Metal giants JUDAS PRIEST have announced via their official Facebook page that guitarist Glenn Tipton has Parkison’s:
“Ten years ago Glenn was diagnosed to have the onset of the early stages of Parkinson’s – from then until recently Glenn has lived his life as the great heavy metal guitar player he has always been, maintaining by his own definition a standard of quality and performance that is incredibly important.
Right now Glenn is able to play and perform some of the Priest songs that are less challenging but due to the nature of Parkinson’s progression he wants to let you all know that he won’t be be touring as such –
True to the metal spirit of ‘the show must go on’ Glenn has requested Andy Sneap to fly the flag on stage for him.
“I want everyone to know that it’s vital that the Judas Priest tour go ahead and that I am not leaving the band – it’s simply that my role has changed. I don’t rule out the chance to go on stage as and when I feel able to blast out some Priest! So at some point in the not too distant future I’m really looking forward to seeing all of our wonderful metal maniacs once again”
Rob, Richie, Ian and Scott have this to say:
“We have been privileged to witness Glenn’s determination and steadfast commitment over the years, showing his passion and self belief through the writing, recording and performing sessions with Priest – he is a true metal hero! We are not surprised by Glenn’s insistence that we complete the Firepower tour and thank Andy for joining us to make Glenn’s wishes become real – As Glenn has said we also can’t wait to have him with us at any time any place on the road….. We love you Glenn!”
It’s now moving swiftly towards fifty years since a band formed in Birmingham, who went on to become one of the biggest and most loved heavy metal acts on the planet! Now in 2018, Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, Ian Hill, Richie Faulkner and Scott Travis are preparing to release the eighteenth JUDAS PRIEST studio album, “Firepower” on 9th March via Columbia Records.
I was very fortunate to be able to speak to legendary JUDAS PRIEST bass player Ian Hill about the new release and as gain as much information as I could in the short time available! We also discussed the forthcoming tour, festivals and more. You can read some excerpts from the interesting chat below and listen in full on the audio player:
We had to begin by talking about producing legend Chis Tsangarides who sadly passed away recently. Ian paid the following tribute and remembered working with Chris:
“The first time we worked with Chris, he was a tape op come engineer at Morgan Studios in London and he worked on our second album which was in 1975, he worked on Sad Wings. Of course, he was a fresh faced young lad back then you know.
He was full of life – he was a funny man as well, some of the things he used to come out with, you know. He’d put on some accent and just sit down in the middle of the studio and say ‘produce, produce’ and stuff like that. Brilliant bloke, brilliant bloke.
And of course obviously, he worked up in his own field and ended up being a producer and he did Painkiller, he worked on Painkiller with us, which was a big move for us because we’d been using Tom Allom up until then and at that point I think we’d sort of reached the end of the road with Tom you know, so we thought we’d use someone else and Chris had been doing a lot of new metal. So we thought we’d give him a go and see how he’d fit in after all these years – there’s quite a gap there, fifteen years or so and he was just the same (laughs), you know a bit older, a bit bigger, but he as just the same and he did a tremendous job as you know, Painkiller’s one of our landmark albums. And then after that, Rob left the band after that, when we took on Ripper, he did Jugulator as well you know.
We hadn’t seen him for a long time – you know what it’s like in this business, you’re in different places at different times, but it is sad and it is a great loss to metal in particular and music in general.”
On forthcoming album “Firepower” Ian was very enthusiastic!:
“You say it every time don’t you, ‘this is the best album we’ve ever done’, but it is! (laughs) Believe me it is. It’s something we’ve always tried to do in the band – to step forward with each album and try and make things better. So we can justify when we say this is the best album we’ve done ’cause it is, it’s absolutely tremendous.“
We went back to using producers on this album for the first time in a couple of albums. Tom Allom of course who we’ve known from all these years ago, it’s a name that crops up every time we think of using a producer you know. And Andy Sneap who’s been doing all the new metal, he’s well up with the new recording techniques. So, we decided to approach them both to see if they’d work together and fortunately for us they did and they got on like a house on fire.”
