metal talk
facebook
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
news now
metal talk




  JONATHAN CHURCHILL: DEFENDING OUR ISLAND
JUDAS PRIEST'S IAN HILL TALKS TO MetalTalk.net

22nd July 2011

jonathan churchill

Pin It
Share |


richie faulkner judas priest

Judas Priest bassist Ian Hill talks to MetalTalk.net's Jonathan Churchill about American Idol, producing Priest's next studio album, and the music industry today.

This has been a year of headlines for Judas Priest. Initially with the announcement of their final ever world tour, then the retirement of founder-member KK Downing, and finally the exciting revelation that the band will be delivering the goods on a new studio album in 2012.

I've come to the Manchester Apollo on a Saturday night to speak to Ian Hill before Priest hit the stage for the latest show in their current UK tour. Ushered into the backstage area past some excited fans hovering by the security doors hoping to meet Halford or Glenn, I'm taken up to wait outside the band's dressing room.

Article continues below...

   


I'm delighted to see that in one of the many tour crates stamped with the Judas Priest logo, is the Judas Priest tumble-dryer! In a wonderfully surreal moment, I'm then shooed into the Metal God's dressing room as it's the only available space to speak with Ian. The room is full of studded leather clothing.

Ian is totally relaxed, friendly and really interesting to talk with. He's exceptionally modest about his achievements and still retains his Black Country accent and down-to-earth attitude. There's no hint of egotistical rock star, but as an original member of Judas Priest and a constant on every single Judas Priest album and tour, I'm sure there's a lot more to him than meets the eye!

MetalTalk.net: Before I start asking about the new album, can you tell us what you thought about your surprise appearance to 40 million unsuspecting Americans on American Idol?

Ian Hill: "It was a whirlwind! The lad James – we owe him a debt of gratitude for bringing Heavy Metal to the mass media. For that reason it was something we couldn't turn down. We weren't just representing Judas Priest but the whole Heavy Metal family, if you like.

Because we'd had a couple of hits in the 80s in the states, people know the band name well. We're a well-known brand. They may not necessarily associate it directly with the music but everyone knew the name so it wasn't a cold audience. It was fun; we had a great reception!"

MetalTalk.net: Moving onto the new album, you have already publicly stated that it's due next year and will be classic Priest. Who will produce the album?

Ian Hill: "It's still at a very early stage but it will probably be mainly the band. Glenn will do a lot of the work. We produced 'Nostradamus' ourselves with the help of a great engineer in Attie (Attie Bauw)."

MetalTalk.net: In light of Accept and Megadeth's work with Andy Sneap and Rick Rubin's work with Slayer and Slipknot, would you consider an outside 'super producer'?

Ian Hill: "We like to work on production ourselves, as we don't want too much outside influence. I remember in the 80s, Stock, Aitken And Waterman approached us to do some tracks and it just didn't work."

MetalTalk.net: Did you actually write any songs with them or create any demos?

Ian Hill: "We may have laid out a couple of very rough ideas but it would have changed the character of the band too much if we'd gone down that route. We've had a long, successful career doing things our own way and so that's how we'll continue!"

MetalTalk.net: You did have outside influence on the 'Defenders Of The Faith' and 'Screaming For Vengeance' albums, via songwriter Bob Halligan Jr. Why was that?

Ian Hill: "We'd already done a couple of non-Priest tracks in 'Diamonds And Rust' and 'The Green Manalishi', which had worked well. It's really something the record company pushed us to do, to get a commercial track on the radio. It's funny because by the time we'd finish with the track it's too heavy to release and we ended up going with one of our own! Bob Halligan's a good songwriter but our versions were just too Heavy Metal to release!"

MetalTalk.net: You've produced some music in your time – including the band: 'The New Blacks', back in 2006. How did that come about?

Ian Hill: "Yes – something I did very cheaply for some friends I helped out. It's a shame it didn't work out for them. I helped with the guitar sound and pointed them in a few directions – was fun doing it. I helped out another band too – Mindfeed."

