Yes, it’s very profound and very relatable at the same time.
Well, thank you, I mean it should be, I have had plenty of practice (laughing). It is difficult for a lyricist, you know. Any lyricist that you’ll talk to that has written hundreds and hundreds [of songs], you are constantly trying to either reinvent something that you have gone through before or find a fresh face for it, and this is definitely fresh as far as getting into the character of Nostradamus and trying to become the man. That was just wonderful for me as the singer for Priest to delve into. You know I have been Pain Killer, I have been the Sinner, I have been the Sentinel and now, Nostradamus.
Also, you sing in Italian in one of the songs. What was the inspiration behind that choice?
I do a little bit, yeah, I enjoyed it. I think the connection with the Italian section was that we were having a little bit of difficulty with Catholicism at the time coming from Medieval Europe, so we thought, ‘Well, wouldn’t it be cool if we just put a little bit of a twist in there?’ Also sadly, at that time, [Luciano] Pavarotti was passing away, and our heart was with that to a certain extent. It took us days and days to find the absolute exact pronunciation, but I think I got it nailed down. It’s a beautiful part of the song. I think that Italian people or people with Italian roots will be smiling at that moment.
That’s funny that you bring that up. I always thought of you as metal’s answer to Pavarotti.
(laughs) Well, I wouldn’t put myself in that league, but he is definitely an inspiration. That’s for sure.
What do you think has kept Priest going for so long?
I think that the only directed answer is that we feel like we belong to a very unique band. Judas Priest has seemed to just have been there since day one. Like Zeppelin or the Beatles or something like that. That name as always been around, that band has always been in existence making music. Beyond the band Judas Priest, is the love, the intensity and the passion that we still have as players.
I mean, let’s face it, you see some career bands that stopped making records, they just go out and tour and just play their greatest hits or what have you. That hasn’t been our thought process; we have kept doing what we do since we made our first record in 1974. It has been an endless long journey as far as bringing something new to the table as writers and recorders, but primarily for our fans. That’s it.
I mean, you never ever forget the fans, the fans are as important as anything else to the life and history of Priest. We’d fade without the fans, the fans have been their since with us day one. So when you take the stage and you see all these multiple generations, it’s just absolutely thrilling. People from our generation, there are young metalheads that are there, because they want to find the roots of metal. They heard it from a friend or a track on the radio, and they are investigating it. It’s all about fans. The fans keep us alive. They give us the energy and direct to us to where we are going to go next as far what we are going to do at the end of a tour. Do you do another record? ‘Well, yeah, because that’s what the fans are waiting for.’