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Band Photo: Judas Priest (?)

Formed: 1967
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.

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Judas Priest Guitarist Speaks On Upcoming Tour

JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing recently answered a number of fan questions via his official web site. A few excerpts follow:

Q: How are the Knucklebonz sculptures of you and Glenn Tipton (guitar) coming along? Have you seen the finished product, and do you approve? Are they from the same era as the Rob Halford figure ('80s)? Also is a "Nostradamus" tour with material exclusively from that album played in its entirety still planned? And then a separate "classic" PRIEST tour still planned?

Downing: "I have only seen Rob's statue in its finished state and it 's pretty cool. I am still looking forward to getting mine.

"We will soon be on tour playing songs that many people have been waiting for and also we will be including some tasters from 'Nostradamus'. If all goes well I think it would be pretty cool to do a tour later performing the whole concept album."

Q: How much do you rehearse before a tour? Do you determine the set list before the start of the rehearsals, or do you rehearse a number of songs and compose a set list out of those songs? As I understand (conclusions drawn from various interviews) you're about to play whole of (and nothing but) the new album on the upcoming summer tour. Are you going to perform a new tour with JUDAS PRIEST classics after the "Nostradamus" tour?

Downing: "We try not to over-rehearse so as to keep things fresh, we usually decide on the bulk of the songs before hand but if someone makes a suggestion we will give it a go. For the moment we are planning to tour with classics but with some 'Nostradamus', then possibly tour again playing the entire 'Nostradamus' spectacle."

Q: Do you feel that in the present information society, people require to have new information as soon as possible? With Internet you can present every single step taken forward in the progress of writing a new album. I get the impression that you (JUDAS PRIEST) go the other way: you reveal almost nothing about what's happening. Other bands present almost every step that they make, put new songs onto the web etc. I can't say that it's wrong to be very secret, but it's a contrast to the enormous possibility to present information.

Downing: "Yes, maybe a lot of bands think that doing it that way they get more exposure but I prefer to do it the old way because I remember the excitement that I had when rushing to the store to buy a record that I had been waiting so eagerly for and playing it for the first time. It was such a rush, by giving people updates nearly every day somehow takes the excitement away for me. Also just making the record takes us more hours in the day than we have."

Read the full article at kkdowning.net.

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Ravage Post Video of Judas Prist Cover Online

Boston, Massachusetts power metallers, Ravage, issue the following update on their Myspace page:

"RAVAGE VIDEO NOW ON YOUTUBE... ALSO Pictures from last night Thanks to all the great bands that played last night... though the sound was not the best, the fury was there and the show was a lot of fun."

"Pictures are up courtesy of the Reverend and ReturnToThePit.com"

"You can view them here"

"ALSO, the video for our cover of Judas Priest's "Nightcrawler" (directed by legendary film maker Johnny "Kubrick Brasscomb" Koziol) is now online... this is not the exact audio that will be on the CD (we are using a different mix of the song) but check out the video clip here" More...

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Judas Priest Announce European Tour Dates

British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST have scheduled a show in Istanbul, Turkey at the Kaliakra Arena on July 13 and an appearance at the Kobetamendi festival in Bilbao, Spain on June 20.

The group's schedule is now shaping up as follows:

Jun. 02 - Icehall - Helsinki, Finland
Jun. 05 - Sweden Rock - Sölvesborg, Sweden
Jun. 07 - Trondheim Rock Festival - Trondheim, Norway
Jun. 08 - Bergenshall - Bergen, Norway
Jun. 11 - Rockhal - Luxembour
Jun. 13-15 - Nova Rock Festival - Nickelsdorf, Austria
Jun. 13-15 - Download Festival - Castle Donington, UK
Jun. 17 - Cez Arena - Ostrava, Czech Republic
Jun. 20 - Kobetamendi Festival - Bilbao, Spain
Jun 20-22 – Fields of Rock - Biddinghuizen, the Netherlands
Jun. 23 - Philipshalle - Dusseldorf, Germany
Jun. 24 - Zenith - Munich, Germany
Jun. 27 - Graspop Metal Meeting - Dessel, Belgium
Jun. 28 - Bang Your Head!!! - Balingen, Germany
Jun. 29 - Gods Of Metal - Bologna, Italy
Jul. 01 - Castle Festival - Smederevo Fortress, Serbia
Jul. 02 - Dom Sportova - Zagreb, Croatia
Jul. 03 - Liberec Arena - Prague, Czech Republic
Jul. 13 - Kaliakra Arena - Istanbul, Turkey More...