MetalTalk.net: And is your son still in the band Hostile?

Ian Hill: "Yep, my sons still in Hostile. It's so difficult to get on now – it's practically impossible unless you're on X-Factor or American Idol. The infrastructure's not there. It took us ten years to make any money, although we did build our name. Even when we started to earn money it all went back into the band – better equipment, better van...

"The infrastructure's not there any more. Record companies aren't spending money on new acts. It's as simple as that. Not unless you're already famous. My lad's band's a great band and twenty years ago they'd have got on. But record companies aren't investing money they won't get back. As soon as a record goes on a shelf some idiot is giving it away for nothing online! That's the problem with the internet. Because potentially it's a marvellous channel – totally global – anyone with a computer can access it and release their music to a wide audience. But with no record company money, bands can't make high quality recordings. They're reduced to making records in their garage or bedroom! And even if a band gets on a tour the record company won't put money into it because they still traditionally get money from record sales."

MetalTalk.net: What does Sony Music get out of Judas Priest these days?

Ian Hill: "Well as I mentioned, we are a global brand. We do still sell. But now all over the world, so now if we sell as many records globally as we used to do in America alone, that's working for us. In the past though you went on tour and could break even or make a small loss – because record sales covered it. Now you make a record in order to promote your tour. This why everybody's coming out of the woodwork! People we haven't heard of for years are out on the road as their back catalogue's drying up! It's ok for us because this is what we've always done."

MetalTalk.net: Was breaking the US critical in making Priest a global brand then?

Ian Hill: "We did concentrate on America - we admit it. Management and the record company wanted us to do this. But it worked. We're a band that can tour worldwide. But we started doing what 'Rival Sons' are doing now, (opening the show as we recorded this) supporting – possibly REO Speedwagon, if I remember correctly. And some shows with Led Zeppelin."

MetalTalk.net: What's it like opening to a disinterested crowd and only getting twenty minutes?

Ian Hill: "It's frustrating only playing six songs because you want to play more. But you get your name on the poster and it builds your name and you're thankful for it. We were so pleased to be there in a foreign country playing in front of thousands of people. We were really thankful and you hope if you play well you'll get an extra song – an extra spotlight – anything really!"

MetalTalk.net: Moving on to your musical contribution to Judas Priest; as a bass player when you were creating innovative fast tracks like 'Exciter' in the 1970s, (from the 'Stained Class' album) with drummer Les Binks, who specialised in double-kick work – did you have to adapt your style?

Ian Hill: "No. I just played quicker – it's as simple as that!"

MetalTalk.net: But did you realise your songs would have such an impact after more than thirty years?

Ian Hill: "Well we've always done fast songs. One of the magical things about Heavy Metal – there's fast, slow, heavy, light and commercial stuff. Music that will make you weep, or stuff that will make you shit yourself! So Priest always did fast songs – we just played quicker and it was a gradual build up to songs like 'Painkiller'."

MetalTalk.net: On which albums do you feel you had most influence?

Ian Hill: "Hmmm... let me think... Probably the first two albums – they have lots of bass work on them. And 'Jugulator', that's got some busy bass! Because we have two lead guitarists with distorted sounds, the bass has to remain clear so I don't use any effects. I use a pick to help me play quicker and heavier but it remains a foundation. I haven't changed my style much over the years. The basic Judas Priest sound is just a good foundation of bass and drums and we build on top of that.

MetalTalk.net: Are there any bands influencing you at present?

Ian Hill: "To be honest not a great deal. We never try to deliberately pick up on outside influences. You do pick up a great deal subconsciously but we wouldn't just go down the record store and see what's selling! I don't tend to listen to much on the tour-bus – by the time I've played a two hour Judas Priest set, I spend the next 22 hours recovering!

MetalTalk.net: Ian Hill – thank you very much!

Watching Ian Hill on stage that evening, nearly impossible to photograph because he won't stand still, it strikes me how the UK press have largely ignored the exceptional worldwide achievements of Judas Priest, whose world tour will take two years to complete, playing to crowds of metal maniacs across Europe, the US, South America and Asia. It's a staggering achievement by any standards.

