Judas Priest Bassist Ian Hill Says Three Tracks Are Done for New Album

Radio Metal recently conducted an interview with Judas Priest bassist Ian Hill. Hill revealed that the band have a few songs finished for their new album, which would pick up where Angel of Retribution left off. Here are a few excerpts from the chat:

Radio Metal: Will your next album be the last?

Hill: "We don’t know at the moment. Possibly. But we’ll probably carry on. We’re back on track with the new album: It’s a typical, traditional Priest heavy metal album. We’re carrying on where Angel Of Retribution left off, we’ve come from there. It’s a long way to go. We’ve finished three tracks, near enough. We’re now of course going on tour, and we plan to finish the record in late winter, probably next year. It will probably be completed just before the summer."

Radio Metal: That kind of decision to stop one’s career, to go on a last tour, generates a lot of criticism from the general public, who just don’t believe those declarations anymore. Many bands decided to go back on their decision. Why would it be different for you?

Hill: "I don’t know. It probably wouldn’t be, really. I’m sure people say in all earnest: 'This will be the last major tour that we do.' But as I’ve said before, if someone comes up and there’s something special we can do in the future, we will more than likely do it. We don’t really want to go away for two years at a stretch any more. We’re all getting old; and not just us, but the people around us as well. You have ailing parents and family members, and you never know what’s gonna happen with them. And of course, you’re missing your kids growing up in all this business, and you realize they’ve been waiting for you for the past forty years! (laughs) So we earnestly believe this will be our last mighty tour, but you can never say never. There’s many bands you could mention that have fallen for it, and I’m sure they all said it in earnest. They’re not trying to squeeze out an extra bit of attention, they’re just telling people: 'This might be the last chance you get to come and see the band.'"

Radio Metal: About the departure of K.K. Downing, you’re not a young band that’s just started its career, you’ve known one another for forty years. How is that possible that, after those forty years, he did not want to do this one last tour with you? That’s weird! The fans were particularly puzzled that he did not want to conclude that long story with you.

Hill: "Tell us about it! (laughs) We did everything and anything to try and get him to change his mind. And he was adamant. Whether there’s an underlying problem behind that, I doubt, though. But all the arguments you’ve come up with, we’ve gone through with him. We came up with them ourselves and put it to him. But he’s still adamant he’s had enough. We’ll respect that, and like I said, we’ll get on."

Radio Metal: His decision was taken before Christmas, apparently. Why did he wait so long to announce it?

Hill: "Again, we were convinced that we could change his mind. We couldn’t tell everybody he wasn’t going to do the tour! So we just left it as light as we could. We left him as much time as possible to change his mind, and he didn’t do it. So we went ahead and found a superb replacement in Richie Faulkner. There’ll be nothing missing from the shows whatsoever."

Read the entire interview here.

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Josh Hart

Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.