ROB HALFORD: JUDAS PRIEST IS 'GETTING CLOSE' TO STARTING PRE-PRODUCTION ON NEW ALBUM
During an appearance on the "Bloodthirsty" podcast, hosted by DEVILDRIVER frontman Dez Fafara, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford spoke about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the follow-up to 2018's "Firepower" album. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We're kicking the tires. We've got some good stuff in the can, as I say, already. But you know, you can never stop, can you? You can keep punching and punching. And we're getting close to the point now, I think, where we say, 'Okay, we've got enough music. Let's start going into pre-production.'"
According to Rob, he and his bandmates "love being in the studio more than ever now. Because, as you know, the possibilities are endless," he explained. "It's exciting. You start with a clump of metal clay, and then, at the end of it, you've got something that's gonna live forever. It's beautiful. It's the best feeling."
This past March, Halford confirmed that PRIEST will reunite with the "Firepower" production team consisting of British producer Andy Sneap, the band's longtime collaborator Tom Allom and engineer Mike Exeter (BLACK SABBATH).
"That was a great experiment," Rob told the "In The Trenches With Ryan Roxie" podcast about the "Firepower" recording experience. "We didn't even know it was gonna work. Tom's classic old-school metal. Andy is from more recent times. And Mike, of course, just came [from doing] the '13' album with [BLACK] SABBATH; he had done a lot of work with SABBATH. So there's three heads working together. And we thought, 'This is either gonna be a trainwreck or something glorious,' and it turned out to be something glorious. So we're gonna at least recreate those same production moments. But having said that, it is all about the songs, and right now, the songs feel really, really strong."
Last September, guitarist Richie Faulkner told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" that the creative process for PRIEST's next LP was halted by the coronavirus outbreak, which disrupted global travel.
Halford resides in Phoenix, Faulkner in Nashville and Glenn Tipton still calls his native United Kingdom his home.
"Firepower" entered the Billboard 200 chart at position No. 5, making it PRIEST's highest-charting album ever. "Redeemer Of Souls" debuted and peaked at No. 6, while 2008's "Nostradamus" landed at No. 11 and 2005's "Angel Of Retribution" came in at No. 13.
"Firepower" moved 49,000 equivalent album units in first week of release. Of that sum, 48,000 were in traditional album sales, just shy of the 54,000 copies sold by "Angel Of Retribution" in that album's first week. The "Firepower" chart position was bolstered by sales generated from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer in association with the band's spring 2018 North American tour.
Across the pond, "Firepower" landed at position No. 5 on the U.K. album chart. It marked the band's highest ranking, and first time in the Top 10, since "British Steel" reached No. 4 in 1980. Elsewhere, "Firepower" also became PRIEST's first-ever No. 1 in Sweden.