JUDAS PRIEST Guitarist Says 'Nostradamus' Was 'A Complex, Mammoth Project'

9:06 AM / Posted by metallic sucker and moslem militan /

Chad Bowar of About Heavy Metal recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

About Heavy Metal: What was the approach in putting together the tracks for "A Touch Of Evil Live"?

Glenn Tipton: We wanted to release tracks that hadn't been released before as live tracks.

About Heavy Metal: Did you know going into the tours that this was the plan, or was it decided afterwards?

Glenn Tipton: Afterwards, really. We sat down one day and thought about how we had been performing tracks live on these legs of the tour that have never been released, and it would be nice to release them. It's good for PRIEST fans to have something different, especially on a live level. PRIEST are first and foremost a live band, and we get a lot of energy from the audience. The tracks recorded in the studio are always more exciting when they are performed live.

About Heavy Metal: When you go back and select which performances to use, do you self-critique your own performance closely?

Glenn Tipton: I'd rather not go back and listen back to stuff, but obviously when you are choosing versions or songs, you have to listen. I think everybody can be critical, but in this day and age it's nice to hear live stuff. It doesn't have to be note-perfect as long as it's a genuine great performance in terms of yourself and the audience.

About Heavy Metal: PRIEST has released a few concert DVDs over the years. Has there been any thoughts of a more biographical documentary type release?

Glenn Tipton: There's always that possibility. There are no definite plans to do that at the moment, but it would be an interesting thing that I think a lot of people would take interest in. It would give a lot of information and aspects of the band that people perhaps didn't know. It's a good idea, but we don't have definite plans now.

About Heavy Metal: Have you or the band as a whole been approached to write a book?

Glenn Tipton: There is talk now of doing an official biography of the band. We've had so many unofficial ones where there's a lot of false information in there. The true events and true stories are far more interesting, I think. There has been talk of beginning that process, so hopefully at some point in the not so distant future there will be an official biography.

About Heavy Metal: "Nostradamus" has been out for a while now. As you look back on it, do you think the reaction to it was more polarizing that most of your previous albums?

Glenn Tipton: I think we knew the dangers and risks of doing a concept album, particularly a double one, in this day and age. But we've always been a band who's never been scared to try and attempt to do what we feel is the right thing, and we felt the time was right for a concept album from PRIEST. It's a complex, pretty mammoth project. We don't expect everybody to get it or enjoy it, but a lot of people did understand what we attempted to do and appreciated it. If fifty percent did, that's a great thing. But really, in all honesty, a lot of people who initially were guarded and very hesitant about it have now come back and changed their opinion. It's a whole story. You have to step into the world of Nostradamus, and I think once you get that, and if you've got an hour and half to put aside, which is the most difficult thing for everybody, you do get a lot of enjoyment from the album.

About Heavy Metal: What is it about "British Steel" that's made it so influential?

Glenn Tipton: I'm not sure. It might have been partly due to the writing. We went into a studio called Tittenhurst Park, which was John Lennon's old house. That was very inspirational. We went in there with only about fifty percent of the material written, and we wrote the rest while we were in the studio, which is unusual for us. We usually have all the ideas before we start to record. It just worked. It was one of those albums that was very immediate, was easy to write. A good song usually just happens. Sometimes songs you have to work too hard at, and they don't always quite work. It was a very refreshing album. I think that's the secret behind it.

About Heavy Metal: A lot of critics say "British Steel" is JUDAS PRIEST's best album. Do you agree?

Glenn Tipton: It's certainly a landmark album. We've done 16 or 17 albums now, and each one has its own character. I think there are certain landmark albums in there, like "Screaming For Vengeance" or "Painkiller" or "Sad Wings Of Destiny". And I think "British Steel" is definitely a landmark album.

Read the entire interview at About Heavy Metal.

Quality video footage of JUDAS PRIEST performing the songs "The Rage" and "Steeler" on Tuesday, July 14 at the Time-Warner Cable Amphitheater in Cleveland, Ohio can be viewed below.

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