But, as the recent Home Of Metal exhibition in Birmingham showcases their huge influence on music, along with 1.6million Facebook 'likes', an appearance on the final of American Idol and, at long last, a Grammy, despite this being the last world tour, the future's still bright for Judas Priest.

Judas Priest headline London's High Voltage festival on Saturday 23 July. In between you can catch them play a homecoming show at Wolverhampton Civic Hall on 21 June and Bournemouth BIC on 24 June.

Read MetalTalk.net's review of Judas Priest at Manchester Apollo by clicking here.

For details of the fantastic UK singles box-set 'Single Cuts – The Complete CBS/Colombia singles', only available from Judas Priest direct, and for the full US tour dates, see www.judaspriest.com.

Ian Hill's son plays in the UK band Hostile. Listen to them by clicking here.

Jonathan Churchill. MetalTalk.net


Pin It
Share |








 

sabaton SABATON RELEASE THE OFFICIAL LIVE VIDEO FOR 'CAROLUS REX'
Sabaton hit the UK shores in a co-headline tour with Alestorm in February and March...

cairo son CAIRO SON RELEASE NEW SINGLE 'DEVILS TONGUE' ON FEB 22nd
The single is taken from the album 'Storm Clouds', released on March 14th...

rebelles THE REBELLES RELEASE 'ALL THE YOUNG DUDES' SINGLE ON MARCH 18TH FEATURING IAN HUNTER
The track is taken from the forthcoming debut album. "Expect to hear a punk attitude draped in silk with a few sharp edges..."

donovan DONOVAN TO PLAY 70TH BIRTHDAY CONCERT AT LONDON PALLADIUM
The flag bearer for all things psychedelic will celebrate his early bohemian roots...

kiss KISS EUROPEAN TOUR CANCELLED?
German and Italian dates have been removed from the official website...

stone free STONE FREE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES LATEST LINE-UP ADDITIONS
Additions include Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here Symphonic Live, Michael Monroe, Jackaman, Therapy, Jared James Nicols and more...

last great dreamers LAST GREAT DREAMERS TO PLAY UK SHOWS IN FEBRUARY
Last Great Dreamers jumped at the chance to take a break from writing their third album to get back on the road for a few dates...

motorhead DOWNLOAD TO RENAME 2016 MAIN STAGE AFTER LEMMY PLUS LOTS MORE MOTÖRHEAD NEWS
Where the band's name previously appeared on the billing, there is now a graphic of Lemmy's hat...

zakk wylde ZAKK WYLDE TO RELEASE 'BOOK OF SHADOWS II' ON APRIL 8 2016
Wylde's first solo release for 20 years will be followed by a wave of tour dates to be announced soon...

status quo STATUS QUO TO RELEASE ANOTHER TRIO OF DELUXE EDITION ALBUMS
These carefully curated special releases are to be issued by Universal Music on Friday 25th March...

hrh doom stoner HRH DOOM vs HRH STONER ANNOUNCE MORE BANDS
Angel Witch, Electric Citizen and Black Spiders head up another batch to be added for this October...

the defiled THE DEFILED ANNOUNCE RESCHEDULED UK HEADLINE TOUR FOR MAY
The Defiled will play as support to In This Moment, also in May...

rich robinson RICH ROBINSON RELEASES REISSUES AND NEW ALBUM
The four re-imagined albums include previously unreleased tracks and penned essays from Robinson himself...

crowbar CROWBAR ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
The run of twenty dates includes a UK appearance at Desertfest...

ben poole BEN POOLE CONFIRMS NEW ALBUM 'TIME HAS COME' AND UK TOUR
"I hope it'll please the blues-rock guitar fans, but also have the depth and maturity to appeal to an audience beyond that..."

desertfest DESERTFEST BERLIN 2016'S LINE-UP IS ALMOST COMPLETE
The first running order has been released, along with a limited number of day passes...