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Two More Bands Announced For Download 2008

Following yesterday's announcement of Disturbed, Incubus, Alter Bridge and In Flames we have another two bands have been announced.

And they are K! Relentless Energry Drink Tour 2008 headliners Coheed & Cambria and the mighty Children Of Bodom!

For Coheed & Cambria it will be a chance to exorcise the demons from their appearance at Download 2006, a period when the band was close to falling apart.

"We were one man down," explains bassist Michael Todd. "Our drummer didn't make it over, so we were playing with our drum tech as a replacement and it was less than cosy onstage. It was kind of a bum-out as it was one of the biggest shows that we have ever played. "Donington is one of those festivals that if you have a good spot on the bill, you've made it!" he adds. "It's going to be awesome."

"We've wanted to play Download for years," explains Children Of Bodom bassist Henkka SeppÑlÑ. "I can't wait to see Judas Priest. They're a band everybody has to see!"

The Kerrang!-sponsored Download festival will be headlined by: Kiss, The Offspring and Lostprophets

Other bands on the bill include: Alter Bridge, Children Of Bodom, Coheed & Cambria, Disturbed, HIM, In Flames, Incubus, Judas Priest, Motorhead and Rise Against,

The Download festival takes place the weekend of June 13 to June 15. Tickets are on sale now. Prices are as follows: a full weekend ticket: £130, standard camping: £20, camper van: £40, family zone camping: £20, lockers: £11, parking £10 in advance or £15 on the day. There will be a variety of ticket packages available to buy, including the RIP packages (a VIP package) from £315. For Club or VIP Experience packages, please call 020 7009 3484 to discuss your requirements.

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More Bands Confirmed For Download 2008

According to Kerrang.com, ALTER BRIDGE, DISTURBED, IN FLAMES and INCUBUS have been added to the bill of this year's Download festival, set to take place the weekend of June 13-15 at Castle Donington, UK.

The festival billing is now shaping up as follows:

KISS (headliner)
LOSTPROPHETS (headliner)
THE OFFSPRING (headliner)
JUDAS PRIEST
MOTÖRHEAD
RISE AGAINST
HIM
ALTER BRIDGE
DISTURBED
IN FLAMES
INCUBUS

"On behalf of ALTER BRIDGE, I'd like to say that it is a huge honour to share the stage with so many great bands at the Download festival," Myles Kennedy from the band told Kerrang.com. "But, even more importantly, we look forward to re-connecting with old and new fans alike. The Download festival is always one of the highlights of our year."

"We are honored and are looking forward to sharing the stage with so many bands we respect and admire, and playing to one of the most rabid crowds in existence," stated DISTURBED's David Draiman.

IN FLAMES frontman Anders Fridén was equally excited: "We are really happy to play Download again!" he told Kerrang.com. "We played 2006 and that was an amazing show, such a great day. We are really looking forward to doing it again."

Tickets for Download 2008 are on sale now. Prices are as follows: a full weekend ticket: £130, standard camping: £20, camper van: £40, family zone camping: £20, lockers: £11, parking £10 in advance or £15 on the day. There are a variety of ticket packages available to buy, including the RIP packages (a VIP package) from £315.

For Club or VIP Experience packages, please call 020 7009 3484 to discuss your requirements.

Disabled customers can call 0121 767 9729 to discuss accessibility arrangements. Please note, disabled customers will be provided with one free ticket for their helper, where required. Should additional helper tickets be required, please call the disabled access ticket line on 0121 767 9729 or email access@downloadfestival.co.uk

For more details, visit www.downloadfestival.co.uk.

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KISS Members Talk About Download Appearance

KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have comented on the band's co-headlining appearance at this year's Download festival, se to take place at Castle Donington, UK the weekend of June 13-15.

