKID ROW)
"Bathroom Wall" (as made famous by FASTER PUSSYCAT)
"Lonely is the Night" (as made famous by BILLY SQUIER)
"Nothing But a Good Time" (as made famous by POISON)
"Play With Me" (as made famous by EXTREME)
"Shaken" (as made famous by EDDIE MONEY)
"Synchronicity II" (as made famous by THE POLICE)
Norway's Imhotep recently conducted an interview JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
On when he felt it was the right time to come back to his roots:
"I think it was after we released the TWO record. We went on tour, and everything that I get involved with I give it a 1000%. You know, I stand by everything that I do, and to me it's not about commercial success or failure, it's just going through the whole process. And after I'd done the TWO release and the shows that we did in different places, I think that's when I fully understood that I just needed to get back to where I just got the most out of the music, and that's what I did after we did the final TWO shows — I just thought about what else was available. And there were other things that one could potentially get involved with. I still want to do some extreme forms of metal, like black/ death metal at some point in my career, since I'm a huge fan of that kind of music. But by then I'd already made my mind up to look for players that would help me put this 'Resurrection' release together."
On what Rob Halford would sound like singing extreme metal:
"I know that what I do as a metal singer, it's very strong for me to do this style of singing, firstly that I do with PRIEST, then what I do with HALFORD. But when think of death metal, I don't want to sing like most death metal singers. I don't know, it would be different."
On his duet with Bruce Dickinson on "Resurrection" on the track "The One You Love To Hate":
"Yeah! That was great. I was up in L.A. working with Roy Z on the 'Resurrection' album, and Bruce was in town. He stopped by the studio and we had some drinks and food together. We've known each other since MAIDEN and PRIEST began, and we're good mates. We just said, 'We've never really had the chance to do a song together!' Then Roy Z came in, and he said, 'What're you guys talking about?' We told him, and he said, 'Fuck, let's just do it, let's just put a song together!' So that's just basically how it happened — within a day we'd got 'The One You Love To Hate' written and the bulk of it came from Bruce, and then we kind of put the words and the melodies together. Then we went to the studio and made it all down. It only took about a day or two to complete. But it was a real bit of metal magic, that was! It's a really good song. I listened to it again last night for the first time in years. Really cool track!"
On the rumored project involving Bruce Dickinson, Geoff Tate, and Rob Halford:
"That never really got off the ground. That me and Bruce and Geoff from QUEENSRŸCHE were gonna put this band, this trio of singers together and go out and have one backing band, and then we would all do each other's songs, do our own songs, cover songs and just mix it all up. One of us would go out and sing a song, somebody else would come out and sing a song, and then we'd do duets or trios together, whatever. But we never left the launch pad, unfortunately, because we were all so busy and immersed in our separate worlds it just never became a reality! But I've never forgotten that and I still think that if there's an opportunity to do it. We should do it, you know, because it'll be really special and different."
On what he thought of Tim "Ripper" Owens singing with JUDAS PRIEST:
"It was a combination of two things — like, fuck I wish I was doing that. And at the second time, I felt like, all this is brilliant, another JUDAS PRIEST record with a great singer. It was just two sets of feelings for me really. I like Tim's vocals very much. I think he's a great singer! . . . We've met twice or maybe more and he was a very nice guy. I don't understand this whole thing of current and past members of a band bashing each other. I believe respect is something very important and if you have problems with someone, keep them to yourself, you know? You don't need to spread it, to go on public. I've always respected every musician, and I think we, as human beings, should try to respect each other a bit more."