Ian Hill JUDAS PRIEST
Discussing the band recording the album by playing together in the studio, Ian expressed:
“Well funnily enough, you’d have thought Tom would’ve come up with that wouldn’t you, but it wasn’t, it was Andy. He wanted us to play as a band. When we started out, we were a bit wary about doing it like that you know. The trouble is when you’re doing it like that, you get your part right and somebody else hasn’t done it properly, so you have to do it again, so you’re there for ages – or you used to be at one time. But these days, you can always go back and do it yourself. And we loved it and I’ll tell you what, we played as a three or four piece and the backing vocal and walked into the control room to see what we’d done and it just sounded so real and fresh and awesome, you know what I mean? You weren’t playing to click track, you were playing it there together.
The little lifts and drops in tempo and of course everybody is there together and it just sounded so real. And we did the entire album like that you know.”
To give fans a brief insight into the tracks on “Firepower”, Ian stated:
“There’s a little bit of everything there – something we’ve been known for over the years is our versatility and there’s something there for everyone. There’s very very heavy stuff – one of the heaviest songs we’ve ever done, (pauses; I’ve forgotten the name of the bloody song!), ‘Lone Wolf’ and there’s production pieces, there’s ‘Rising From Ruins’, there’s ‘Traitors Gate’ and then there’s the softer songs as well. It really is a complete album and we’re all completely over the moon with it.”
Discussing touring, Ian spoke about dates in the UK and Europe:
“The only thing we’ve got in at the moment is Bloodstock. It’s early days for Europe yet, that’s August. We’re expecting more British dates to come in, whether that’ll be this leg of the tour or whether it’ll be at a later date.
We’re starting in America in spring, go through to early summer and then we’re going to Europe because there’s a lot of festivals. You’re playing to a wider audience which is great, which is why we love doing festivals.”
Regarding changes in the band and the effects from this, Ian expressed:
“KK’s been an immense part of the band since day one, so when he left it was a big hit. But the band is bigger than the sum total of its parts really you know, we needed to carry on – the rest of us had no intention of knocking it on the head. And along comes Richie, what a great find he’s been. He’s been an inspiration since he joined, he’s brought new life back to the band, come up with fresh ideas that we probably wouldn’t have thought of ourselves and he’s been a real asset.”
Answering the question of whether “Firepower” will be the last JUDAS PRIEST album, Ian revealed:
“Well, we’re not planning on this one being the last, put it like that. The whole idea behind, we were never gonna stop touring, we were just gonna try and get away from intensive touring, none of us are spring chickens any more. But that didn’t happen (laughs). If you’re gonna do a tour you know, you can’t say ‘we’ll play here and not there’. But we are loving it, that’s one of the reasons we do this, it’s because we love it and there’s no looking back now – we’ll just go till one of us drops I suppose!”
Tune in from 6PM GMT on Tuesday 12th December for a celebration starring two special guests – Niklas Stålvind, frontman of WOLF and producer and guitarist Andy Sneap from HELL! Of course we’ll be talking about Andy‘s latest work with JUDAS PRIEST on their forthcoming “Firepower” album, so don’t miss out on all the news and updates from these two guys!
A few new singles will feature on the show, from bands such as THE 69 EYES, IN FLAMES, MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST and MIKE LEPOND’S SILENT ASSASSINS. Plus a few favourites and now we’re well and truly into the season, a few metal Christmas tunes!
Check out all the info on this and past shows here.
British metal legends JUDAS PRIEST have announced via their official Facebook page that the title of their new album, set for release early in 2018, is “Firepower”.
According to Blabbermouth.net, the band will support the disc’s release with a North American tour, which will kick off on March 13 in Pennsylvania, and wrap up on May 1 in Texas.
