Judas Priest have recently released their 18th studio album ‘Firepower’ which has taken the metal world by storm and been hailed an instant classic alongside legendary Priest Albums such as ‘Painkiller’ and ‘British Steel’ and ‘Defenders of the faith’.
Nev Pearce had the chance to ask Judas Priest bass player Ian Hill a few questions for Everblack Media about the bands killer new album, working with Tom Allom and Andy Sneap and their current tour.
The new Judas Priest album ‘firepower’ is amazing and has really been embraced by the fans all over the world and there are so many songs on it that are destined to be instant live classics, which songs are you excited about adding to the set list?
I’d be excited by any of them being on the set list! My personal favourites at the moment are Guardians/Rising From Ruins, Traitors Gate, Evil Never Dies, Sea Of Red and the title track Firepower.
The album feels like it is the next evolutionary step for Priest but still manages to keep the classic elements of the band, what would you say was the key to unlocking that and keeping that balance?
Taking a step (or two) forward is something we’ve always tried to do with each album/tour, it’s what’s kept us current and relevant over the years, and is in my opinion, one of the main reasons for our longevity. The balance between old and new evens out as long as the steps aren’t to long!
There are so many amazing riffs on the album too, was there one in particular that was the most difficult to work out?
There were one or two riffs that had me scratching my head for a bit, but they were all conquered in the end!
Rob’s vocals on the album sound phenomenal and he really shines and cuts through, he has always been one of the best vocalists but it’s almost like technology couldn’t keep up with him in the past like it does on this one, what was the secret to getting the best out of his voice this time?
The two producers Tom Allom and Andy Sneap were largely responsible for getting the most out of all of us, and they worked Rob hard to get these great performances out of him.
After working with producer Andy Sneap on the album he is now filling in in the band as a guitarist, apart from his playing skills and being an all round legend of a guy what was it that made him the man for the job?
Andy was already familiar with the new songs from Firepower after his involvement in the production, he’s also been a fan of Judas Priest for many years, and together with his great guitar playing, made him the ideal choice. Because of this, I think it made it - not exactly easy, but less gruelling as would have been for a complete “outsider”
Andy recently played his first show with you guys, how was it sharing the stage with him?
Andy did really well on his first show seeing as he only had a few weeks to learn a near two hour set list! The answer to the previous question undoubtedly had a bearing on this!
The last time Priest was in Australia I took my eldest daughter to see you and Dragonforce in Brisbane, that was her first ever live show and it was a very special thing for us to experience together as a family. Have you had a similar experience with a band that you bond over with someone?
I’ve bonded with many people listening to Judas Priest too! It’s great though, to see many new faces in the audience, some with their grandparents! Maybe the rebellion between kids and their parents is beginning to fade at last, lol.
Is there one gig in particular you are looking forward to on this upcoming tour?
The gig I’m looking forward to on this tour (so far) is the Bloodstock Festival in the UK. It’s only a couple of miles from where I live, so although I’ve never been, I hear it every year! (And I can get changed at home if I like! Lol)
When can we expect to see you guys back down in Australia?
The tour is open ended at the moment - the USA, Europe, South America and Japan will take up most of this year, but all other areas are being worked on at the moment, so hopefully we'll get back to Australia sometime next year with a bit of luck!
Ian Hill/Judas Priest
25th March, 2018
Judas Priest - ‘Firepower’ is out via Sony Music
Read our full album review HERE