On the reaction from PRIEST fans to his announcement that he was gay:
"It was fantastic. Nobody really cared. I think in today's world, it's a lot easier to be accepted, although there is still a lot of bigotry and a lot of hate. You know, [directed] towards gay people, to different people of different colors, to different people of different religions; and I can't understand that there is still so much hate and resentment in the world. So when I made that statement about my homosexuality, I just think it was important as much as it was for me as a gay metal singer, but also to try and break down some more intolerance and prejudice against gay people. And of course, all my straight metalhead fans, like I said, they were just really supportive. They said, 'Rob we don't care what you are. To us you're the Metal God, you're a great metal singer, and that's all that matters' I was really happy for the reaction because it sent a strong message that the metal community is very accepting. That metalheads can come together at a concert from all different age groups, all different colours, all different religions, all different jobs, all different kinds of sexuality, and they can just come and have a great metal together! So I think I kind of exploded the myth about the metalheads not accepting like myself because that's not true. That was a great thing to do! I'm not an activist, or someone that holds the flag of the gay community, but I'm who I'm, and I think it's important to be open and to be honest, to not hide anymore, just to respect each other, really!"
JUDAS PRIEST is currently recording a concept album about the 16th Century French prophet Nostradamus. In a recent interview with Rockdetector's Garry Sharpe-Young, Rob Halford admitted the band's often perceived secrecy was sometimes intentional. "Look, I love the Internet as a tool for knowledge gathering and for its amazing marketing possibilities but sometimes you have to step back a bit and present something in a better way," he said. "Just because the Internet allows you to give everything instantly does not always make that the right choice. I believe that if you go along to see a concert by your favorite band, as a fan, you hunger for that anticipation — what are they going to play? What's the stage look like? All those things. It's the same with a new record for us. We've whetted the appetites by revealing the Nostradamus concept. That's a big deal for us, actually. I could give you song titles and intimate details of the story and each track but we don't want to ruin it for fans. Just remember the last time you bought a record that you had been wanting to get your hands on for months and that magical moment when you hear the first note. We'd like to bring some of that excitement back. Metal in particular thrives on that kind of fan-driven word of mouth. It worked very well for us with 'Screaming for Vengeance' and very much so with 'Painkiller'. Fans were talking to each down the pub and saying, 'You really need to hear this!' We had it back in the very early days too when we were playing every pub and club that would have us. It was word of mouth that generated that huge support from all over the country that the London media suddenly saw manifest itself at the Reading festival in 1975."
Rockdetector.com: OK, without giving too much away then, what clues can you tease us with for "Nostradamus"?
Haford: "Not a lot, except that it's absolutely massive in its scope. I mean, it really is a very big concept, even possibly a double album. We're all totally into the whole idea and researching the man's life has opened up so many possibilities. Right now Glenn [Tipton] and Ken [K.K. Downing] have all the music written but we have to construct all of that into a meaningful story. It's hugely ambitious but I know the fans will be blown away."
Rockdetector.com: With your enthusiasm to build the excitement for this record, it seems you embrace both old style promotional tactics and you are obviously very keyed into the present game with your website and this new round of HALFORD solo releases.
Halford: "You have to be. I'm only looking at what works. Of course you have to have a great product in the first place, which is why the HALFORD albums and this new crop of releases has had so much effort gone into them. I didn't just want to rehash the existing albums so there is a lot of attention to detail. I actually think the possibilities for music distribution in the future are going to be wonderful but of course the whole industry is in a very painful transitional stage right now. Music consumption is going up very fast, but CD sales are going down. More people are coming out to shows too, so the world wants music. The question for the labels is how they deliver it. Won't won't change is that JUDAS PRIEST will be out there delivering the goods on stage"
JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford has posted the following message on his MySpace blog:
"Below is a fun interactive blog for us all. The use of words is vital to myself when creating lyrics.
"Words make war and peace, love and hate. Everything surrounding us is connected with the written word.
"Below are my five words. After considering my five words; please list your five words.
* Absorb: All the choices and decsions I make come from my absorbing
* Chill: I have to do it. Clear my mind; afterwards I feel re-energised
* Responsibility: You have it whether you know it. I use this virtue to do the best with my abilities
* Fear: I possess less when I seek and search the source of fear through knowledge
* Music: It's what I live for and what makes the world join together as one.
Read the full article at Blabbermouth.
Rock drummer David Holland has been convicted of trying to rape a special needs youngster.
Holland was also found guilty of five charges of indecently assaulting the teenager.
The musician, who played with the band Judas Priest in the 1970s and 1980s, was convicted of the charges at Northampton Crown Court on Friday.