anneke van giersbergen DUTCH LEGEND ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN BRINGS HER ACOUSTIC SHOW TO THE UK
Six solo dates in April have been arranged before Anneke returns to the studio...

hard rock hell HARD ROCK HELL X ANNOUNCE FIRST 15 BANDS
Ugly Kid Joe, Ratt, Glenn Hughes and Living Colour head the vanguard for this year's 10th anniversary...

space elevator SPACE ELEVATOR LAUNCH PLEDGE CAMPAIGN FOR SECOND ALBUM
There are a number of exclusive offers for Pledgers, including the chance to perform on the album...

valerian VALERIAN TO RELEASE 'STARDUST REVELATION' ALBUM
With a burgeoning Metal scene in Indonesia, the band have been working hard on their first full length album...

terry horbury vardis A MEMORIAL CONCERT AND BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR TERRY HORBURY OF VARDIS WILL TAKE PLACE ON 6TH FEBRUARY 2016
The unmissable event features a host of very special guests and all proceeds will go to Terry's chosen charity...

status quo STATUS QUO ANNOUNCE THE END OF ELECTRIC SHOWS
"There's more to come from us in the years ahead, but we won't tour the electric set ever again..."

toseland TOSELAND ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM 'CRADLE THE RAGE' & MARCH TOUR
Support for the ten date UK tour comes from Colour Of Noise...

bonfire BONFIRE CELEBRATE 30TH ANNIVERSARY WITH NEW DOUBLE ALBUM 'PEARLS'
The classics are being re-recorded in Italy, with completely new arrangements...

hostile HOSTILE ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM PRODUCED BY KK DOWNING PLUS EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
'The New World Disorder' is set for release via Gasworks Music and will be available on March 1st 2016...

rambliin man GINGER BAKER'S AIRFORCE 3, SEBASTIAN BACH AND THE CADILLAC THREE AMONG THE LATEST BATCH OF NAMES TO BE ANNOUNCED FOR RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR
Purson, Inglorious and The Zombies will also join the Kent festival this coming July...

the enid THE ENID RELEASE DUST ON 1ST APRIL
'Dust' is the final part of the stunning trilogy following 'Journey's End' and 'Invicta' and will be performed around the UK over the coming months...

sanguine EXCLUSIVE: SANGUINE PREMIERE VIDEO FOR 'SAVE ME' PRIOR TO RELEASE OF SECOND ALBUM 'BLACK SHEEP'
The sci-fi spectacular is directed by Tyson Wade Johnston and its premiere can be seen exclusively on MetalTalk right here...

steelhouse festival STEELHOUSE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES MORE BANDS
Hey! Hello! featuring Ginger Wildheart, Blues Pills and Vega have been added to the line-up of this year's Steelhouse Festival in Hafod-y-Dafal in Wales...

jeff healey PROVOGUE RELEASE LOST JEFF HEALEY ALBUM TO COMMEMORATE HIS 50TH BIRTHDAY
These tracks were painstakingly restored and brought to life bringing into focus Jeff's unique and special gifts as an artist...

heretic order THE HERETIC ORDER UNLEASH VIDEO FOR 'THE DEATH RIDE BLUES'
The Heretic Order have announced a co-headlining UK tour in February with I.C.O.N...

mortiis MORTIIS ANNOUNCE UK HEADLINE TOUR
"It's about time we came back to the UK for some shows. See you in May, you bastards..."

zoax ZOAX ANNOUNCE SPECIAL ONE OFF LONDON SHOW
Catch Zoax in Camden on February 23rd where they will premiere some new songs...

antimatter ANTIMATTER ANNOUNCE RARE UK DATES
Antimatter will play two further dates on 'The Judas Tour' in Bristol and Manchester in March...

jimmy bain JIMMY BAIN PASSES AWAY AGED 68
Ex-Dio and Rainbow and current Last In Line bass player Jimmy Bain has sadly passed away aged 68...

rhapsody of fire RHAPSODY OF FIRE WILL COME TO INDONESIA FOR THE FIRST TIME
On the 'In To The Legend Asian Tour 2016', Rhapsody of Fire will stop in Jakarta on March 8th 2016...