Said Simmons: "For 35 years, we have prided ourselves in our opening: YOU WANTED THE BEST, YOU GOT THE BEST, THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD. We are throwing down the gauntlet. Let those who are faint of heart, take heed. We will take no prisoners."

Added Stanley: "I've always prided myself in living up to and beyond the legend. I can tell you we are ready to seize the moment and add to that legend. We remain KISS to our souls, and that truth will be deafeningly clear this June."

Download festival billing is shaping up as follows:

KISS (headliner)
LOSTPROPHETS (headliner)
THE OFFSPRING (headliner)
JUDAS PRIEST
MOTÖRHEAD
RISE AGAINST
HIM

Tickets for Download 2008 will go on sale on February 8 at 9:00 a.m. Prices are as follows: a full weekend ticket: £130, standard camping: £20, camper van: £40, family zone camping: £20, lockers: £11, parking £10 in advance or £15 on the day. There will be a variety of ticket packages available to buy, including the RIP packages (a VIP package) from £315.

For Club or VIP Experience packages, please call 020 7009 3484 to discuss your requirements.

Disabled customers can call 0121 767 9729 to discuss accessibility arrangements. Please note, disabled customers will be provided with one free ticket for their helper, where required. Should additional helper tickets be required, please call the disabled access ticket line on 0121 767 9729 or email access@downloadfestival.co.uk

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More Bands Confirmed For 2008 Download Fest

According to numerous website posts, KISS have been confirmed as the third headliners of the three day event to be held at the prestigious Donington Park in England, alongside The Offspring and Lost Prophets. Also newly confirmed to perform are Motorhead and Rise Against. Judas Priest and H.I.M. are also scheduled to play. It's believed that H.I.M. will schedule the second stage but which day is yet to be announced.

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First Bands Confirmed For Download Festival

The following is courtesy of Kerrang!

"This year's Kerrang!-sponsored Download festival will take place the weekend of June 13 to June 15 and will be headlined by Welsh rockers Lostprophets, Orange County punkers The Offspring and one other legendary rock band TBC!

Other bands confirmed for this year's festival include metal gods Judas Priest and Finnish love metallers HIM.

Stay tuned to Kerrang! dot com tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday) at 4PM GMT when we will be announcing the fnal headliner and at 7:30PM for another two bands who will be playing Britian's biggest and best rock festival.

Tickets for Download 2008 will go on sale on February 8 at 9AM. Prices are as follows: a full weekend ticket: £130, standard camping: £20, camper van: £40, family zone camping: £20, lockers: £11, parking £10 in advance or £15 on the day. There will be a variety of ticket packages available to buy, including the RIP packages (a VIP package) from £315. For Club or VIP Experience packages, please call 020 7009 3484 to discuss your requirements."

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Cavalera Conspiracy Confirmed For Graspop

Graspop Metal Meeting 2008 is scheduled for June 27th - 29th, 2008 at the festival park De Boeretand in Dessel, Belgium.

The latest act confirmed CAVALERA CONSPIRACY.

Acts on board for the festival now include: IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, DEF LEPPARD, SAXON, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, OBITUARY, WHITESNAKE, MINISTRY, SONATA ARCTICA, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, VOLBEAT, MY DYING BRIDE, AT THE GATES, FORBIDDEN, HOLLENTHON, DEATHSTARS, CONVERGE, COMEBACK KID, MADBALL.

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Slayer Confirmed For Gods Of Metal Festival

Los Angeles thrash metal legends SLAYER have been confirmed for the Gods of Metal festival, set to take place June 27-29, 2008 in Bologna, Italy. The festival billing is now shaping up as follows:

Friday, June 27:

IRON MAIDEN
AVENGED SEVENFOLD

Saturday, June 28:

SLAYER
CARCASS
MESHUGGAH
TESTAMENT
AT THE GATES

Sunday, June 29:

JUDAS PRIEST
YNGWIE MALMSTEEN
MORBID ANGEL
ENSLAVED

National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences members have nominated SLAYER for the band's third Grammy Award. The SLAYER track, "The Final Six", from the group's 2007 limited-edition "Christ Illusion", was nominated in the category of "Best Metal Performance."