Holland, 55, of The Green, Stoke Bruerne, who denied all the charges, was convicted on majority verdicts.
All the offences took place at the drummer's Northamptonshire home between June and December 2002 when he was giving the 17-year-old drumming lessons.
Judge Charles Wide QC said he was very concerned about the risk Holland presented to adolescent boys and remanded him in custody for a pre-sentence report.
"I in particular would be interested in an assessment of the risk Mr Holland poses to adolescent young men," Judge Wide said.
Holland's co-accused, Spiros Laouitaris, 22, of Bourne Crescent, Kings Heath, Northampton, was earlier acquitted of three separate charges of indecently assaulting the same teenager, who is now 18, but who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Read the full article at BBC News.
Launch Radio Networks reports: Things are going well with the recording of the new JUDAS PRIEST album. It's a concept album about the 16th Century French prophet Nostradamus, and the band has started thinking about release dates. Frontman Rob Halford told Launch that everyone's excited about the project. "The writing sessions were fantastic — some of the best writing that (guitarists) Glenn (Tipton) and K.K. (Downing) and myself have ever created, and we're in good shape, we're recording. And finger's crossed, and with the belief that it's ready when it's ready, we should be out by the middle of 2007 with 'Nostradamus'."
This will be PRIEST's first album since "Angel of Retribution" came out in 2005, marking Halford's return to the group.
JUDAS PRIEST is also working out the details for a stage show to go along with the album's subject matter.
Who are the best singers in heavy metal history? According to Hit Parader magazine, Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin and Rob Halford from Judas Priest are the two best men for the job. The magazine has published their list of "Heavy Metal's All-Time Top 100 Vocalists," and the editors said, "Assembling our list certainly presented a daunting task, considering the breadth and scope of the metal empire during its 35-year reign as rock's most powerful and enduring force. We tried our best not to turn this into some sort of popularity contest where only the most famous (or infamous) frontmen in metal lore were recognized."
Most names included in the list are neither metal singers nor performers in a metal band. They are Queen's Freddie Mercury, the Who's Roger Daltrey, Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones, Ann Wilson from Heart, Kurt Cobain from Nirvana, Rod Stewart, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Ray Davies from the Kinks, Joan Jett, Steve Marriott from the Small Faces and Humble Pie, and Steve Perry from Journey.
The Hit Parader Top 10 Singers:
1) Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin
2) Rob Halford from Judas Priest
3) Steven Tyler from Aerosmith
4) Chris Cornell from Audioslave and Soundgarden
5) Bon Scott from AC/DC
6) Freddie Mercury from Queen
7) Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden
8) Ozzy Osbourne from Black Sabbath
9) Paul Rodgers from Free, Bad Company, and the Firm
10) Ronnie James Dio from Rainbow and Black Sabbath
A brand new HALFORD song, entitled "Forgotten Generation", has been made available for streaming at MP3.com. The track, which was officially released yesterday (Tuesday, November 21) via iTunes, is the first new HALFORD song in more than four years. Rob Halford wrote the tune and another new cut, "Drop Out", with the HALFORD band this year during downtime from working with JUDAS PRIEST on their upcoming album "Nostradamus". "We just thought it would be nice to offer fans an earful of new HALFORD stuff and let everybody know we're still around," he said, according to MTV.com. Both new tracks will be available on "Halford: Metal God Essentials - Volume 1", which comes out November 28. The album will contain 15 songs spanning Halford's solo career and will also be available exclusively through iTunes. Also on November 28, Halford will release the entire HALFORD catalog ("Resurrection", "Live Insurrection" and "Crucible"), plus the FIGHT demo "K5 the War of Words Demos". "We love iTunes," Halford said. "It's a tremendous format and they're really looking after the Metal God in a really great way." More...