steven tyler AEROSMITH'S STEVEN TYLER ANNOUNCES NEW SINGLE 'RED, WHITE & YOU'
Steven Tyler continues his foray into country music and reveals his latest track...

the treatment THE TREATMENT ANNOUNCE APRIL /MAY UK TOUR
The Amorettes will be special guests on all fourteen UK dates...

soto SOTO TO RELEASE SECOND ALBUM ON 1ST APRIL 2016
Soto will debut live during Feb 2016 with a string of East Coast US dates and a European debut in April with a short run through selected cities and countries...

temperance movement HEAR THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT LIVE AND ACOUSTIC AT DEEZER, PARIS
The band dropped into Deezer headquarters during a stop on their current tour promoting new album 'White Bear'...

jezabels CANCER TREATMENT FORCES THE JEZABELS TO CANCEL WORLD TOUR
"The band means so much to me, and cancelling the tour has been a very sad decision. I am hopeful that in the near future we will be back on the road again playing music we love..."

thunder THUNDER ANNOUNCE INTIMATE SHOW AT LONDON'S 100 CLUB
All ticket-sale profits will be going to Childline/NSPCC. Tickets for the special one-off show go on sale on 22nd January...

freddy lim HEAVY METAL STAR ELECTED TO PARLIAMENT IN HISTORIC VICTORY
Freddy Lim, the long-haired, tattooed front man of Taiwanese Black Metal band Chthonic wins a seat in parliament...

hrh doom stoner HRH ANNOUNCE NEW DOOM & STONER SHEFFIELD TRIP
Candlemass, Orange Goblin, Torche and Raging Speedhorn lead the vanguard for HRH's new event...

the mission THE MISSION ANNOUNCE 30TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
The tour starts in Dublin on October 1st and includes O2 Shepherds Bush Empire in London on October 8th...

cop uk NEW ALBUM FROM C.O.P. UK 'NO PLACE FOR HEAVEN' IS OUT ON 29TH JANUARY
C.O.P. UK will immediately follow the release by hitting the road for a European tour with Helloween...

thin lizzy THIN LIZZY ANNOUNCE 2016 ANNIVERSARY SHOWS: MOTÖRHEAD DRUMMER MIKKEY DEE JOINS BAND
2016 is a year that includes a couple of important anniversaries in the history of Thin Lizzy...

joe bonamassa JOE BONAMASSA RELEASES NEW ALBUM 'BLUES OF DESPERATION' IN MARCH 2016
"You'll hear the proverbial trains, mountains, valleys and other blues references about heartbreak and loneliness, but there are also some poignant moments..."

cairo son CAIRO SON 'STORM CLOUDS' ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW CONFIRMED
The launch party will be held at Nambucca on March 18th...

stormbringer STORMBRINGER ADD NEW DATES TO FEBRUARY SHOWS SUPPORTING THEIR NEW ALBUM 'BLOOD AND RUST'
Check out the dates plus the videos for 'Bad Blood' and 'Rust' right here...

sanguine SANGUINE UNLEASH THEIR VEGAS SPECTACULAR WITH NEW VIDEO FOR 'PRETTY GIRL'
"The lyrics reflect my frustration that women are not meant to be both pretty and strong...but it's more of a 'fuck you' than a complaint..."

glenn frey GLENN FREY OF THE EAGLES PASSES AWAY AGED 67
Glenn Frey, the founder member and guitarist of The Eagles has sadly checked out...

dale griffin MOTT THE HOOPLE DRUMMER DALE GRIFFIN PASSES AWAY AGED 67
Dale "Buffin" Griffin was a founder member of Mott The Hoople and prolific session producer...

stiff little fingers STIFF LITTLE FINGERS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR DATES FOR FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016
Support will come from Ricky Warwick & The Fighting Hearts ...

inglorious INGLORIOUS CONFIRMED FOR SWEDEN'S STOCKHOLM ROCKS FESTIVAL 2016
Inglorious and Grand Magus are the first bands to be announced for 2016...