"The Final Six", written by Tom Araya and guitarist Jeff Hanneman and produced by Josh Abraham, is a chilling look at an hypothesized end of the world. The song made its debut last July as the "Single of the Week" on MySpace where it has since accumulated some 750,000 plays, an astounding number for a song that received no commercial airplay.

"When I first got the word, I thought someone was playing a joke," mused Araya. "But obviously, we've made an impression on the industry. The people at the upper levels have taken notice of what we've done, and that's awesome."

SLAYER's two previous Grammy nominations were for 2002's "Disciple" from the album "God Hates Us All", and last year's "Eyes of the Insane", for which they took home the Grammy Award.

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Judas Priest To Co-Headline Ozzfest 2008?

According to the The Metal Report, the two most anticipated summer tours for US hard rock and metal fans for 2008 are taking shape. From the creators of the Vans-Warped tour, we will see the debut of the Rockstar Mayhem tour, sponsored by Rockstar Energy drink which will compete against metal juggernaut, Ozzfest.

The Metal Report can confirm that SLIPKNOT, DISTURBED, and 5 FINGER DEATH PUNCH will in fact be apart of the Rockstar Mayhem tour line up.

As for Ozzfest, OZZY OSBOURNE stated he will headline each show with his solo band, featuring legendary guitarist ZAKK WYLDE. JUDAS PRIEST has been rumored to co-headline in 2008, however new rumors are now suggesting the band may tour with HEAVEN & HELL instead of Ozzfest. More news as it develops.

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Judas Priest To Play Download Festival?

Kerrang! magazine reports that at the Download fan forum, which took place this evening at London's The Clachan pub, Download festival director Andy Copping hinted that British heavy metal legends JUDAS PRIEST may be playing this year's event.

Other bands rumoured to appear included WITHIN TEMPTATION, KORN, MACHINE HEAD and FALL OUT BOY.

The fan forum also clarified promoter Live Nation's stance on green issues, improving transport links to the festival, improving security and improving facilities for disabled festival goers.

The 2008 Download festival will take place at Castle Donington June 13 to June 15. An official announcement — unveiling this year's headliners — is expected to follow in early February.

To buy tickets, check out www.downloadfestival.co.uk.

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More Bands Confirmed For Graspop 2008

According to Ashladan.be, legendary Florida death metallers OBITUARY have been confirmed for this year's Graspop Metal Meeting, set to take place June 27-29, 2008 at De Boeretand in Dessel, Belgium. The festival billing is shaping up as follows:

AT THE GATES
BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE
COMEBACK KID
DEATHSTARS
DEF LEPPARD
FORBIDDEN
HOLLENTHON
IRON MAIDEN
JUDAS PRIEST
MADBALL
MINISTRY
MY DYING BRIDE
OBITUARY
SAXON
SONATA ARCTICA
VOLBEAT
WHITESNAKE

OBITUARY recently shot a video for the song "Evil Ways" with comic book stalwart and director Hart D. Fisher.

"Evil Ways" is the lead single from OBITUARY's new album, "Xecutioner's Return", which was released in North America on August 28 via Candlelight Records. The CD was mixed at Redroom Recorders and was mastered in June at Morrisound Studios in Tampa. The band once again worked with artist Andreas Marschall, who has previously created the art for "The End Complete" and the group's last record, "Frozen in Time".

Roadrunner Records has set a January 29, 2008 release date for a "best-of" collection from legendary Florida death metallers OBITUARY. Entitled, appropriately enough, "The Best of Obituary", the CD will feature the following track listing:

01. Internal Bleeding
02. 'Til Death
03. Slowly We Rot
04. Cause Of Death
05. Chopped In Half
06. Turned Inside Out
07. The End Complete
08. I'm In Pain
09. Don't Care
10. Final Thoughts
11. Kill For Me
12. Threatening Skies
13. On The Floor

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Heaven And Hell And Judas Priest To Tour?