All dates will be running a “JUDAS PRIEST fan presale” starting Wednesday, October 25 at 10:00 a.m local time with the password “FIREPOWER” that fans can use to purchase tickets in advance.
Check the local venue for additional information.
Confirmed tour dates:
Mar. 13 – Wilkes Barre, PA – Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Mar. 15 – Youngstown, OH – Covelli Centre
Mar. 17 – Uniondale, NY – Nassau Coliseum
Mar. 18 – Washington, DC – The Anthem
Mar. 20 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
Mar. 22 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
Mar. 25 – Ottawa, ON – The Arena at TD Place
Mar. 27 – London, ON – Budweiser Gardens
Mar. 28 – Oshawa, ON – Tribute Communities Centre
Mar. 30 – Orillia, ON – Casino Rama
Mar. 31 – Detroit, MI – Detroit Masonic Temple
Apr. 03 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater
Apr. 05 – Green Bay, WI – Resch Center
Apr. 08 – Bloomington, IL – Grossinger Motors Arena
Apr. 10 – Casper, WY – Casper Events Center
Apr. 11 – Loveland, CO – Budweiser Events Center
Apr. 15 – Kent, WA – ShoWare Center
Apr. 17 – Portland, OR – Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Apr. 19 – San Francisco – The Warfield
Apr. 22 – Los Angeles, CA – Microsoft Theater
Apr. 24 – Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre
Apr. 26 – Tulsa, OK – BOK Center
Apr. 28 – Dallas, TX – The Bomb Factory
Apr. 29 – Sugarland, TX – Smart Financial Centre
May 01 – San Antonio, TX – Freeman Coliseum
The British heavy metal legends have spent the last few months in the studio recording the follow-up to 2014’s “Redeemer Of Souls” with the band’s longtime collaborator Tom Allom, acclaimed British producer Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, EXODUS, TESTAMENT, ACCEPT) and engineer Mike Exeter (BLACK SABBATH).
Sneap, who plays guitar in the reactivated British occult metal act HELL, recently told Serbia’s Hardwired magazine that PRIEST had “about twenty-six ideas” in the early stage of the production process for the new album. “We’ve whittled [that] down to fourteen or fifteen,” he said, adding that “we haven’t decided on which songs [will make the final cut] or a running order for the album yet.”
Andy went on to say that PRIEST‘s new album will contain “a really good energy and some real classic moments.” He said “Rob did great” during the album’s final recording sessions. “I’ll tell you what: for someone who’s got that much experience, there’s no ego there at all,” he said. “We’d do, like, six or seven passes, and I’d ask him to try something a bit [different] on this part, and he was, like, ‘No problem.’ And he’d give me another four takes with a slightly different vibe. And then me and Tom Allom would sit there and we’d comp it, and we pretty much agreed on everything.”
Heavy metal titans ACCEPT are currently taking Europe by storm with their “Blind Rage Tour Part IV”, performing a one-off UK show at The Forum in London on Monday 7th December. Special guests opening the night’s proceedings were English metallers HELL, featuring of course guitarist Andy Sneap who has also produced the last three ACCEPT albums. The show also marked the first UK appearance since guitarist Uwe Lulis and drummer Christopher Williams joined ACCEPT.
Much to the delight of the crowd, Andy Sneap joined ACCEPT on stage for the classic final song of the night, ‘Balls To The Wall’. You can view some video footage from the show below, as well as a selection of photos on the slideshow below, courtesy of Graham Horne. ACCEPT are thrilled at the enthusiastic reception from fans in all cities, especially the last two shows in London and Paris, where they can clearly see how music unites everyone, fans and musicians alike. They will be back!
Legendary British heavy metal quintet SAXON‘ s 21st studio album “Battering Ram” has been released today, 16th October. The album boasts a clinically ‘heavy’ echo of their glorious NWOBHM sound. The band state:
“The wait has finally come to an end – ‘Battering Ram’ hits the stores and mailboxes (for those of you that pre-ordered) today! The release date for US and Canada is October 30th.