wishing well WISHING WELL FEATURING GRAHAM BONNET RELEASE 'HIPPIE HEART GYPSY SOUL'
"We wanted something extra to boost the album and when we wrote 'Hippie' we instantly realized that Graham would be a perfect vocalist for the song in many ways..."

sabaton SABATON REVEAL THE OFFICIAL LIVE VIDEO FOR 'RESIST AND BITE' TAKEN FROM FORTHCOMING LIVE RELEASE
"We recorded two shows in case one is not enough for you..."

babymetal BABYMETAL ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM TITLE
'Metal Resistance' is released worldwide on April 1st before their headline Wembley show the next day...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD: THE TRAIN KEEPS A-ROLLIN'
We hope to see Phil and Mikkey back in full-time action as soon as possible, as well as Fast Eddie...

evil scarecrow EVIL SCARECROW RELEASE THEIR BRILLIANTLY BONKERS LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'END LEVEL BOSS'
The fan favourite will finally appear in the live show for the remaining shows of the 'Boldly Going Anywhere!' tour...

life of agony LIFE OF AGONY SIGN WORLDWIDE DEAL WITH NAPALM RECORDS
'A Place Where There's No More Pain' will be released later in 2016...

metal church METAL CHURCH ANNOUNCE TRACK LISTING AND COVER ARTWORK FOR NEW ALBUM 'XI'
The band's 11th studio release marks the return of legendary vocalist and front man Mike Howe...

twisted sister NEW EUROPEAN RELEASE DATE AND NEW COVER ARTWORK REVEALED FOR THE MOVIE 'WE ARE TWISTED F*CKING SISTER!'
The documentary is a mesmerizing and wickedly funny story of a 10 year odyssey to overnight success...

saxon SAXON TO RELEASE 9 ALBUM VINYL BOX SET
This spectacular package is a must have for Saxon fans and collectors and will be released in March...

wildfire festival WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016 ANNOUNCE DAY SPLITS
Saturday night headliners, running order and set times for Scotland's premier rock and Metal festival will be announced in February...

black stone cherry BLACK STONE CHERRY TO PLAY CHARITY GIG AT THE BORDERLINE ON JANUARY 24th
All proceeds of this special appearance will go to The Teenage Cancer Trust...

trivium TRIVIUM ANNOUNCE UK TOUR WITH SOME SURPRISING CHOICES OF VENUE
None of the regular main cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester or Glasgow are included on this jaunt...

yes YES TO TOUR UK AND EUROPE IN APRIL
The set will include 1971's 'Fragile' and 1980's 'Drama' in their entirety...

blind guardian BLIND GUARDIAN ANNOUNCE UK AND IRELAND TOUR IN MAY
Blind Guardian will be playing a spellbinding 150 minute long set every night – these shows are not to be missed...

fish farewell FISH ANNOUNCES APRIL HEADLINE TOUR DUE TO PHENOMENAL DEMAND
Another final chance to see 'Misplaced Childhood' in full following the recent sold out run and including the rescheduled European shows...

morgoth MORGOTH ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR WITH INCANTATION
Be sure not to miss this killer package of total Death Metal sovereignty...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN TO TOUR CHINA FOR FIRST TIME IN THEIR CAREER
Iron Maiden will visit China in April 2016, once their set list has been submitted for approval from the Ministry Of Culture...

3 doors down 3 DOORS DOWN ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM 'US AND THE NIGHT' OUT MARCH 11th
"It's truly been a labour of love and we can't wait to get these songs out to our fans around the world..."

prong PRONG RELEASE NEW ALBUM ON FEBRUARY 5th
'X – No Absolutes' is packed with the band's trademark driving riffs and pinpoint-precise grooves...

skarlett riot SKARLETT RIOT HEAD OUT ON TOUR WITH DEVILSKIN
Skarlett Riot will be main support to Devilskin for six UK dates in February...

metal talk
© All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2015, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.
Ads raid data recovery