On November 21, Rob Halford will debut the first new Halford song in more than four years, "Forgotten Generation," on iTunes. The metal god wrote the tune and another new cut, "Drop Out," with the Halford band this year during downtime from working with Judas Priest on their upcoming album Nostradamus. "We just thought it would be nice to offer fans an earful of new Halford stuff and let everybody know we're still around," he said. Both new tracks will be available on Halford: Metal God Essentials - Volume 1, which comes out November 28. The album will contain 15 songs spanning Halford's solo career and will also be available exclusively through iTunes. Also on November 28, Halford will release the entire Halford catalog (Resurrection, Live Insurrection and Crucible), plus the Fight demo K5 the War of Words Demos. "We love iTunes," Halford said. "It's a tremendous format and they're really looking after the Metal God in a really great way."
London's progressive metal thrashers Biomechanical have placed online an advance preview of their Judas Priest cover track Painkiller, which they recorded last week with the original Judas Priest producer Chris Tsangarides at the production helm. Their cover of one of metal's all-time standout cuts is now available on Mp3 for fans to preview online here.
The cover of the legendary ‘Painkiller’ was recorded over three days with the track’s original producer Tsangarides, at his own studio in Dover, UK.Singer John K from Biomechanical recently spoke about his appreciation of the track, which has featured as a highlight of the band's set for some time, stating: “When the song was first introduced to the scene in 1990 it blew everything out of the water, it was an instant classic and sure withstood the test of time. We’re really glad to be able to do homage to the original”.
You can take a look at a pic of the band with Chris Tsangardies in the studio here.
‘Painkiller’ will be released by Earache on a limited edition re-dux of Biomechanical’s second album ‘The Empires Of The Worlds’, which will also include 3 bonus Quicktime Videos including behind the scenes footage of the band in the studio and on location filming their promo clip last year. It is in stores across the UK and Europe on November 3rd.
To coincide, Biomechanical also head out on tour throughout Europe supporting US Thrashers Exodus on the following dates: More...
JUDAS PRIEST Management Co-Ordinator Jayne Andrews has posted the following message on the band's official web site:
"As usual when the band are working on a new album, the website will be very quiet. The guys do not want any information being given out at this time. As soon as they are ready to announce anything, I will do so for them!! They are taking a very short break just now but will continue working on the album next week. It is going incredibly well!! So please, be patient and as I always say... it will be worth waiting for!!!"
In a June 2006 interview with MTV.com, JUDAS PRIEST frontman Rob Halford said about the group's upcoming concept album about the legendary 16th-century French prophet Nostradamus, "Nostradamus is all about metal, isn't he? He was an alchemist as well as a seer — a person of extraordinary talent. He had an amazing life that was full of trial and tribulation and joy and sorrow. He's a very human character and a world-famous individual. You can take his name and translate it into any language and everybody knows about him, and that's important because we're dealing with a worldwide audience."
In addition to digging new lyrical ground for JUDAS PRIEST, the album will contain musical elements that might surprise their fans. "It's going to have a lot of depth," the singer explained. "There'll be a lot of symphonic elements. We might orchestrate it, without it being overblown. There may be a massive choir at parts and keyboards will be featured more prominently, whereas they've always been in the background before."
On October 24, 2006, Restless Records will release "Butchering The Beatles" — featuring the biggest, the baddest, the heaviest all-star line-up ever assembled to honor what is arguably the greatest band ever — THE BEATLES. All-in-all, over 50 internationally known recording artists bring their unique bone-crushing slant to these remarkable songs. Produced by Grammy award-winning producer/guitarist Bob Kulick and ace engineer Brett Chassen, "Butchering The Beatles" features 12 new, ass-kicking versions of THE BEATLES' chart-topping hits, including "Hey Jude", "I Feel Fine" and "Day Tripper", plus the more esoteric "Hey Bulldog", barked out by the legendary Alice Cooper and "Tomorrow Never Knows", uniquely interpreted by the iconic Billy Idol, alongside classic concept songs like "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" and "Magical Mystery Tour".
When asked by Guitar Player magazine what possessed him to go all metal on THE BEATLES, Bob Kulick stated that, "BEATLES songs are the Holy Grail. They're the best rock songs ever written. These new recordings are totally faithful, yet completely different. Billy Gibbons singing 'Revolution' or (MOTÖRHEAD frontman) Lemmy singing 'Back In The USSR' are not exactly Paul McCartney or John Lennon. And of course, the guitar solo sections were lengthened to accommodate all the artists' solo styles."