HEAVEN AND HELL — the band featuring BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler, singer Ronnie James Dio, and drummer Vinny Appice (BLACK SABBATH, DIO) — and JUDAS PRIEST are rumored to joining forces for a summer tour. It should be noted, however, that this information has not yet been corrobated by an official source and should be considered a rumor only at this point.

Artisan News Service recently posted a short video interview with Vinny Appice in which he confirmed that the songwriting sessions for the new album from HEAVEN AND HELL will begin in April.

"We're doing another HEAVEN AND HELL, we're going to do a CD album, so we're going to start writing in April-May and I also have a little thing going on with my original band DERRINGER, the first band I played with in 1976," he said. "We're doing a little reunion tour. We got all these great offers and we thought we'd do it. So, it'll be a busy year."

Vinny even went on to say that the initial songwriting with HEAVEN AND HELL is going smooth as well.

"It was cool," he said. "Actually it's been over a year now. I went over there, to England in November and we got together and did three songs and it was great. After like five minutes it was like nothing, we were never apart after that, you know. It just went smooth as silk."

So what's it like playing with the legendary guitarist Tony Iommi on one side and the legendary bassist Geezer Butler on the other side?

"Those guys are, like, I mean it doesn't get much heavier than playing with Tony and Geezer," he said. "Tony on this side and Geezer on this side, it's just a wall of sound. And then you got Dio, who manages to sing over all that, it's just totally incredible. I'm in heaven...and hell."

HEAVEN AND HELL played the final show of its U.S. tour with ALICE COOPER and QUEENSRŸCHE on October 6, 2007 at the Verizon Wireless in Irvine, California. Before the encore, Indie 103.1's Full Metal Jackie presented the band with gold plaques on stage to honor U.S. sales in excess of 25,000 copies of the group's "Live at Radio City Music Hall" DVD. Vocalist Ronnie James Dio thanked the fans for their support, then dedicated the encore song ("Neon Knights") to veteran KNAC DJ Tawn Mastrey, who died in early October of liver failure brought on by hepatitis C.

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Immortal To Play With Judas Priest In Norway

Reunited Norwegian black metallers IMMORTAL have issued the following update:

"It's a dark new year and we're rehearsing and writing new material for the upcoming album."

"In March we're off to see the IMMORTAL hordes in Australia and New Zealand, and there will be a few festivals in Europe this summer."

"On the 7th of June, IMMORTAL will return to Trondheim, Norway to play the Lerkendal Stadium together with JUDAS PRIEST."

"For more information, please check www.trondheimrockfestival.no."

"Tickets are available now, at www.billettservice.no." More...

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Morbid Angel Confirmed For Gods Of Metal Festival

Legendary Florida death metallers MORBID ANGEL have been confirmed for the Gods of Metal festival, set to take place June 27-29, 2008 in Bologna, Italy. The festival billing is now shaping up as follows:

IRON MAIDEN (headliner June 27)
JUDAS PRIEST (headliner June 29)
CARCASS
YNGWIE MALMSTEEN
MORBID ANGEL
AT THE GATES
MESHUGGAH
ENSLAVED

More bands will be announced soon.

MORBID ANGEL is currently in the studio working on material for its first studio album since 2003's "Heretic". The upcoming CD will mark the group's first release to feature frontman David Vincent since 1995's "Domination".

MORBID ANGEL is presently unsigned, having parted ways with Earache Records following "Heretic"'s release.

Although MORBID ANGEL's upcoming album does not currently have a name, its title will likely begin with the letter "I", in keeping with the band's tradition of titling their albums in alphabetical order beginning with 1989's "Altars of Madness", and continuing through "Heretic".

MORBID ANGEL's current lineup includes Vincent, guitarist Trey Azagthoth and drummer Pete Sandoval.

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Rob Halford Speaks On New Judas Priest Album

Bulgaria's Tangra Mega Rock have issued a new interview with JUDAS PRIEST frontman ROB HALFORD. The following is an excerpt from the interview, conducted by Vassil Varbanov:

Q: What should we expect from Judas Priest's Nostradamus? Is it the best record you've ever done?

