Judas Priest plans to be screaming again soon — not necessarily for vengeance, but with some new music to follow up its 2008 concept album “Nostradamus.”
Frontman Rob Halford tells Billboard.com that the group, which recently wrapped its Epitaph World Tour, is “ramping things up to get back into full writing and recording mode” back in England. He and guitarist Glenn Tipton have “a tremendous amount of material in the vaults already, and they expect new guitarist Richie Faulkner, who replaced co-founder KK Downing in 2011, to make a contribution as well.
“As we were proceeding on this world tour he was taking this little mini-studio into his dressing room and we could hear him riffing away,” Halford recalls. “It’s going to be really thrilling moment to get together in a new writing dimension, Glenn and myself and Richie, putting all of these ideas together. We’ll see what we can do over the next couple of months, look at everything, lay it all out and then start the hard work of picking out the best material.”
Halford adds that his “gut feeling tells me we’ll see something next year” but doesn’t want to commit to a firm timetable. “I’m of the attitude it’ll be ready when it’s ready,” he explains. “I don’t think we’re going to slack off. We’re determined to do a lot of work and be just as dedicated as we’ve always been and take a lot of care and attention with all the songs. We’re not going to just bang this one out, so to speak.”
To tide fans over, meanwhile, Priest has set a Sept. 4 release date for “Screaming For Vengeance — Special 30th Anniversary Edition.” The set will feature the two bonus tracks from the 20th anniversary edition — a live version of “Devil’s Child” and the “Turbo” outtake “Prisoner of Your Eyes” — as well as four previously unreleased live tracks from a 1982 show in San Antonio. A bonus DVD sports Priest’s performance at the 1983 US Festival in San Bernadino, Calif. Halford recalls it as “an interesting record, because of its variety,” and he says Priest had a good time recording it with producer Tom Allom in Ibiza, Spain.
“It came together a little slowly because Ibiza is a party island and Priest was in full-on party mode,” Halford says. “Ian (Hill, Priest’s bassist) went through about six rental cars; he put one in the pool outside of the studio one morning. It was the crazy 80s, and we were living them, totally. Each day was like, ‘Let’s get rid of these hangovers first and wee what we can come up with next.”
“Hell Bent for Leather,” Live on the “Screaming for Vengeance” Tour