JUDAS PRIEST Bassist IAN HILL Talks GLENN TIPTON's Decision To Step Down From Touring - "He Said 'Maybe ANDY SNEAP Would Be Able To Do It'"

March 14, 2018, a year ago

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 JUDAS PRIEST Bassist IAN HILL Talks GLENN TIPTON's Decision To Step Down From Touring - "He Said 'Maybe ANDY SNEAP Would Be Able To Do It'"

Judas Priest bassist Ian Hill is featured in a new interview with CBS SF discussing the band's new album, Firepower. An excerpt from the conversation is available below.

CBS SF: As far as the discussions about Glenn (Tipton) not playing on this tour, that didn’t come up until after the recording? I get that it didn’t keep him from writing and playing on it…

Ian Hill: No, that’s the whole point. It’s a terrible condition. Glenn’s great for about ten minutes. He’ll stand up there and he’ll play through a song. Which is great from an album point of view. He rarely has to play longer than that if he does a song from start to finish. The longest song on the album is only seven minutes. That sort of thing he can handle, and of course [in the studio], he’s sitting down on a stool.

But if you put him on a stage and he to stand up there for the better part of two hours, that wasn’t really realistic. We were hoping it was going to happen. We went through a similar scenario the last tour. We all knew then he was having his problems. So we started rehearsals and he was rough, no doubt about it. But as we went on through the week, he got better every day. And by the end of the rehearsals, he was ready to go. And he put in awesome performances on the last tour.

So we were expecting — or at least hoping — that would happen again. But into the second week of rehearsals, it was quite obvious to everybody it wasn’t going to happen this time around. It was…an achingly painful thing to him to do; to admit to us and the rest of the world — and to himself mainly — that his body wasn’t going to let him do what he loved to do above all else anymore, you know?

I mean, we were all upset when he came out and said it. The hairs on the back of my neck are sticking up now just talking about it!  It’s a cataclysmic thing to happen to someone. And Andy just happened to be in the recording studio. He brought some effect tapes down that he’d put together for us for the new album. And just said, 'You know, maybe Andy would be able to do it.'

So he asked him, and after he picked is jaw up off the floor (laughs), he agreed to give it a go. So for the last couple of weeks I’ve been going to his studio. Andy’s got a studio of his own, being a producer, so I’ve been going up with a drummer mate and helping break him in. He’s certainly good. He’s a very good guitarist. So we’re getting ready to fly off to the Boston area to start production rehearsals. And we’re in good shape."

Go to this location for the complete interview.

Just last month it was announced that Glenn Tipton would be unable to tour with the band in support of their new album Firepower, due to complications from Parkinson's Disease. Glenn made it clear that he was not leaving the band, but requested Andy Sneap to fly the flag on stage for him.

Since then, Priest's other guitarist Richie Faulkner, guested on Indiana radio station X-Rock 103.9 FM. During his on-air interview, which can be heard via the Sound Cloud audio player below, Faulkner stated:

"We've already said, at some point Glenn's gonna come out, as and when he's willing and able and he's healthy enough to do it and turn up and do some songs with us, and I think the fans will go nuts. I think it's gonna be unannounced, it's gonna be a surprise. And who knows, man? Maybe we can keep him out — we can get him to stay out on the tour bus with us and come around the world with us. But we'll see Glenn Tipton on stage again — rest assured."

Out now via Epic Records, Firepower is comprised of 14 tracks of pure and highly inspired metal. And to mark the occasion Priest has reunited with producer Tom Allom (the man behind the board for all of the band’s releases from 1979 - 1988, including such stellar classics as Unleashed In The East, British Steel, Screaming For Vengeance and Defenders Of The Faith) and with Grammy Award-winning producer Andy Sneap also helping to raise the sonic bar even higher.

Firepower tracklisting:

"Lightning Strike"
"Evil Never Dies"
"Never The Heroes"
"Children Of The Sun"
"Rising From Ruins"
"Flame Thrower"
"Traitors Gate"
"No Surrender"
"Lone Wolf"
"Sea Of Red"

"Lightning Strike" video:

(Band photo - Justin Borucki)

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