Interview with Judas Priest: The Rolls-Royce Of Heavy Metal

—by , July 31, 2008

Was it always intended to be a double album as well?

I can’t recall us ever thinking about that. I mean, I do remember the first day that we had writing sessions over at Glenn’s house, and we talked a little bit about the fact that we always knew that we were going to try to tell the story of this man’s life. From the beginning we started work, and I guess that it was some weeks later, or months later, really, that we looked at the clock, and we were well passed the 80-minute mark, which is about as much music as you can get on standard CD. You can get more on Blu-ray, but this was before Blu-ray was even in the system.

We looked at the clock, 80 minutes and we were barely passed the half-way mark. We thought, ‘What are we going to do?’ We still had loads and loads of ideas. We thought, ‘Let’s just keep going, let’s not cut corners here let’s really continue.’ I tell you, the writing sessions were just absolutely fantastic! We had so much fun together. In terms of difficulty, I would put it on a level with everything else, as far as the dedication and the tenacity that’s involved in writing great metal.

We didn’t treat it any differently than all the others that we have made over the years, but the fact that we had this concept flow and all these connecting ideas and pieces seamlessly going from one place to the next, we just kept going on and on and on, and when we looked at the final time, we were in for an hour and 40 minutes. So it was obviously going to be a double CD, but the boss of Sony was just overjoyed about the music that we presented for the label and they were very, very happy for us. They are excited as we are to get this ready for release.

With metal being so popular at the moment, copycat tendencies seems to be on the raise, too, and this just feels like such a breath of fresh air!

This is definitely that! I mean, we are letting all of our fans and friends in the music industry know that this is Priest at its prime. This type of presentation, it’s like the Rolls Royce of heavy metal. Everything is so wonderful. I mean it’s as though it took Priest 35 years to make this record, because it took all the accumulated experience and all the wonderful things that you learn being together as a band, as writers, recorders and performers, when you can do all these things and keep becoming better and better at what you do, then the time arrives that you are able to do something of this depth and complexity.

What I like about the record lyrically is that it’s not simply a history lesson. It is very relatable as an unfolding story.

I am glad you picked up on that. Essentially, we have taken some of the things that he is famous for, some of the prophecies, but overall, we are trying to tell some of the more personal things that happened in his life, and you know, Cathy, you’re a metalhead, and everything about metal to a certain extent contains the elements of the struggles and the strife and overcoming the difficulties, and standing up for yourself and pushing back the things that try and stop you and get in your way.

That’s what’s it’s like for Nostradamus and even though this was years ago, the basic conditions that we all live with and go through haven’t changed a spot since humanity came to be on this planet. I love that, I love that connection; we worked hard to try to get that side of his emotion into the messages, yeah.

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