It’s been almost two years since the first ideas for the album came together and today we are more than proud to be able to present the final product to you. Influenced by the many years of touring, ‘Battering Ram’ is heavier than anything we’ve ever released!!
Enjoy fellow Saxons …. this is a great day for all of us \m/”
Haven’t got your personal copy yet? Go grab it at your local of choice or find it online here.
Saxon have never dealt in half-truths or incomplete missions.
With “Sacrifice” they filled your heads with heavy metal thunder, and now Saxon want nothing more than to crush them with their very own, hand-crafted, not-safe-for-children brand new album, “Battering Ram”. Not. A. Problem.
With Biff Byford singing as well as he ever has, Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt making full use of the term ‘shredding’ with their guitars and the lock-steady rhythm of Nibbs Carter’s bass and Nigel Glockler’s drums, the future and the past crash together in an ear-scintillatingly engaging, raucous, melodic-yet-classically heavy ten songs collection which will instantly be hailed as a Saxon classic. The title track, with its delectable twin guitar assault heralding the album’s commencement, gives the listener an instant crack around the chops, whilst traditionalists will be delighted to hear such a perfect marriage of old, classic Saxon with the newer, fresher invective in such riff-fronted fare as “Destroyer” and “Stand Your Ground”, but there are still moments of space and exploration which fans will love.
“This one’s a natural progression from Sacrifice,” says Byford, “There’s a bit less rock’n’roll and a bit more ‘heavy’ on it. We wanted to keep focused on a style rather than moving around too much.”
Produced by Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Testament, Exodus Accept) at his Backstage Recording Studios in rural Derbyshire, Saxon were able to hone in and whittle down any excess, finding the sonic space and balance to let “Battering Ram”’s riffs and melodies get the necessary space to scream front and center, Sneap bringing a crispness to the sound which evokes memories of the early ‘80s without for one moment sounding dated. Biff Byford: “Yes, Andy has been in charge of everything with this album, I keep on overview of it all, but he’s done a great job and we’re both pleased with the results. We have a great partnership.”
Lyrically, “Battering Ram” covers a variety of social situations, like the screaming fans who rage at the gig barriers (“Battering Ram”) or engaging in some good old fashioned myth (“The Devil’s Footprint” – a 200 year old tale of people waking up in winter snowfall to see unexplained hoof prints which they followed, looking for an answer in vain). “When I’m writing lyrics I like to switch back and forth between complex things, reality and rock’n’roll,” says Byford, “I thought the whole folklore behind “The Devil’s Footprint” made it great material for a metal song, being that it’s both historic and mythical.
“With “Queen of Hearts” I wanted to write something around Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland, and it’s about the chess game that happens in the story. I wanted it to have prog-feeling in the way of its ambiance and mood. Then you have songs like “Destroyer” and “Hard and Fast” which are ‘80s inspired songs with that modern slant on it. I’m a big fan of Marvel comics, and I wanted to write a song around the character Destroyer, and with “Hard and Fast” it’s as the title suggests, about driving fast! I do like to tie the lyric into the song, so if it’s going to be a song about driving fast, well, it has to be a fast, hard song!”
There is also the album’s closing cut, haunting, gripping, melancholic tale of the First World War, “The Kingdom of The Cross”, where a poem unfurls the feelings and horrors which comprised this most brutal of global conflicts. “This year is the centenary of the end of the First World War. Nigel had a piece of music which he played on a synthesizer for a couple of years that I really liked. We had an actor (and singer), David Bower from the band Hell, read the poem and I sang the choruses. I didn’t want it to be typical Saxon, so it is just keyboards, bass, me and Dave.”
Wonderfully uncompromising, with “Battering Ram” Saxon have once again established their rightly-venerated credentials as Kings and vanguards of heavy metal music.