A: "Yeah, I think it's some of the greatest metal Priest has ever made. It's a wonderful story about this real man that lived 500 years ago in France. A man that was able to look into the future. He had a very complicated life and we're talking about every aspect of it - his prophecies, the difficulties he faced with different people... We're surrounding the entire story with some of the greatest metal Priest has ever made. It's everything you love in Judas Priest. We're mixing it right now and it should be out sometime this year. We're also going on the road doing some massive world tours - probably two. We'll be doing the classic Priest tour, so you'll get to hear all of your favourites like 'Breaking The Law', 'Living After Midnight', 'Electric Eye', 'Metal Gods', etc., and then we'll be doing a Nostradamus Tour where we'll play everything from the album - from the beginning to the end. It's the year of the Priest."

Read the full article at this location.

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Judas Priest Announce More Summer Shows

Judas Priest have revealed more European tour dates throughout the summer, they are as follows:

JUNE 2008
2nd ICEHALL, FINLAND
5th ROCK FESTIVAL, SWEDEN
7th ROCK FESTIVAL, TRONDHEIM, NORWAY
8th BERGENSHALL, BERGEN, NORWAY
11th ROCKHAL, LUXEMBOURG
17th CEZ ARENA, OSTRAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC
23rd PHILIPSHALLE, DUSSELDORF, GERMANY
24th ZENITH, MUNICH, GERMANY

Judas Priest are currently mixing their new album "Nostradamus" which is a concept album based around the French philosopher of the same name.
27th GRASPOP METAL FESTIVAL, BELGIUM
28th BANG YOUR HEAD FESTIVAL, STUTTGART, GERMANY
29th GODS OF METAL FESTIVAL, BOLOGNA, ITALY
JULY 2008
1st SMEDEREVO FESTIVAL, BELGRADE, SERBIA
2nd DOM SPORTOVA, ZAGREB, CROATIA
3rd LIBEREC ARENA, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

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Judas Priest Prepare To Mix "Nostradamus"

Metal-rules.com spoke to JUDAS PRIEST singer ROB HALFORD recently about a number of topics. A few excerpts from the chat found below:

Metal-rules.com: On the status of the new Judas Priest CD, Nostradamus:
Halford: "I’ve been away for about a month while Glenn and K.K. [Downing, Judas Priest guitarist] have been doing their final guitar overdubs. We’re about to start mixing, so I’m going to see the boys in a few days time and then we’ll be rockin’ and roaring through the mixing sessions."

Metal-rules.com: So your vocals are already laid down for the new album then?
Halford: "Yeah, I completed those some time back. Everybody does their bits as you go along and normally I don’t do my vocal work until the bulk of the recording has been done which is how it turned out and rhythm guitars and everything were laid and all the other instruments, but Glenn and K.K. have just been burning the midnight metal oil and getting all of their leads completed, so I’ll be excited to hear what they’ve been doing. Then we get on with the mixing and the mastering and get it out for (this) year when the tour kicks off."

Metal-rules.com: So we can probably expect something before the summer then I take it?
Halford: "I think so, yeah. I mean, you know the way it goes. Most bands hit the road when they’ve got a new release out there. It’ll have been a couple of years since we’ve been back on the world circuit."

Metal-rules.com: When Judas Priest does get out on the road again, is there any chance that any material from the two albums that you weren’t on - Jugulator and Demolition - will be performed live?
Halford: "Yeah and I’ve said this before that those two records are as important in the Priest world as everything else. Glenn, K.K. and I have talked about this and I’d welcome it. I think it would be an exciting moment for me to cover the tracks that my mate Tim [“Ripper” Owens] worked on while he was with the band. So again, anything is possible. Each time when we put a set list together, it gets increasingly difficult because we’ve got so many songs from so many records that we just have to look at the set list and figure out what the favorites are and go from there. Again, Priest fans around the world are always putting ideas upon what they’d like to hear us do, but I think it would be kind of fresh to pick maybe one or two tracks from both of those records and just give it the metal god touch."