"Butchering The Beatles" track listing: More...
MTV Overdrive has a feature on the debate that took place when MTV set out to come up with the top ten greatest metal bands list. Here's a summary of the process:
"We reached out to the most passionate and knowledgable metal fans working at MTV and asked them to send us their individual picks for the 10 greatest, with the only criteria being "whatever greatness means to you." Some feel that the influence a band had on others is the most important factor in judging greatness; others say the strength of the albums is the primary concern; and some believe the power of a band's live performance is the ultimate measure. We did not care what each participants criteria was; we only asked them to vote from their hearts."
"In part two, we gathered everyone together, showed them the results, and asked them to either stand by it, or change it as they saw fit, the only rule being that a majority had to vote in favor of every change. The discussion and debate over the rankings is what you see in the Overdrive show."
"In such debate lies much geekdom and fun, and MTV's metal brain trust — our panel of experts, consisting of nine die-hard, longtime fans — had a blast conjuring and debating this list."
The resulting list of the greatest metal bands follows, but be sure to check out the video because it was actually an interesting discussion.
1. Black Sabbath
2. Judas Priest
4. Iron Maiden
10. Motley Crue
Read the full article at MTV.com.
Rob Halford has purchased his ground-breaking, critically acclaimed Halford catalog from Sanctuary Records U.K. The three albums under the band name: Halford include 'Resurrection' (2000), the two-CD concert recording 'Live Insurrection' (2001) and 'Crucible' (2002).
The Halford titles were acquired January 2006, and they will be the first music releases to possess The Metal God's new corporate imprint: 'Metal God Entertainment' (MGE) an entity which will act as exclusive production company and label for Rob's future solo music and film releases. Under new licenses, much of Rob's existing and new titles will release through global-label partners whom have worked previously with The Metal God. Additional details available late-summer 2006.
The Roy Z. Produced Halford titles: 'Resurrection' (2000) and 'Live Insurrection' (2001) have been Re-Mastered. Roy and John Baxter (Rob Halford's Manager / Executive Producer) recruited Denmark Producer / Mixer Tue Madsen to Re-Mix and Master one of Rob Halford's finest
releases: 'Crucible' (2002). Additional details available late-summer 2006.
In 2007, Metal God Entertainment (MGE) will release: 'Fight, War Of Words - The Film.' Recorded throughout 1992 and 1993, this 5.1 surround-sound film presents a view of Rob Halford as he makes his decision to leave Heavy Metal legends Judas Priest, record and tour with his first solo band: 'Fight.' The band's original audio-demonstration recordings (1992) will appear on a separate Fight soundtrack release. You can watch a promotional trailer for "Fight, War Of Words - The Film" here.
Also in 2007, Metal God Entertainment (MGE) will release: 'Halford - Live at Rock In Rio 2001'. The formation of Rob Halford's new Heavy Metal band (Halford) is chronicled from studio to road in 5.1 surround sound. After releasing 'Resurrection' (2000) Halford screams through a 95-city, world-wide concert tour. The band's final-tour performance at Brazil's Rock in Rio III (2001) festival in front of more than a quarter-million Metal fans presents an up-close view of one of Metal's hardest working and innovative bands. The film's audio-only soundtrack
release: Halford - Live at Rock In Rio III - has been Produced by Roy Z. You can watch a promotional trailer for "Halford - Live at Rock In Rio 2001" here.
The anticipated Halford studio album 'Halford IV' is being rescheduled as Rob is in studio with Judas Priest collaborating on their 2007 release and subsequent tour. Additional 'Halford IV' details available summer 2008.
