Judas Priest’s Rob Halford + Richie Faulkner Talk ‘The Brand’ and ‘The Harmony Meister’
A little while ago, we were invited to give a virgin listen to Judas Priest's upcoming album Firepower (due out one week from today), followed by a quick chat with the Metal Gods themselves.
In this interview clip, Rob Halford and Richie Faulkner discuss the dynamic song "Rising From Ruins" and how, despite mapping out new stylistic ground, it still works within the confines of Judas Priest "the brand." They also touch on their esteemed producer Tom Allom, who Halford dubbed "the harmony meister" and how he was able to bring some classic Priest sounds to the new record as well as how Faulkner left his mark.
"To me it has textures of 'Blood Red Skies' or it has a bit of the texture of 'The Sentinel' — these songs that are full of adventure and full of drama and this big landscape of sound," says Halford. He goes on to discuss Priest's signature sound and how they've developed a "brand" for themselves. "Everybody knows how Maiden sounds, everybody knows how Sabbath sounds, everybody knows how Ozzy sounds, everybody knows for Priest sounds, that's what I mean by 'brand,'" he clarified.
As fans already know, Priest reunited with their classic producer Tom Allom and Faulkner explained that Allom pulled up the Screaming for Vengeance vocal sessions and when they lined up Halford's performances from then and today, "It was the same voice," said the guitarist. "He's still slaying" nearly 50 years later he added, also touching on the producer's knack for layering vocals with a subtle touch.
Of course, getting those pristine vocal takes takes some repeated efforts in the studio. "Andy should change his name to Andy 'Do it Again' Sneap," quipped Halford. He noted it's a good thing, however, and that "You have to find a real place of respect, trust, faith, balance, harmony, get all those things working and then let people take you to places that you probably couldn't get there by yourself because you've been doing it too long and you think you know what's best, and I think that's the best take, well no it's not, 'Do it again!'"
Watch the full interview above and look for Judas Priest to torch North America on their tour in support of Firepower. The run, with Saxon and Black Star Riders, begins on March 13 and all stops can be found here.
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