Last year, the iconic metal band Judas Priest set out on a final world tour, titled the Epitaph Tour. Even though this was their final world tour, the band does not intend to retire. During an interview with Loudwire, frontman Rob Halford discussed the band’s future, saying, “There’s no end in sight. Why say it’s the end when it’s not the end? Why say the end is coming when it ain’t, you know? Priest is just going to keep going as long as it can. As long as we want to be in the band, as long as we want to keep making metal, we’re going to keep doing it.”
Even though the band is “simplifying things from a road point of view,” according to Halford, they still intend to release albums, and are currently working on one. When asked what fans can expect from it, Halford said:
We’ve already got a strong cross-section of ideas, some of them complete, some of them in bits and pieces. It’s shaping up to be quite intense, in terms of the riffage and the strength of certain tracks. Much like every time you try and talk about music, it’s practically impossible to capture it. You can only point it in the direction of where things are shaping up, and it’s just glorious. If I try to pinpoint it, there are elements of ‘British Steel’ and there elements of ‘Painkiller’ in terms of the vibe. We’ve got a really solid record coming together slowly in a strong metal way that will make all of our Priest fans around the world very happy and content. At least I hope it does.
As for when fans can expect a release, Halford doesn’t have a set date, though he he would like to get it out next year.
I’m not really sure [when the album will be released] . It’ll be ready when it’s ready. We’re not under the same clock as we used to be. I remember in the 80s we were banging out a record almost every year, and that was on top of putting in a world tour. We have the luxury now, if you want to call it that, of taking our time. And that’s just because that’s the way it is. We’re just as eager to get this done as ever, but we do it at a slower pace. It’s that British thing, you know? [Laughs] It’s that monarchy thing. But, I hope it’ll be out next year. My gut tells me it’ll be out next year. You know what, 2013, let’s go for it. Let’s look forward to that moment for another Priest record for everyone to bang their heads to.
Halford also discussed the 30th anniversary of one of Judas Priest’s most iconic albums, Screaming for Vengeance. Though it was their seventh studio album, British Steel, that introduced them to audiences outside of the United Kingdom and changed the sound of heavy metal by introducing the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, it was Screaming for Vengeance that has become their most successful so far, being the first to go double platinum, shooting Priest into the mainstream. The album featured one of the band’s most popular songs, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.” Discussing the track, Halford said that its success was “completely unexpected.”
We put that track eight songs into the record. Normally, if you’ve got a radio song that you want people to listen to, you put it within the first three songs. When we gave the record to the label, they felt that they really had a song with that track. We were in the UK thinking, sure, we’ll see what happens. As it turns out, of course, that song just went through the roof. It was the radio track that gave our record tremendous success, and that obviously bumped into the corresponding American tour. It still is a very important record for us in the U.S., more than any other Priest record, because that was the one with that track. It was like a catalyst for us to get to the next level.
A special 30th Anniversary Edition of Screaming for Vengeance will be released on Sept. 4. This remastered album will feature several bonus tracks, along with a live DVD of the San Bernadino, Calif. U.S. Festival show recorded on May 29, 1983.