Halford departed Judas Priest in 1992 to pursue a solo career during which he has released seven albums thus far. He formed an uncompromising new band called Fight which released 'War of Words' (1993), 'Mutations' (1994) and 'A Small Deadly Space' (1995). Up next was the Two project with Trent Reznor at the production helm. Two released the experimental, industrial rock-flavored 'Voyeurs' (1998). The Metal God realized he missed writing, recording and performing the kind of Heavy Metal he helped invent, and the result was the formation of Halford. After 12 long years, Halford reunited with Judas Priest in the summer of 2003.
JUDAS PRIEST have revealed more details about their upcoming first conceptual album, which is based upon the life and predictions of the 16th century French prophet Nostradamus. In a May 24, 2006 appearance on the "Rockline" syndicated radio show, PRIEST frontman Rob Halford and guitarist Glenn Tipton spoke about the songwriting process for the CD and their touring plans, which are expected to include a performance of the entire album from beginning to end at each show on the trek. A couple of excerpts from the "Rockline" appearance follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On the songwriting process for "Nostradamus":
Tipton: "We've been considering a concept album for quite a while now, and our manager actually brought up the subject of Nostradamus, which we're all interested in. There's so many moods. The actual album is based upon his life as opposed to his predictions and things like that. It's all about his life, which is really interesting — full of incident and drama. We all felt very strongly there were so many moods there to tackle that it would make a great subject matter for a concept album."
Halford: "It's gonna be great, because, as Glenn was saying, he's [Nostradamus] a very mysterious character. We're gonna convey that kind of atmosphere in the music. Glenn, K.K. [Downing, guitar] and myself have already been writing back in England, and the early roots of 'Nostradamus' — they just sound incredible. We are doing some things differently. It will be a metal/rock opera-type production, so it will be strong. It will be everything you love about PRIEST. We're looking forward to it."
Tipton: "We're well on the way [in the songwriting department]. We've got a large portion of it completed on the writing side. I can safely say it's probably the most unique thing we've done. We've got an abundance of material, and we'll paste it all together and we'll shortly go into the studio and begin putting it all down."
Halford: "It's great. We're stoked. I can hear the songs in my head right now. It's gonna be incredible. The thing about Nostradamus is that, as difficult as it will be [to write a concept album based on his life], and it's a joy to face that challenge, it's a little easier in some sense [than writing a regular album], because you've got your plot. You've got your whole thing there laid out for you — you've got this real living, breathing person, who's now dead. But you've got the whole story of his life. And you just explore that and you try and find a way to kind of bring that about in a musical presentation. So the writing process is still the much the same. The three of us get together in a room, and we're talking about each particular moment in Nostradamus' life and we're trying to fit in the moods and emotions to those particular chapters."
"It's more about his life, because everybody knows him more about his prophecies. He's never really gone out of the news in hundreds and hundreds of years, and there are some that believe in his prophecies and some that don't. His life was a difficult life. He went through a lot of rough times. He was a brilliant doctor of medicine — he partly cured the great plague of Europe, he was able to save thousands of people, but couldn't save his wife and kids, which is tragic. And he was chased all over the country by the Roman Catholic Church. There's a ton of stories that you can really investigate musically."
On touring plans:
Halford: "Well, as ever, when 'Nostradamus' is completed, we're gonna go out and tour with that. It will be kind of unique, because we're intending and hoping that we'll be able to perform the complete 'Nostradamus' piece from front to back, which is something that PRIEST has never done. We were saying earlier today to our friends at VH1 that we're always looking for some new adventures and this will be one of them. So when we do go out with 'Nostradamus', that's what you'll experience — you'll have the whole recording from front to end. So it'll be that, and I dare say after that there'll be some more PRIEST touring covering all of our extensive back catalog of songs."
Tipton: "We wanna go out next time and do a completely different set, 'cause there's so many songs that people want us to play, and obviously there's only so much time we can play on stage. So we've got really a great setlist — potential setlist. We're going back to the real early days to draw songs from there. So we've got a lot of interesting projects ready to go."
A few years back, metal journalists James Sherry (Metal Hammer, Kerrang!) and Neil Aldis (Rock World, Terrorizer) decided to sift through their record collections and put the best of the bunch into coffee-table-book form. That spawned "Heavy Metal Thunder," an extensive archive of the most kick-ass metal-album art of the last four decades, set to land in bookstores June 1.
