JUDAS PRIEST has finished recording drums, guitars and bass for his upcoming studio album: “It Sounds Great”
In a new interview with the The entertainment store, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner talked about the progress of recording sessions for the band’s 2018 sequel “Firepower” album. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “We’re getting there. We tried to do it. The first hurdle was the pandemic, because we couldn’t get together and do it as a group. And then when the pandemic restrictions were lifted, so we could go on tour. So the next hurdle, if you want to call it that, was touring. So we had to go out and tour and record stuff in between tour stops. So we did the drums, we we did the guitars, we did the bass. I think the main thing we need to do now is vocals. So we have the US leg of the tour coming up, so Rob [Halford, vocals] have to protect his voice and use his voice sparingly before that. So maybe after that. I mean we have [dates in] the United States and we have South America, which takes us into December. So maybe in New Years we can start working on the vocals.”
Regarding when fans can expect to see the next PRIEST LP released, Richie said: “It’s always difficult to talk about deadlines because, as we know, things change. But Rob always say, ‘It’s done when it’s done.’ There’s no point in rushing anything at this point in the band’s career. But it’s getting there – we’re working on it and it’s getting there. And we use the time we have. Also nowadays we don’t need 18 months in a 10,000 square foot studio in Fiji to make a record. As things stand now, we can do it much more economically. So we make the technology work and we make all of this work for us so that we can do it in the best way possible so that we can release it when we can. But it will be done when it is done.”
As for what the new PRIEST the hardware sounds like, Faulkner said: “[Producer and touring guitarist] Andy Snap was texting me this morning, and he said it sounded really solid, really confident. He said… I know people love this stuff on social media, but it’s not ‘Firepower 2’; it’s its own thing. Some people might like this; some people might hate that. When you read social networks, people read comments like that and they know immediately what the album looks like. I don’t know how they do that. But everything is fine. This means that they are invested in PRIEST and they are invested in new music. But like he said, it sounds confident, it sounds good and solid. It’s always good too when you have something like that and nobody heard it. So you’re excited to get it out into the world – you want the world to hear it, but they haven’t heard it yet. So it will be great for the world to hear it. They might hate it. But it’s still exciting.”
Last February, Halford was requested by Remy Maxwell of Audacy Check In if he agreed with Faulknerthe band’s recent comment that the band’s next album will be musically more “progressive” than “Firepower”. He replied, “Yeah, the metal is there. But here’s the thing: we’ve done our best not to duplicate everything we’ve done. From ‘Rocka Rolla’ all along ‘Firepower’, each recording had a distinctive character. And it’s hard ’cause the fans say, ‘We want another ‘Pain killer’,’ ‘We want another “British Steel”.’ And [it’s, like]’Dude, we already did that.’
“Fans know we’re a band that’s always adventurous and trying new things,” he continued. “And so, yeah, it probably has more progressive elements that we’ve never really explored before. And that’s exciting because, again, it gives us and our fans another opportunity to see another side of PRIEST. But it’s still metal. There are just more. There are more notes than before.”
Also in February, Faulkner told The Metal Voice of Canada about the overall sound of the new PRIEST music: “Whenever you start a record, you never know how it’s going to go. So you can start with an idea of what it’s going to be, and as it goes on, something comes out of it. different. I also know it’s very difficult to sum up your own music, I think, without sounding really pretentious. But I think this one – it’s not “Firepower 2”, I do not think so. It’s its own thing, it’s its own animal. If anything, I’d say it’s a little more progressive in some places, and in some places there’s a little more ‘Killing machine’ bluster.”
Faulkner added: “I know everyone is like, ‘Oh, is that the next ‘Pain killer’?’ or ‘Is this the next…?’ whatever… I don’t know if they ever did it, but I know we never did it when I was in the band; we never tried to recreate an album. It’s always we try to create an album that stands on its own legs. So I think it’s definitely a bit more progressive than ‘Firepower’ and, as I said, in some places there is a bit of that ‘Killing machine’ angry swagger attitude in progress. But again, like I said, we’re waiting to see what it will look like because it could be completely different.”
A year and a half ago, Halford confirmed that PRIESTthe next album by would see the band reunite with the “Firepower” production team made up of Andy Snaplongtime collaborator Tom Allum and engineer Michael Exeter (BLACK SABBATH).
Bass player Ian Hill is the only remaining original member of PRIESTformed in 1969. Halford joined the band in 1973 and guitarist Glenn Tipton signed in 1974. Rob left PRIEST in the early 1990s to form his own band, then returned to PRIEST in 2003. Founding guitarist KK Downing parted ways with the band in 2011 and was replaced by Faulkner.
Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease eight years ago after being diagnosed with the disease at least half a decade earlier. Tipton announced in early 2018 that he would be taking time off from touring activities to support “Firepower”. It was replaced by Snapwho is also known for his work in the NWOBHM revivalists HELL and cult thrash outfit SABBATH.
Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection during the band’s performance at stronger than life festival in September 2021. He was rushed to UofL Health – Jewish Hospital where the cardiothoracic surgery team needed around 10 hours to perform a life-saving operation.