Guitar World: When you were writing “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’”, was there ever an inkling that this would be a song you would be playing 30 years later?
Halford: No, we had no idea. I think that’s why we buried it. When we were putting the track listing together, we knew we loved the song. We loved that grove. Even now, when it comes on — it popped into a Honda commercial last night while I was eating dinner. [laughs] I knew that our management had put that together for us, but the guy’s driving off into the sunset and the beginning of the song is playing, and it’s just got that amazing rhythm that jumps into your system right away. But at the time, we thought it was a good track, but we didn’t think it was that valid where we were going to stick it in the first three or four tracks of the release, which is what bands do even now. Your label will ask you to put the radio tracks at the front end, and, of course, on “Screaming For Vengeance” it was track eight. So we didn’t think it was anything special, we just thought it was a good tune.
Guitar World: Since “Nostradamus”, you’ve obviously had a new addition to the band in [guitarist] Richie Faulkner. How has it been writing with him so far?
Halford: Really, really strong. Exciting. He’s riffing and saying, “Robby, I’m thinking of this and this and this.” It’s really exciting to have that kind of energy, because you feed off of it. It’ll be great after having this two-month break from not seeing each other to reconvene in the studio in England and just sit in a room and go, “OK, what’ve you got?” I know Richie‘s got a lot to share with us. He went through the ritual on this tour, did great work on stage, the fans embraced him, so it’s now time to see what we’re capable of, the writing trio of Glenn [Tipton, guitar] and Richie and myself. We’ve already got a lot of stuff in the flash drives, stuff that basically Glenn and myself put together while K.K. [Downing, guitar] was mulling over whether he was going to stay or go. So before we launched the tour with Richie, we had a lot of material, and the bulk of it is very, very strong.
Guitar World: Has technology changed your songwriting process at all?
Halford: It’s dangerous to walk around with a flash drive on a bunch of keys. [laughs] To a great extent, it doesn’t really change. The technology is amazing in terms of the advantages it brings to music now, some of it good, some of it very bad. It’s all about discipline and self-belief, determination, wanting to do the best you can do and not accepting anything that’s below par. We’ve always had that attitude in PRIEST. We’ve always felt really strongly about any track that goes out for our fans. We’re still doing it like we always have: firing up the riffs and finding a vocal melody to go with it, me going into me wonderful world of the Roget’s Thesaurus and trying to come up with a new lyric and a new idea. And that’s what we’ve been doing for four decades.
Read the entire interview at Guitar World recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST.
Photo below by Stephanie Cabral