JUDAS PRIEST vocalist Rob Halford recently spoke with Spain’s Mariskal Rock about the follow-up to the band’s 2018 “Firepower” album.
“Slowly but surely, these things come together; it’s what we’ve always done,” he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “And generally, when we go out on these world tours, we generally tour to support a new record. We did something a little bit different this time because it was the 50th-anniversary year of celebration, which is gonna push into next year now.
“It’s sounding good, man. It’s sounding really strong,” he continued. “I’m very excited for our fans again. I think it’s gonna be another great display of the passion that we still have as writers and as players to get this down and to unleash some new metal.
“We’ve got a bunch of stuff. I don’t know when you and I talked last, but since then, we did have that one big writing session — March, whatever year that was; not this year, but last year I think it was. And then another one before the Bloodstock festival [in August]. So we’ve got a strong, strong bunch of id[eas]… Well, they’re more than ideas — they’re completed songs. We haven’t gone into full production yet.
“It’s gonna be great,” he added. “It’s gonna be a really, really good moment.”
Halford also touched on the health of JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease seven years ago. Glenn has been sitting out of touring with the band since 2018 and was replaced by “Firepower” producer Andy Sneap.
When asked if Tipton will be involved in the recording of the band’s next record, Rob said: “There’s ways of doing this. Glenn can still play the guitar. He plays it differently, but he can still play. He walked out with us on Bloodstock recently [and played] ‘Metal Gods’, ‘Breaking The Law’ and ‘Living After Midnight’, I think it was. He can play. So he’ll be on this next album. Whatever work he does, he’s valuable — really important. He’s a member of JUDAS PRIEST. He’s still there. He’s still an important component of this band and what this band represents, particularly in the writing sense. He made a massive contribution to the songs that we have so far. And we’ll still keep writing — we’ll still keep putting together the ideas. ‘Cause you can never not stop writing. The calendar tells you, the label says, ‘We would like a record blah blah,’ because it takes months to prepare and then months of promotion. And the clock is ticking.
“So, yeah, he’s good, man. He’s still a fighter. He never lets anything stop him. He’s a great force for people that are living their lives actively and productively with Parkinson’s. So he’s still very much [like] that ‘No Surrender’ song — a heavy metal hero.”