According to Sherry, the book's intended to guide lifelong metalheads down memory lane — a time when you'd buy an LP based solely on the image that graced the sleeve, a time when ridiculous album covers were a genuine art form.
"We wanted the book to be entertaining for people who aren't necessarily into metal," he said. "I wanted it to appeal to people who are really heavily into the music and can look through the book and go, 'Oh, I remember that record — I had it when I was a kid.' ... But we also wanted it to appeal to people who have no interest in the music and can look through it and go, 'These covers are hilarious.' We're not afraid to poke fun at it."
The book's documents everything from the earliest days of groundbreaking bands like Black Sabbath and Judas Priest through today's current class of metallers, like Mastodon and High on Fire. The book covers all the bases, with chapters devoted to black metal, death metal, nü metal, thrash, stoner rock and glam rock. There's even a forward penned by Anthrax's Scott Ian and an interview with Derek Riggs, the man who created Iron Maiden's symbolic Eddie icon.
"We were originally going to do each chapter in a different theme," Sherry explained. "We were going to have a chapter of all covers that just featured men with swords, which there are many. It's an ongoing theme in old metal records. We wanted a whole chapter on glam-rock covers, fantasy covers, ridiculous covers — even covers with babes on them. That became way too complicated, so we decided to do it genre by genre."
Several chapters are devoted to specific bands that've become known for their album imagery. "One of the first things we decided was that we had to give Manowar their own chapter," he said. "With this book, you get a taste for the imagery of each genre. I just think that metal, more than any other music, is very visually led. As a child, I would often buy records on the strength of the album cover, on how metal the cover looked. That doesn't happen anymore. Kids can hear stuff before they buy it."
One of the more amusing chapters is the one that examines the punk-inflected thrash era. "I love the thrash covers because it's all pre-computers, and these bands would have a friend who would say, 'Hey, I could draw you a picture for your cover,' " Sherry said. "That's why there was so much drawn artwork on those sleeves, and some of it's just terrible, but brilliantly funny as well."
Several album covers were cut from the book, including Marduk's 1995 masterpiece, F--- Me Jesus, and Autopsy's 2003 album, Sh--fun.
But Sherry's favorite album cover, and one of the first that readers encounter in "Heavy Metal Thunder"? "I love the first Black Sabbath album cover, because I think that one's genuinely creepy. You kind of look at it, and it's genuinely a quite scary album cover," he said. "I like a lot of the black-metal covers, too, because there's just something a bit creepier about them that's genuinely quite scary, whereas it's hard to get too scared by men with swords."
VH1 debuts the first ever show to pay homage to the legends who influenced the sound of hard rock with the first annual "VH1 Rock Honors". This year's celebration will honor the music and influence of KISS, Queen, Def Leppard and Judas Priest. Additional performers, presenters, and special guests will be announced as they are confirmed.
Premiering on Wednesday, May 31 at 9PM*, "VH1 Rock Honors", will be taped at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Thursday, May 25. The 2 - hour tribute will salute the groundbreaking bands of rock, the once in a lifetime events and the influential people who made a lasting mark on the history of hard rock.
The influence of these honorees will be felt through spoken tributes, filmed packages and performances by some of today's hottest rock acts as well as the legends themselves.
Tickets will go on sale Saturday, April 22nd via www.ticketmaster.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets or in Las Vegas by going directly to the Mandalay Bay Box Office or by calling 877-632-7400 or 702-632-7580. For VIP Tickets Contact VH1 Save The Music at 212-846-7882 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Judas Priest are creating their first conceptual album based upon the life and predictions of Nostradamus. This album will be theatrically staged and performed in its entirity as an epic musical by Judas Priest.
Judas Priest took the Royal Albert Hall in London by storm on Friday night with the Scorpions, Ian Gillan & Friends and Boned, all in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. The show was a tribute to Tommy Vance ("Friday Rock Show"), who passed away last year. Photos from the show have been posted on the official Judas Priest website.