Metal-rules.com: When War Of Words first came out you drew a lot of comparisons to PANTERA. Did you feel those comparisons were valid?
Halford: "No. That again is something that always irritated me. I think if I hadn’t have had such a wonderful time with Pantera on the Painkiller tour in Europe and if I hadn’t have had the pleasure to run down to Dallas for a day to work with the guys for the Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie on “Light Comes Out of Black,” I don’t think that would have been so much on the radar, under the spotlight. It irritated me because that’s not the kind of thing I do. I don’t chase after other people with my music. I try and be an innovator and the songs that I wrote for War Of Words which I’d never done before because I usually work with a team of writers—I did all that myself in Phoenix, whatever year that was. It was just pouring out of me just because it’d been waiting to flow and go for a number of years and when we found the players for Fight and we started to rehearse the music in Phoenix, everybody had their own definitive sound and style in place and ready to work and so there was never a moment of saying, “Hey guys, you’ve got to get a sound like Pantera”, which is what the implication is. That would be absolutely fucking stupid, you know. Everybody had their way of playing and so it was just a case of recreating those very rough skeletal ideas that I presented to them and then going into the demo phase. I mean, you listen to the demos, which obviously is the first stage before production, and you can just sense the great energy and the real determination from everybody’s performance."

Metal-rules.com: I was hoping you could clear up one misconception. Did you leave Judas Priest to do Fight or were you still in Judas Priest when War Of Words was being written and recorded?
Halford: "Well, that’s a good question and the answer is that I was still connected to Priest while I was writing all of that music and looking for band players. It wasn’t until I was finding myself in a position where the only way I could venture out to look at other record company affiliations did I see that the legal language in the contract was what I felt to be really severe and restrictive. I wasn’t the only one going through it. I think [Bruce] Springsteen was going through it at the time and George Michael. Everybody was contesting the language and the language alluded to the fact that if you were going to step away from being in that band, in that contract, then you would be free to pursue other searches for other labels and that’s what I had to do and of course that’s when the proverbial shit hit the fan. I still insist today, in my own mind, that I didn’t leave Priest. I left Priest in the legalese of it all, but it just came at a time when…you know that Painkiller tour and the Reno trial before it had been extremely difficult for us all on a personal level and in retrospect, we’ve said now that the best thing we should have done was to have taken two or three years off. We’d been working hard from Rocka Rolla pretty much consistently up until Painkiller and bands are human and sometimes you need to take a holiday but we never did (laughs). But that’s really how the essence of it all came around. I mean, the thing that’s more important to me is the fact that Priest was still Priest and you know the band was still there, the band was still working and that was a little bit of a comfort. I think I would have been full of remorse if the band had completely broken to pieces but that was not the case because Tim went in and did some fantastic work on Jugulator and Demolition."

Metal-rules.com: Going back to the TWO years, there was an interview that you have been famously quoted as saying that "metal is dead.” Was there a defining moment that brought metal back to life for you again after the Two project?
Halford: "Oh well, that was an absolutely fucking stupid thing for me to say. I was just so emotional that day. I can remember I was sitting on my tour bus outside of the Hollywood Palladium in L.A. and I think the Two band was working with Rammstein that night and I was just in a bitch mood (laughs). I said something which I…..you know, everybody has the freedom to be stupid and I was completely stupid that day. I’ve made amends in recent years about making that ridiculous comment. I think I was probably just reflecting on my own situation, frustrations that come with what you do and I think it was probably a Monday night, I don’t particularly like Monday that much (laughs). Had it been Friday or Saturday, I’d have been in a different frame of mind. But I was just being a bit of a petulant rock star bitch that afternoon, so there you go. It’s all water under the bridge now."

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Judas Priest Reveal Summer Festival Dates

Several festival announcements featuring JUDAS PRIEST have been made over the past few weeks. The following dates have been confirmed via the band's official website, with more dates to be announced throughout January:


June
5 - Sweden Rock - Sölvesborg, Sweden
27 - Graspop Metal Meeting - Dessel, Belgium
28 - Bang Your Head - Balingen, Germany
29 - Gods Of Metal - Bologna, Italy

Note that the previously announced Castle Festival date, set to take place from July 1st - 5th in Smederevo Fortress, Serbia, is not on this list and thus should not be considered 100% confirmed.

Stay tuned for updates.

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